Great Hearts Academies Launches Fully Online K-8 School Starting Fall 2021
By Claire Natale -
Wednesday Apr 14, 2021
Great Hearts Academies, one of Arizona’s most highly ranked networks of public charter schools, will begin offering its classical liberal arts curriculum to Arizona students online beginning in the Fall of 2021. Enrollment in Great Hearts Online, which is open to all Arizona students, will start on Monday, April 19. Applications can be submitted at https://greathearts.schoolaxis.com. There is no tuition at Great Hearts Academies or Great Hearts Online.
“There now exists an online school that not only meets the rigorous academic standards of Great Hearts, but most importantly, will fulfill our mission to cultivate the minds and hearts of students in pursuit of truth, goodness, and beauty,” said Jay Heiler, CEO of Great Hearts America. “The past year has made clear the need for high-quality online academic programs in K-12. The challenge here is to deliver world-class classical education in the digital medium to meet the needs of those families and students who seek it. We have accepted that challenge.”
Great Hearts Online has a robust, liberal arts curriculum including advanced math and science and a focus on the arts and foreign language. Computers are used to teach the manual skills of spelling, handwriting, and drawing. With judicious use of videoconferencing, students are brought together to recite poetry and discuss the masterpieces of the classical literary and philosophical tradition. Students make friends, bond with teachers, and form communities both onscreen and off through rich school life.
Aside from its proven liberal arts curriculum, intentional culture, and high student achievement, what makes Great Hearts Online stand apart is its focus on community.
“Most online programs are lonely and procedural,” said Kurtis Indorf, Great Hearts Online Executive Director. “Great Hearts Online is the antithesis to that current reality. We are creating an academically-rich, relationally-based school community. We value and cultivate a sense of wonder, depth of inquiry, and love of learning in all classes. With Great Hearts Online we are removing traditional barriers, allowing us to serve more students, deepen relationships with families, and strengthen our methods of student formation.”
School-aged children residing anywhere in Arizona are eligible to apply. The open enrollment period runs Monday, April 19 - Thursday, April 29, and offers will be extended to eligible applicants starting on Friday, April 30. No student assessment is required prior to entry at Great Hearts’ schools or any public charter school under a state law that prohibits the practice of determining a student’s eligibility for enrollment based on previous performance on standardized tests.
Great Hearts Online will initially serve between 600 and 800 students across grades K - 8 with the first day of school set for August 11, 2021. The school ultimately will grow to be a K - 12 virtual academy.
“Our core purpose and commitment to a world-class education available to all students takes another step forward with an online Great Hearts academy,” said Heiler. “Our mission is to serve families, and we are furthering that purpose here.”
Great Hearts Online will be led by seasoned Great Hearts Arizona headmasters, Jamee Twardeck and Heidi Vasiloff. They will work in tandem with a fully staffed leadership team and faculty who are all employed full-time with this virtual Great Hearts academy.
The launch of Great Hearts Online follows the successful pilot of Great Hearts Online - Texas, which was offered in January to serve approximately 500 students in that state. Parents across all walks of life are more satisfied with Great Hearts Online than the school they attended previously. These survey results and information about Great Hearts Online can be found at http://www.greatheartsonline.org.
About Great Hearts
Great Hearts is a nonprofit network of tuition-free public charter schools dedicated to improving education nationwide through classical preparatory K-12 academies. As the largest provider of liberal arts classical education campuses in the country, Great Hearts Academies serve more than 22,000 students at 33 tuition-free public charter schools in greater Phoenix, Ariz. and throughout Texas. Great Hearts provides a robust liberal arts curriculum incorporating advanced math and science and a focus on the arts and foreign language. Learn more at http://www.greatheartsamerica.org.