School choice is important

Originally published in the Park Record – February 24, 2021

Prior to the pandemic, school choice wasn’t something I gave much thought. My two kids went to our local brick-and-mortar school. But once COVID-19 started to become a larger issue and our school system abruptly transitioned to be completely online, I searched for options that would provide an option that minimized the disruption to their learning.

Fortunately, I found Utah Virtual Academy. I liked that they were already an online school before the pandemic, so they know how to support students in a virtual classroom. While the transition was an adjustment for my kids, they became better at being independent quickly at such a young age. I’ve also had the opportunity to become more involved with their learning now that their classroom is in our home.

Having the ability to find a safe, trusted online school has given me a new perspective on how important school choice is. Online learning and the transition to it can be challenging. What’s important is that families have the ability to choose and explore if this option works for them. That’s why I’ve become an advocate for school choice. Families deserve the option to find the proper learning environment for their kids, pandemic or not.

Leslie Babalis

To learn more about Utah Virtual Academy, visit

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