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Indiana's Teacher of the Year Accepts New Challenge as Head of Statewide Charter School

Hoosier Academies, offering online and blended learning, begins classes Aug. 4 with veteran educator Dr. Byron Ernest at the helm

INDIANAPOLIS, July 30, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Hoosier Academies, a tuition-free public charter school that offers online and blending learning programs, is proud to welcome Dr. Byron Ernest as its new head of school. Dr. Ernest won statewide Teacher of the Year honors in 2010 for his outstanding work as department head and agricultural science teacher at Lebanon High School. He comes to Hoosier Academies from Emmerich Manual High School, a charter school in Indianapolis.

"Online education and blended learning present so many opportunities for students to grow, challenge themselves and flourish in the classroom and online," Dr. Ernest said. "Hoosier Academies has incredible potential to help students from all backgrounds succeed, and I'm ready to be a part of that growth."

While the majority of Hoosier Academies' students will attend fully online classes, those who are able to meet the participation requirements have the option to receive some of their instruction in a blended learning environment through the Indianapolis Learning Centers. There are two centers, one geared for grades K-6 and one for middle/high school. In each, teachers utilize interactive SMART/ENOS boards to deliver content from the Language Arts, Math, Science and History courses. In addition, the Learning Center also offers opportunities for Math and Language Arts remediation, test readiness, and regular assessments, as well as the administration of state assessments, parent and teacher training, and student interest group sessions.

Dr. Ernest, a 30-year veteran of education, knows better than most the ability of online connections to help students. In recent years, he has expanded his teaching sphere to include a popular blog, where he writes about topics such as leadership and growth, and a widely read Twitter account, which has more than 21,000 followers.

"So much of a high-schooler's life is online now, so it's only natural that they're looking for ways to improve their education experience through digital tools," Dr. Ernest says. "The blended program at Hoosier Academies really does capture the best of both worlds — in-person guidance coupled with the flexibility of online learning."

School starts on August 4th, however applications are still being accepted for this fall. The school is hosting information sessions at locations around the state through the end of August for families that are interested in meeting school staff, teachers and other parents. A complete listing of the events can be found on the school website.

Hoosier Academies expects to serve more than 3,700 students in grades K-12 this academic year. Last year, more than 75 students graduated from the online and blended learning programs — the largest graduating class in the school's history. Hoosier Academies, which opened during the 2008-2009 school year, now employs more than 100 teachers, advisors, counselors and other staff members.

Students and families interested in learning more about enrolling should visit: www.K12.com/HA or call 866.912.3345.

About Hoosier Academies
Hoosier Academies, a tuition-free, public charter school authorized by Ball State University, offers a blend of online learning and face-to-face instruction through two statewide options for Indiana families: Hoosier Academies Virtual School, a K–12 online school, and Hoosier Academies Indianapolis, a K–12 "blended learning" school. Hoosier Academies uses the award-winning K¹² curriculum to offer Indiana students an exceptional, individualized learning experience that allows them to learn in the ways that are right for them.

About K12 Inc.
K12 Inc. (NYSE: LRN) is the nation's foremost provider of proprietary technology-powered online solutions for students in pre-kindergarten through high school. K12 has partnered with more than 2,000 school districts and has delivered more than 4 million courses over the past decade. K12 provides curricula, academic services and learning solutions to public schools and districts, traditional classrooms, blended school programs and families. K12 works with more than 5,000 teachers across the U.S. – the largest network of online school teachers in grades K through 12.

The K12 program is offered through K12 partner public schools in more than two-thirds of the states and the District of Columbia, and through private schools serving students in all 50 states and more than 110 countries. More information can be found at http://www.K12.com.

SOURCE Hoosier Academies

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