APS Column: New beginnings: Reimaging learning in Austin

Published 6:45 pm Friday, April 29, 2022

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By Jessica Cabeen

Ellis Middle School principal

This past year Austin Public Schools opened Austin Online Academy, a virtual school option for students in Minnesota. As we are looking forward to the second year of this program, we wanted to take this opportunity to share a little more about this exciting program and who it serves.

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What is Austin Online Academy?

Austin Online Academy is an online virtual school option. Students who enroll in the program will have an advisory teacher who will help support academic learning, develop career/college readiness, and engage with them to assist in making the school year successful. One special feature of Austin Online Academy is that students in the program will also have the option to meet with their advisor in-person at Austin High School. Additionally, Austin Online Academy is a part of Austin Public Schools, enrolled students will still have access to extracurricular activities including sports and the arts.

Where does an Austin Online Academy student go to school?

Since Austin Online Academy is a virtual school option, students can learn from anywhere that has an internet connection. This allows for tremendous flexibility for students and families. Again, students will also have the option to interact with their advisors and instructors in-person if needed.

Who is Austin Online Academy for?

Austin Online Academy is a virtual school option open to all students in Minnesota grades 9-12. Successful students choosing this option include those who can work independently, are career focused, and like the flexible scheduling that online schools offer.

How does someone enroll in Austin Online Academy?

We will be accepting enrollment for the 2022-23 school year in May. Students and a supportive adult will have an informational session to better understand what virtual learning will look like and have regular communication with the teachers to make that they are on track with their courses. All students will receive a device if needed and ongoing support.

We are very excited about Austin Online Academy. This flexible virtual option will allow students to learn from anywhere with an internet connection while still allowing students to meet with instructors and advisors in-person as needed. If you are interested in enrolling in Austin Online Academy, or if you have any additional questions, please contact me at jessica.cabeen@austin.k12.mn.us.