Student Thrives Away from Bullying with IAVA

Dora Miller, CBS2/FOX28 GARNAVILLO, Iowa (CBS2/FOX28) — One size doesn’t fit all when it comes to learning since some families are seeing more success sitting in front of a computer than in front of a chalkboard.

At Iowa Virtual Academy, it’s not set up like your typical classroom. The teachers are on screens and the students learn at their own pace.

For Kristi Echen, it was the most sensible option. Her son, David, was bullied in pre-kindergarten.

“There was times where, in the morning, I would walk into the classroom and he would throw up before we even get there,” Echen said. “I was just like ‘this isn’t working, I hated him not being happy.'”

She looked into transferring him to another public school, one that would allow him to thrive away from the bullies.

“I sat down with him and asked him if he would like to try online schooling and he said yes,” Echen said.

Iowa Virtual Academy is an online public school that teaches 300 students in 150 different school districts around the state.

Steve Hoff has been the head of the program since its inception in 2012.

“Anything you can think of in a traditional classroom, that online teacher can do in an online classroom,” Hoff said.

“You get all your materials, you get your math and there’s reading,” Echen said.

Students can live chat with their teachers, participate in field trips and take part in extra-curricular activities.

“The majority of the students who do come back to us, they love it,” Hoff said. “They find our curriculum very rigorous, very challenging.”

For a smart kid like David, who thinks outside of the box, his mom said it was nice to have the option to do the same.

Any student in any district in Iowa can attend Iowa Virtual Academy. For more information on the k-12 options, click on the link.

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