Los Alamos Online Learning Academy Offers Online Option for Families

Los Alamos Online Learning Academy staff pose together before the start of the new school year. This is the second year that LAPS has offered the online learning option. Photo Courtesy LAPS


Los Alamos Public Schools is once again offering an online version of school for families who prefer to remain at home: the Los Alamos Online Learning Academy (LAOLA). 

Now in its second year, LAOLA has a staff of 16 teachers, service providers and instructional assistants serving 70 students in kindergarten through 8th grade. ”LAOLA is designed to give families more flexibility in meeting their students’ academic needs,” explained Kati Steinberg, the new LAOLA Principal. 

The LAOLA mascot is the roadrunner, an apt choice in that the school encourages students to defy expectations. “Our mission, that every student will learn and thrive and be empowered to demonstrate their own learning, is built on the LAPS strategic plan for student well-being and student learning,” said Mrs. Steinberg. “Students and staff benefit from the collaboration we all continue to engage in with colleagues and friends in the school district and community.”

Students are required to participate daily from 8:30 am to 12:15 pm. The afternoons are reserved for opportunities for students to engage in enrichment activities, including specials classes such as art and music,  and clubs. “Our program’s purpose is to foster curiosity and give our students the room to pursue their interests and passions,” Mrs. Steinberg said.

One of the advantages of the online learning environment is the pace of learning combined with explicit instruction and independent learning around a flexible schedule. Students find comfort and flexibility in the security of learning at home. The online learning environment provides equity for students to participate and collaborate with peers in a socially and emotionally supportive environment, with the encouragement and support provided by the partnership of families and teachers. 

“Students also enjoy taking part in in-person activities such as local school clubs, band, orchestra, and even social events such as dances and fairs,” noted Mrs. Steinberg. Online learning at LAOLA is an option offering students a well-rounded academic and social educational experience.

Families also like the flexibility and pace of online learning. Students meet with classmates in whole-group and small group activities. Synchronous (or real-time) instruction is explicit and lets students practice skills before completing assignments independently (asynchronous) outside of class time.  “We like to keep it simple, and stay focused,” said Mrs. Steinberg.

“Our 100% goal for this year is that all staff and students will make strong positive connections with each other and with someone in the community,” she added.

LAOLA will host its Open House on Tuesday, August 31st from 5:30 pm to 7:00 pm. Parents will meet virtually with the Principal on the Roadrunner Rally Classroom Meet, followed by Google Classroom Meets with respective teachers.