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eDCSD provides flexible learning opportunities for all Douglas County students

Registration underway for summer and fall sessions

CASTLE ROCK – Online courses offered through eDCSD, Douglas County School District’s own online school, are providing students and their families more flexibility, without sacrificing quality.

“I think one of the greatest values we offer is that you are not compromising on any rigor or anything else that you would expect from any other DCSD school, but you are getting all of the benefits of choice,” explained eDCSD principal Kristy Hart. “You have the benefits of flexibility, but still the accountability that you would expect from every Douglas County school.”

Just like courses in our more traditional neighborhood classrooms, all lessons are tied to the District’s Guaranteed and Viable Curriculum and result in DCSD credits. Because the courses are offered online, students can choose to study whenever and wherever it is most convenient for them.

“You can study from anywhere; whether you’re at school, at the library or at home,” explained DCSD Director of High School Education Corey Wise.

This flexibility has made eDCSD the natural choice for DCSD students involved in competitive sports or those whose families have transferred overseas.

“We have students who live all over the country, all over the world,” said Hart. “There is a component of virtual live classroom time, but for students who need a little more flexibility, it is recorded. So, if, for whatever reason, they can’t make the class, they’re not missing out; they can watch it later in the day or at any point.”

The online school is also the perfect choice for students in neighborhood schools who want or need a little extra flexibility. They can opt to take a single course, including everything from core courses to physical education, to meet their needs.

“When you have high school kids taking specialty classes that they love, they can double up in a content area,” Wise explained. “You may have students who want to take two or three band classes, for instance. That can make it hard to fit in all the required courses, but eDCSD is an excellent way to do it all.”



VIDEO: Learn more about eDCSD

 

Because eDCSD does not operate under the same constraints as a traditional brick and mortar school, it is also uniquely suited to personalize learning for students from kindergarten to twelfth grade. In fact, several

of the District's elementary and middle schools utilize eDCSD courses to challenge gifted students.

“For example, we have a fourth-grade student coming in this next year, who has exceeded seventh-grade math. It is difficult for the elementary school to provide a personalized approach at the rigor that one child needs, whereas eDCSD already has that structure built, so we have developed a partnership,” Hart explained.

eDCSD can offer similar assistance for students who want to take Advanced Placement courses

“[At a traditional high school] you cannot run an AP course with four kids, because that is not a viable option for a school’s budget,” explained Hart. “We do not have the same constraints, in terms of staffing.”

“Most of our courses are synchronous, which means that there is a component with live interaction with teachers,” Hart said. “The course is through their computer, but there is an opportunity for direct one-on-one or small group learning with teachers.”

“We have great teachers that are teaching the class at eDCSD. It is not just a computer,” added Wise. “There are teachers working with kids. Students working with each other, creating projects and developing their learning.”

It also helps develop the time-management skills that they’ll need in college. Plus, it prepares who might choose to pursue online degrees in the future.

“It provides some practice now, so they’re more confident and successful. It will only set them up for more success in the future,” Wise said.

There are also options through eDCSD for students who may need a little extra support.

“We have blended learning, where students come in one day a week for a high engagement content, which focuses on remedial skills development for those that need it,” Hart said. “We also have support staff that reach out to kids who are maybe not as good at self-management or time management skills. They’ll reach out to develop a schedule with them, they’ll check in on them every day to see how they’re doing on assignments.”

eDCSD is currently accepting registrations for their second intensive summer session (which primarily focuses on the second semester of courses), as well as the fall term. Learn more at edcsd.org/enroll

June 19, 2015 | By rmbarber | Category: Schools

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