K-12 is such a for-profit education company that sells schooling online and curriculum to state and local governments. Its services and educational products are designed as alternatives to traditional bricks and mortar education for public school students from kindergarten to 12th grade. The company is a publicly traded education management organization specialized in providing education online services to charter school students. It is the largest EMO in terms of enrollment. Former banker Ronald Packard was the founder of the company in April 2000. Initial investors in the company included Michael Milken and Lowell Milken of education company Knowledge Universe who along with the Milken family Foundation invested 10 million dollars. K-12’s products include courses for elementary, middle and high school grades. Also products include educational software and learning online platforms. The curriculum is distributed through various channels including public and private K-12 online schools, sales to public and private schools and schools district and sales directly to consumers. K-12 manages state-funded virtual charter schools any hybrid schools in twenty-nine US states and the District of Columbia. Schools and districts that wish to offer full-time programs online, individual courses or blended programs can purchase training services and curriculum to implement their own programs.

K-12 online school

Students from any K-12 online school complete all coursework online rather than in a brick-and-mortar classroom. Instruction is facilitated by the “learning coach – typically a guardian or parent with the guidance and assistance of state-certified teacher assigned by the school. Teacher interaction is accomplished through virtual classroom environments, face-to-face meetings and telephones. Students complete the same curriculum in hybrid schools, but attend a physical building and participate in classes with other teachers and students. The curriculum for grades K-8 focuses on the core subject areas including science, math, history, art, language arts, world languages and music. The majority of lessons in the early grades are guided by the learning coach and takes place offline. They use printed materials, hands-on activities and textbooks. The high school program is broader and students have more choice in terms of the courses they complete. They can choose Honors, Credit Recovery and Advanced Planned options and remedial in addition to core courses. High school courses take place most online unlike in the K-8 grades. Students attend live classes online and have more communications with teachers, phone, via-email and conferences online. The curriculum is mastery-based in each both elementary and middle K-12 online school which means students must score eighty percent of higher or an assessment before moving on to the next learning objective. Multiple choice assessments and short answer are given at the end of most lessons in K-8 and are recorded and administered by the learning coach. Teachers monitor the progress of students and grade assignments and tests in high school. The learning coach in elementary school is expected to spend three-five hours each day monitoring the progress of students, facilitating lessons and logging attendance. The role of the coaches in high school transition from direct instruction to provide a support as the student is expected to manage her or his own schedule and have more interactions with teachers and other students.