The 2012 Annual Publicschooloptions.org Family Reunion came to a close yesterday as our parent leaders spent their final day in Washington, DC on Capitol Hill meeting with their home legislative offices and participating in a Congressional briefing. The day on the Hill kicked off with an online demonstration, presented by 2012 American Pioneer of Teaching Award winner Paul Wulff (Ohio Virtual Academy) and Tamara Smathers, a sophomore at Ohio Virtual Academy. Paul and Tamara walked attendees through a standard modern world history class, allowing those in attendance to observe an online lesson through the eyes of both a teacher and a student.
After the online demonstration wrapped up, attendees, including education staffers representing twenty Congressional offices on both sides of the aisle, heard from Paul Wulff; Briana LeClaire, parent advocate from Idaho and past president of the National Coalition for Public School Options; Rose Fernandez, a national education reform advocate; and Jennifer Roy, President of Publicschooloptions.org on the importance of online learning and parent choice. Moderated by Scott Groginsky, Rep. Jared Polis (R-CO)'s Legislative Assistant, the panelists discussed what led them to choose online learning for their children, and the benefits of this educational option. Panelists also discussed the importance of getting their legislators involved by joining the House of Representative's e-Learning Caucus. Made up of representatives from across the country, the e-Learning Caucus serves as a community within the U.S. House of Representatives interested in better understanding and advancing federal policy in relation to e-learning.
After the panel concluded, Family Reunion attendees met with legislative offices from their home states to discuss what online learning means to them, in addition to how legislators can get involved in promoting this choice. Some parent leaders even had the opportunity to take pictures with their legislator!
All-in-all, this year's Family Reunion was a smashing success! We look forward to welcoming another batch of school choice advocates to our nation's capital next year!