Schooling has taken a beating during the pandemic. It put a spotlight on how kids learn, how they struggle, and that what works for some doesn’t work for all.
That is a concept The Delta Academy, a charter school in North Las Vegas, has understood and worked with for 15 years.
“Charter schools have the flexibility for staff and parents to come together and make adjustments and changes to provide a better experience for the families and the students,” said Kyle Konold, PhD., superintendent of The Delta Academy. “We work with each student, their learning style, their goals, with our learning models. It’s about the student first.”
Founded in 2006, The Delta Academy is a tuition-free public charter school that is fully accredited through Cognia (formerly known as AdvancED). They work with students grades 6-12 with four educational models to meet the needs and goals of students.
- Traditional college preparatory model
- Online model
- Hybrid model
- Dual credit at the College of Southern Nevada (CSN)
Both the Online and Hybrid models are NCAA-approved.
The mission of The Delta Academy is to provide a safe and nurturing instructional environment in which students from various backgrounds expand their knowledge base to fulfill academic and personal goals through differentiated instruction and reinforcement of positive character traits.
It’s been a rough year for kids.
“Seniors that should be graduating, are in jeopardy of not graduating, kids who were excelling may be unmotivated or even depressed,” Konold said. “It wears on you if you aren’t good at distance learning. If you aren’t good at it and seeing failing grades that you’ve never seen before, it’s devastating.”
The pandemic has changed the way Delta Academy approaches its educational models, making the curriculum fit with the student, not the other way around.
“Students have had a difficult time over the last six months and have been faced with a lot of issues,” Konold said. “We wanted to create an experience for students that is more positive. We wanted to move forward in the best way possible.”
Konold started at Agassi College prep as an assistant principal.
“Not every student fits with what happens at traditional stand-and-deliver model,” he said. “We offer three different models of instruction. We continually change what we do based on the student’s need. I saw students with needs who couldn’t come to a school for 6-7 hours. We added a hybrid so that students can come part of the day. We have a partnership with CSN to get dual credit and get college and high school credits. That is a great opportunity. That’s basically what we are about. We can change to adapt to student’s needs.”
They adapt to students learning styles and life commitments.
“We try to engage or reengage students in the love of learning,” Konold said “Some students like to do their work at 2 in the morning. Some prefer to get up and do their work in the early morning. We adjust to that.”
They also work with gifted students who struggle in traditional or even accelerated programs.
“We’ve had kids come in at elementary and jump through middle school or get half of their high school credits (at an elementary age),” Konold said. “We can adjust to their learning level and work with them to help them with what they want to achieve.”
The school has been an alternative for working students. A child actress who works three months out of the year in New Orleans on a television series returns to Delta Academy to finish out her school year, above grade.
The big plan as Delta Academy expands? Music, theater and, well, just more art.
“As we try to recover and move forward on the best foot possible, we thought music and arts is a great way to start this healing process for kids and parents,” Konold said.
The Delta Academy and Rock Academy of the Performing Arts (RAPA) have announced a new partnership to offer an all-new program for students of The Delta Academy, beginning in fall 2021.
“This partnership with RAPA will provide the best of both worlds for our students: rigorous academics with STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, math) woven into every core academic lesson and a one-of-a-kind performing arts program,” he said. “Any student with a passion for music and performing arts are encouraged to apply, regardless of experience level.”
Delta Academy will be adding musical theater and rock-industry vocational technology conservatories, which will include acting and theater tech.
He reached out to Rock Academy after hearing they had planned to open their own charter school.
“I was sold on the program immediately,” Konold said. “They have a great program that can do a lot for kids in many areas. I can’t wait to see some of the performances our kids are going to be able to do with all that Rock Academy and Delta Academy can offer them.”