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The Inspirational Story Behind USD 506's Remote School

Everyone's story is different. Everyone learns differently, explores differently, and ultimately takes drastically different paths in life. So then, why has the steps to getting an education been the same for the majority of students for so long? That is why URSA was created. Angela Wininger, who had her own experience with remote schooling, and is now working for USD 506, felt there was a need to implement this opportunity in our community. And with the assistance of Stacy Smith and our district, this program has become a reality.

"My story isn’t like most high school graduates. I dropped out of high school my sophomore year, soon after, found myself pregnant, and became a teen mom. An education was the farthest thing from my mind. Fast forward eight years with three kids and no job nor degree, I felt stuck. I had the feeling of being a failure, unable to gain any type of real employment or provide a stable income for my children. Of course, getting my GED was always an option, but I wanted more. I wanted to make a success story for myself. Something to be proud of and write home about. That’s when I found the virtual education program through Humboldt High School and met Jody, the program director. My life instantly changed. Jody helped me start working towards my high school diploma and set me up for success by ensuring I had everything I needed to succeed. I worked diligently and actually enjoyed working through the program. I felt like I had a sense of my true potential back in my hands. I was able to achieve all of the credits I needed and even got to walk across the stage at a graduation ceremony with other students from all walks of life. Soon after graduation, I enrolled in college classes and now have a college degree. I wish I would have found the virtual education program when I first dropped out of high school because that could have saved me many years of struggles and insecurities.

My story is why I’m excited and passionate about URSA. It means a great deal to me because I needed a program like this for my personal growth. Now, I get a hand in helping others gain an education in ways that tailor to their needs and guide them in finding their own successes. Let’s be clear, URSA isn’t just for people with a similar story to my own. That’s my story. There are many other stories that need to be heard and understood just as mine was. URSA can serve students coming from all walks of life: the students that have to work to provide for their families, the students that have to stay home and be caretakers, the teen moms, the students who don’t fit into a traditional classroom setting, the students who have illnesses, the students who need a self-paced learning environment, or whatever reason that may be. There is no student that URSA won't cater to. URSA can reach students in Kansas that need flexibility while still meeting all their educational needs. I am excited about this. This is a big deal for USD 506 and our community. URSA is going to prepare students for success in college and their careers. It’s a win-win for everyone involved."

That is the power of URSA, a customizable, unique learning experience for anyone. USD 506 is excited to be adding this program, and providing another path for students to reach academic success. And with the passion Angela has for this program, it will pave the way for many to find freedom in their education as she will walk beside every one of her students. 

Enrollment is now open for those interested, and if you would like to learn more, check out the URSA page by clicking below. And feel free to email Angela at awininger@usd506.org with any questions regarding URSA. We can’t wait to begin this journey with you!


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