Small School District Leverages Online Learning to Build a Wealth of Individualized Education Opportunities for K-12 Students in Oregon Students Experiencing Early Success at Oregon iSchool and Through Local School Programs
HERNDON, Va., March 19, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- For one school district in Oregon, online learning is quickly becoming an essential way to provide more of its students with greater flexibility and options for achieving their academic goals. This past fall, Lebanon Community Schools launched the Oregon iSchool, a full-time online school for K-12 students. In addition, the district implemented online learning in its local schools for enrichment, special education, alternative education, and advanced studies. In the six months since launch, more than 450 students have enrolled in online courses.
Located in rural East Linn County, the district has recently faced high unemployment, homelessness, and other related issues that can make going to school a challenge for many students. To help provide their students as many educational options as possible, administrators at Lebanon Community Schools decided to implement an online learning program that would allow for scheduling and pacing flexibility.
"We want to meet all of our students' needs, whether they are preparing for college or a career, and help them go further than they ever thought possible," said Rob Hess, Superintendent of Lebanon Community Schools. "With online learning, our district can enable students to become 21st century learners by providing them the rigorous curriculum, tools, and support they need to succeed."
Lebanon Community Schools partners with K12 Inc., the nation's leading provider of technology-powered individualized education solutions for students in pre-kindergarten through high school. For its full-time online program, Oregon iSchool uses the K12® curriculum for students in grades K-5, and Aventa Learning® by K12 for students in grades 6-12. The district also uses the Aventa curriculum in its local schools for enrichment. For example, middle school students receive additional math preparation and are able to take advanced courses, such as algebra and language arts.
The district also uses the A+nyWhere Learning System® (A+LS) by K12 to customize courses. For a special education class at a local middle school, Lebanon teachers use A+LS to develop targeted lessons designed to address individual skill or learning gaps.
The programs use K12 teachers who are certified in Oregon and are experienced in delivering online instruction. In addition, district teachers provide in-person support for students and their families.
Kim Fandino, Online Program Coordinator for Lebanon Community Schools, says, "We know well that when it comes to students, one size does not fit all. With online learning, we have all of the resources we need to help each student progress in his or her own way."
For one family, Oregon iSchool has been an excellent solution for its three children in grades 7 and 8. The mother says, "Using the online school has been a tremendous blessing to our family. We have been homeschooling for a number of years, but we were looking for a rigorous curriculum and, at the same time, we wanted to give our children the opportunity to interact with other students and teachers. We are able to be involved on a daily basis and check in with the kids to see how they are doing. The teachers and mentors provide great support to the students and parents. The students can work at their own pace. They can work ahead, or they can have extra time if a particular lesson is challenging. Once we learned how to navigate the system and the technology of the courses, we hit the ground running. Our children have been learning a tremendous amount this year and have been getting great grades doing it."
Students participating in the online programs can also take advantage of other flexible academic and extracurricular options. They may take courses taught in local schools in the traditional classroom setting, for subjects such as culinary, vocational, or fine arts. They may also participate in local school athletics. In addition, students may participate in an extended 5-year high school program to simultaneously receive a diploma and an associate degree upon completion.
One parent describes how Oregon iSchool has helped her daughter "Bridget" recover from a troubling period in her life. She had been struggling in a large high school environment where peer pressure was prevalent, and her achievements went unrecognized. In addition, Bridget was dealing with the death of a friend. As a result, she began struggling to go to school and was losing interest in playing in a team sport.
According to Bridget's parents, after just one semester at Oregon iSchool, she has regained focus and is back on track. Bridget's mother says, "She really feels like she is a part of something now, but she also has the room and freedom to do her school work, hold down a job, and also participate in a high school sport – and just belong! This non-linear path has been just what she needed. We cannot thank you enough for being our child's cheerleader."
K12 Senior Vice President Gregg Levin, who oversees partnerships with school districts, said, "Lebanon Community Schools understands the power of online learning and how it can be tailored to provide each student an individualized learning experience. We are thrilled to see that they are taking advantage of the versatility of online learning to meet the needs of so many students in the district by providing many options for scheduling and pacing flexibility."
K12 provides schools and districts the industry's most complete continuum of proprietary pre-kindergarten through high school online learning solutions for full-time virtual, blended, and traditional classroom learning environments. By integrating curriculum, technology, and services, K12 empowers its school and district partners to provide individualized learning and maximize student and district outcomes. Over the past decade, the company has served more than 2,000 districts and delivered over four million online course enrollments from its award-winning portfolio. For more information on K12's online solutions for schools and districts, visit k12.com/educators.
The name of the student mentioned above has been changed to protect her identity.
About K12 Inc.
K12 Inc. (NYSE: LRN) is leading the transformation to individualized learning as the nation's foremost provider of technology-powered online solutions for students in pre-kindergarten through high school. K12 has worked with over 2,000 school districts and has delivered more than four million courses over the past decade. K12 provides curricula, academic services, and learning solutions to public schools and districts, traditional classrooms, blended school programs, and families. K12's curriculum is rooted in decades of research combined with 21st-century technology by cognitive scientists, interactive designers and teachers. K12's portfolio of more than 550 unique courses and titles—the most extensive in the technology-based education industry—covers every core subject and four academic levels for high school including Honors and AP. K12 offers credit recovery courses, career-building electives, remediation support, six world languages, and a deep STEM offering. The K12 Program is offered through K12 partner public schools in more than two-thirds of the states and the District of Columbia, and through private schools serving students in all 50 states and 85 countries. More information can be found at k12.com.
© 2013 K12 Inc. K12, Aventa Learning and A+nyWhere Learning System are registered trademarks, and the K12 logo is a trademark of K12 Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.
SOURCE K12 Inc.