career ready, Education, technology, Teen Mental Disorders, teen moms, Uncategorized, virtual school

What is Personalized Learning?

Everyone is a genius.

Danielle Yanssens

Personalized Learning “refers to a diverse variety of educational programs, learning experiences, instructional approaches, and academic support strategies that are intended to address the distinct learning needs, interests, aspirations, or cultural backgrounds of individual students”, according to The Glossary of Education Reform by Great Schools Partnership. How does Back on Track, offer personalized learning?

When a student submits an inquiry online or calls the Back on Track office, we are able to offer them several different options to acquire their high school diploma. For students who have previously dropped out of high school and are 21 or older, we enroll them into Clintondale Virtual School, a credit recovery program which, for a small fee, allows adults to achieve their high school diploma. This appeals to adults who had considered getting their GED in the past, which limits their options for post-secondary education.

For those students who have previously dropped out of high school and are between the ages of 18 and 20, we suggest our tuition-free Step Up program where students work on one class at a time and are required to complete a minimum of one class per month, with the ability to work year round. This gives students the opportunity to work on completing their high school education at a faster rate than if they attending a full time high school. We have also found that for this population, students are able to find more success when focusing on just one course at a time, rather than the full six class course load.


Many students who are between the ages of 16 and 20 choose to attend one of our brick and mortar alternative education schools. This student population includes students that are teenage parents, potential dropouts, have been expelled from their traditional school, or have been court-ordered by the juvenile detention systems. Our alternative education locations offer various skilled trade courses where students can graduate with a certificate of completion to help them obtain employment right out of high school. While there is increased security at these locations, they are also staffed with caring employees who encourage students to complete their education and get on a better path for their future.

Parents with students in grades 6 through 12 will often contact us requesting information about our virtual school, My Virtual Academy. MVA partners with school districts throughout the state of Michigan, offering a fully online option for students. This appeals to a wide variety of students, including those looking to graduate early, students who struggle with mental or physical illness, teenage parents, students who do not feel safe in their traditional school due to bullying or students who have to work full time in order to help support their family.  We have students who are pursuing their passion, such as the theater or gymnastics, and choose online schooling to work around their schedules. Some parents even prefer their children attend a virtual school based on their cultural and religious beliefs.

In addition to the several different educational programs Back on Track offers to help meet the different learning needs of our students, we also offer a variety of learning experiences and instructional approaches. Our highly qualified, certified teachers ensure that the curriculum meets all Common Core Standards. Teachers have the ability to offer students different types of assessments based on their instructional needs, and offer in-person tutoring in addition to daily on-line tutoring. Students receive one-to-one instruction, with teachers contacting them a minimum of once per week, as well as participating in whole group activities in our weekly live sessions.

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While there are some obvious limitations to virtual and alternative learning, the many benefits often make Back on Track the best option for many students.

Education, teen moms

Virtual Clubs Provide Socialization for Online Students

By Niki Taite  MVA photo

At My Virtual Academy, we pride ourselves on student involvement. Although you may think it would be a struggle to get online learners to participate, we have a great amount of students who participate in our clubs.  Our only requirement is that you are currently working in your courses and keeping up with district mentor contact. We understand that life happens and our students may fall a little behind, but as long as they are working towards completing, they are allowed to continue in our clubs.MVA Clubs (2)

With 13 active clubs (listed below), we have something for all of our students.  I am proud to be in charge of our teen parent group. Our M.O.M (Moms on a Mission) group was created to bring all of our My Virtual Academy teen moms together. This is a group that embraces ideas/tips on parenting, along with discussions on current struggles/successes with our little ones. Weekly, I post a tip and encourage moms to give their input, as well. This is a group that will help our students realize that they are not alone and there are other teen moms that are dealing with similar struggles while perusing their high school diploma. Currently, we have 36 students enrolled in our M.O.M. club and 10 teachers.happy-mother-feeding-baby-boy-milk-bottle-7703765

MVA Clubs Offered to all Middle and High School Students:

 Art Club

Book Club

Chocolate Club

Career Club

College Planning Club and First Generations Club

Cooking Club

Environmental Club

Joy Luck Club

Moms on a Mission

Movie Club

Music Club

Pens and Pictures Club

Pinterest Club

S.T.E.M.  Science, Technology, Engineering & Mathematics

Niki Taite is the Lead Teacher for MVA’s Elective Teacher Team as well as the moderator for M.O.M – Moms on a Mission. She is also the mom to a very adorable and active 3 year old daughter named Marley.