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Virtually Yours: Canyons Virtual Academy Expands to Bring ‘Me-Learning’ Free of Charge to all Utah Students, Grades 6-12

Founded in 2011, Canyons Virtual Academy — previously known as Canyons Online — has brought the benefits of digital learning to tens of thousands of Utah high school students from as far north as Logan to as far south as St. George.

Now, the same proven, personalized learning will also be open to younger, middle-school-aged students. Starting this fall, any Utah student in grades 6-12 can enroll in CVA’s accredited online courses completely free of charge.

“We are privileged to be able to serve all Utahns as one of only a handful of fully-accredited and certified Statewide Online Education Programs (SOEP),” said CVA Principal Amy Boettger. “Now we’ll be able to help even more students.”

CVA can enroll any student and students can take as few or as many classes as they like. What’s more, they can learn from anywhere, at any time, and at their own pace.

“If you like your neighborhood school, you can stay at your neighborhood school while supplementing or getting a jump on your studies with CVA’s self-paced online courses,” said Boettger.

Students often use CVA to free up their regular school schedule for more electives. Or, they may use it to graduate early or stay on track with their learning from remote locations.

“We had one student take our courses so she could take advantage of an early-admission offer at Utah State University,” Boettger. “We work with student athletes who have to travel a lot to compete or students who are being hospitalized. For these students, we are a learning lifeline. We call it ‘me-learning,’ instead of ‘e-learning.’”

Last year, 5,000 students enrolled in CVA. The Academy is one of only two online learning programs in Utah with summer high school courses. It even does remote proctoring of exams.

While the pandemic popularized online learning, Boettger credits CVA’s success to its proven track record and highly-qualified guidance counselors and teachers who partner with parents to be successful learning coaches for their students.

The Academy offers many of the courses you would find at a traditional high school, from drivers education and fitness classes to psychology, U.S. history, and Advanced Placement physics and biology. For grades 6-8, CVA has plans to add health and arts classes to its core classes in math, science, and English language arts.

The Academy enrolls students year-round. To request more information, email communications@canyonsdistrict.org or call 801-826-5220.

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Lucie Chamberlain

Alta View Elementary

If a movie about super teachers were ever made, Lucie Chamberlain would be a prime candidate for a leading role. Fortunately for her kindergarten students at Alta View Elementary, she already thrives in a supporting role for them. Parents thank her for being a “super teacher.” She is also described as an “amazing colleague.” Whether students need help in the classroom or from home while sick, Lucie goes above and beyond to help them learn, overcome fears, and feel important and cared for. Lucie is the reason a number of kids went from hating school to loving it, according to parents. The way she exudes patience, sweetness, positive energy, and love for her students with special needs melts is appreciated and admired. One parent noted: “Both my kids wish she could be their teacher forever.” Another added:  “She treats every student like their learning and their feelings are her priority.” Super teacher, indeed!

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