Choice Charter School
Choice Charter School is the first online charter school in Iowa, with a primary focus on students who do not graduate from traditional public high schools. At-risk students access Choice Charter School through a future-focused planning process that aims to raise Iowa graduation rates and deliver wider educational support.
Each year, approximately 5,000 Iowa high school students do not graduate. The goal is to help every student to complete their education with individual guidance and flexible pathways to a bright future.
Dr. Cynthia Knight, CEO of Choice Charter School, brought this objective to the Orientation to Colearning Course led by Catherine Fraise, the CEO of 100 Roads. Through the course, collaboration between our teams grew, leading to the decision that we could support Choice Charter goals by offering their classes on our virtual campus. And so the journey began.
About the Virtual Campus
Our objective was to establish a virtual campus capable of accommodating 1,500 students. With this target in mind and considering the various academic specialties offered by the school, we designed the following campus layout:
- An Admin Building at the core housing staff offices, mentoring spaces, a co-working area, a library, and a large auditorium. The admin center is encircled by portal access points leading to different parts of the campus.
- Six Career Clusters, each containing seven classrooms. The clusters are dedicated to various fields, including Agriculture, Engineering, Human Services, Business, Health Sciences, and Information Systems.
- Four Project Labs: Project Lab A, Wonderium, Cobra Success Center, and an Art Studio.
- Two Cobra Connections buildings, where students meet with teachers for extracurricular activities and work together on group projects.
- An Amphitheater for school-wide events.
- A Fitness Center featuring a gym, track, waterfall yoga area, and a hiking zone.
- A Music Lab equipped with interactive elements to educate and inspire students.
This virtual campus is spread across 13 interconnected maps. We set up a convenient travel system that ensures the full interconnectivity of parts of the campus. Additionally, the campus is full of map kiosks that help users navigate around.
Our greatest achievement in working with Choice Charter was the transformation of the virtual campus from a mere alternative meeting space into a tangible environment that closely mimics a physical setting. Their boundless creativity enabled the creation of several remarkable spaces that, in some cases, elevated online education to a level surpassing its traditional in-person counterpart. They also gave us an idea of how schools can adapt the virtual campus to meet the needs of their students and staff while creating an engaging learning process.