CENTENARY — Gallipolis City School District, like others across the state, has developed an online program for local students who struggle in the traditional classroom. A program that began in 2014 with six students has grown and is now witnessing success stories.
GCSD initially began the online program for the same reason as many school districts, when students left their classrooms so did necessary state funding – it was happening in such numbers that a response was necessary. This led to the joint partnership with the Virtual Community School (VCS) of Ohio, an online educational system that provides curriculum, teachers, and laptops for students enrolled in the program. What makes this specific arrangement unique is the partnership between GCSD and VCS is the role local educator Dave Perry has with the students.
One of the largest criticisms on online education is the lack of accountability, Perry’s job is to remain in contact and mentor the students in the online program, to monitor their progress, and to assist in anyway he can.
“The kids have my personal cell number. I’m getting calls in the evenings, weekends, 24 hours a day seven days a week,” Perry explained. “I am always on call to help these students with whatever I can.”
According to GCSD Superintendent Roger Mace, it is beneficial to offer multiple avenues of learning for students.
“Anytime we can provide students with different options to learn, then we are giving them other avenues to be successful,” Mace said.
As a result of the program, five students have earned their high school diploma in the 2015-16 school year; one of whom had previously dropped out of high school.
“If we can do something to help a student succeed, you can bet were going to do it, ”Principal Josh Donley said.
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