Virtual Schools

One Size Does NOT Fit All

Virtual Schools - One Size Does Not Fit All

SoftChalk’s Innovators in Online Learning initiative provided a four-part Virtual School webinar series December 5, 2012 – February 20, 2013. In this series,, Orange Unified School District (CA), and Georgia Virtual School (GaVS) demonstrated how they organized their virtual schools for success!

The four webinars were recorded and are available in the Innovator’s in Online Learning archive. Links to the archives and the three accompanying case studies are provided along with the webinar descriptions below.

Virtual Schools—One Size Does NOT Fit All

December 5, 2012

In the world of K-12 education Virtual School models can vary greatly. In this webinar we will examine three. (1) Georgia Virtual (GaVS) is a statewide initiative which, requires their content to work in a larger variety of online environments, including any LMS; (2) creates and shares their content with smaller virtual schools through a cloud based repository; and (3) Orange USD, a California virtual school, provides online courses for traditional f2f classroom students and requires their classroom teachers to build their own online courses. As you will learn, these organizations vary in their approaches to content creation, student orientation, and teacher training—to name a few.

Presenters: Jay Heap, Georgia Virtual School; Deanna Mayers,; Pam Quiros, Orange USD.


January 23, 2013 is a not-for-profit company that empowers a network of schools to teach and learn online by providing K-12 curriculum, learning technologies, professional development and a professional network. develops quality content with practicing teachers aided by instructional designers that it shares through a branded version of SoftChalk Cloud so that the content can be repurposed and customized to meet each school’s needs. also supports member schools by training the school’s teachers to develop, share and teach online courses. Schools then use the master curriculum created by member teachers to start their own virtual school or blended learning opportunities using their own teachers to and teach the courses and customize the master curriculum to meet their students’ needs. This webinar will also discuss how works with the more than one hundred separate virtual schools that it supports.

Presenters: Deanna Mayers, Director of Curriculum,


Orange Unified School District

February 6, 2013

Orange LIVE! (Learning through Interactive Virtual Education) is the virtual school of the Orange Unified School District in California. Their classes provide traditional high school students with opportunities to experience a technology-rich learning environment, gain graduation credits, and enroll in classes online that might be otherwise unavailable. The content for the online courses are created by the teachers that teach the same face to face course. So although these educators are offered extensive training and mentoring, the content creation process must be streamlined and uncomplicated.

OrangeLIVE! students actively participate in weekly discussions via a discussion board or blog and in periodic “virtual chats” with the teacher and other enrolled students. They complete a technology-rich variety of assignments including projects, surveys, digital videos, interactive textbooks. Students take all tests face-to-face with a teacher on campus, and must log into Blackboard daily. This webinar will describe the unique roles of the students, teachers and administration in creating this successful program.

Presenters: Pam Quiros, Coordinator of Educational Technology Services , Orange USD.


Georgia Virtual School

February 20, 2013

The Georgia Virtual School was established in 2005. Over the past seven years, GaVS enrollment has grown from 1500 to a projected 15,000+ in 2012-13. The primary reasons for the success of GaVS is the dedicated teaching staff and the commitment to high quality content created by a team of development specialists and subject matter experts who create or revise over 25 courses each year. SoftChalk plays a role because while there are many various “growing pains” in the process of establishing a quality program, a consistent content development process which allows content to be created once but used in a variety of online environments, including multiple LMSs. Thus providing a stable learning environment for students and staff, and allowing the administration to concentrate on increasing student and parent communication, creating professional development, and improving the overall student experience. This webinar will focus on the elements of a quality online program and answer questions regarding successful implementation of a statewide virtual school.

Jay Heap, Director of Virtual Learning, Georgia Virtual School
Tami Echard, Manager of Instructional Development


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