A Tale of Two Schools, InterHigh and Academy 21
Jacqueline Daniell, InterHigh, UK
Summary of presentation
In her presentation about the 2 fully online schools in which she is involved, Jacqueline Daniell showed a video of a 13-year old student introducing Inter High School. This virtual school was started in 2005 and caters for a mix of students including students that are athletes, students in the performing arts, travelling children and children with medical conditions. A second online school Academy21 has also been set up which works closely with local educational authorities in England. These authorities refer students to Academy 21 for different reasons including issues to do with behaviour.
Even though the schools run fully online, according to the school staff they do not use the term ‘virtual’ for either school – as some might consider that to mean ‘non-existing’ and to therefore be rather pejorative. When considering success factors, Jacqueline began by questioning what we actually mean by success and suggested this differed for different groups and that what the school might consider successful might not be the same for a student. In Inter High School for instance the existence of a strong community is a primary success factor for the school. Jacqueline also argued that it is important for stakeholders to have access to up-to-date monitoring outputs in order to have a good overview of students’ activities and results, and to see for instance what the impact is of innovation.