HomeSchool Reform NewsRISE Hybrid Academy Leverages Technology to Expand School Choice

RISE Hybrid Academy Leverages Technology to Expand School Choice

School closures, mask policies, and curriculum battles have surely accelerated the growth of education options over the past couple of years. But some parents, teachers, and educational entrepreneurs were ahead of the curve—like Nicholle Anatol, founder of RISE Hybrid Academy.

A veteran teacher of over 20 years, Nicholle was always frustrated because she saw too many kids falling through the cracks and knew there were other ways to teach them. She founded RISE, an online private school, so she could provide another option to children no matter where they live.

“So much of life today is individualized—but not school,” Nicholle says. By individualizing the curriculum for each student and helping engage them through their interests, the students are able to make tremendous progress. According to Nicholle, many kids come to RISE behind in math and reading, and after just a year they’re ahead of grade level. Her own son attended RISE and graduated high school two years early.

RISE uses a multi‐​faceted approach to provide the utmost flexibility. Students can enroll in the full‐​time private school with live instruction. For athletes or others with hectic travel schedules, they can choose more of a self‐​paced option that includes weekly meetings with their teachers.

Nicholle also offers support for homeschoolers. She meets with families and builds a customized program based on each student’s strengths, weaknesses, and interests. Children can sign up for one or more classes, including math, language arts, and various electives.

Whether they are enrolled in the full‐​time school or taking individual classes, families can also use a hybrid approach with RISE—meeting in person some days and learning at home other days.

For families in Virginia, RISE is a multidivision online provider (MOP), which means the state Board of Education has approved it to provide classes to Virginia public schools. If a school district contracts with RISE, students can take RISE classes while enrolled in a public school.

Since RISE is a recognized private school in Virginia, families can also utilize the state’s tax credit scholarship program.

While Nicholle wants RISE to stay relatively small to be able to keep the individual focus, she’s interested in sharing her model and curriculum with interested families, teachers, and entrepreneurs.

Originally published by the Cato Institute. Republished with permission under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Colleen Hroncich
Colleen Hroncich
Colleen Hroncich is a policy analyst with Cato’s Center for Educational Freedom. A mother of four—whose children have experienced public, private, cyber, and home education—Colleen was well‐​versed in school choice long before she began working to advance it.


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