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Cedar Rapids schools to offer virtual instruction through Edgenuity
While Cedar Rapids teachers will monitor students’ progress, they will no longer teach online classes
CEDAR RAPIDS — The Cedar Rapids Virtual Academy will no longer offer live, daily instruction from district teachers next school year.
Instead, virtual learning will be offered to kindergarten though eighth-graders next fall through Edgenuity, a nationally accredited online provider.
The district announced the switch — beginning in the 2022-23 school year — in a newsletter to families on Friday. The online classes are offered to families who want a virtual alternative instead of sending their children to in-person classes.
Students now enrolled in the Cedar Rapids Virtual Academy have daily, live, online instruction with a district teacher and some independent work.
The Friday newsletter did not say how online instruction will be offered to high school students next school year, and district officials could not be reached for comment.
The newsletter said the district “has learned from its current structures what educational options work best within its system to serve students and families.”
Edgenuity will offer students age-appropriate, engaging lessons with access to tools that support learning, including text-to-speech, audio and translation and text and picture dictionaries, according to the newsletter.
The program offers a self-paced, flexible option in which students are expected to make daily progress on assignments and lessons.
Though Cedar Rapids educators will not provide direct instruction to students next fall, they will monitor student progress and performance with usage statistics, grading and feedback tools, curriculum maps and communication tools, according to the newsletter.
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated the district’s timeline to make the Cedar Rapids Virtual Academy available to all students after offering temporary virtual learning during the height of the pandemic in the 2020-21 school year.
The Cedar Rapids Virtual Academy expanded online classes to all K-12 grades this school year, with Ernie Cox as its first principal.
The academy previously was available only to middle and high school students. The online school was listed as a priority school — the lowest ranking — by the Iowa Department of Education in December 2021.
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