Lynwood Unified Launches Virtual Academy to Tailor Instruction to Needs of Families

Lynwood Unified has launched an Independent Study Virtual Academy to provide an alternative instructional program for families who need unique support during distance learning and beyond.

Remote instruction has challenged each family differently, and the District’s Virtual Academy will allow students to study at their own pace while still receiving the full curriculum of their peers. Available to K-8 students, the academy will remain open as an option once the District returns to onsite learning.

“We want to ensure that we are accommodating all of our families while providing the same high-level education to each student,” said Dr. Maribel Martinez, Lynwood Unified Director of Student Services. “The needs of our families come in many different forms, so our instructional methods should also.”

The Virtual Academy offers both short-term, and long-term options that allow students to tailor their schedule within the limits of attendance requirements. Each school site will operate an independent study while providing students with instructional materials and assignments.  

Independent Study certified teachers will provide assignments and meet with students weekly, either virtually or in-person, to check progress. Teachers will provide guidance, feedback, and attendance credit.

The District has long offered in-person Independent Study at Pathway High School, a program that often allows students to achieve a work-life balance while earning their high school diploma. Alternative education has become more prevalent as more than 59,000 California students enrolled in alternative options during the 2019-20 school year. It is increasingly vital during distance learning when communities are making life adjustments to assist students with at-home learning.

“We know that distance learning has placed special challenges on families, and we’re excited to offer additional options that make life easier and learning more accessible,” LUSD Superintendent Gudiel R. Crosthwaite said. “We also know that the Virtual Academy will offer needed support well past this time of distance learning, and we’ll continue to strengthen the program to achieve greater student success.”

Parents may request placement of their children in the Virtual Academy by contacting their school site. A request form will be completed by a parent and reviewed by a site administrator to determine if the student is eligible and an appointment will be scheduled.

“In Lynwood Unified, we don’t believe in one-size-fits-all education but are committed to a many-sizes-serves-all approach,” LUSD Board of Education President Gary Hardie Jr. said. “We’re excited for the Virtual Academy and the opportunity to serve our families in new ways.”