The Wenatchee School District announces the addition of the Wenatchee Internet Academy as a full-time virtual learning option for kindergarten through 12th grade students this fall.

In light of the COVID-19 pandemic, the district created the online school as a choice for families concerned about sending their children back to school for in-person instruction this fall and for those students who prefer an online learning environment.

The online academy is one of two instructional options parents will be able to choose from when school starts Aug. 26, the other being in-person for elementary and hybrid (online and in-person) for middle school and high school students.

The district is announcing preliminary plans for its Smart Restart to school this week that outline the instruction choices for families.

WIA is a full-time virtual classroom program that provides daily facilitated courses for elementary through high school age students. WIA presents students with a robust, interactive learning experience with a certificated WSD teacher. This program is not simply a textbook online.

The district used parent, student and staff feedback collected at the end of the 2019-20 school year as a guide for developing the internet academy.

“Now more than ever, families need options for their children’s education and we’re personalizing learning pathways to meet those needs,” said Mike Lane, the district’s executive director of teaching and learning. “As a comprehensive program, WIA would be a great choice for families who are looking to continue learning from home in a 100 percent online school structure.”

Taught by certificated WSD teachers, WIA will present students with a daily robust, interactive learning experience. All K-12 curriculum is similar to WSD in-person classroom curriculum and aligned with Common Core State Standards and Next Generation Science Standards.

All courses will be aligned to the needs of each student according to their grade level and/or accommodations. WIA offers a content-rich variety of highly demanded courses in an easy-to-use format that will utilize the learning management system Canvas.

WIA offers the following advantages and attributes for families looking to continue their students’ learning online:

  • Instructors: High-quality instruction taught by trusted certificated WSD teachers.
  • Schedule: Students will follow a daily schedule of classes similar to WSD in-person classrooms.
  • Teamwork: Students and their teachers will participate in real-time virtual classrooms, small group settings, and one-on-one check-ins.
  • Accountability: Parents will have real-time access to their student’s progress and workload.
  • Standards alignment: Courses aligned with district, state, and national standards
  • Assessments: WIA students will participate in Washington State and WSD testing.

Registration is available online at wenatcheeschools.org/WIA. Enrollment is open to all current WSD K-12 students and to students who reside outside of the district. Additional paperwork will be required for non-WSD students to enroll. Information and registration materials are available at wenatcheeschools.org/WIA.

Once a student is enrolled, the WIA becomes their sole school. A student cannot be enrolled in more than one school in or out of the WSD. In the event of in-person school closure, students will not be moved into the WIA program. They will remain with their enrolled school at the time of closure.

There is no cost for tuition and no fees for participation in the WIA. However, fines and fees will be accrued for damage or loss of any district materials including computers, iPads, textbooks, library books, etc.

For information on the WIA or to enroll, visit wenatcheeschools.org/WIA.

Diana Haglund is communications director for the Wenatchee School District.