Virtual School Holds Real Prom

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Insight School of Oregon-Painted Hills Students Dance the Night Away

On Saturday, May 13, a group of high school juniors and seniors from Insight School of Oregon-Painted Hills (ISOR-PH) attended their prom at the Tigard Ballroom Dance Co. Sounds like a normal school milestone full of nerves, fancy dresses and rented tuxes, right? Well, there’s a little more to this story…

All the students attend school virtually.

Online schools like ISOR-PH are often presumed to provide limited socialization opportunities for students. However, this prom proves quite the opposite. Students from all over Oregon get to know each other through their online classrooms and student clubs, as well as at in-person social gatherings like field trips, community service events, school dances and graduation (which will be Saturday, June 17, at the University of Portland).

With a time travel theme, students came to prom dressed from any era they chose and danced the night away with a disco ball and laser lights accompanying the DJ’s music. A photo booth also provided the students with souvenirs to remember the magical evening.

As a statewide school, ISOR-PH students live all across Oregon. A large number of students are from the Portland area, with about 20 percent of prom attendees coming from Tigard and Tualatin, but many students traveled for hours to attend prom.

Despite the wide range of hometowns, the students had a great time reuniting with their classmates – or in some cases meeting them for the first time – and celebrating the end of another successful school year.

“There were no kids sitting on the sidelines,” Sinnott said. “Students made sure everyone was dancing and having a good time. It was a very inclusive event.”

Students choose to attend virtual school for a number of reasons – some are looking to escape bullying; some are ahead of or behind in their class and need different attention from their teachers; some have medical conditions or other commitments that cause them to need a flexible schedule; and some just thrive in a different setting.

The first of its kind in Oregon, Insight School of Oregon-Painted Hills is an innovative middle and high school option for college and technical career-minded students statewide. ISOR-PH offers traditional academic subjects, as well as two career-focused tracks for students: business and healthcare. Successful completion of these courses helps students prepare for industry certification tests after graduation. ISOR-PH students receive instruction from state-certified teachers during live interactive online classes, as well as through recorded sessions.

Insight School of Oregon-Painted Hills is an AdvancED accredited, tuition-free online public charter school. For more information about ISOR-PH, visit or-ph.insightschools.net.

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