NCSW: Andrea Knudson explains how her charter school made a difference

May 2 through 6 is National Charter Schools Week, an annual opportunity to celebrate and advocate for the educational choices that charter schools provide to students and families.


The Ohio Council of Community Schools is pleased to highlight Andrea Knudson whose personal and academic success would not have been possible without a charter school.

Traditional schools often struggle to provide an education that meets the needs of each student. Charter schools, on the other hand, build their programs around individual learners. Online schools in particular excel at helping students thrive no matter what their learning needs -- from helping a student who has fallen behind catch up to his peers, to providing opportunities for bright students to advance ahead, much like Ohio Virtual Academy did for Andrea Knudson.

Andrea Knudson graduated from Ohio Virtual Academy in 2015. For most of her educational career, she had challenges with dyslexia and experienced difficulty focusing. Initially, Andrea was a homeschool student; later, she enrolled in online school, because her mother appreciated having the curriculum support. Andrea’s achievements as an online learner have been astounding – she advanced through the curriculum much more quickly than she would have been able to in a traditional school. She completed her second year of high school-level math, science and history while still in 7th grade, then was able to skip 8th grade and start Ohio Virtual Academy high school early.

By the time she was in her senior year of high school, Andrea needed just one course to graduate, but she opted to take AP literature, AP anatomy, AP psychology, and AP physics, too! Andrea was accepted to every college where she applied, and she also earned scholarships. She is now a freshman at Belhaven University in Mississippi, where she is a double major in education and dance.