NCSW: E-schools offer flexibility, while maintaining strong academics

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 Christine Smyth whose personal and academic success would not have been possible without a charter school.


E-schools offer flexibility, while maintaining strong academics
How do young athletes and performers keep up with the rigorous training and travel required to excel in their craft while still getting a top-notch education?  Often, they do it through online learning.  E-schools provide students with lessons built around Ohio’s Learning Standards and the same highly qualified teachers as traditional schools. But they allow students to learn on a schedule that is much more flexible than the traditional school day and year. Who benefits from this flexibility? Students like Christine Smyth, a world-class competitive Irish Dancer and student at Ohio Connections Academy.
From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:

When Christine Smyth was only two years old, her father, Colin, died. He was a proud Irish-American, and Christine held onto that Irish pride as she grew up.

When she was in kindergarten at St. Columbkille School, she started to take Irish Dance classes with some of her friends. Over the years, those friends found other pursuits. Christine kept with it.

On March 25, Christine, now 18, finished in ninth place in the World Irish Dance Championships in Glasgow, Scotland. The Seven Hills resident finished in the top five in the regionals held in Minneapolis to qualify for the World Championships.

Christine's mother, Diane, accompanied her to Glasgow, and Diane supports her daughter 100 percent.

Christine, who takes high school classes online with the Ohio Connections Academy, attends the Academy Irish Dance Company. Her teachers are Byron Tuttle, Edward Searle and Jackie O'Leary Fanning, former world champions and Riverdance/Lord of the Dance stars.

Christine now has her sights set on the 2017 World Irish Dance Championships in Dublin, Ireland next April. She will be dancing in the Ladies 19-20 division.

She will be attending John Carroll University in the fall majoring in business. Her goal is to become an Irish Dance teacher.