The Dynamo Virtual Academy (DVA) is an online learning option for students who reside in the Allegheny Valley School District and will enter grades K-12. The DVA provides students with a blend of virtual learning and onsite coursework, along with the opportunity to participate in all school activities. DVA partners with The Allegheny Intermediate Unit’s Waterfront Learning to provide research-based online learning experiences for students in grades K-12. DVA and Waterfront Learning strive to bring excellence in learning. The goal is to bring flexibility and options to the children of Allegheny Valley while building the necessary skills for success.
Students who participate in the DVA will enjoy all the benefits of being an Allegheny Valley student, including participating in District extracurricular activities, on athletics teams, attending Forbes Road Technical & Career Center, attending school functions and events, earning an Allegheny Valley School District diploma, and participating in graduation ceremonies, while receiving a customized, student-centered education that meets individual educational and social needs.
Flexibility & Student-Centered Choices
Attending the DVA, students can select a schedule and courses that suit them. The program utilizes the Waterfront Learning Program through the Allegheny Intermediate Unit. Students may choose subject areas and work from home. Some students enroll part-time (taking one course), while others take classes full-time.
For 2022-2023, Allegheny Valley sets expectations that District teachers will serve as Distance Learning Facilitators and check attendance, monitor progress, answer any immediate questions, and connect students to the Waterfront/DVA teacher of record. In January 2023, the District will launch a pilot program for Special Education Teachers of Record. In other words, the Waterfront/DVA will provide the online platform and curriculum, while the District staff will provide the instructional support needed by students.
How Does The DVA Work?
Teachers: All courses offered through the DVA are taught by highly-qualified, Pennsylvania-certified teachers. Teachers have received comprehensive training in best practices and pedagogy for online teaching and interactive learning.
Core Curriculum: The DVA courses are part of the Waterfront Learning program through the Allegheny Intermediate Unit and incorporate the PA Department of Education standards. When a student takes an online course, he or she will cover high-quality material and objectives.
Course Rigor: Each course is designed with the rigor and quality instruction of a traditional classroom. Lessons and assessments are designed to challenge students and encourage inquiry while fostering individual needs and learning styles. Because students have more flexibility in an online course, they move through the material at a more customized pace.
Socialization: The Dynamo Virtual Academy believes in the importance of developing a sense of community and socialization within learning experiences. Students participating in DVA have the opportunity to attend all school-sponsored events and activities throughout the school year. In collaboration with their assigned DVA Facilitator, students in the DVA program will continue to receive electronic updates and information about events and activities.
Engaging Students: Courses are offered through an online environment using asynchronous instruction. Content is presented in various engaging ways using multimedia and collaborative tools. Students can use a number of learning styles and educational methodologies to engage in the lessons and participate in the online coursework.
Computer and Internet Access: Students will be supplied with a laptop computer to help them with the DVA classwork.
Benefits of Blended Learning
Onsite Curriculum: Students may have the option to enroll in part-time DVA learning, which allows them to customize their learning experiences. Students participating in this option will work with their DVA Facilitator and School Counselor to develop a schedule that best meets their needs. The Waterfront program sets elementary courses.
Advanced Placement Curriculum: Students who choose a schedule that includes a blended learning environment will be able to select advanced placement courses on campus.
Vocational Technical Programs: In partnership with Forbes Career and Technical School, students will have the option to pursue courses in skilled labor and industry-based technology programs.
Post-Secondary: Students and families will be able to take advantage of college and career planning by participating in assemblies, programs, career and scheduling fairs, onsite visits from college and university representatives, and military personnel.
Contact Information for the Dynamo Virtual Academy:
DVA Coordinator: Dr. Melissa Holler, Supervisor of Pupil Services
Allegheny Valley School District
300 Pearl Avenue, Cheswick, PA 15024
Please click this link to enroll in the DVA program or for additional information on the program.
The Dynamo Virtual Academy provides students with choices to fit their individual needs.
Students may opt for any of the following options:
- Full-time cyber school
- A blended schedule combining online and traditional classes (must have principal approval)
- Or simply one course (must have principal approval)
Full-time online students
- Students are taught how to be successful online learners while starting their coursework.
- Students are provided with District teachers who will serve as Distance Learning Facilitators and check on attendance, monitor progress, answer any immediate questions, and connect students to the Waterfront/DVA teacher of record.
- Students and families are contacted regularly to report progress.
Single course students
- A variety of Advanced Placement courses are available.
- Approval by the School Counselor and building Principal are needed.
Credit recovery students
- Students can recover lost credit online in the summer or during the school year when completing their remaining coursework in the classroom. However, students will be required to pay a fee for these courses.
“It is our hope that the Dynamo Virtual Academy can continue to bring an excellent educational opportunity to qualifying students through the integrity of the program and the quality of the academic experience.” - Dr. Melissa Holler