Education Going Virtual In Jenks

Monday, May 7th 2012, 9:54 pm

By: News On 6

Jenks Public Schools will soon offer an alternative to classroom learning.  Students will be able to sign up for online classes in several different courses.

A state law passed last year requires every school district offer online courses.

Jenks already offered Saturday and summer school course online, and now they're opening it up to all students.

Jenks Public Schools knows a traditional classroom setting is not ideal for every student.

So the district is creating a virtual school to focus on ninth through 12th graders.

"We're really excited because this offers more flexibility for our students in arranging student schedules," JPS Assistant Superintendent Debbie Burchfield said.

Burchfield said 400 students are expected to enroll in various math, English, history, science and college prep courses this fall.

Virtual students will be required to attend classes on campus for the first two weeks, then they can work on a computer from anywhere.

"We've done a lot of research on virtual online learning and have determined that a blended approach is the best approach to use with most students," Burchfield said.

Attendance is measured on assignments, communication with teachers, face-to-face meetings with teachers and discussions with classmates.

A certified teacher monitors each student and if grades drop, the student is reassigned to a regular classroom.

"We feel like our students really need to have these kinds of opportunities so that they'll be better prepared when they go out into the world of work or higher education," Burchfield said.

Jenks Public Schools isn't sure yet whether the virtual school will cost or save the district money.

It's also too early to say if it will help with overcrowding.

But the district is certain virtual students will be much more common in the future.

Students can eventually take more courses online than they would be able to in a six-period school day.

You can learn more about the virtual school by clicking on the Jenks website.


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