eAcademy Erie BOCES offers a non-traditional learning option

Noah Ost is an art student teacher at Erie Academy 1 BOCES, a completely virtual school for K-12 classes. He completed his certification after the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic. She says it was easier for new teachers like her to shift the lever to virtual learning.

“It’s definitely very different,” Ost said. “Because I had my first student experience and it was personal and you can see the kids going through the door. I definitely missed it, but I really believe in virtual learning as an option.”

Some educators hope that virtual learning will remain here. Eric Wohwinkel is the CEO of eAcademy. The eAcademy idea was launched in January 2020, a few months before the pandemic began. She says the goal was to create an option for students who were away from school or had social and emotional concerns, and for those who needed a different environment to study. When the pandemic started, it accelerated the planning process and the eAcademy staff began work in September 2020. He says there were some students who chose the academy because they were worried about the pandemic, but…

“This year in the last two or three months has proven that most of the students we apply to aren’t really pandemic-related problems,” Wochwinkel said. “They are just children who are really struggling with the traditional meaning of the school, where the brick and alumina building is located. Therefore, I very much hope that the academy will continue, given that we are really meeting the needs of children. ”

Gabe Pellet is a 12th grade student at Erie Academy 1 BOCES. She started studying in a traditional school, but had difficulty and was not happy. When the pandemic began, he was given the opportunity to undergo a full distance study.

“It’s easier for me to be comfortable and to be myself in an environment that I can choose to be a part of and not have to be stuck in all of my usual personal schooling,” Pellett said.

Gabe’s mother Elizabeth says her other children were studying in a traditional school and she didn’t know how virtual learning would go for Gab.

“I really saw Gabe blossom and bloom,” he said. “I hear him talking to teachers. I hear her laughing and actually enjoying elementary school for the first time. For me as a mother, this is great. I want my child to enjoy learning again and I see that. ”

The key is to make the year as normal as possible, from meetings and pen pals to calendars and research projects.

“Our days are full of fun, and we still keep our school days normal,” said Molly Pochchivinsky, a second-grade teacher.

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