Virtual Learning Broadens Opportunities in a Military-Connected California Community

Virtual Learning Broadens Opportunities in a Military-Connected California Community

Silver Valley Unified School District, California

Success Story



Covering more than 3,200 square miles of the Mojave Desert of Southern California, Silver Valley Unified School District (Silver Valley USD) serves a population of approximately 2,200 students in grades TK-12 who reside in the high desert communities. About 75 percent of the district's students are military families connected to Fort Irwin and the Marine Corps Logistics Base.

In March of 2020, due to mandatory school shutdowns caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, leaders at Silver Valley USD sought a new online learning provider. At that time, the district used an online courseware solution for its independent study program, but it didn’t support all grades TK-12. Jeff Youskievicz, Assistant Superintendent of Educational Services, and his colleagues selected Edmentum’s digital programs—EdOptions Academy, Exact Path, Courseware, and Calvert Learning to address their needs.


Silver Valley USD's virtual learning program is built around Edmentum's EdOptions Academy which pairs Edmentum’s digital curricula, Calvert Learning and Courseware, with state-certified teachers. Leadership at Silver Valley USD developed an innovative academic model that accommodates students' needs for flexible learning methods. Approximately 20 students in the district opted to enroll in fully virtual classes taught by EdOptions Academy teachers and the remaining students received in-person instruction led by Silver Valley teachers utilizing Edmentum’s digital curricula, and in some cases, students participated in a program that was a blend of the two options.

Through the Courseware implementation, Silver Valley USD students have access to hundreds of courses, which has helped the district address another challenge, one that many rural districts face – limited course offerings. The addition of more courses means that military-connected students have the opportunity to complete the same courses they had started while attending their previous schools, allowing them to continue on their original course of study. But the benefits of an expanded course catalog aren’t limited to military-connected students, many other students in Silver Valley USD have more course options now as well.

“We’re a small high school. Our offerings for electives and other courses are limited,” Mr. Youskievicz explained. “Using Courseware and EdOptions Academy for, let’s say, a student coming from a post in Germany, who was taking German, could now finish their class. Just being able to offer more options and not just world language courses, but AP courses, CTE courses gave students added flexibility. We had a number of kids towards the end of the year ask, ‘Hey, can I take another course? Can I take an extra period at the end of the day?’"


The success of the Edmentum implementation at Silver Valley USD is demonstrated by the benefits that the district has realized through its online learning expansion. Students and their families are giving positive feedback.

“Despite the growing pains at the beginning, we've had nothing but amazing reports from our families saying, 'Thank you; this was a great experience; we appreciate it, the curriculum was great,'" Mr. Youskievicz explained. "So, it was just overall, a very good experience and having a partner like Edmentum there to help support us, just made it better and a lot easier.”

Edmentum Products
  • Courseware
  • Study Island
  • EdOptions Academy
  • Exact Path
District Profile
  • TK-12
  • 2,200 students
  • 55.9% economically disadvantaged
  • 75% military connected
  • 18% special education