The Story of Archway
While the accredited* online school, ArchwayOnline, has just recently launched, the story of Archway goes all the way back to 2008 when David Parkerson, founder of HomeLife Academy (HLA), and Lynn Knowlton, who was an HLA Counselor and had been with HLA since its inception, began to see changes in homeschooling. Many were not prepared or equipped to jump right into homeschooling. Parents needed additional guidance and support that HLA, at the time, was not able to provide. It was then that Archway was first mentioned as a vision for a school that would provide a way to help new homeschoolers transition from traditional school to homeschool.
Fast forward nearly 10 years when there were more evident trends in homeschooling. Lynn, HLA’s Counseling Team Leader at the time, had always been very observant of trends and looking to the future needs of students coming to us. The typical homeschool family was beginning to look very different. HLA began to see many students exiting the public school system for various reasons and the need for Archway became much more relevant. Around 2015, Lynn and Angela, along with other administration, started discussing the real need for Archway. It was then that foundation was laid and steps were taken to build the program.
So it began...
HLA Archway was launched in 2016 as a HomeLife Academy program and under the direction of Lynn Knowlton. With the help and hard work of key team member, Tom Adams, the program first utilized Ignitia, Alpha Omega’s curriculum for Christian schools and shortly after added Edgenuity as the primary curriculum provider for Archway students. Adding Edgenuity, along with developing better processes which led to steady growth of the program during the first few years allowing other key team members to be added. Parents could choose uTeach where they did all of the oversight and grading or they could choose myAssist or NEST where there was teacher oversight and grading. This program continued to build over four years with enrollment reaching over 500 students in the 2019/2020 school year. We are excited to see new growth with ArchwayOnline in the 2020/2021 school as Tennessee’s only private, accredited* online school.
The Need for Accreditation
With trends still changing, Lynn and Angela began seeking options for accreditation in 2018. There was no doubt that accreditation was going to be a needed piece of the puzzle. With more students homeschooling short-term with the intention of returning to public school, the need for reciprocity became more and more crucial. We also began to see a greater need globally, finding families looking for U.S. accredited diplomas. Within the last year, more families have been looking for programs with support and accountability for their students.
@HOME. EDUCATION. REDEFINED.
As we began to look at moving the Archway Program from HomeLife Academy to its own school in Tennessee, we began to see the need to build something that would support families that were homeschooling differently and for different reasons than traditional, veteran homeschoolers. These families have different needs and that is when we realized we have to look at home education differently. These families have students that are getting educated @home and are looking for added support and accountability for success. These families may not have had a long-time vision for homeschooling, but have chosen to do so knowing it is the best for their student, whether due to COVID19, medical issues, bullying, anxiety, mental health struggles, or for a variety of other relevant reasons. Some may do it blindly and by faith, hoping that they are doing the right thing and searching for the right answers. REDEFINED simply means that EDUCATION @HOME may not look like traditional HOME EDUCATION and that is ok. We are here to serve and to help any family seeking to do the best for their student and family. We have always had a desire to meet the needs of all types of homeschoolers and this is the need today.
Formula for Success
So here we are, ready to serve. With our nearly 20 years of experience helping homeschooling families find success, we believe that the key is that you must have either a motivated parent or a motivated student, or ideally both! If neither are motivated, it is rare to see success. We believe the key is to have a support system for both the parent and the student. In traditional umbrella schools or organizations that support homeschooling families, the support is focused primarily on the parent. Staff and counselors work closely with the parent to encourage, education, motivate, and provide resources so that they can then work directly with their students. The missing key for families is sometimes the student needs support too. Our goal is to provide both. The years of experience we have to EQUIP and support the parent go hand-in-hand with the experienced mentors, teachers and counselors that work one on one with students to INSPIRE and motivate them. Students getting @home support from parents that feel equipped while also getting the academic support and motivation needed is why ArchwayOnline holds the key to your student’s success. Take this journey with us. Welcome to ArchwayOnline.