District plans to launch Colton Academy virtual school
Colton School District is in the early planning stages of creating an online, or hybrid, high school credit option called Colton Academy.
"The scope, or the end goal, is that in three to five years we'll be able to have a pretty expansive blended program which offers students the opportunity to take classes both in person here, or online from campus, or at their house," CSD Superintendent Dave Kline said.
"We're providing students opportunities that go beyond the typical brick and mortar opportunity you would get because, as a small district, we don't have some of the expansive programs that larger districts have," he added.
Colton Academy would offer virtual "e-core" classes that are taught by the district's high school teachers for core curriculum such as math, science and language arts. These courses are being built out by the district's vendor Paradigm to fit the needs of the district.
Additionally, CSD is partnering with another vendor, Greenways, to offer virtual, asynchronous electives as well as virtual internships. Students will be able to work at their own pace to complete courses in career technical education, business, agriculture, communications and more. Special education courses will also be provided online.
"Colton doesn't have expansive staffing, so we wanted to provide additional opportunities for students looking to take electives," Kline said.
The district does partner with Clackamas Community College, and will continue to do so, to offer in-person and online electives and college credit.
The program will be offered to high school students within the Colton School District but may also attract students from outside the district to attend.
Testing for the pilot program will begin this fall while the district gauges interest and continues to build its online curriculum.
During the pandemic school closures, schools were required to offer an alternative online platform. CSD's current online program, Stride, has about 25 students enrolled. Kline said he expects to see at least that many take advantage of the new Colton Academy and hopes for even more as the program grows.
Kline said a number of teachers at the high school have flexibility and interest in teaching online courses, either from their classroom for a portion of the day or remotely, and not while teaching in-person classes.
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