I'm looking for feedback on a topic that I don't believe many schools do. Our district is moving to bring our cyber students, homeschoolers, etc. back into our schools by providing them with access to a cyber school in our buildings. The cyber school would be created within the district; therefore the district would receive that student's funding.

 

Our high school is currently doing it. Next year it will be moving to our middle and elementary schools.

 

Anyone have any experience with cyberschool?

 

Are there any schools, besides highschools, that follow this model? How has it worked? Any feedback would be greatly appreciated.

Tags: cyberschool

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our school district is creating their own cyber school to bring the kids back - they get roughly 10 grand per kid that comes back. from my understanding the kids don't need to be in the building, but enrolled in the program
Interesting question. My (public) school district is traveling down this same road. They're putting resources in developing online classes that (roughly) can be divided into three types:

1) Bare Minimum (ie - an online class that features a teacher's syllabus, few announcements, etc.)
2) Integrated (a class that uses online resources in combination with brick and mortar resources)
3) Full Online and self-contained (classes that don't require students to attend a building)

Understandably, full online classes take time to develop (and there's the issue of compensating teachers for developing such classes)...particularly if you want them to pedagogically sound.

Anyway, one upside of this is that the district hopes to attract home schoolers or private school kids because of offerings. Add to the fact that Ohio's kicking around different ideas of what constitutes "learning time" (one possible outcome is that districts might receive reimbursement for a "unit of learning" instead of straight up full time attendance of a school) .

My district's not there yet. But they're planning for the future.
I'm intrigued by the idea of developing your own online course and being compensated for it...

Are there any restrictions or criteria for kids to have to take these classes? It's my understanding in our district, that any reason will go for a kid choosing to take these classes (challenge, student/teacher conflict, mom says, etc.)
I should add this is all very tentative. My job position (eLearning Coordinator) was created this year. It's a new position but it was created because my district has a hunch that this is the direction education is going and they want to be prepared.

The "Bare Minimum" level of classes are geared towards all students in the district. The full online classes are really going to be aimed at 2 types of students (at least at first). The underperformers (those students who typically don't function well in a "normal" educational environment) and the super performers (your students who load up on the AP courses).

As for compensation...in my experience a good online course takes hours and hours (250+) of development...and then guiding/teaching the class takes large amounts of time as well. IMO you need to either provide financial incentives for teachers or reduce their workload to make it happen.
What I'm struggling with is the fact that we have a MONTH to make a decision and have a model in place. I agree with you Stewart, it's not "an end all , be all". It would be beneficial to some kids at certain times in their lives and educational career.
This is my second year to teach Spanish for the Louisiana Virtual School. I am guessing this cyber school will be similar. I really enjoy it. The most difficult thing for me is to have the time to develop the relationship with the student. Although they enjoy not sitting in a classroom, they still want individual attention. I spend LOTS of time on the computer and on the phone!
Cheryl - is your school a public school or privately owned? and what level is it? We're looking at doing this at the elementary and middle school level - where every kid not only wants the individual attention, but needs the individual attention.
I teach face to face at a public school. The virtual school is run through the state. I teach 9-12 graders who attend public and private schools.

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