There is Still Time to Enroll in IVS Summer Terms!

There are three summer start dates remaining.

summer school

Full Service Enrollment Dates:

May 2 (14 weeks)

June 6 (9 weeks)

June 12 (8 weeks)

Are you trying to free up time in your school schedule next year? Are you trying to gain additional credits for early graduation? Do you want to take a course that isn’t offered at your school? Do you want to stay on top of your education while school is out of session? If you answered ‘yes‘ to any of these questions, then Illinois Virtual School can help! Check out the SUMMER COURSE FLYER for more information. If you already know what course you’d like to take then visit the GETTING STARTED page to learn how to create a student account and request a course.

IVS Credit Recovery Courses are offered on a ‘Rolling Enrollment’ basis, which means students can start any day of the week.

TEACHERS! Did you know IVS offers Self-Paced online PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT courses? Click HERE to see a list of our available PD Courses. Or you can VIEW A COURSE to see if IVS will be right for you!

Three Generations of Illinois Virtual School Directors. – Kip Pygman

Three Generations of Illinois Virtual School Directors

Last week I attended the inaugural Digital Learning Conference, DLAC. It was a jammed-pack three days filled with the attendees exploring, disseminating research, news, and best practices in online learning including the effective use of technology in education.

When hundreds of professionals who share a similar passion toward a common interest gather under one roof, the level of excitement and desire to grow together is vastly profound. This was no different at the first ever DLAC Conference and an experience I encourage more professionals to attend.

While attending the conference, I had the privilege of collaborating with the past directors of Illinois Virtual–see the picture below. Mr. Matthew Wicks was the first director of Illinois Virtual including from 2001-2009 followed by Ms. Cindy Hamblin leading the program until her retirement in 2018. How special it was to stand with our past directors and reflect upon how much IL Virtual has accomplished on behalf of our students and virtual education as a whole across our great state! I thank Matt and Cindy for their leadership, vision, and unwavering support toward the advancement and growth of online learning.

3 Generations

Our conversation included differences, challenges, and opportunities related to the particular time and landscape that each director was leading the program. However, two constants existed which all three of us shared:

  • The profound passion, commitment, genuine care, and exceptional quality of our instructors.
  • The positive opportunities virtual schooling affords thousands of students across Illinois.

Expanding further on the two points above, at IL Virtual, we have near 70 part-time teachers including the majority who also serve full-time at their local middle or high school right here in our home state. They combine the value and experience gained from their face-to-face teaching experiences with an educational technology skill set that results in an innovative, enriching learning environment for kids.

We pride ourselves on delivering online options which meet the same level of rigor we all expect for students taking classes on-campus. Did you know over 90% of our teachers hold a Master’s Degree including 15% who are Nationally Board Certified? We pride ourselves on creating a family-like atmosphere where our teachers know one another as people first and share in a mutual desire to grow and learn together professionally. Did you know our teachers have been with us on average for eight years including some who have been with us since our inception in 2001? IL Virtual is a special place where teachers who reside across every geographic area of our state join together for a singular goal: To do what is best for our students who just happen to be online learners!

Whether a student desires the online experience for flexibility, accelerated learning, enhanced autonomy, access to a course not offered locally or a multitude of other reasons, our teams are ready and excited to serve students. We recognize each enrollment is unique and each learner has a different path traveling from their Point A to their Point B including their future college and career aspirations.

Personally, I get chills imagining the world of possibility for students when they are presented with such a vast array of educational choices–such as face-to-face, blended, or online. These options provide today’s students with the ability to choose the style of learning that best accommodates their needs at any given point in time.

Last year, IL Virtual served students across 215 districts spanning hundreds of schools. We look forward to continuing working with these districts, future new partners, students, and families by providing them with a virtual learning option. Together, we will pursue the positive difference we all aspire to achieve for our students.

Looking forward to DLAC 2020 and another conversation with Matt and Cindy!

Best,

Kip Pygman, Director

IVS Teacher Spotlight – Robert Riggins

This week’s Teacher Spotlight is IVS Business Teacher, Robert Riggins. Mr. Riggins teaches Consumer Economics, Accounting 1 and 2, and International Business. Mr. Riggins earned a BS in Marketing from Eastern Illinois University and then a BS in Business Ed and a Masters Degree in Instructional Design and Technology from Illinois State University. Robert is married to a veterinarian with whom he has three daughters. His hobbies include running, rock climbing, and playing guitar. You can follow Mr. Riggins on Twitter @bb_riggins.

Riggins, Robert - 2019.04.09

Mr. Riggins

Robert recently took some time to answer a few questions for IVS:

IVS: Why did you decide to begin teaching online?

RR: About 20 years ago my principal and I sat in on a webinar about the IVHS (IVS’ predecessor).  My principal encouraged me to apply. It was one of the best decisions I ever made.

 

IVS: What aspects about the online teaching and learning environment do you appreciate the most and why?

RR: I appreciate how detailed and precise we need to be in our communication with the students.  Not seeing them face-to-face makes us much more accountable for our instruction. It has made me a better traditional classroom teacher.

 

IVS: What benefits exist for students when taking an online course?

RR: I’ve seen the flexible schedule be a major benefit to many students I have taught online.  Many students learn much better in the evenings and for many this is the online time they have available to study.  Another benefit is meeting students from other schools and cultures. It is always great seeing students from far different backgrounds coming together to become friends.  For many students the online environment pushes them outside the comfort level of the traditional school they attend on a daily basis.

 

IVS: What advice may you offer to students who are not sure if the online environment is a proper fit for them?

RR: My first piece of advice would be to take an online course in high school if they plan on going to college.  Almost every student I keep in contact with that goes to college has had to take at least one online or hybrid course in college.  

 

IVS: Why is IVS a special place to be part of?

RR: The teachers are top notch!!!  They truly care about staying on top of the latest trends in teaching and about making a difference in students lives.  It is always a benefit to meet teachers outside the brick and mortar building I teach in. I also enjoy seeing students flourish in the online environment.  It provides a learning environment for students who do not like the traditional classroom.