Tullahoma Adds Virtual Academy to Education System | Education

With the new school year underway, school officials in the city of Tullahoma came together to celebrate the eighth addition to the school system, the Tullahoma Virtual Academy.

TCS officials and guests gathered at the Community School Services Building, the Old West, to celebrate the occasion with a dedication ceremony for the Tullahoma Region Chamber of Commerce. The Tullahoma Virtual Academy (TVA) was announced in May as an option available to students who can fully customize their high school education while doing their work at their own pace. The program is overseen by the Virtual Director, Dr Greg English.

Following the inauguration ceremony, Dr. Catherine Stephens, Director of English and TCS, thanked attendees for attending and spoke about the Virtual Academy.

“On behalf of the schools in the city of Tullahoma this year, we are very grateful that you are all here,” said Stephens. “You are such a committed community and our school district. “

According to Stephens, the idea for the virtual academy started a year ago when the school board and management team began to develop a strategic plan and students’ teaching and learning needs, a virtual school supporting discussion.

Although the school is primarily virtual, virtual students can come to the physical location to complete their classes, meet with study groups, or attend weekly live sessions. Students can also take advantage of the Tullahoma Virtual Café installed in the building, with the intention of going to local businesses like bakeries and cafes to form partnerships.

“I don’t believe there is another virtual academy that has something like this for their students,” English said. “We have a regular team coming in, and they really own that space, which is exactly what we want. “

Along with the opening of TVA, English said he was enthusiastic about the partnerships. When English was selected for his position, he applied for and received a grant from the Tennessee Department of Education for Innovative High School Models, which aims to foster local community partnerships that improve students’ readiness for school. university and prepare high school students for jobs and careers in their local communities.

The school district, along with Motlow State Community College, Tennessee College of Applied Technology, and the City of Tullahoma, created a program called the Tullahoma Career Pathways Initiative (TCPI). English said that at TCPI’s center there is an internship program for students, as TVA will rely heavily on career education with career and graduation coaches guiding students to potential careers. by figuring out what interests them and how to get there.

For the Motlow partnership, English is hoping to expand dual registration options and said two VR stations are on the way for students to learn to create a VR environment.

“They can make games, they can create training modules, and they can actually start making money doing this within a year of starting the program,” English said. “This is something Motlow is happy to help us with. “

For TCAT, English said that due to the nature and flexibility that AC credit classes create in student schedules, he hopes to maximize the number of programs that students can start with TCAT and earn their certificates. Regarding the partnership with the city, English said the city will help connect with local employers to offer internships.

Stephens said TVA’s dream is to grow and expand into the lower classes and communicate with families about what that will look like.

“I can’t say that next year is necessarily going to be expanding, because we want to refine and really strengthen what we do and deliver at the high school level,” Stephens said, “but to come the lower grades will be a part of this great opportunity at the Tullahoma Virtual Academy.

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