Adam Mangana launched Optima Academy, a virtual reality-based charter school to address the education gaps left by shelter-in-place policies during the height of the pandemic. What started as an experiment is now celebrating its first year anniversary.
“With Optima Academy Online, we have witnessed the incredible impact of merging virtual reality with K-12 education,” said esteemed Black educator Adam Mangana, co-founder of OAO and Chief Innovation Officer of OptimaEd in a statement shared with ESSENCE. “Our first year has been a testament to the power of innovative and personalized learning, and we’re tremendously proud to celebrate this milestone.”
Per a news release shared with the ESSENCE, the first cohort of students graduated with a 96% pass and completion rate. The Florida-based online school is also expanding into other states, including Arizona, Iowa, Idaho and Michigan.
The tuition-free school currently aims at providing quality education for K-9 students with the flexibility parents love.
“OAO has been an incredible experience for my son, more than what we could have ever imagined,” said one parent of an OAO student. “He was struggling in traditional school with issues beyond his control, and what seemed increasingly insurmountable has now become within his control again – he’s achieving things he was convinced he wouldn’t ever be capable of achieving.”