While we don’t know all the details of how the Missoula school will operate this fall, one of the academic shifts of the pandemic will continue into next school year.
Missoula County Public Schools (MCPS) administrators plan to continue the program for K-12 students because it has worked well for some students.
“Some students were at Online Academy because of COVID-related issues. Some students were at Online Academy because they just wanted a different learning format,” explained MCPS Superintendent Rob Watson. . “They wanted a format that could be a bit more flexible in terms of how fast or slow they needed to take the classes. And so the Online Academy actually provided a lot of flexibility that we hadn’t seen before. previously in a traditional school environment.
While studies show that most students do best when they learn in the classroom, Watson says the Online Academy shows it can be a better option for students who are more focused on independent study. He also says it could be a useful tool as MCPS continues to advance graduation for all students.
“The Online Academy just provides another option to keep kids in school and focused on getting that high school diploma,” Watson told MTN News. “So really, I think it’s great that we’ve been able to extend this and it probably has a place in our district for years to come.”
Attendance at the Missoula Online Academy dropped from a high of 1,800 students earlier this year as more returned to classrooms. Despite everything, this week, 1360 students were still enrolled in the program.
Click here to learn more about the Missoula Online Academy.
Note: An earlier version of this story used a count of 200 students enrolled in the Online Academy. MCPS has now clarified this number as noted above.