Recognizing a need in Arizona for alternative learning models that offer the flexibility of online learning with a face-to-face engagement element, digital curriculum provider StrongMind has partnered with local charter schools to launch tuition-free Valor Preparatory Academy of Arizona.
The partners also launched a similar school in Columbus, Ohio, according to a release.
Created by taking the best of digital education, tools and curriculum, and paring that with the very best of in-person learning, the Valor Academy hybrid learning model is rooted in the idea of customization, that hybrid learning isn’t only for one location or one demographic, according to a release.
Developed before the COVID-19 pandemic, the model uses elements of time, space, content, technology and relationships to optimize a flexible educational solution that works for students, their families, teachers and schools. While both charter schools share a similar name and are both hybrid, they are actually quite different, the release stated.
Valor Preparatory Academy of Arizona, launched in fall 2019 at 13185 W. Thomas Road in Goodyear, allows students attend online school in person from 8 a.m. to noon, then they have the flexibility to stay for extra academic support or work remotely on school projects or extracurriculars.
The school is now enrolling students in sixth through 11th grades, according to its website.
When launched, Valor Arizona partnered with iCode and all students received free enrollment in the Belt Program, which teaches students programming, coding and designing across seven different coding languages.
At Valor Arizona, 25% of students are eligible for free or reduced lunch and 74% of students identify as white, 37% as Hispanic 16% as Black, 3% as Asian and 2% as American Indian, the release stated.
“The pandemic has significantly impacted districts across the country, forcing many schools to learn first-hand how important it is to have a plan for alternative learning models,” StrongMind President Mary Gifford said in a prepared statement. “However, because of StrongMind curriculum and the hybrid learning model of Valor Academy, both schools were prepared for the shift to fully online learning and as a result were able to provide students with the structure, stability and continuity they needed to thrive during the pandemic.”
StrongMind works with thousands of students in schools across the country — from traditional brick-and-mortar public and charter schools to hybrid virtual and online schools — to optimize learning opportunities for students through online or hybrid learning solutions.
This support includes teacher training, professional development and resources, Social Emotional Learning (SEL) tools and digital solutions that best fit the needs for teachers and students, the release stated.
To learn more about StrongMind, visit strongmind.com. To learn more about Valor Preparatory Academy Arizona, visit valoraz.org.