When Anna Fortuna was accepted into the prestigious Academy music program at the Colburn School conservatory, where she frequently performed with college- and graduate-level musicians, she needed to attend rehearsals in the middle of the day. That’s when she and her parents realized she would benefit from a more flexible option for high school.
In order to spend less time commuting and more time on the drums, Anna had started taking online classes through Apex Learning at her public school program in Los Angeles. As her rehearsal schedule became more demanding, she switched to attending Apex Learning Virtual School full time.
The flexibility of ALVS courses allowed Anna to pursue music studies in both jazz and classical percussion alongside her academic coursework. She was even able to experiment in her free time with different types of music and instruments like the banjo and electric bass guitar. She graduated from ALVS and is now enrolled at the Berklee School of Music on a four-year, full-tuition scholarship.
Support for Blossoming Musical Skills
By the time Anna Fortuna was in middle school, teachers were already telling her parents she had an “unusual aptitude” for music. Anna easily learns and uses musical concepts that many people would take years to understand, said her mom, Mary Fortuna. Anna also has unusually acute hearing—which meant that the noise of traditional classrooms was a distraction. “With ALVS, she could go in a room and put her headphones on and just focus on school,” Mary said.
After studying at the Colburn School conservatory, Anna attended the pre-college program at the Juilliard School in New York. Her experiences performing at venues like the Disney Concert Hall and Newport Jazz Festival helped shape her career aspiration of becoming a touring jazz percussionist. Attending ALVS ensured that she had the flexibility to rehearse and study with high-caliber musicians and teachers across the country, putting her on the path toward musical success in college and beyond.
Uninterrupted Academic Studies
Anna thrived in ALVS. “I really liked that the Apex curriculum is not lecture-based, and I could learn at my own pace,” Anna said. “I could learn extra material if I want, and I could also read at my own pace.”
Meanwhile, her mom could monitor Anna’s progress from behind the scenes. “As a parent, I liked that the ALVS platform was the same across disciplines, and the rubric was very obvious. Through the parent portal, I was able to view her progress and see where Anna might need help. There was never any question of what she needed to do in order to succeed.”
Looking back, Anna credits attending an online private high school for expanding her creative aspirations. “I’m so grateful for the opportunity to attend ALVS because it allowed me to explore so much life outside of school,” she said. “I really learned so much more than I would have learned in a traditional school setting, and it gave me the time to pursue music.”
“Anna could not have had all of these incredible experiences without the support and flexibility of Apex Learning Virtual School.”