Online virtual school is an education alternative that is working quite well for one Edmond sophomore.
Alexandra Ashworth and her family including father and mother, Fred and Vonda, and two brothers moved to Edmond in June and Alexandra enrolled at North High School. Between classes, homework and practicing her passion, ballet, 15 hours a week, she didn’t seem to have enough time to fit in all of her other interests and activities.
“I began checking out other choices, and I came up with the virtual school through Oklahoma Connections Academy out of Bartlesville and decided this was an option I was interested in trying,” Alexandra said.
OKCA is a tuition-free online public school serving students throughout Oklahoma in grades K-12. OKCA gives the students the flexibility to learn at home with a curriculum that meets rigorous state education standards. Each student is able to maximize his or her potential and meet the highest performance standards through a uniquely individualized program.
“This has been a great option for Alexandra,” said her mother, Vonda Ashworth, “because it allows her to have more flexibility in her schedule.”
By her own admission, this insomniac studies best in the still of the night, goes to bed when everyone else is getting up, sleeps until noon and than begins practicing ballet for about five hours each day.
“I have a learning coach who along with my other teachers seems to be up all hours of the night so when I have a question I can go online and email or chat on Facebook and get the answers I need,” Alexandra said.
By the end of May, Alexandra will have finished all of her course work for graduation, but she plans on enrolling in AP courses for the next two years. With plans to major in Pre-Medicine/Emergency Medicine and Ballet, Alexandra said she knows she will have a hectic schedule but it is one she is already accustomed to doing.
Alexandra said dancers don’t make much money, but with a double major she plans on teaching ballet in the afternoons, working in the hospital emergency room all night and sleeping in the mornings.
“It is a schedule much like I am doing now,” Alexandra said. “I have a passion for dance and anatomy and physiology, and my goal is to be the best dancer I can possibly be so I can teach other dancers and to be the best doctor I can be.”
Alexandra said within both careers she will be able to help others.
“Besides,” Alexandra said, “ I need an adrenaline rush while I am doing something I love.”
“I am very disciplined,” Alexandra said, “and virtual school is all about me being able to push myself and study at my own speed. I can go ahead or hold back as I teach myself. I am an audio learner and I am able to get videos, tutorials and have recorded notes. All of the education is not online, but our textbook is online also.”
When Alexandra finishes her course work and takes all of the AP courses through the online virtual school she is interested in taking, she will take the End of Instruction test just like seniors graduating from public schools and will receive a State of Oklahoma diploma.
“What I love as a parent is the open curriculum provides opportunities to expand Alexandra’s learning,” her mother said. “Not only does she do problems but the online classes give her the opportunity to expand her creativity, and the live lessons let her have the opportunity to talk with other students.”
Alexandra said there are a bountiful number of clubs and organizations to belong to and contests to enter.
Her plans include attending Friends University, a nondenominational school founded by Quakers. Friends is one of three universities in the nation offering ballet and pre-med as a major.
“I plan on testing out of a number of college classes when I test for my AP courses,” Alexandra said. Always thinking ahead, Alexandra said it is important for her to help her parents as much as she can financially and this is one way she can do it.
Alexandra said she learns a lot from watching other ballet performers. She first started dancing at 14 years of age but has come a long way since then.
“I take every opportunity I can to observe and enjoy other dancers, and I saw the Russian National Ballet when they came to Oklahoma.”
She also plays classical guitars and takes lessons at A.R.T.S. on Second Street and Coltrane.
A.R.T.S. stands for Arts Revealing the Son, and it is a Christian music school. Her twin brother Cole and her brother Ryan also take music classes there under the direction of Katha Bardel.
“Alexandra is very driven and she knows her weaknesses,” her mother said. “She is open to adult correction and she has the internal drive to keep moving forward.”
Online virtual learning allows flexibility in schedule
Online virtual school is an education alternative that is working quite well for one Edmond sophomore.
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U.S. News ranks city high schools in state’s Top 10
All three Edmond high schools are ranked among the Top 10 in the state in a prestigious national list.
U.S. News & World Report, which publishes annual rankings, ranked Edmond North No. 3 in Oklahoma and No. 437 nationwide. Memorial ranked No. 6 in Oklahoma and No. 847 nationwide. Santa Fe ranked No. 8 in Oklahoma and No. 1,075 nationwide.
“This recognition serves as validation for our students, parents and staff members at all levels who work together relentlessly in pursuit of academic excellence, Edmond Public Schools Superintendent David Goin said.
OC expands to 5 academic colleges
Oklahoma Christian University will expand from three to five colleges beginning with the 2014-15 academic year.
OC’s five academic colleges will be the College of Biblical Studies, the College of Business Administration, the College of Engineering and Computer Science, the College of Liberal Arts and the College of Natural and Health Sciences.
“Our academic and leadership teams have been planning, praying and discussing how to build on OC’s legacy of exceptional success in science, engineering and business,” said Scott LaMascus, vice president for academic affairs. “Our new colleges will focus on growth in these areas and implement strategic planning to help us serve more students.”
FBI seeks suspect in robbery of local bank
Police and FBI agents are investigating the robbery of a local bank by a suspect wearing a fake mustache and goatee, a spokesman said.
FBI Special Agent Martinus McConnell said the robbery occurred Tuesday morning at the Arvest Bank, 2025 Sonoma Park, Edmond.
Deer Creek students see bionic suit in action
In 2010, a car accident left Guthrie resident Mary Beth Davis paralyzed from the waist down.
In a few weeks, thanks to INTEGRIS Jim Thorpe Rehabilitation, determination and an Ekso Bionics suit, she will be walking across a stage to receive a college diploma from Oklahoma State University.
Wednesday afternoon, Davis was at Deer Creek Middle School where students of teacher Jamie Brehm got to see Davis and the suit in action and learn about how it helps people live a fuller life.
Brehm said the opportunity to have the demonstration fit perfectly with the testing schedule. Brehm said a bonus was having Davis with her inspirational story come to the school. In addition to graduating soon, Davis lives an independent life and she was recently crowned Ms. Wheelchair Oklahoma.
Antique clock collection on display at Edmond Library
In a world that’s often hurried and brief, the Sooner Time Collectors have nothing but time. Oklahoma chapter members of the National Association of Watch and Clock Collectors have provided antique pieces from personal collections to display at the Edmond Library until the end of April.
Since the 1950s, Sooner Time Collectors have gathered to learn about the inner workings of clocks and to admire one-of-a-kind finds. Of interest to the community is their involvement with repairs for the Cowboy Hall of Fame clock and the UCO tower. They now have 35 members who meet monthly as a chapter of the 16,000-member NAWCC community across America and the world.
Be on the lookout for termites
Warming temperatures and spring rainfall means swarming conditions for the homeowners’ nemesis in Oklahoma — the termite.
Termites are Mother Nature’s way of recycling dead wood, as well as aerating the soil and increasing its fertility and water percolation. They are an important food source for other insects, spiders, reptiles, amphibians and birds within the food web, and they are essential for the wellbeing of the environment.
Central students organize ‘Take Back the Night’ to end sexual violence
The University of Central Oklahoma’s National Organization for Women (UCO-NOW), Institute of Hope and the Violence Prevention Project will host a Take Back the Night (TBTN) march and rally to end violence, beginning 7 p.m. May 1 in Pegasus Theater in Central’s Liberal Arts building.
TBTN events date back to the early 1970s and focus on eliminating sexual violence in all forms. Thousands of colleges, universities, women’s centers and rape crisis centers have sponsored TBTN marches throughout the country.
Police investigate more home burglaries in Edmond
Residents have reported an additional seven home burglaries to the Edmond Police Department the day after an equal number occurred, according to city records.
Police spokeswoman Jenny Monroe said a detective is investigating the new incidents reported during the day on Tuesday. Monroe said similarities in them lead the agency to believe they are connected.
Tuesday’s reported burglaries occurred in different areas including near the Covell-Coltrane intersection and south of 15th Street along Santa Fe. According to city records, they were reported at:
Central community learns about water conservation
Edmond residents know about rain that falls from their roofs after a storm. Some may not know what kind of important role it plays in the nation’s water supply.
Tim Tillman, the University of Central Oklahoma’s sustainability coordinator, said UCO has a tradition of innovation in sustainable practices. Tillman said Earth Day, first brought to the campus more than 20 years ago, began that tradition.
During Tuesday’s Earth Day Fair, Jason Summers, a Coca-Cola account manager for on-premise sales, was giving away rain barrels and educating members of the Central Oklahoma community about the benefits of rain barrels.
Energy secretary touts CNG fleet conversion
Oklahoma Secretary of Energy and Environment Michael Teague said the state is leading the way in converting its fleet of vehicles to run on compressed natural gas.
And, he adds, the state is working to get federal officials engaged in moving its fleet of vehicles in Oklahoma to use CNG.
Teague made those statements Tuesday during a visit to Champion CNG, 13915 N. Harvey Ave. in Edmond. The visit also coincided with Earth Day.
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