Desert Sands's Horizon Virtual Academy

Horizon Virtual Academy

Horizon Virtual Academy
Posted on 07/11/2022
Success is on the Horizon

Horizon School offers a variety of programs, notably the Horizon TK-12 Virtual Academy, Horizon Opportunity, TK-5 HomeSchool, CWOP, Graduation Alliance, and Vista. Horizon School offers a fully credentialed team of teachers, counselors, and administrators for students in grades TK (transitional kindergarten) through 12th grade. Each of these programs and their unique role in DSUSD can be found on the school’s website.

Success is on the Horizon | Learn more about or enroll in Horizon Virtual Academy

Horizon’s staff continues to build a 21st century instructional environment that promotes rigor, infuses technology (blended learning), enhances time management skills, and remains a conduit for students who want and/or require a non-traditional educational experience. At the heart of Horizon’s program is the parent engagement.

As with all DSUSD students, Horizon pupils receive a device such as a tablet or Chromebook. Teachers are trained at each grade level to provide the newest technologies in virtual learning.

As education needs shifted during the COVID pandemic, Horizon Virtual Academy expanded its program. Students in the virtual school program continue to realize growth on the annual California Assessment of Student Performance and Progress (CAASPP) in English Language Arts (ELA) and math. During the 2018-2019 school year (before COVID changes to the testing schedule) 7th grade ELA and math scores increased 43 and 39 points respectively, and 8th grade ELA and math scores increased 79 and 81 points respectively. At the core of both programs are parental support and teacher efforts to extend the level of school-to-home communication that engages and, at times, reengages parents to the educational process.

The trend continued among 11th grade students all of whom produced a 51-point increase in ELA during the 2018-2019 school year with 72% of our 11th graders either meeting or exceeding standard, outpacing the district average by 20%. Horizon’s math program achieved a growth of 35 points on the CAASPP test, just one percent below the district’s high school average. Horizon’s 7th, 8th and 11th grade students ended the school year with the greatest gains in both math and ELA.

Horizon Virtual Academy are fully credentialed California teachers, many with advanced degrees. High school students complete all A-G Cal State and UC requirements. Graduates have and are attending a variety of university programs including University of California Riverside, Humboldt State University, Northern Arizona University, and Grand Canyon University.  Horizon Virtual Academy students attend college and career fairs and participate in the Regional College Fair (this year’s event will be held October 9.) Visits to colleges and universities in southern California are also available to the high school students. Students participate in community events such as the La Quinta’s Desert Town Hall forum and a representative from the senior class serves as the school’s student board member participating not only in DSUSD board meetings but in planning sessions with the superintendent and senior staff.

Read a Horizon student's opinion story in The Desert Sun!

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