This is a guest article by Michelle Wagner and Cheryl Morales.

Maryvale High School completed its first year of implementing virtual learning during its Evening School Opportunities (ESO) program under the guidance of Mr. Silvas and Mr. Kemp. The program was a success, and approximately 76% of the students obtained their credits.  About 891 students completed ESO at Maryvale during the 2016-2017 school year; of those students, approximately 681 received credits.  Approximately 471 credits were earned by seniors, which allowed them to graduate.  The school is proud of the students’ success and hopes to build on the program’s success in the future with our new APR, Mr. Doherty, and changes to our scheduling.  Maryvale utilized Edgenuity, which is a rigorous virtual learning program that individualizes the classes to best meet students’ needs and allow students to recover credits from classes they either failed, did not complete or were unable to take due to scheduling conflicts. The ESO teaching staff set a high standard of accountability by maintaining that students earn a 70% on assessments with 100% completion of the course.  Cheryl Morales, math teacher, Michelle Wagner, English teacher, Susie Calvin, history teacher, and Jessica Femiak, science teacher worked as a cohesive team and networked with other virtual learning school teachers at Metro Tech, Camelback, and Trevor Browne to discuss and implement best practices to develop a solid virtual reality learning program that compliments the work of the day school teachers.  Maryvale students thrived and celebrated their successes throughout the year by earning certificates of completion with each course that they finished.  The ESO team fostered a smaller learning community by getting to know the students, using positive recognition, personalized support, and motivating them through individualized attention and a sense of belonging.  The program’s success is a testament to the team work of many departments including Mr. Silvas, the APR office, Simir Rand and the counseling department, Ray Pacheco and the security team, Sharon Bernero and the administration team and the ESO teachers. The reward is in their smiles and the hopes they possess for their future! Maryvale Strong!