“Over the past few years, we have been losing students to online charter schools,” explained Grove superintendent Pat Dodson.
And, to help combat that issue, the Grove Public School District has launched “e-Grove.”
Students who are heavily involved in activities or who have other obligations can attend school virtually online.
They can also take some classes in-person as well.
“Kids that were leaving and going to charter schools, eventually, end up coming back to us,” Dodson continued.
Statistics show these kids are often a year to two years behind.
“And then, we have those kids that we have to give the state tests to and we are responsible for their scores, yet they haven’t been in front of our teachers,” said Dodson.
The district has partnered with Edgenuity for the curriculum.
Grove has a virtual school coordinator to monitor attendance and progress.
“We now offer it kindergarten through 12th grade and right now, we have around fifty students,” explained program coordinator Charla Matthews.
But, she says she sees the program gaining momentum.
“I think we will have a lot of students who want to try it out and see and we’ll offer it to our students,” Matthews added. “If this is something you think you want to do, you can try it for awhile and you as a family can make that decision whether this is best for you”
Matthews does believe this is a unique opportunity for students.
“It does, I think, prepare them for the world they are going to have after high school graduation, whether it’s college or going out to the workforce or finding another training area,” said Matthews. “This is a way for them to gain that responsibility.”
Officials add students have to be prepared to compete with global economies and experiences like this help with that.
This is the pilot year of e-Grove, so they will be evaluating what works and make changes as needed.