At the peak of the coronavirus pandemic, there was a general ban in public gatherings all over the world which included schools. For parents, the safety of their children was a priority, which meant that alternative ways of educating students must be sought. The administration of schools then decided to make the class sessions virtual and Dana Delane-Williams is one of the first Black women to offer virtual classes to children from kindergarten to grade 12 with her online school, American High School.
As scientists work tirelessly to find a vaccine for COVID-19, some schools have opened their gates to students but to many hesitations from a lot of parents who are still concerned about the safety of their children.
In fact, many sectors of our lives have gone virtual due to extended periods in quarantine and the lockdown laws enforced in many countries. So, this initiative by Delane-Williams is highly commended. Delane-Williams’ historic feat as the Chief Academic Officer and founder of a virtual high school is just timely for parents who now prefer to home-school their children through a virtual model.
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Her virtual school, American High School (AHS) is “a comprehensive online/virtual learning school that delivers accredited, affordable, college preparatory, Honors/AP, Gifted, virtual reality, adult education, and career-based online education for Grades K-12 to students throughout the U.S. and Internationally.”
Delane-Williams got wind of virtual classroom models way before it became a thing today. According to Black Business, in 1996, her first teaching gig began as an online instructor at the University of Kentucky.
Some years later, she got the urge to create her own online courses and in 2002, she released a virtual model for grades 9 to 12 with children being home-schooled as her target.
Now, she has over 350 online courses that have accreditation for online middle and elementary school education. Being the tech innovator and the educator that she is, Delane-Williams has also created a module for adults online who need high school diplomas to get into college or work.
With over 20 years’ experience in the field, Delane-Williams’ school is a highly viable solution for students to attain quality education without physically being in the classroom or relying heavily on traditional ways of teaching both in the U.S. and abroad.
Tech and innovation have played a big role in establishing this virtual school that now has over a hundred niche programs for online teachings. With the NCAA’s approval, student-athletes pursuing sports in college can attend Delane-Williams’ school on scholarships.
The school does not only cater to students in the U.S. as it also runs a Dual Diploma Program which was introduced in 2016. This program partners with other international schools and organizations which allows students to complete high school with two diplomas — one from their home country and the other, a U.S. High School Diploma.
AHS has a big network of about 150 public and private schools in the U.S. and in more than 27 countries worldwide. Her platform “allows public or private schools or organizations, the ability to create their own virtual schools or programs without a significant initial investment.”
In a nutshell, Delane-Williams has created a Black-owned virtual school in a box that can be deployed within 7 to 14 days and the school’s curriculum was shared in a press release for all parents who might want to enroll their children.