Centre online program ramps up
Centre School District’s online enrollment program has seen a 125% increase in the wake of ongoing pandemic.
This year, 240 students in grades kindergarten through 12th grade are enrolled in online classes. Last year, 105 were enrolled.
“That is all related to COVID-19 and people’s concerns for safety,” superintendent Susan Beeson said.
More students in Marion County are enrolled for online learning this year.
“We have 15 Marion County students enrolled with us,” Beeson said. “In years past we may have had one or two Marion County students.”
Because online enrollment has increased so much, the school has closed enrollment for all but adult students, she said.
The district offers two online programs for students through 12th grade.
One is remote learning, when the student participates in the school’s regular classes via Zoom.
The other is virtual learning, when the student has a self-guided program that fits their time schedule. Teachers are available to tutor by computer or text, and parents can work with the students as their schedule permits.
Beeson said virtual learning works better for students whose parents are available to work with them in the evening.
The virtual program is a completely different program. It is curriculum based and a teacher is assigned to each student.
“The teacher provides curriculum and guidance,” she said.
Lessons are prepackaged and grade-level appropriate. Students are required to spend a set number of hours each day on school work.
“They can text or email their teacher if they need help with their work,” Beeson said.
The majority of Centre students are enrolled for classroom attendance.
Remote enrollment is enrolled for nine weeks at a time, then the parents can choose whether they want their children to continue remote attendance or switch to in-person attendance.
Beeson said factors to consider when choosing which electronic option will work best include whether the child will be available during regular class times, whether the student can work best in the evening with a parent’s help, the student’s age, and the parent’s schedule.
“You also want to consider their strengths, willingness and ability to work the two programs,” she said.
Centre’s virtual program has always been available, and both programs are available to students across the state.
The school has added four new teachers and on clerk to meet the demands of increased online enrollment, Beeson said.
Last modified Aug. 27, 2020