This fall, after wowing millions of TV viewers, falling just short of the final round on NBC’s The Voice and gaining national exposure that she hopes will launch a lifelong music career, Shalyah Fearing tried something new. She started learning in a traditional classroom at a local public high school.
Now 16 and a junior, she takes three classes at River Ridge High School in New Port Richey, Fla. while managing the rest of her course load online.
Her family has experienced just about every flavor of school choice — public, private, virtual, home education. So it was fitting that they lent their voices to one of the first events of National School Choice Week, which runs Sunday through Jan. 28, and includes more than 20,000 events across the country.
The events steer clear of politics and encompass multiple educational options.
Among others, Saturday’s celebration in Shady Hills featured local Catholic schools, the Pasco County school district’s career academies and the statewide virtual school that allowed Shalyah to take classes while she chased her musical dreams in California.
For most of Shalyah’s life, she and her six school-age brothers and sisters were homeschooled. As her mother puts it, they enrolled at Fearing Academy.
When she traveled to Los Angeles to compete on reality television, she took classes through Florida Virtual School. She tackled assignments as her schedule allowed, and kept up with teachers and classmates online and by phone.
“All I had to do was carry my laptop everywhere I went,” she said. “My teachers were always available.” Continue Reading →