Public information meetings on the iAchieve Virtual Academy will be held in May as follows:
• May 4: North Forsyth High at 7 p.m.
• May 6: South Forsyth High at 7 p.m.
• May 13: Forsyth County Board of Education and Professional Development Center at 10 a.m. and 7 p.m.
• Also: Registration begins May 17.
• On the Net: www.forsyth.k12.ga.us/iachieve.
Forsyth County's school board on Thursday approved the iAchieve Virtual Academy, an online learning environment for middle and high school students.
“It’s really being seen as more of a connective piece to our expanded learning opportunities, and one more piece to the puzzle to meet the needs of certain students,” Associate Superintendent Lissa Pijanowski told board members.
Several aspects of the academy, which will begin this fall, will be just like any other county school.
The curriculum is the same, students must still take standardized tests, and the courses offered are required to receive a high school diploma.
The academy was designed for home school students, those seeking schedule flexibility or motivated pupils to take courses beyond their current workload.
But the academy isn’t for everyone.
Pijanowski said iAchieve requires self-motivation and maturity, a willingness to ask teachers for help and organized time management.
Like other schools, classes are free for full-time students. There is a $300 per-class cost for part-time students.
Students living outside the county can also attend the academy for the same per-class rate, or full time for $3,500 a year.
The only requirement for students is that they have their own computer and high-speed Internet access.
The coursework will be provided through the school system’s Angel Learning program. The district plans to create an online common area.
Ann Crow, board chairwoman, called the program “a reflection of how schools are going to be in the future."
“It’s not going to be showing up every day and going to a club meeting or being involved like we used to growing up,” she said. “It’s going to be totally different.
"Education is changing and I think this reflects that, very much so.”