Floyd County Schools Launches a New Online Academy
Floyd County Schools Launches a New Online Academy
Posted on 03/26/2018
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In an effort to find solutions for every child in Floyd County, both technological and instructional, Floyd County Schools (FCS) excitedly announces the creation of a new online academy that will start in the 2018-19 school year! By speaking with parents in the community concerned and looking to close the gap for children that don’t fit into the typical school day model, as well as offer more extracurricular activities for homeschooled students, FCS Assistant Superintendent and Chief Academics Officer John Parker and Executive Director of Technology and Media Services Craig Ellison set out to improve both dilemmas by embarking on a journey with online learning. 

“We strive everyday to meet the needs of all children,” said Parker. “Homeschooled students can’t typically participate in athletics, the arts, and pathways at the College and Career Academy, so they come back to the traditional school environment to gain the exposure to those activities. This nontraditional school environment will allow FCS students the flexibility to progress through core content at their own pace while still affording them the opportunity to engage in extracurricular programs at little to no cost.”

FCS is able to accomplish the launch of the online academy within the confines of the budget. The Technology Department has built infrastructure out for the last decade with the one to one chromebook initiative for all students, as well as adopting a new software that offers an online seat for every child grades 6-12. By enrolling 30 new students, the cost of the new online academy is covered by funds from the state for Full-Time Equivalent students. 

“This unique opportunity for a blended education between homeschool and public school environments gives homeschooled students greater access to both courseware and extracurricular activities,” said FCS Superintendent Dr. John Jackson. “It’s a creative way to offer more courses and open doors to have greater participation in our program offerings. FCS is being cost efficient and effective by using teachers with online endorsement to get the virtual academy going, though, if the demand is there for enrollment, we will be able to generate enough state funding to provide more jobs in Floyd County for educators.” 

The first year will be by application only and will be open to a small cohort of only 30 students in grades 6-12. Online academy students will be enrolled as FCS students at the designated school they are geographically closest to. Like the traditional high school students, they will be issued a chromebook at the beginning of the upcoming 2018-19 school year, and have opportunities to participate in all FCS programs while taking all core content at home. FCS is partnering with Odesseyware to provide the instructional core content with rigor and robust curriculum that students need in order to stay on track with their peers. Certified FCS teachers with the Online Teaching Endorsement will be paid a stipend to monitor student progress and proctor student exams. 

A typical day for an online academy student might be that they take their core classes at home in the morning, go to the College and Career Academy in the afternoon with whatever learning pathway they choose, then go to their designated school to participate in athletic or fine arts programs. 

“This online learning academy is learning reimagined,” said Ellison. “You’re reimagining how learning is for kids. We want to give them the rigorous and robust curriculum that our students need with the time flexibility that individual students may need to work for them.”

The online academy will be referred to as OASIS, which stands for Organized Academic Structure for Individual Students. Applications will launch Tuesday, May 1, 2018. An informational meeting will be scheduled during the month of May for anyone interested in applying for the 2018-19 school year. 

Listen to a Hometown Headlines interview about the launch of the online academy HERE.