K5 Student Spotlight

Easton is such an outstanding student! I have been so impressed by his work ethic and positivity in class. He comes every day with a smile on his face! He is such an example to other students! They see his love for learning and desire to work hard. He brightens our classroom with his sense of humor, responsibility, and respect. Thanks for all that you do, Easton! Keep up the good work! – Ms. Frandsen

Let’s Make It FUN!

School is fun! Did you know you can have a custom background in Zoom?  We have created a few fun backgrounds for our students to use as their Zoom background! In just a few easy steps, you can download one of these images and set it as your background when you log into zoom!  Choose one of the background’s below and download/save it to your computer and then:

STEP 1: Sign into Zoom webportal/app

STEP 2: In the navigation menu, click SETTINGS

STEP 3: In the meeting tab, navigate to the VIRTUAL BACKGROUND option (under the in Meeting (Advanced) Section) and verify that the setting is enabled. 

STEP 4: to upload a photo to use as your background, on the same Virtual Background Page, click the + icon next to where it says Choose Virtual Background. A box will pop up allowing you to upload a photo from your computer. Click on the one you want, and it will appear alongside the other pictures as an option for you to choose from.


**This is optional, not a requirement.  We ask, per school policy, that you keep backgrounds simple so they do not distract other students from learning.  Thank you and enjoy!

Summer School Fun!

We have been having a lot of fun this summer with our students!  In an effort to provide opportunities for summer structure, we created a “summer school” program to keep kids busy and engaged during these summer months!  It has been fun to see our students learn new skills, be creative, and stay active! 

In one of our K-2 Science classes, we learned about the 5 senses and then wrote poems about the summer. Look at how great these poems written by our students are?  Thanks Ted and Kaiqi for sharing what summer “feels” like to you!

Some of our other fun projects came from our  K-5 coding club students!  They used their newly learned coding skills to create a dance party! Click the button below, make sure to have your volume on and enjoy their creation! 

Our last highlighted projects come from Kaiqi and Ted. They put together these amazing report about endangered animals, the Amur Leopard and the King Cobra.  We appreciate all of our students willing to share their work with us!  GREAT JOB UTVA students!

Kaiqi Endangered Animal Report (1)

 

Ted Endangered Animal Report

 

 

UTVA Success Story

We love a good success story, especially when it comes to virtual education.  The below excerpt was written by a UTVA learning coach about her student’s experience here at UTVA!

 

“My little boy was diagnosed with general anxiety disorder, and separation anxiety at a very early age. He had the hardest time going to preschool, and made it so difficult for me and my husband. Kicking and screaming every morning not wanting to go. When he started Kindergarten we paid for a private school with about nine kids per class. He did okay with it for a few months, then the kicking screaming, crying in hysterics started up again. My husband works out of state and is home three weeks, and gone the next three weeks all year around, so I stopped working outside the home. Me and my husband were just lost with what to do about our sons situation when my aunt mentioned UTVA to us. We immediately looked into it, and got him signed up and registered for 1st grade. Since I was now at home we felt this had a great chance to work well for our son. UTVA sent all the materials we would need for 1st grade. Books, art supplies, science materials, etc. We got everything set up, and 1st grade was absolutely amazing. I won’t lie, at times it was a challenge to keep my son on task, and doing all assignments, but so much better than what we dealt with at the brick and mortar school. My son had a really difficult time with reading. It was extra challenging for him learning to read, and UTVA recognized that , and got him set up in a different reading program called Mark 12. It was so wonderful watching him learn to read, and he just kept getting better and better at it because of the Mark 12 program. UTVA makes it possible for me to be involved and know exactly what is going on with my sons education every step of the way, and being a part of it, yet not having to teach the curriculum because he has teachers for that. My son has been on the honor roll several times, and has gotten mostly A’s for grades with a couple B’s. He has been in small group math and reading classes which have made all the difference for him. My son is now in 4th grade, and registered for 5th with UTVA. It has been the best decision for our family and Braylon’s education. UTVA teachers and Administration really do care about these kids, and do everything possible to make sure the kids are learning, and not just getting lost in the shuffle. They have more than one way to teach kids, and different programs. UTVA has grown and evolved so much in the last 4 years, and it just keeps getting better. It has been a blessing during this Covid 19 time, without any disruptions he could just keep on learning as usual. UTVA is incredible with amazing teachers and staff. I can’t even imagine where we would be today regarding my sons education without UTVA. My son being able to be taught by such talented teachers in the comfort of our own home has been the answer Thank you for making it possible UTVA!”

Drive Through Pantry Success!

Amid the coronavirus, helping out others is so important. That’s why Utah Virtual Academy still held their food pantry for families in need. To keep with social distancing, the pantry was turned into a drive-thru. ‘We felt the need to be able to provide for them the things that they need so that they are able to sustain themselves during this time,” said Student Services Administrator LuAnn Charles.  We are happy to have helped over 50 families receive food during this great time of uncertainty and hardship for so many of our families.  We appreciate all the support of our student’s and their families!

Corona Virus Updates

NEWEST UPDATE – 3/24/20

Hello UTVA Families,

 What a couple of weeks this has been! I trust this e-mail finds you doing well and hopeful for the future! During this time, I have been astounded by the resilience of our UTVA family; students, learning coaches, and UTVA staff. Thank you for the efforts and sacrifices you make during this period of self-isolation, and for the sacrifices you make supporting your child’s education.

 Yesterday, the governor announced they are extending the “soft closure” mandated at public schools until May 1. As a fully virtual school, we are fortunate to not experience any changes in our model. You can expect classes to resume as normal through the remainder of the school year. However, any outings scheduled from now until May 1 are canceled, postponed, or moved to a virtual setting. We just received the unfortunate news today our combined high school prom is also canceled.

 Additionally, last week the Utah State Board of Education voted to suspend the requirement for the administration of statewide assessments this year. This means we will NOT administer the formerly mandated state assessments of RISE (Grades 3-8), Utah Aspire Plus (Grades 9-10), and the remaining testing dates for ACT (11th grade). We will be working directly with ACT to make sure that all 11th graders will be able to take the ACT Test on one of the National Test Dates in June. We will not be administering the ACT at one of our testing locations. You may disregard all prior testing assignments received from Testing Nirvana.  We will now rely heavily on our internal assessment measures from iReady and NWEA to identify areas of continuous school improvement in our academic program.

 Lastly, on behalf of our UTVA Faculty and Staff, I want to express our dedication to your student’s education. We strive daily to continue to provide high-quality instruction, opportunities to socialize with other students and families, and to meet the individual needs of our students in a virtual environment. During this statewide shift to digital delivery, our school receives daily inquiries from districts and schools around the state seeking guidance on how we run our virtual program. My favorite things to share are the personal stories about how virtual has impacted your family. If you have a minute, I’d love to share more of these stories to share with people throughout our state. If you’d like to share you can submit your story here: http://elevate.press/link

 Thank you UTVA families!

 Meghan Merideth

Head of School, Utah Virtual Academy

UPDATE 3/13/20

Hello UTVA Families,

We want you to know that the safety and education of your students are our primary concerns. The impact of the precautions to protect our families and reduce the spread of the coronavirus is significant. 

This afternoon, there was another press conference with the following information:

  • Two-week school dismissal to be replaced by remote instruction, starting Monday, March 16 to continue for two weeks
  • School is expected to continue, despite the closure of buildings to enforce social distancing
  • This is not a license for students to go out and gather with their friends and not continue with their education

In support of these recommendations, we are continuing with the plan I emailed about yesterday. All school activities from Monday, March 16th to Friday, March 27th will be canceled, postponed, or be converted to an online format. We will not be canceling any other events outside of the two-week ban, at this time.

We are so glad that we operate in a virtual setting and can continue instruction with as little disruption as possible.  Schools and districts are providing work for students to continue their learning, but we can continue without interruption. 

  • There are no changes to the school day or the school calendar. 
  • Classes will be delivered at the same time and days as already scheduled.
  • Attendance in classes is still required. 
  • Please communicate with your students’ mentor and teachers should you have any concerns or questions about classes.
  • Please communicate with administrators if we can help with individual circumstances.

We will continue to keep you updated as the situation changes. Stay healthy!

Sincerely,

Meghan Merideth, M.Ed.

 

Head of School, Utah Virtual Academy

3/12/20 Update

Dear UTVA Families,

Earlier today State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Sydnee Dickson held a press conference discussing the state’s strategy to address COVID-19 in Utah’s Public Schools. The following recommendations were issued to schools:

The Governor’s Coronavirus Task Force, in coordination with all 14 local health departments to make the following recommendations to schools:

  • Cancellation of all school-related out-of-state travel for the next two weeks.
  • Additional recommendations include:
  • Postpone or cancel mass gatherings, which may include school assemblies, activities, and athletic games and functions.
  • Consider staggering recesses and lunches to reduce the number of children in one place at one time.
  • Consider staggering start times and dismissal times to reduce the number of children in one place at one time.
  • Amplify health and hygiene prevention measures including staying home if you are ill, washing your hands thoroughly and often, and covering your nose or mouth when you sneeze or cough.

As a virtual school, we are grateful we will not be faced with possible school closure. We will continue to deliver education through our digital learning environment as scheduled. However, we have important upcoming face-to-face events including state testing, prom, and graduation. Currently we will only be postponing three ACT dates.

The COVID-19 landscape changes daily and we are monitoring local health departments and Utah State Board of Education recommendations. Changes and updates concerning our face to face events, will be communicated immediately through email, the school app, UTVA social media accounts (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and our website: http://utahvirtualacademy.org/

The Utah Department of Health has extensive information on their website to address questions from the public. If you have questions regarding the Coronavirus, including how the virus is spread, and what to do if you have symptoms, you may want to visit the Utah Department of Health website:  https://health.utah.gov/

Thank you for your patience and flexibility as we continue to navigate this unprecedented situation. We are all very grateful for the opportunity for online education!

Sincerely,

Meghan Merideth
Head of School at Utah Virtual Academy

School Spirit Week

Feb 3rd – 7th – Join us for our School Spirit Week

MondayPajama Day! Wear your pjs to school! Did you know it is really important to get around 8 hours of sleep every night? Tonight, try to go to sleep early enough to get 8 hours of sleep!

 

TuesdaySports Fan Day! Wear your favorite sports team jersey, shirt, or colors! Be active today! Go for a walk, Do 50 jumping jacks, run up and down your stairs for 5 minutes, go play a sport, or whatever! Just get moving!

 

WednesdayHat and Chef Day! Wear a fun hat to school and during the day cook or bake something yummy! Share what you made with us!

 

ThursdayCrazy Hair Day! We are all unique and it’s okay to be different and a little crazy! Tell us what is unique and crazy about you!

 

FridayUTVA Spirit Day! Wear a UTVA shirt or the UTVA colors –Purple and Black. Tell us why you are happy to be a part of UTVA!

 

*Send pictures to your teachers or jmorales@utahvirtual.org so we can post them on social media!

 

National School Choice Week -Day at the Hill

Come celebrate National School Choice with us at our State Capitol’s Charter Day on the Hill! 

Wear your UTVA swag and join us for a great day! 

January 27th @ Utah State Capitol

Guided Capitol Tour: 9:00 am (The tour will meet at the desk just inside the east doors, on the first floor) 

Charter Day Event: 11am-2pm (Rotunda) 

• 11:15 Gubernatorial candidates speak and pose for pictures 

• 12:00 Lunch is served (pizza) 

• 12:30-1:40 Charter school performances