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Wauwatosa West Virtual Academy

Katie Herring, Student Reporter

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Online schooling can have many benefits. It can be utilized for many different reasons and is unique to every student. The Wauwatosa Virtual Academy allows students to take classes online and receive local support.

According to Wauwatosa Virtual Academy Principal, Dean Heus, there is currently around 180 students enrolled in online schooling in the Wauwatosa Virtual Academy.

Noah Kurozawa, a former student at Milwaukee Lutheran, recently enrolled in the Wauwatosa Virtual Academy in February 2018 for the end of his junior year oh high school. Noah started online schooling after his mother recommended it to him.

“I heard about online schooling from my mom, she was looking into different schools and came across the idea of online school and from there she enrolled me,” said Kurozawa.

Online schooling can be quite confusing as far as how it works. A student learning all by themselves sounds like a crazy idea. The online classroom provides students with the curriculum and due dates, but the motivation and engagement in the material is largely up to the individual student.

“They post all the curriculum and stuff online so we have to read and take notes ourselves and we will have practice quizzes, quick checks, tests and papers and projects due. It’s just reading, and we teach ourselves, but we have direct contact with the teacher whenever we need extra help,” said Kurozawa.

Communicating can be difficult sometimes when it’s all through the internet. However, the Wauwatosa Virtual Academy contacts through an educational company that provides online courses to students all across the country. There are also local staff and guidance counselors to support students directly.

“Our online courses/teachers are through an educational company named Pearson Learning.  They will call, email, chat with our students. We also have local staff in Wauwatosa and we will meet with families directly or if the student is from somewhere farther away in the state, we would do things like a Zoom video meeting,” says Dean Heus.

Noah started looking into different schools because of various reasons.

“I started online school because I was not happy at my school and due to medical issues, it created an opportunity for more free time and a more flexible schedule,” said Kurozawa.

Students have started online schooling for many different reasons.

“Sometimes it is due to life circumstances and situations. Some students really just want to do something different and really like the idea of doing school on their own terms. Sometimes it is for a practical reason, like a family moves in from out of state and don’t want to start at a high school in the middle of a term,” said Dean Heus, the school administrator for the Wauwatosa Virtual Academy.

There are many pros and cons to online schooling.

“Pros would be having more free time, being able to manage my own work schedule and school schedule, and being able to get ahead easily in work,” said Noah. “And cons would be that I don’t get a break, and sometimes it is easy to fall behind, you don’t have interaction with your friends, some material can be confusing to teach yourself when not hands on.”

Noah has learned to overcome some of the cons, for example, falling behind. He has learned not to fall behind, and that it is better to get ahead.

“My motivation is to have good grades and to be able to go to a good school, and I just enjoy getting ahead so then I can take days off,” said Noah.

Depending on who you are and your situation, online schooling could be right for you.

“Yes, I would recommend online schooling to some students. I don’t think online schooling is for everyone, but when it works out for a student it definitely has the potential to help a student graduate who may not have been able to achieve that in a traditional way,” said Heus.

To learn more about the Wauwatosa Virtual Academy visit . . . . http://wauwatosavirtualacademy.com/

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