Great Hearts Academies public charter schools will offer its classical liberal arts curriculum to Arizona students online beginning in the fall.
Great Hearts Online enrollment is open to all Arizona students, starting on Monday, April 19. Registration/applications can be submitted at https://greathearts.schoolaxis.com. There is no tuition at Great Hearts Academies or Great Hearts Online, according to a press release.
School-aged children residing anywhere in Arizona are eligible for open enrollment through Thursday, April 29. Offers will be extended to eligible applicants starting on Friday, April 30.
Student assessment is not required before entering Great Hearts’ schools or any public charter school under a state law that prohibits determining a student’s enrollment eligibility based on previous standardized test performance.
Great Hearts Online will initially serve 600-800 students from kindergarten to eighth grades with the first day of school on Aug. 11, said the release, noting intentions for the school’s expandsion through 12th grade for its virtual academy.
“There now exists an online school that not only meets the rigorous academic standards of Great Hearts, but most important, will fulfill our mission to cultivate the minds and hearts of students in pursuit of truth, goodness, and beauty,” said Jay Heiler, CEO of Great Hearts America, in a prepared statement.
“The past year has made clear the need for high quality online academic programs in K-12. The challenge here is to deliver a world-class classical education in the digital medium to meet the needs of those families and students who seek it. We have accepted that challenge.”
Great Hearts Online has a robust, liberal arts curriculum including advanced math and science and a focus on the arts and foreign language, the release said, adding computers are used to teach the manual skills of spelling, handwriting, and drawing.
Using videoconferencing, students are brought together to recite poetry and discuss the masterpieces of classical literary and philosophical tradition. Students make friends, bond with teachers, and form communities on and off screen through the school, noted the release.
“Most online programs are lonely and procedural,” said Great Hearts Online Executive Director Kurtis Indorf in a prepared statement.
“Great Hearts Online is the antithesis to that current reality. We are creating an academically-rich, relationally-based school community. We value and cultivate a sense of wonder, depth of inquiry, and love of learning in all classes. With Great Hearts Online we are removing traditional barriers, allowing us to serve more students, deepen relationships with families, and strengthen our methods of student formation.”
Great Hearts Online will be led by seasoned Great Hearts Arizona headmasters, Jamee Twardeck and Heidi Vasiloff who will work with a fully-staffed leadership team and faculty employed full time with the virtual Great Hearts academy, according to the release.
The launch of Great Hearts Online follows what the release noted as a successful pilot of Great Hearts Online - Texas, which was offered in January to serve about 500 students in that state.
See survey results and information about Great Hearts Online at www.greatheartsonline.org.