Some students thrive in permanent virtual school

Originally aired on CBS Austin – April 23, 2021

Many Central Texas students are eager for a full-return to in-person learning– but not everyone is. Some kids enjoy and even thrive in a virtual setting.

Texas Virtual Academy at Hallsville is an online public school open to any Texas student. Two years ago they had about 6,000 students enrolled and now teach more than 12,000.

Colin Fiedorowicz is an 11th grader at TVAH.

“My favorite part about it is you get to work at your own pace,” Fiedorowicz says.

He plans on pursuing a career in computer programming. Fiedorowicz has already earned industry-based certifications and has his sights set on a master’s degree.

“With a knowledge of programming I could invent things that could change the lives of millions of people,” Fiedorowicz explains.

At TVAH, students study all of the traditional subjects. As part of their electives, they can also take career learning courses through Stride Career Prep.

“We do prepare students for both college and careers,” says TVAH career learning administrator Marcus Walker.

Walker started teaching with the school two years ago. While the last 13 months have been rocky for many— at TVAH not much changed during the pandemic.

“As campuses started closing down and school districts were asking students to stay at home and go virtually we didn’t miss a beat at all,” says Walker.

Any Texas child in grades 3-12 can enroll. If they don’t have a computer or internet access both will be provided for them.

Several times a year, students are encouraged to gather in person by city.

“We ask kids to just meet up, come talk to us and come talk to each other to bridge some of that socialization-aspect they may otherwise miss,” he explains.

“Don’t worry that you’re not going to socialize because you actually get plenty of opportunities. Before classes, if you show up 15 minutes early they have it open so students can have conversations with each other,” Fiedorowicz adds.

He doesn’t miss going to campus every day. He no longer has to deal with bullying and instead focuses on his education and his future career.

“Being part of TVAH has allowed me to start a new life and I love it,” Fiedorowicz says.

Currently, there are three public, online schools available to Texas students.

To learn more about Texas Virtual Academy at Hallsville, visit tvah.k12.com

Featured Articles