Comet Academy Combines Virtual And In-Person Education In A Hybrid, Uniquely Epic Approach. 

by Layla Blockcolski

All education, from homeschooling to virtual to brick-and-mortar have pros and cons. Comet Academy was developed with these in mind. 

“If we could take the best parts of both and put it together, that’s what Comet Academy is,” said Sue Vaughn, Comet Academy’s managing director of instruction. 

Brick-and-mortar remains by far the most common form of education, even with a large shift toward homeschooling and virtual education. 

But traditional schooling has drawbacks. It doesn’t provide the level of one-on-one instruction many students could use. It can be hard for some students to focus and get the attention they need. 

Homeschooling is growing rapidly. According to data gathered by Johns Hopkins School of Education, 7.7% of Oklahoma families homeschooled during the 2019-20 school year, but by the 2020-21 school year that number nearly tripled. 

The biggest appeal is the freer schedule. Students are able to work whenever and wherever they wish. Students also get more focused learning, because they don’t have to share their teacher with other students. Also, students who learn differently can find success by learning their own way and at their own pace. 

Yet, students may miss out on social interaction, and that is why Comet Academy exists, said Adam Wilhelm, Epic managing director of instruction.

The Comet Academy approach can bridge the traditional-virtual-homeschool gap, Wilhelm said. 

Students attend virtually for part of the week but also get the opportunity to go in person. During this in-person class time, they are taught by subject-focused teachers and given group activities. 

Epic wanted to create a model that catered to the needs of all students and their families, Wilhelm said.

Comet  Academy provides homeschool with structure. Epic saw that many families loved the idea of homeschooling but didn’t know how to implement it.

“We really wanted to bring a model that allowed our families to feel supported and have instruction more frequently with their teachers,” Vaughn said. 

Comet serves grades pre-K through 10. Students attend classes near where they live and are grouped with others the same age. 

Comet Academy combines virtual and in-person education in a hybrid, uniquely Epic approach. 

All education, from homeschooling to virtual to brick-and-mortar have pros and cons. Comet Academy was developed with these in mind. 

“If we could take the best parts of both and put it together, that’s what Comet Academy is,” said Sue Vaughn, Comet Academy’s managing director of instruction. 

Brick-and-mortar remains by far the most common form of education, even with a large shift toward homeschooling and virtual education. 

But traditional schooling has drawbacks. It doesn’t provide the level of one-on-one instruction many students could use. It can be hard for some students to focus and get the attention they need. 

Homeschooling is growing rapidly. According to data gathered by Johns Hopkins School of Education, 7.7% of Oklahoma families homeschooled during the 2019-20 school year, but by the 2020-21 school year that number nearly tripled. 

The biggest appeal is the freer schedule. Students are able to work whenever and wherever they wish. Students also get more focused learning, because they don’t have to share their teacher with other students. Also, students who learn differently can find success by learning their own way and at their own pace. 

Yet, students may miss out on social interaction, and that is why Comet Academy exists, said Adam Wilhelm, Epic managing director of instruction.

The Comet Academy approach can bridge the traditional-virtual-homeschool gap, Wilhelm said. 

Students attend virtually for part of the week but also get the opportunity to go in person. During this in-person class time, they are taught by subject-focused teachers and given group activities. 

Epic wanted to create a model that catered to the needs of all students and their families, Wilhelm said.

Comet  Academy provides homeschool with structure. Epic saw that many families loved the idea of homeschooling but didn’t know how to implement it.

“We really wanted to bring a model that allowed our families to feel supported and have instruction more frequently with their teachers,” Vaughn said. 

Comet serves grades pre-K through 10. Students attend classes near where they live and are grouped with others the same age. 

Cover Photo Caption: An Epic Comet Academy event at Woodland Hills Mall in Tulsa introduced students and families to the new, hybrid model (Layla Blockcolski/ENN).

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