Oklahoma’s largest virtual charter school
EPIC offers an individualized one-on-one virtual charter option for students throughout the state and a blended learning option for students in Oklahoma and Tulsa counties. Call to schedule an appointment.
What is Epic Charter Schools and who can attend?
Epic Charter Schools is the state’s largest virtual charter school. The school serves students statewide in grades PreK-12 free of charge. Each student is paired with a certified Oklahoma teacher, who assists them in developing an individualized education plan, choosing curriculum and connecting them with all the resources they need. The school accepts students year-round, and any student who is a resident of Oklahoma is eligible to attend.
What makes Epic unique?
What makes Epic unique from other schools is the flexibility offered. Students can choose from multiple curriculum options and select the schedule and environment that works best for them. Further, each student receives a $1,000 virtual credit that can be used to purchase needed technology and supplemental curriculum tools as well as to access external extracurricular activities (such as horseback riding or ballet). With this Learning Fund, no money ever exchanges hands. Choosing from a list of approved vendors, students simply
fill out an online form and Epic staff takes care of the rest.
Is there a cost to attend Epic?
No. Epic is a free public school.
How do Epic’s online teachers engage their students?
Epic’s blended learning model allows for a mixture of in-person and online instruction that works best for each student. Some students attend a regular classroom setting each day at one of the Virtual Learning Centers in Oklahoma City or Tulsa. Others experience a mostly virtual setting, while still others prefer a mixture of both.
As a parent, I love how Epic allows us as a family to make the choices that are right for us. The choices and flexibility we have make it a great fit.
Amanda Cole, parent
2020 Family Favorites Winner & 2021 Family Favorites Finalist - Charter School, Specialty School
Read below to learn more from Superintendent Bart Banfield about this unique virtual school, the future of education and about their Learning Fund program.
What is your background and how long have you been Head of Epic Schools?
Prior to becoming superintendent in 2019, I served as the assistant superintendent of instruction for EPIC Charter Schools, a position I’d held since 2014. I have been a public educator for more than 20 years. I have also coached girls’ basketball and was a history teacher at Eufaula High School. Later, I served as the superintendent of Stidham Public Schools where I earned the distinction of becoming Oklahoma’s youngest public school superintendent at the age of 27. I have a master’s degree in education administration from East Central University in Ada. I recently published a book available on Amazon called Virtual Leadership: The Essential Principles for Remote Work.
What is your educational philosophy and how does that impact the students at Epic?
My educational philosophy is the same as EPIC’s: school can be different. It’s more than just our motto, it’s a mindset that sits at the very core of our educational model. More than a third of EPIC’s students come to us because they were bullied or faced school safety issues. Others were seeking more flexibility and autonomy in how or when they learn. The fact is no student is the same, so the mindset that one size fits all when it comes to education is outdated and unaligned with the realities of 21st-century learning needs.
What has changed in education the most since you started? What are the current trends and where is education going?
One of the things that I connected with very early in my educational career was distance learning and the role that technology can play in educating a student. Distance learning has shaped how and where students are able to learn and gives them more opportunities to grow academically. We’ve seen the need for distance learning play itself out in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. I predict distance learning will continue to play a significant role in the education of our children even after the pandemic has subsided. For example, in public education, technology and artificial intelligence will enable schools to individualize the educational experience of every child who walks through their doors. I know this to be true because that’s exactly what we’re doing at EPIC. By using adaptive technologies and predictive algorithms, we can personalize the educational experience of each student to meet them where they are in terms of skill level and academic ability.
What makes Epic stand out among all the education choices parents have?
The thing that makes EPIC stand out the most is the empowerment we provide our families. Whether it’s choosing from our extensive library of curriculum choices, tapping into the Learning Fund for equipment or extracurricular options (like ballet or horseback riding) or working at your own pace, the options really are endless. EPIC is unique in that we allow our students and families the option to tailor their educations to meet their needs and fit their lives.
Tell us more about the Learning Fund.
Upon enrollment, each student is provided a $1,000 virtual credit that they can spend on technology, core curriculum, supplemental curriculum and extracurricular activities. No money ever exchanges hands. Families choose from a list of approved vendors who bill EPIC in exchange for services provided. There is no other offering like the EPIC Learning Fund in any other public school system in the state and it has allowed a high level of freedom, flexibility and customization to each of our families.