Teacher Spotlight - Mrs. Catheryn Reardon, PhD

Catheryn, Reardon, PhD is an Elite educator with the Virtual Program who has been a teacher for 15 years. She loves helping students in meeting their goals to succeed! She works with students one on one, and their families, to ensure that they are progressing in their courses, and receive the support they need when challenges arise.

I am also their cheerleader when it comes to their academic progress and working towards their long term goals! I also love to support my student athletes, and those involved in the arts! I am also the content teacher for High School English in grades 11 and 12, and love to assist my content students by providing tutoring and live sessions that go over difficult concepts.

Mrs. Reardon, her husband and 2 daughters enjoying some sun!

Mrs. Reardon was inspired to get into teaching after her first of three daughters was born.

I spent my first career in journalism and publishing, but fell in love with teaching after the birth of my first daughter. I went back to school to earn my credentials to become a teacher, and then taught in the physical classroom for several years before switching to online teaching in 2008. I continued my learning so I could better serve my students in the online environment and went on to earn a Master's degree in Education, and then a Ph.D. in General Psychology in Technology and Learning. As a lifelong learner myself, I try to promote that love of learning for my students so they not only see the value of education, but how accessible it is for them too!

She really enjoys teaching at Elite and has found a home with the Virtual Program!

I love teaching in the remote environment and appreciate that this format of learning allows students to attend in a flexible setting that best meets their academic needs and busy schedules. This is a wonderful setting for many student athletes, and those who need a more flexible format of learning. It is also a wonderful option in light of current events!

We asked Mrs. Reardon what she would like to say to her current and future students:

I would tell them that I will be their biggest cheerleader, and I am on their team! I think often times it can be scary to be an online student because you are unsure of who is on the other side of the computer screen. However, I take joy in my student's successes, and in their failures too so that we can create a game plan to help them succeed. There is no one size fits all in education and it is my job to find that perfect fit for my students in their online learning so that they can gain confidence and grow as a student! :)

Mrs. Reardon definitely stays busy outside of the virtual classroom. She love to swim and take long walks, watch her daughter's Water Polo teams, and attend many athletic events. She is a huge Disneyland fan, or in her words, a "Disney Geek"! Our Elite Virtual students are very lucky to have such a caring, experienced and hands on teacher. Thank you Mrs. Reardon for everything that you bring to Elite Academic Academy!


Emily Rowley

Elite's 2020 Graduating Class Valedictorian - Emily Rowley

Emily Rowley

Our 2020 Graduating Class is nothing short of fantastic. They have all worked very hard and it has been a joy to see them grow and work towards their goals. Elite Academic Academy (EAA) has chosen Emily Rowley, a senior from our Homeschool Program, as our Valedictorian for the Class of 2020. Jenny Soulias, her teacher, explains why Emily exemplifies what it means to be "Elite" and is the perfect choice for Valedictorian:

Emily has a heart of gold. She is a kind, warm person who is simply a joy to be around. Academically, her eagerness to learn is exhibited in everything she does, and her work is impressive. She perseveres through challenging times and looks at everything as an opportunity to grow. It was wonderful having Emily as part of the Elite family! 

Emily will be attending UC Berkeley this fall and majoring in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. She was honored to accept the position as Valedictorian, just one more accomplishment before she heads off to college.

My favorite thing about Elite has been working with my teachers to create a class schedule and even custom classes that are specific to my interests. I've been able to take a lot of classes in computer science, deep learning and math that have helped me achieve my goals and prepared me for my major at Cal. My teachers have always been super supportive of my goals, and their encouragement has been invaluable in my high school journey.

We know this is just the beginning for you Emily, and we cannot wait to see everything that you accomplish in the future! Congratulations Emily and to the entire 2020 EAA graduating class.


Hannah Phan

The Virtual Academy Experience, Through the Eyes of 8th Grader Hannah Phan

Elite teacher Vanessa Vosburg is very proud of Hannah Phan, a hard working and dedicated 8th grade student in Elite's Virtual Academy. Hannah is a joy to meet with and her enthusiasm rubs off on the teachers who get to work with her. Hannah is very thoughtful and insightful, often turning meetings with Ms. Vosburg into literary analysis and various discussions. When she isn't conquering her classes, Hannah enjoys reading, playing board games and video games, or practicing skateboarding!

Recently, Hannah was asked to share her thoughts about her experiences with Elite. In response, Hannah penned the below essay, which she has graciously allowed us to share with everyone.

*****

Lately, because of the outbreak of the coronavirus, many schools have been converting to online schools and students have had their first experience in the world of virtual school. Online school has earned a smudged reputation because of this. Students entered virtual school in a
harsh and swift manner and in an unprepared state of mind, and therefore some have negative feelings towards it. They were not able to be eased into the virtual school environment and instead were thrown into it without a choice. This essay is for students and parents alike to
inform them of why online school is actually the most favorable choice for them or their child.

The environment of a home virtual school is, well, home! Because of the ongoing virus, schools have needed to transform their educational environment into virtual studies to allow people to stay home and social distance. Students can work on their schoolwork in the comfort of
their own home or anywhere they have an internet connection. All of their supplies and materials are easily accessible. Students of official online schools and academies do not have a tight and early schedule to adjust to; instead they can craft their own daily work calendar to keep
themselves on task. Even while working at home, they can still easily separate their school and home life. Crafting a daily work schedule for school will help them to set times to work and times to chill, nap, eat, read, exercise, etc. Virtual students can also separate their school and
home lives by having a designated work area, such as a desk or table, that is separated from where they spend their free time. The comfort and accessibility of a home environment allows students to focus more easily on their schoolwork. At first, having your school life in the comfort of your own home can feel intrusive and it can be a challenge to separate work from play, but both lives combined in one place is more advantageous than you would think.

There are virtual school advantages for parents, too! Having your kids get ready to go to school in the mornings and picking them up when school is out can be a hassle and frustrating to your own work and home life. With online school, you also don’t have to worry too much about your gas tank. A survey by SchoolCountry.com shows that commute costs can make up 12-18% of total school fees. Yet, students could get restless at home without any school events to attend; however, Elite Virtual Academy (EVA) offers many different exciting and engaging field trips for virtual students. Students can choose from local or long-distance field trips and can find activities that meet their needs; such as music or dance lessons, or even joining a sports academy if they are interested.

Virtual school comes with many more perks and advantages than just being at home. Elite Virtual Academy charges no fees of any kind for any applications, classes, tutoring, materials, etc. In fact, EVA givesHannah Phan students the opportunity to earn free mailed goodies and prizes
to them. They host art contests, video contests, name drawings, and more that earn students goodies and cool Elite merch. I have personally won art supplies for placing in an art contest (a sketchbook and fine tip gel pens along with Elite Academy sunglasses). Parents don’t have to worry about that extra burden on their wallets and bank accounts by not having to pay for books, tuition, tutors, stationary, uniforms, commute fees, lunch, and more.

With online school comes quite a few personal benefits. In Elite Virtual Academy you can work at your own pace and there are no mandatory due dates, only at the end of each semester. Students of EVA have periodic virtual meetings with the teachers that are both educational and enjoyable. They are especially helpful and productive because of the one-on-one help and tutoring that the students usually would not receive in the average school classroom. Virtual students also have the opportunity to spend more personal time going out and spending
time with family and friends. Students gain both academic and personal advantages when schooling at home.

Doing physical education (P.E.) in the comfort of your home is a much more enjoyable activity because of the ability of personalization. As an eighth grader, in P.E. class I am required to perform forty minutes of P.E. daily and to submit what I did and for how long at the end of each week. The best part is that any type of exercising is acceptable. You can walk your dog, swim, dance, skateboard, bike, do cardio, play sports, weightlift, do yoga... you get the idea.Having the choice of choosing what to do for P.E. class while still having to meet a certain criterion makes us students work and play hard while still having fun by doing our own undesignated physical activities. P.E. makes up for sitting at our screens a majority of the day, and, of course, it helps us stay in a healthy, happy condition.

Studying at Elite Virtual Academy is a blessing for students and parents alike. You or your child being able to stay in the safety of their homes during this pandemic is both reassuring and beneficial. The accommodations and compromises made to fit a student’s personal life are immensely useful to their individual lifestyles and academic well-being. The absence of fees and the companionship of their teachers also contribute greatly to their education. The capability of personalized and private physical activities motivate students to stay on task with their P.E. and contributes to a healthy mind and body. My experience as an eighth grader in Elite Academy has genuinely been exciting and influential. The material I learn on the daily inspires me to continue to learn more and I truly retain that information. One of my favorite perks of online school is the personal free time, which I can utilize to work on my mental health and physique. Virtual school allows me to use my time for self care and it puts no strain on my academic performance, unlike the pressuring workloads and schedules of traditional schools. Taking everything into account, online school is the most desirable option for both children and their parents because of the easygoing, financially beneficial, and low-pressure environment at home.


UCR College

Explore Colleges Virtually

By Salvador Becerra, School Counselor

UCR CollegeThere is no time like the present to start exploring academic programs that colleges/universities have to offer. Do you want to attend a school next to the beach? Do you want to attend a school with over 30,000 students on campus? Or would you rather attend a smaller college/university where you can receive a more personal approach to your education? All these questions are important as it can help you select the college/university that is right for you. 

Here are 5 helpful tips in finding the college that is right for you

  1. Develop a short list of schools you would like to attend.
  2. Rank your priorities in what you are looking for in a college.
  3. Does the college/university offer your academic program?
  4. Focus on your endgame, consider which college will help you reach your goals.
  5. Investigate college/universities connections with future employers

With colleges/universities being closed to the general public, there are other ways of exploring your options. YouVisit provides you access to over 600 campuses across the united states. Each of the virtual campus tours will provide you with an immersive college tour experience. You can explore each institution through 360 experience or by using VR device to get a more realistic experience. Check it out and start exploring today. 


Ally Krahn

Elite Virtual Academy Success Story: Ally Krahn

Ally Krahn

Elite Virtual Academy (EVA) is for the independent learner who enjoys technology. Students who choose this model have the flexibility to complete their 100% online courses while enjoying ample support from highly qualified instructors and caring counselors. Ally Krahn is an 11th grader that has found academic and personal success with EVA, and her instructors have certainly noticed. 

Due to a recently diagnosed medical condition, Ally was looking for a school that would accommodate the school - life balance she needed. Ally joined EVA in 2019 and found that it was exactly what she was looking for. She has been excelling in her work in EVA all year, and we're truly proud of her,” says Evan Jorgensen, Elite’s Director of EVA. 

Now that she is settled in with Elite and is on top of her grades, Ally enjoys being a part of many extracurricular activities. “I like to practice the piano and draw. I started to play the piano when I was 7 and grew to love it from there. I’ve always loved to draw, however, I started taking it more seriously this past year. I like to volunteer almost every day at Priceless Pets adoption center, and I also spend time as a volunteer at our local library."

Ally playing on the keyboard

Ally’s plans for the future include becoming a nurse and going to Loma Linda University. As she will be a 12th grader next year, she hopes to take college classes during that time to get a head start on pursuing her next degree. Elite Academic Academy is thrilled to offer a truly superior online learning experience for their Virtual Students, where they can keep a healthy balance between learning and pursuing extracurricular activities. 

If you or someone you know is looking for a personalized education with an academy that meets your learning needs and an enrichment program that assists in pursuing your passion, visit our virtual page to learn more and find out how to enroll. 

Virtual Academy  

Enroll Now 

 


you got this

How To Help Your Child Manage Anxiety

Post by Sal Becerra, Elite Academic Academy Counselor

It is natural for anxiety to rise during pandemic events and Elite Academic Academy is taking every measure to ensure the safety of all of our students is kept a priority. In working with our families and the greater community, Elite would like to provide all of our stakeholders with some helpful tips on managing anxiety during times of crisis. 

Be open with it

Talking about fears and concerns can help reduce anxiety from building up. It also allows the individual to identify what is making him/her anxious. 

Take Breaks

Take a break from watching, reading and listening to news stories. Dedicating personal time to pandemic events can be very upsetting. Allow yourself to disconnect from upsetting situations. Take time to read a book, play family games, listen to music, journal or create art. 

Practice Self-Care

There are several different ways to focus on self-care, many of which involve making time to get enough sleep, prioritizing healthy meals, ensuring a balance of leisure time in your schedule, and making time for friends. A simple but often overlooked form of self-care is having a self-pampering experience on a regular basis in your own home. Here some ways to practice self-care:

  • Meditation improves a wide range of willpower skills, including attention, focus, stress management, impulse control, self-awareness, and reduce anxiety.
  • Scientists have found that regular participation in aerobic exercise has been shown to decrease overall levels of tension, elevate and stabilize mood, improve sleep, and improve self-esteem. About five minutes of aerobic exercise can begin to stimulate anti-anxiety effects.
  • Getting enough sleep recharges your brain and improves your focus, concentration, and mood reducing anxiety levels.
  • Eating Healthy has many benefits. Sugar is associated with depression and anxiety. Emerging science shows gut health plays a role in anxiety. Eating healthy foods is a great way to practice self-care, important in CBT. Taking active steps to eat a nutritious diet can increase motivation

Let it simply be a part of you that you manage daily

It’s truly OK to be anxious or to have anxiety. We all feel that from time to time. If your child is someone who frequently experiences high levels of anxiety, just treat it as something you have to manage daily.

Personalized support from teachers, counselors, and advisors

We know that anxiety can be very overwhelming to a student. Our teachers and staff are ready to provide the support necessary to help reduce anxiety levels in our students. Students can ask questions through email, phone calls and instant messaging. If they need extra support, our staff can hold a 1-1 online session. Feel free to contact our school counselor at 866-354-8302 Ext. 711 or by email at [email protected]

Please note: this article is not a medical diagnosis, nor are the tips provided above a cure. If you feel your child is experiencing signs or symptoms of anxiety, seek the help of a medical professional.


Five Questions About Online School Answered

There was a time when education was limited to either attending the school you’re assigned to or being homeschooled. Even then, homeschooling was foreign to many and surrounded with misconceptions.

We’ve shifted to an era with practically multitudinous options in education. Charter, private, in-person, online, blended: the list goes on.

Which begs the question, “What’s best for my child?”

Elite Academic Academy offers a couple different programs, including homeschooling and blended learning.

To those of you who are new to the online high school environment, welcome. Online high school can be unfamiliar, and naturally with that comes many questions. That’s why we’ve gathered the five most commonly asked questions to help you get better acquainted.

Check them out below.

1. How Do I Transfer From Another School?

Switching your child to another school might sound daunting, but transferring to Elite is actually more doable than you might think. It’s as simple as applying online and talking with an advisor to get the necessary documents submitted.

Don’t worry about contacting your school for transcripts; we will help every step of the way.

Switching to the online environment does mean you’ll need a workspace at home, along with a computer and internet connection. But you’ll also have guidance counselors available to help make the switch as quick and easy as possible.

2. What Will My Child Learn and How?

Elite Academic Academy is a public charter school. That means students are taught the same curriculum as a traditional school. The “how” students learn is what differs.

Students are not burdened with heavy textbooks or long hours crammed in a chaotic classroom. Instead, they study from the comfort of home or enjoy fresh air at a coffee shop! As long as there’s access to a computer (or laptop) and the internet, online students can study wherever they choose.

More important, Elite’s online students benefit from an award-winning curriculum designed specifically for the adolescent learner. Students are not stuck reading a boring textbook, they are engaged with practice workbooks, animated lessons and much more to help them actually enjoy learning.

You can learn more about Elite’s curriculum here.

3. How Do Teachers Communicate With Online Students?

Elite has qualified, state-certified teachers who are dedicated to not only helping our students earn their diplomas, but truly master concepts along the way.

While it could appear as though online schooling creates a barrier, we actually find that it opens the portal to more communication and personalized support.

Students can easily contact teachers via email, phone calls or instant messaging within the online classroom itself. For those students who are ‘too shy’ to raise their hand, this method of communication can reduce anxieties and make them more willing to ask for help.

It’s not fully dependent on the student to ask for help. Teachers stay in touch with their students regularly to make sure they pinpoint struggles and help them excel academically wherever possible.

In many cases, our students report that they communicate with their teachers more here than in a traditional school setting.

4. How Do Online Students Socialize?

As a parent, you know that socialization is key to a teen’s development, and you might worry that an online school is isolating.

And perhaps a decade ago, that would have been true. In this digital world, teens are most comfortable with communicating online. Even with their closest friends, they are most often ‘talking’ via SnapChat, Instagram, etc.

Elite has its own ‘social’ platform called the community, where students can find classmates and chat in a staff-monitored, safe environment. This allows students to comfortably make friends.

Online socialization is great, but it’s merely an avenue; not the main form of interaction. Because face-to-face socialization is just as important for teens, we hold school events throughout the year. These are not required, and they allow students the opportunity to come together and chat with friends in person.

5. How Much Does Online School Cost?

Whether an online school charges tuition depends on the type of institution.

For example, a private school will likely charge tuition. Charter or public schools, on the other hand, will not.

Elite Academies is a charter school, which means we charge no tuition. Whether you enroll in the homeschool program, the blended learning or online school, your cost will be the same: free.

To learn more about our online school with Elite, head to <link>


Online school doesn't mean lack of teachers, it actually means more individualized attention. Here's why:

As the famous English author Terry Pratchett so eloquently stated, “A lie can run round the world before the truth has got its boots on.”

There is an ongoing myth that online school cannot provide students with any support. The lack of a physical classroom is seen to create a barrier.

But at Elite Academic Academy, this is far from the case.

In fact, we’ve developed a proven working model that allows for more individualized student-teacher interaction than a traditional school. Rather than a barrier, we believe it creates a pathway for better communication.

Elite Virtual Academy’s Supportive Student-Teacher Communication Model

If you had one hour to help 30 people, who would you go to first? Likely the ones who grab your attention first and ask for help. That’s the barrier a traditional classroom can create. With such large class sizes, students must be vocal in order to receive any sort of help. Those who aren’t oftentimes fall through the cracks.

At Elite, teachers take care of each student individually. There are real-time online lectures similar to that of the traditional classroom, but that’s merely one point of contact–not the main form of interaction.

Ways to Communicate With Elite Online Instructors

  • 1. Phone Call

    Students can talk with teachers via phone for individual support.

  • 2. Instant Messaging

    Within the virtual classroom is a chat message center for students to get quick answers to questions.

  • 3. Email

    For a smaller, less urgent question, teachers also have emails that they check regularly to respond to students within a 48-hour period.

  • 4. Online Personal Appointments

    Students needing more personalized support can arrange a real-time online appointment with their teachers to get extra help on homework.

  • 5. In-person appointments

    Those students who live near the office are welcome to schedule an appointment with their instructor for in-person support.

[/fancy-ul]

The five points of contact listed above are all easily accessible to students. In many ways, this model is better for the students who are not as outspoken. Raising a hand can be intimidating, especially when coupled with the fear of asking a “stupid” question. Having quick access to teacher support in many ways helps provides more personalized attention.

Personalized Support With Elite Homeschool Academy

Whether you enroll in online school or go the homeschool route, the level of personalized support is the same. With the parent as the main educator in homeschool, the way individualized attention is provided varies.

With all homeschool students, Elite’s role is to encourage, support and guide their educational journey.

Each student is assigned a credentialed educator, who will:

To learn more about homeschooling, check out this article.

If you have any further questions about Elite’s instruction model, our advisors are happy to help! Give us a call at (866) 354-8302


Computer Science in Education Week

Written by Laura Spencer, Ed.D | Director of Instructional Technology Integration

This week is Computer Science in Education week. Its purpose is to draw awareness to the growing careers in computer science and encourage K-12 students to pursue computer science in school. So what is computer science? Most assume it’s just computer programmers typing code in a cubicle, but it’s so much more! It encompasses a broad range of computer fields, to include computer theory, hardware systems, software systems, and scientific computing. And the field is growing!

Careers in Computer Science include jobs like Hardware Engineer; Database Administrator; Video Game Developer; and CyberSecurity Analyst. And for most of these fields, California is a great place to get hired.

If you’re curious to learn a bit more about computer coding, which is one aspect of computer science, check out all the fun activities on https://csedweek.org/learn

Learn About What Careers are Available in Computer Science
https://www.computerscience.org/careers/

Infographics from https://code.org/promote


A few great study spots for online and homeschool students

One of the biggest differences between traditional school vs online school or homeschool is the capability to study at the location of choice. As an online student, you are not limited to a classroom; you can study wherever you feel most comfortable. That could be a coffee shop. It could even be a barn.

With so many choices on where to study, making sure your child enjoys the freedom while still staying disciplined can be a concern. We get that.

That’s why we compiled a few ideas to get you deciding where your student will best learn.

Quiz: Which Place is Best for Your Student to Study?

You have options, but if you’d like to see which might work best for your child’s personality, take the quiz! Or check out some great ideas below.

1. The Favorite Spot on the Couch

With some favorite cozy socks, of course.

Starting the morning stress free can be a huge benefit of online school, you can read more on that here.

There’s no rushing to make they catch the bus or stress of receiving yet another tardy slip. Your student can log in and start coursework on their own time. Of course, starting schoolwork later means finishing work later, but you have that choice!

Sometimes mornings call for leisure. If your child often needs time to ‘wake up’ in the mornings, then we recommend they head to a favorite spot on the couch. Get those favorite cozy socks out, grab a morning snack, log in and get working.

While on break during work or practice

Knock out some homework during downtime.

If your student has a busy schedule, you know all too well that spare time doesn’t come easily. That’s why we suggest seeing how they can monetize their time. When you have a lunch break, try to knock out a small assignment.

It will help your student get that much further ahead in classes once they finally arrive home for the day.

3. In the living room

It’s hard to get distracted when mom sees what you’re working on.

Sometimes the living room isn’t a smart choice. It can be one of the noisiest places in your home. But the nice part about that noisy family is that they can be a great support group too.

But if it is the right environment, the living room is a place where your student feels comfortable, yet you can easily help them stay on track. After all, it’d be difficult to spend time on social media and YouTube when mom sees what you’re doing. That way, you can help them stay disciplined to get homework done for the day.

4. At a desk or table

Somewhere designated is best when the brain doesn’t feel motivated.

While studying on the couch is always cozy, you should also consider finding a desktop or table for the times that require more focus. Here’s why:

The brain makes associations with each place you go. For example, when you go to your bed, your brain associates that with sleeping. When you go to the couch, your brain associates that with relaxing.

That means if your student needs more help focusing, you should have them study somewhere they usually work. A table and desktop are great places to help your brain know it’s time to work.

As one online instructor, Ms. Day said:

“If you do homework in your bed where you sleep, it’s likely going to make you want to take a nap rather than do math homework. Go somewhere you know you won’t get distracted (or leave) until you finish homework. Make that your routine and doing homework there will become as natural as taking a nap in your bed is.”

5. The great outdoors

Nothing recharges the brain like fresh air. 

You would still need an internet connection. But studying outdoors is a great way to get a change of atmosphere while learning.

Sometimes switching up the environment can make a huge impact on your child’s motivation to study. It can be much better than sitting in a classroom seat, at least!

Whether that be your backyard, the park, the beach or even a barn (sure, why not?) have them try studying there.