Nevada school district agrees to pursue online academy for fall

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The Nevada Community School District is seeking state approval to offer an online academy in the fall through a provider some of its students are already familiar with.

The district’s plan is to offer a virtual learning academy through Edmentum EdOptions – through which high school students in the district have been able to access virtual course options in recent years, said Kody Asmus, associate superintendent of the district. Nevada for school improvement.

Asmus presented the Nevada School Board on Monday evening with a plan for Edmentum to also offer programs to the district’s Kindergarten to Grade 8 students during the 2021-22 school year.

The council has approved the district to move forward with the plan and seek state approval, which it needs to provide open access to enrollment for distance learners from outside the district.

Asmus said: “Anyone can agree that we would like and would like all of our students to receive in-person instruction from our teachers. However, the world has changed, things are different.”

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He said if a student or a family wants online learning, “they’re going to get it, they’re going to find it, whether it’s home schooling or open enrollment at another school.” or some other district that offers it, and we would just love to keep our kids with us. “

Online students in elementary and middle schools in Nevada would have four core classes of literacy, math, science, and social studies, with electives that vary by grade level – physical education, health, art, music, career exploration and technical career education.

Students could come in person and take courses that are not available online.

Virtual instruction for primary and secondary school students would be live, led by graduate teachers from Edmentum. College classes would be less frequent – twice a week, Monday through Thursday, instead of once a day on the same days – but longer.

Teachers should have bi-weekly meetings with students and families, in addition to other communications, as well as notes and comments to be provided within 48 hours of a student handing in their work. Parents would also be able to see all communication between students. and teachers, in addition to grades and progress reports.

Asmus said the district may also request reports from Edmentum and that students will continue to take state assessments in person.

He said all student services, such as services for students with disabilities, would also be offered to students online.

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High school students could take the college courses offered in high school, and virtual learners from any school in the district could participate in extracurricular activities, he said.

Asmus did not know how many students could explore the remote option. He guessed perhaps a 10% or 15% increase, although he added that nearly half of the current 130 or so virtual high school students are seniors.

He said it could be days or weeks before the state is notified of the status of the approval.

Nevada families would have 10 days at the start of each semester to decide whether to stick with distance learning or choose in person, before having to commit one way or the other for the remainder of the semester. – unless there are special circumstances that building administrators should approve.

Enrolling in the online academy would cost families nothing, but Asmus said the Edmentum deal would cost the district $ 1,600 per student per semester for K-5 students, $ 1,500 per student per semester for students in grades 6 to 8 and no supplement. cost for high school students.

Nevada joins the Ames Community School District and others in the state who plan to expand or offer permanent distance learning offerings after the COVID-19 pandemic that disrupted in-person education at over the past year and forced schools, students and families to innovate and adapt.

Phillip Sitter covers education for the Ames Tribune, including the Iowa State University and PreK-12 schools in Ames and elsewhere in Story County. Phillip can be contacted by email at [email protected] He’s on Twitter @pslifeisabeauty.


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