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Distance learning becomes a permanent choice

Kelloggsville — Students in the district and beyond will have one more educational option this fall with the debut of Kelloggsville Virtual School.

There will be two components of KVS, one for grades K-5 and another for grades 6-12. 

Eligibility is for any resident of Kelloggsville Public Schools and any non-resident who is accepted through Schools of Choice or a non-resident enrollment application.

Former Kelloggsville Middle School teacher and principal Beth Travis was tapped last fall to get the new initiative up-and-running. 

She’s excited that just six months later the district has begun to ramp up its marketing and publicity efforts, and said she is eager to register the district’s first-ever, by-choice virtual students (as opposed, she said, to the by-COVID virtual students of last year and this year.) 

“The pandemic showed us the possibilities for virtual education,” she said. “It also showed us that virtual education wasn’t going away and could continue to be a good choice for families for multiple reasons beyond the pandemic. So we wanted to get started last fall already with our planning and get ahead of the game. I’m excited about the program we have put together.”

Travis noted that the new virtual school is fully staffed and will be taught by Kelloggsville teachers, something she said was important to parents when the district did its research last fall. 

“These are teachers who are here in the district and already have relationships with our students,” she said. 

Beth Travis, a former teacher and middle school principal, is the new director of online schools for the district

Flexibility for Familes

There currently are five full-time teachers devoted to the K-12 program and another nine teachers who will be part of the program at various levels below full time.

“Kelloggsville Virtual School uses our teachers and curriculum maps to deliver content digitally,” Travis said. “Enrollment means partnering with a team of knowledgeable and experienced educators, Michigan-certified teachers who work daily within Kelloggsville Public Schools and are easily accessible.”

Many of those teachers, Travis added, were part of the planning process last fall because they already were teaching virtually or had a strong interest in doing so.

The elementary program offers both virtual content and in-person scheduled sessions that Travis said will maintain flexibility for families that need it. 

Elementary students will start each day with a 30-minute virtual meeting to check in and prepare them for the day. An at-home learning coach will be designated by their parent or guardian to help them navigate the curriculum at home. That coach will work throughout the week with the student’s KVS mentor to ensure academic success, Travis said.

KVS also will include an academic intervention room at the Early Childhood Learning Center with staff to help students with their coursework. 

At the secondary level (grades 6-12) students will be expected to attend a daily 30-minute virtual check-in meeting with their mentor. A staffed academic help room will be available at the high school.

The purpose of the rooms at both the elementary and secondary levels, Travis said, is for students to complete small group work and other assignments, meet with counselors and get academic help and interventions as needed. All middle-school courses and high-school courses will be presented and monitored by Kelloggsville teachers and delivered through the Apex Learning management system.

Kelloggsville Public Schools is recruiting students for its new online K-12 school options
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Phil de Haan
Phil de Haan
Phil de Haan covers East Grand Rapids and Kelloggsville and is the lead reporter for Grand Rapids. He hails from Exeter, Ontario (but has called Grand Rapids home since 1985) and is the son of a longtime public school teacher who taught both English and machine shop. Phil took both classes at South Huron District High School, but English stuck, and at Calvin College, where he met his wife, Sue, he majored in English and minored in journalism. His background includes both journalism and public relations, including teaching an advertising and PR course at the college level for almost a decade. In the summer of 2019, he began his own writing and communications business, de Haan Communications. In his spare time, Phil plays pick-up hockey and pickleball and tries to keep tabs on his two adult children. Read Phil's full bio


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