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Friday, March 9, 2018
Oakridge Virtual Learning Program
Online for-profit schools are expanding statewide, even nation wide, and recruiting students to make money. Students get a laptop, a login code, and a few communications per week from someone you may never meet in person. That’s it.
The Oakridge Personalized Virtual Learning Program is so much more! We have Mrs. Barry, who is a dedicated virtual learning specialist wrapping her care and concern around every student to meet their individual needs. All participants are Oakridge students making them eligible to access all the services and extra-curricular programs (sports and fine arts) Oakridge offers. Oakridge has counselors, a career specialist, a college access advisor, and a number of partners to provide wellness services ranging from medical, dental, and behavioral health services onsite at our Teen Health Center. Our virtual students earn high school credit and can graduate with a high school diploma from Oakridge Public Schools.
Our mission at Oakridge Public Schools is “All students, safe and healthy, college and workplace prepared”. We want all students to leave high school enrolled, enlisted, or employed. But the needs of every student can be very different. That’s why the Board of Education approved the Oakridge Personalized Virtual Learning Program.
Currently, Mrs. Barry is advising 31 students that are learning online and remotely in some capacity, while remaining an Oakridge High School student. These students may be spending part of their day in a normal classroom setting, at the Career Tech Center, or in a job setting. The other portion of their day is filled with online course work. Students also have an option to be fully remote, or just take two courses online while remaining a traditional student. Students can take a full online course, or participate in the Michigan Virtual College Readiness program for a little added challenge.
Course work in the Oakridge Personalized Virtual Learning program is set up to mirror the requirements of a physical classroom. The difference is, students are now able to learn at their own pace. Each course offers students a course map, which lays out the entire list of requirements that must be met to earn the credit. Progress reports allow a student to keep an eye on how they are doing throughout the course, and manage their time accordingly. If a subject is too difficult, they may need to boost the amount of sessions logged each week, for example. Mrs. Barry recommends a student works on five activities each day. All tests are proctored on site at Oakridge High School, in Mrs. Barry’s classroom. She is also available throughout the day to help any students that may need extra guidance in their coursework.
As we finish the inaugural year of this program, it’s easy to see how necessary the program is to our students. As a district, we are very grateful to be allowed the opportunity to develop such a forward-thinking program to offer our students, in creating a personalized learning plan to earn their high school diploma. To learn more about the Oakridge Personalized Virtual Learning Program, and see if it is the right fit for you or your student, please contact Mrs. Barry or the High School Office at 788-7300.