IVS Guest Blog Post: Nancy A. Hinnen – Heart of Illinois United Way


Illinois Virtual prides itself on forming partnerships to enhance and transform education for students and professionals. We believe we can achieve more together than we can alone. Through intentional and purposeful collaboration, we can elevate our educational communities beyond what a single entity can accomplish individually.

Below is a guest blog post from one of our partners, Heart of Illinois United Way. We thank you for our partnership and appreciate all you do to support and empower others to continuously improve.

Guest Blog Post

By Nancy A. Hinnen, Success By 6 Program Coordinator; Heart of Illinois United Way


Illinois Virtual School has our heads “in the clouds” with the launch of Math: Right from the Start Live Stream Professional Development! Heart of Illinois United Way Success By 6 just completed the winter/spring 2019 semester course using an Adobe Connect platform that was created and managed through Illinois Virtual School. The live professional development was held at SAL Child Care Connection in Peoria, IL and was streamed to Tazewell-Woodford Head Start in East Peoria, IL. Along with the live training using a web camera and PowerPoint presentation, demonstration video clips on how to use instructional materials were dropped into the presentation. Illinois Virtual School also coordinated group interaction between host sites using Snowball microphones and also imported photos of each site’s work into the virtual instruction so participants could share “live” comments/reflections on strategies learned within minutes of creating them. Amazing!

Funded through PNC Foundation, Math: Right from the Start provides a blended model of face-to-face and online professional development, e-coaching, and support materials that equip early childhood educators to implement research-validated, cognitively appropriate mathematical thinking strategies that enhance early math foundational skills. Illinois Virtual School has served as the online vendor since the course was created in 2013. The online portion of the course includes instructional videos, handouts and resources that are easily accessed when participants enroll in the course.  Upon completion of the course, “graduates” have continuous access to the original course content as well as any updated/new instructional materials. Illinois Virtual School participates in course planning meetings, creates the online platforms, attends orientation to help participants enroll online, manages online hours of participation, manages the live-stream professional development, and provides professional development certificates upon course completion. The role of Illinois Virtual School is essential for the success of the online and live-stream professional development!

Our vision is to reach larger audiences of early childhood educators so together we can enhance early math thinking . . . Right from the Start! Results from a 2018 research study funded through the PNC Ruby K. Worner Charitable Trust showed that preschool children in classrooms of teachers who participated in Math: Right from the Start had overall early math foundational growth of 8.32 correct responses whereas students of teachers who did not participate in Math: Right from the Start had overall early math foundational growth of 2.04 correct responses. (Wolffe, Nugent, Antola Crowe, 2018). Therefore, students of teachers who participate in Math: Right from the Start show statistically significant growth compared to those students of teachers who do not participate in Math: Right from the Start.

We applaud Illinois Virtual School for embracing the importance of early math thinking. Thank you for collaborating on behalf of giving teachers and their student’s foundational math skills for school success!

VLLA–Providing Leadership in Online Learning Since 2009

Combining more than 150 years of online and blended learning operational experience, the Virtual Learning Leadership Alliance (VLLA) is an association of 14 leading innovative virtual programs in the United States. The VLLA aims to strengthen online learning through leadership, advocacy, expertise, and professional relationships. Illinois Virtual School (IVS) stands with pride among its alliance members. We work alongside them to be a national leader and voice including enhancing the quality of digital learning for students and promoting equity among all.

Consisting largely of leading state virtual schools, and several outstanding consortia, the member organizations serve well over a quarter of a million online course enrollments annually. As the image below depicts, we combine national expertise from geographic regions spanning from the North and South and from the West to East; what an awesome partnership!


Partnerships in today’s education are vital to the future of our students. By sharing together intellectual capacity and resources, engaging in authentic reflection and collaboration, we can achieve more on behalf of students than we can alone. Today, Illinois Virtual would like to thank our Alliance partners. Each of you has helped shape the online learning of today to position better the students of tomorrow. Each of you has raised awareness of how virtual learning solutions may transform positively the educational experience for some students. We value and appreciate you. We look forward to our continued partnership and our steadfast focus toward quality online learning experiences for students–experiences that just happen to be online…

-Kip Pygman, Director IVS

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!

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