History

Amazing Grace Virtual Academy, formerly ALHS Online, has been truly blessed by a gracious God as evidenced in the brief history listed below.

  • 2009: The WELS Association of Lutheran High Schools forms a committee to look into the feasibility of offering online courses between schools to expand curricular offerings.

  • 2010: Administrative committee is formed. ALHS Online name chosen, logo developed, and a two-year pilot project begins with a $10,000 grant and many volunteer hours.

  • 2011-12: First five courses of ALHS Online debut (first semester: 2, second semester: 3) with an average enrollment of 30 students per semester with students from seven WELS high schools.

  • 2012-13: The first year of the pilot program was so successful that ALHS Online incorporated as a non-profit in the state of MN and with the IRS. The number of courses offered in the second year increases to five per semester, with 55 students from 10 WELS high schools participating.

  • 2013-14: Student enrollment increased to about 100 students from 15 high schools spread across 10 courses each semester. ALHS Online applies for and receives 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status with the IRS.

  • 2014-15: ALHS Online is granted 501 (c) (3) tax-exempt status with the IRS. Enrollment increases to about 170 students per semester with students from 18 high schools. Decision made to expand services to include Algebra 1 and Spanish courses for 7th-8th grade students in 2015-16.

  • 2015-16: Pilot program for 7th-8th grade Algebra 1 and Spanish courses offered and funded through a $6,500 grant. Sixteen students enrolled each semester from five elementary schools. High School student enrollment increases to about 200 students spread across 20 courses per semester.

  • 2016-17: Student enrollment increases to about 245 students from over 25 schools spread across 23 courses per semester.

  • 2017-18: Student enrollment increases to about 270 students from over 20 high schools and 20 elementary schools spread across nearly 25 courses per semester.

  • 2018-19: Enrollment exceeds 300 students per semester spread across nearly 30 courses per semester. ALHS Online begins extensive self-study as part of an accreditation process.

  • 2019-20: ALHS Online receives 7-year accreditation status through the Middle States Association Commission on Elementary and Secondary Schools (MSA_CESS).

  • 2020-21: ALHS Online makes the decision to expand its services to include a fully online high school curriculum leading to a diploma, starting with 9th grade in 2021-22. Receives a $25,000 gift from the estate of John and Elva Dirksen of Coos Bay, OR, and a $25,000 Antioch Foundation grant to help with the expansion.

  • 2021-22: ALHS Online changes its name to Amazing Grace Virtual Academy, the 9th-grade curriculum is added, and the first full-time students are enrolled.