K–8 Teacher FAQs
What would a typical week look like for a WAVA instructor?
Our teachers typically work Monday through Friday, 8 AM to 4 PM (as a traditional brick-and-mortar teacher would).
Do teachers cover multiple grade levels?
WAVA teachers are primarily assigned to a single grade level in kindergarten through 8th grade. On occasion, teachers may cover more than one grade level due to enrollment or specialized teaching duties.
Are teachers assigned students in their own geographical area?
Ideally, yes. WAVA hires the best teacher candidates based on qualifications, not area of residence, although all teachers must be Washington state residents. Families from all around the state can enroll at any time. Because of this dynamic, it is not always possible for a family to be assigned a local teacher. Classes are redistributed in the summertime to account for this.
What is the training process for a WAVA instructor?
While being an online instructor requires many of the same skills as a traditional classroom teacher, many new skills must be acquired. Our newly hired state certified teachers are required to participate in a 40-hour online training course in addition to a full week of additional face-to-face training in Tacoma with WAVA administration. Additionally, all teachers attend face-to-face and virtual professional development meetings throughout the school year and participate in weekly online professional learning communities.
What supports are available to teachers?
New teachers are paired up with a "Master Teacher" to help them get started. WAVA also has Lead Teachers who work closely with all teachers. Online resources are available as well.
Where do teachers work?
Teachers work from home.
How often do instructors get together?
WAVA teachers gather 3–4 times per year in the Tacoma area for professional development sessions and typically plan their outings regionally with other teachers in their area. They communicate and collaborate constantly via email and phone.
How do families and teachers gather face-to-face?
Each teacher plans a monthly outing for their families. Outings are typically half- or full-day events. WAVA also plans all-school events multiple times throughout the year, which families and teachers attend. Teachers proctor the MSP and DIBELS tests to their students and occasionally will meet individual families at local libraries or coffee shops for instruction, as needed.
What positive outcomes do you hear from WAVA instructors about the job?
WAVA teachers love that they work closely with parents and students who have made education a priority in their home. They enjoy working with individual students on their specific academic needs.
What do teachers find to be challenging?
While learning how to be a successful online teacher can be invigorating, it can also be challenging, even for the most seasoned teacher. Adjusting to working from a home office may be difficult as well, without having that daily face-to-face interaction with students.
Would it be possible to enroll my own child as a student and be a certified instructor?
Some of our teachers have enrolled their own children in the WAVA program. Many have found that they need additional support for their child from family members, as being a WAVA teacher is a full-time commitment.
Are there part-time opportunities?
Currently, all our teachers are full time.
How many students are in a teacher's class?
The ratio for general education teachers is currently 1:56. For special education teachers, the ratio is currently 1:35.
What are the student requirements of the program?
As part of the Washington state public school system, WAVA has monthly progress goals, required attendance time, weekly teacher contact, and monthly progress conferences as requirements. For a student to be successful, a home-based Learning Coach (often a parent), needs to be available to work with the student daily, as well as be in regular contact with the WAVA Washington state-certified teacher.
How is the curriculum assigned to the student?
Students are assigned grade level curriculum in all courses. Upon approval, our students take the Measures of Academic Progress (MAP) online assessment in reading and math which helps teachers understand individual skill levels and the kind of specialized instruction each student needs.
What is the attendance time commitment for a student enrolled in WAVA?
Washington Virtual Academies compliance with all Alternative Learning Experience requirements available on the Office of the Superintendent of Instruction website for ALE Programs.
What courses are offered through WAVA?
Students in Kindergarten are full-time and may take language, arts, math, and science.
Students in grades 1–5 may take language arts, math, science, history, art, and physical education.
Students in grades 6–8 may take language arts, history, math, science, and history.
Students who qualify for highly capable programs may qualify to take a limited selection of world language courses.
Do students participate in state testing?
Yes. As a public school, full-time WAVA students take the SBA in grades 3–8, and WAVA teachers and staff proctor the SBA state wide.
How many teachers are currently employed by WAVA?
The WAVA Elementary (grades K–5) and WAVA Middle School (grades 6–8) each have approximately 45 teachers and 1500 students.
What is the process to apply for a WAVA teaching position?
Please visit the Omak School District website for instructions on applying for K–8 positions at WAVA.
What is the hiring timeline for WAVA?
Students can enroll up through February each school year. Hiring is determined solely on need as driven by enrollment, so hiring occurs year-round. Students must re-enroll yearly, and because of this the summertime hiring is slightly more delayed than in a brick-and-mortar school. We typically interview and hire staff during the months of June through August for the coming school year.
How competitive is the hiring process?
Many high quality candidates are interested in expanding their teaching experience to the online realm and WAVA receives hundreds of applicants every year. Our teaching staff is amazingly talented, highly motivated, and extremely dedicated to providing the best possible education we can for our students.
Is there some way to view the curriculum or get more information in person?
Yes! Please visit the Stride K12 website to learn about the program WAVA uses to serve its students. There are also videos and family spotlights online where you can learn more about the curriculum and the types of families we work with. You can also view sample online lessons in all subject areas and grade levels.