An on-line Akron charter school is closing at the end of the school year. AkronNewsNow has learned that the Digital Academy in Akron will close after the Board of Directors voted Wednesday 3-2 to end the school's ten year run.
The Digital Academy is sponsored by, but not operated by Akron Public Schools. APS Superintendent David James is a member of the Academy's board and voted with the majority to close the School. 500 students and 8o staff members and teachers are affected by the closing decision.
Akron Digital Academy director Bernadine Burchett tells AkronNewsNow " The decision was made for several reasons. The first one being that over the past couple of years there has been a decline in enrollment here at Akron Digital and the one-line school. Second, we have the new standards, the new course standards coming in which is going to require some major changes in the way that we do business. Akron Digital Academy is 10 years old and many of the digital on-line schools that you find throughout the country look a little different than we do. They offer a wide variety of courses connected to universities. So that being involved we have a position where our kids we would like to see them have a chance to succeed more than they have. So, in light of that, the feeling was if we could perhaps get them back in the Akron schools, Akron schools are looking at some exciting things as far as some on-line programming that might give these kids more of a variety , and more of an opportunity to succeed. In light of that perhaps it's time to go in a different direction."
Burchett says students today have a tremendous number of on-line options including courses offered by universities as far away as Florida to help students with the high school course work. Burchett says on-line courses are exploding as far as vocational and advanced classes, and making up course work they need to catch up with. She says students of today have many more opportunities that didn't exist 10 years ago. Burchett says there are a number of new on-line schools that will appear in Akron in the next year or two.
" Parents will be receiving a letter today, and since we are sponsored by Akron Public Schools a transition team is going to be put together to look at different options that these students have that they can look at for next year, so that we meet their needs and serve them," says Burchett.