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Twin Falls School District Virtual Schoolhouse: K-8th Grade

A home-based schooling option for Twin Falls School District Students

Are you worried about all of the unknowns with COVID-19 restrictions and the upcoming school year? Twin Falls School District, in partnership with Venture Upward, has a home-based schooling option for you!

How the program works:
TFSD students can choose to enroll in the Twin Falls Virtual Schoolhouse (TFVSH). Students continue to be TFSD students, but they are able to complete their schooling at home rather than at a traditional brick and mortar school. TFSD contracts with Venture Upward to provide curriculum, resources, activities, teaching, and mentoring to all students enrolled in TFVSH. Students meet the same standards as all Idaho public school students, including taking the IRI and ISAT testing (subject to COVID restrictions).

At a glance:

With enrollment in Venture Upward ALL
students receive:

  • 4 Core Courses: Online curriculum or Venturing Ahead path
  • Venture School: Weekly onsite program (alternative subscription box option is available for special circumstances)
  • Technology Training Course: Online, computer-based internet safety training which helps the whole family learn how to mitigate online risks such as cyberbullying and identity theft.
  • Free and fun organized field trips and service opportunities for the whole family
  • Venture Reward: Funding to support your student’s education
  • Dedicated teachers and mentors: Individualized attention, support, and guidance
  • A community of home educators: An extensive online community created for Venture families to connect with each other and offer support to one another. Our website also offers additional parental support.

What is required for each enrolled student?

  • Grades K-3: Weekly progress in Reading Eggs
  • All students: Weekly progress as outlined in the pacing guide for each core course
  • Weekly attendance and participation in Venture School or alternate subscription box option
  • State Standardized testing
What does the curriculum look like?
  • Families are able to choose core classes (math, language arts, science, social studies) from a selection of complete online courses.
  • Families who wish to use a different curriculum other than the online classes offered, are able to do so. Those students would then show standard mastery by completing weekly exercises on IXL.com and/or completing Spectrum workbooks.
  • Your teacher and mentor will be able to explain all course options and help you select the courses that will be the best fit for your student.
What kind of elective classes can my student choose? Are elective classes provided?
  • Venture Upward provides a weekly onsite program where students participate in four engaging and fun classes. All students are automatically enrolled in the Venture School onsite program. This program allows students to explore new subjects, participate in hands-on art and science projects, make friends, and practice teamwork. Venture School is a very popular part of our program that students look forward to attending each week.
  • Due to COVID restrictions and concerns, families may choose to receive project-based subscription boxes as an at-home alternative to Venture School. There are over a dozen boxes to choose from. The subscription boxes, which are yours to keep, will arrive at your door once per month.
  • All students and their families, whether using the onsite program or the subscription box option, are invited to attend field trips and community service projects organized and sponsored by Venture Upward.

Please note: Venture School onsite program will still follow the same COVID-19 guidelines as all other TFSD students.

How much does it cost to enroll in the Venture Upward program through TFVSH?

Absolutely nothing! TFSD provides the Venture Upward program as a 100% free, home-based, public education option for students in the school district.

What if I don’t have access to a computer or the internet?

Every student that enrolls in the Venture Upward program will receive $1200 worth of funding per student ($600 for K). Families are able to use that funding to order technology (laptop, tablet, computer, printers, etc.), manipulatives, educational resources and subscriptions, internet reimbursement, private lessons, etc. Families will send in their order requests for up to half of the funding at the beginning of first semester. Venture Upward will place the orders and have the materials shipped directly to your home. Families will then place a second order request just before the start of the second semester.

Please note that Venture Reward funding may not be used to purchase religious-based curriculum, clothing, food, and large P.E. equipment such kayaks, full-sized trampolines, or bicycles.

How many hours does my student have to work on school each day?

Attendance for TFVSH is recorded by progress and work completion. Students receive a detailed pacing guide for each course at the beginning of the school year. Students are required to make a certain amount of progress in each course by the end of every week. As long as the students keep up with the pacing guide, then they will receive 100% attendance. Students who fall behind in their courses will be required to attend tutoring sessions until they are caught up. Students who fail to stay on pace may be dropped from the program.

Do parents have to teach all of the lessons?

Some parental involvement is required for all students enrolled in the program. Students will need parents to help them understand and follow their pacing guides as well as ensure that progress is being made in all courses each week. Many of our online courses are complete courses with step-by-step instructions, lessons, and course progression built in. These courses allow a high level of independent learning. Some of our curriculum requires more hands-on instruction from a parent or caregiver. This is especially true for families that choose the Venturing Ahead path. A Venture Upward team member can help you determine which curriculum is best for your particular circumstances and personal preferences.

What if my student wants to go back to public school after COVID-19?

The Venture Upward program is set up to be a year-long program. If you choose to enroll in the Twin Falls Virtual Schoolhouse, then it is anticipated that you will be enrolling your student in the program for the entire 2020-2021 school year. TFSD has graciously made the iStation program available for all TFVSH students for the upcoming school year. Students previously enrolled in the TFSD will have used this program and will be familiar with it. Utilizing similar programs will help students stay on track with their education. This will make the transition back to a traditional brick and mortar school setting much simpler and more efficient.

How do I enroll my student in the Venture Upward program?

The enrollment process is a simple, two-step process! Apply online at https://ventureupward.org/apply. Upon completion, you will receive an automatically generated email confirming that your application at Venture Upward has been received. Families can then immediately visit Twin Falls School District’s website at https://www.tfsd.org/parents/enrolling-your-student/ to complete the online enrollment process. Simply select ‘Twin Falls Virtual Schoolhouse’ as the school of choice for your student. Please note, if you have already completed the enrollment or re-enrollment process for the Twin Falls School District, you will not need to redo that process.

A Venture Upward team member will work with you individually to verify that your student’s enrollment at TFSD is complete. Soon after your Venture Upward application has been received, a Venture Upward team member will contact you to guide you through your next steps.

Who can enroll in TFVSH?

Anyone who lives within the Twin Falls School District boundaries OR who lives in the Magic Valley area can enroll in TFVSH. The Venture Upward program is available throughout the entire state of Idaho, but students MUST LIVE in the Magic Valley to be enrolled as TFSD students in the TFVSH.

How can I learn more?

Shawnee Zelenka is the local coordinator for the TFVSH and you can contact her with questions at szelenka@ventureupward.org

 

Shawnee will be providing virtual meetings for families interested in TFVSH:

 

Steps for Enrollment in the TFVSH Venture Upward Program

  1. Fill out the short online enrollment form at https://ventureupward.org/apply
  2. Complete the online enrollment process for the Twin Falls School District at https://www.tfsd.org/parents/enrolling-your-student/ for the 2020-2021 school year
  3. A Venture Upward team member will contact you by email about your student’s enrollment.
  4. Visit ventureupward.org to explore the extensive offerings of the Venture Upward program, including a variety of customized learning paths and enrichment opportunities.
  5. Your assigned teacher and mentor will schedule a Mentored Academic Planning (MAP) meeting. This meeting is held virtually with video conferencing and is a great opportunity for mentors, students, and parents to become acquainted. This meeting will also help the teacher and mentor to gain insight on how they can best support you and your student throughout the year. This is the perfect time to discuss areas of strength, weakness, interest, talent, or any concerns you have about your student or the program. The teacher will also go over the expectations for students and families in the program and discuss course selection with you.
  6. Submit an order request for the materials you would like Venture Upward to purchase for your student with their Venture Reward funding.
  7. The first day of school is August 19th. Weekly progress in all courses is required, which includes progress in Reading Eggs for students in grades K-3.
  8. The Venture School onsite program will start on September 8th.
  9. Teachers are a vital part of the student and family support system at Venture Upward. Teachers maintain weekly contact with students and families via email and messages in the LMS (individual student login accounts). Teachers also hold regularly scheduled office hours several times per week. These emails will inform families of upcoming field trips, service projects, important dates, and deadlines. Phone, video, and in-person communication are also available.

What do we do?
Venture Upward recognizes and celebrates the uniqueness of every child. We partner with public schools to provide a free and customized home-based learning experience for students in kindergarten through eighth grade. We help families to create a customized curriculum path which has been tailor-made to meet the unique needs and learning style of each student. While learning takes place primarily in the home, we also offer on-site classes, group field trips, and community service opportunities. This individualized and hands-on approach helps children to develop a lifetime love of learning.

Mentoring
Our qualified and experienced mentors are here to help you every step of the way. Both you and your student can count on their individualized attention, support, and guidance through your entire journey with Venture Upward.

Curriculum and Programs
Ensuring that students have the resources they need to succeed.

Venture Upward brings you the best online curriculum. With enrollment, all students receive free access to quality curricula such as Mathseeds, Mathletics, Reading Eggs, and Studies Weekly. IXL and Spectrum workbooks are also provided at no extra cost for those students who choose the Venturing Ahead path. Every student also receives a Venture Reward, which is intended to help families purchase other online or hard-copy curricula of their choosing. Please note that Venture Reward funds cannot be used to purchase religiously-based curriculum.

We also offer engaging on-site classes at Venture School one day per week to compliment your child’s core curriculum. Venture School is a drop-off program, but of course, parents are always welcome to stay and volunteer! Students love the exciting array of electives offered onsite, as well as the friendships they build. However, we understand that on-site classes are not the right fit for every student, which is why we also offer project-based subscription boxes for an at-home alternative.

The Venture Team values community and connection, which is why we learn, play, and work alongside one another. The Venture School staff coordinates several service opportunities throughout the school year. We also plan fun and captivating field trips! Community service projects and field trips are open to the entire family, and there is never a cost to you for these fun-filled opportunities! Our extensive online community is another platform in which Venture families will find connection and support.

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