Sequoia Union School initiates 'Virtual Academy'


These days, if someone has access to the Internet, the possibilities for research, study, and connecting are endless. And that is exactly what the administration of Sequoia Union School in Lemon Cove will be taking full advantage of when they roll out a new pilot program for the 2014-2015 school year.

Because education is evolving away from the one-size-fits-all approach, students and their parents are being provided with multiple options for education through Sequoia Union’s Virtual Academy. The new program is specifically for students not currently attending the rural kindergarten-through-eighth-grade school. 

The Virtual Academy will be a mixed-methods approach to education to allow parents flexibility as to where and when their children do their schoolwork. This is done through an online curriculum provider for three out of the five-day school week. 

On the other two days, the child may attend regular classes at Sequoia Union. Once a month, parents will meet with their child’s assigned teacher, who will monitor the student’s progress and verify completion of the assigned coursework.

“All enrolled students will have full access to all of our academic support systems and regular school activities, including middle school sports, band, electives, and tutoring,” said Dr. Jeremy Powell, superintendent and principal of the single-school district.


Additional educational programs and upgrades

Also beginning with the fall semester, Sequoia Union will provide tablet computers to all transitional kindergarten through second-grade students. Each student will have their own tablet, accessible throughout the day. 

“This implementation will allow teachers to have increased flexibility with instruction and students will have increased individualized learning opportunities,” said Dr. Powell.

For the past three years, Sequoia Union has provided a full-day transitional kindergarten and kindergarten program. The school is also committed to offering smaller than the state-recommended class sizes; kindergarten through second-grade classes average 20 students per teacher.

“As a district, we feel strongly that a focus on lower elementary education is paramount for a successful education and future,” continued Dr. Powell.

And reiterating that not all learning occurs in the classroom, Sequoia Union guarantees every grade level at least two field trips per year through its Classroom on the Go program.

Sequoia Union School currently has more than 300 students. In addition to the band and sports programs, the school also has a drama program, an active Parent Teacher Club, and for nearly 50 years, has hosted an invitational track meet each spring for small schools in the area. 

The school, located at 23958 Avenue 324, serves students in a 40-square mile area including Lemon Cove, Lindcove, northeastern Exeter, and southeastern Woodlake. For more information about the school and its programs, call 564-2106.

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