Clovis Christian School going virtual

Liliana Castillo

Clovis Christian School plans to launch a virtual high school that will allow students to receive a high school diploma by taking nothing but online courses.

Superintendent Ladona Clayton said she hopes to have the Truth Seekers Virtual Academy up for a summer session this year and ready for a full launch in August.

The name of the virtual school comes from a program at the school.

“It is made up of students who are really seekers of truth and God’s work and really apply that knowledge and understanding in their daily lives while keeping their academics up and a priority,” Clayton said.

Clayton said she named the virtual school after the program because she wanted it to continue in the same vein.

TSVA will offer 75 online courses including 12 advance placement courses, six honors courses and 130 dual credit courses.

Clayton said the school is able to provide so many options because they are paying for the service through an outside company that has already created the curriculum for each class and hired teachers. The company also works with four Christian and Bible colleges, enabling them to provide dual credit.

Classes offered range from Mandarin Chinese to AP macroeconomics to Bible doctrine and, Clayton said, all courses will be biblically-integrated.

Students can enroll in the TSVA full time to receive a diploma from a fully accredited virtual high school or part time to attend high school in a hybrid format, some online and some face-to-face, receive credit recovery or to gain college credit.

“We’re seeing a change in education. There are students who would like to experience high school virtually. We stand prepared to help students do that,” Clayton said.

Clayton said by providing an online high school, CCS is allowing students to learn in the method that is most compatible with their learning style.

“It’s just another way to do it,” she said. “The world is changing. The learning environment is changing too.”

The virtual academy is accredited by the Association of Christian Schools, International, North American Council for Online Learning, supported by North Central Accrediting Association and the College Board.

Clayton said allowing high school students access to online courses prepares them for college. Online courses require a student to pace themselves and be more self-directed.

“They need to learn to do that now, not then,” Clayton said.

CCS’s goal is to physically, intellectually, spiritually and socially prepare students for success and Clayton isn’t going to let the social aspect of education go because the courses are online.

“We are going to require that they come in for mini seminars to interact with other online learners and our staff here,” she said.

Clayton said students who attend the traditional high school, which she calls “brick and mortar” students, can also take the classes in the virtual academy, which provides them more course options.

High School Principal Mychelle Simms and Counselor Sheila Riden will work closely with virtual academy students. Riden will get students registered and Simms will oversee the students.

“We want to make sure they are successful,” Simms said.

Simms will work with virtual course teachers and students to keep track of their progress.

“This is where the world is heading,” Simms said. “Technology is a big component of where our students are going. Going into college, students are taking … classes online even more than three years ago.”

Clayton and Simms are excited about international possibilities of the virtual academy. Clayton said CCS is supported by six churches of different denominations and each church is involved in mission work around the world.

“I see this becoming an international virtual academy,” Clayton said.

Simms said introducing high school students to economies and languages helps prepare them for international work, whether mission or commercial.

“When they leave, they have had the opportunities to learn about different places around the world to be better equipped to be stronger missionaries,” Simms said.