Originally published by KFDX-TV – March 21, 2021
Lawton Christian School closed its high school last year due to COVID precautions and shrinking enrollment.
This left students like 9th grader Shekinah Weary without a Christian high school to attend, but officials with Trinity Christian Academy in Lawton, which also doesn’t have a high school, had an idea.
“The principal at Trinity Christian Academy decided to add a high school to what was previously just a 3-year-old through 8th-grade program,” Eileen Hilliard, learning coach, said. “But we didn’t really have the time or the facilities to offer a full face-to-face high school so we decided to use Oklahoma Virtual Charter Academy.”
Seven high schoolers use OVCA as their curriculum and meet at Trinity Christian to receive education in leadership, Bible skills and life skills.
Weary said it’s a big step up from online learning at home.
“It was a pretty easy adjustment so far. Just because it’s just like class on a laptop and I knew most of the people who are in the program with me also. So just be able to go with some of my old friends from my old school and still interact with them is a pretty smooth transition,” Weary said.
Hilliard said this learning pod is not the usual situation that OVCA encounters with its students but, for the most part, it works well for the high schoolers that get to keep learning together.
“Because we had so many in this group that wanted to do it together, we thought ‘Well, hey we’ll give it a try.’ It’s been a learning curve. I wouldn’t say it’s been perfect for everybody, but it definitely met the need,” Hilliard said.
And Weary said she might stick with this system all the way through high school.
“For us and my family, it didn’t really have anything to do with COVID or nothing, it just had to do with me wanting a better high school experience heading into high school and I didn’t know if public school would give me that. So just having this, I might stick with it,” Weary said.
A new alternative to traditional homeschooling as this learning pod looks to keep servicing high school students that want a private school education in Lawton.
To learn more about Oklahoma Virtual Charter Academy visit, https://ovca.k12.com/