Where the classroom surrounds you
Staff Writer | May 11, 2021 1:00 AM
RATHDRUM — Relationships.
An acronym, yes, but Reach is also the name of the new hybrid school the Lakeland Joint School District is launching at the start of the 2021-2022 school year.
Reach Academy will be a hybrid model K-8 school based on student-centered learning where home-based education combines with in-person instruction led by certified Lakeland teachers.
It will replace the Lakeland Online Academy, the fully online school that developed in the wake of the pandemic.
Reach Academy Principal Patty Morrison said about half of the current online students expressed interest in returning to this non-traditional format.
"We put out a 'save-your-spot' and we're listening to some of the feedback," Morrison said Monday.
What Lakeland is hearing from families is that the students who went completely online are missing the social aspect of school. With Reach Academy, students will be brought together at least weekly to work on projects, including community service and science experiments, to fulfill the social element that was missing during online school.
"This is definitely a hybrid school," Morrison said. "We would like to focus on community, since we’re getting to work with parents in a closer way than ever, and we’re really trying to focus on the uniqueness of each of the these little students."
The Reach "hub" will be housed at 7802 W. Main St., Rathdrum. An open house will be held from 5:30 to 7 p.m. May 27. Nearly 40 students have saved their spots so far. Applications are being accepted from students across the region. The number of teachers will depend on the number of students who reserve a spot, and many LOA teachers are expected to return to teach at Reach.
Reach Academy is a free public school.