Students in Scappoose have online option this fall
With an expected return to normalcy — or near-normalcy — this September, youngsters in the Scappoose School District will be back to Monday through Friday classroom instruction. But the district is offering families a choice.
It's called the Scappoose Online Academy, and through it, students can continue online learning.
"It's a comprehensive program for kindergarten through 12th-grade students," said Superintendent Tim Porter. "We wanted to give our students more options coming out of this last year where we were doing comprehensive distance learning."
Porter continued, "We just thought that giving families another option for how to participate in our district, in schooling, would be a good idea."
The online academy will use multiple research-based curriculums that meet local, state and national standards and will use Florida Virtual School, Edgenuity and Apex to meet the needs of all students.
As the Scappoose School District's website explains, "We are expanding our learning options to accommodate students who may not be ready to return to face-to-face instruction due to coronavirus concerns and continue to serve students of all ages who have found online learning to be a good fit."
The online academy will require the completion of an application, or intent to enroll, which is available on the website. Students admitted to Scappoose Online Academy will be required to commit to the academy for the entire school year.
"Unlike other online education options, Scappoose Online Academy allows students to be taught by a teacher from their community, cultivates relationships that will support all stakeholders, and enables graduates to earn a diploma from their local high school," the district website explains.
The district says enrollment at the academy provides students access to school athletics, extracurricular clubs and hands-on elective courses at Scappoose High School.
Brad McKedy, the school administrator overseeing the project, wants to get the word out to the community.
"We're going to get some more messaging out and do some more advertising, making sure that they are aware of these options that we're providing them," McKedy said.
Porter says online learning is an option that may continue well into the future.
"One of the things that this pandemic showed us is that there are some families and students who actually thrive in an online environment," Porter said. "There are others that just want to have that choice available to them, rather than going to the typical brick-and-mortar location for their schooling."
Porter continued, "We just saw this as an opportunity for our district to be able to offer more choice to families. That was really the main impetus behind setting it up."
According to Porter, the decision to set up an online academy for the 2021-22 school year did not have anything to do with a reported 22 student positive COVID-19 cases in the district over the past several weeks. Porter said district officials have been discussing an online program for more than a year.
Porter is pleased to offer the Scappoose Online Academy as an option this coming school year.
"I am always for giving students and families more choice in how they access their education," Porter said. "I think this is another way that our district is able to do this for those students and families who feel like online learning is their best option."
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