The Indiana Area School District already had an established virtual high school with content made in-house. With an A La Carte model, Indiana Area High School was able to use resources from the virtual school to create online courses. The model gives many students the opportunity to take online courses without making the entire school transition to blended learning.
At first, it was challenging to redistribute enough teacher-time within the school day to accommodate the online courses. School administrators had to make some creative scheduling decisions; for instance, they combined the school's online algebra and geometry courses into one class period. Teachers and administrators attended school board meetings to express their concerns about staffing the online courses. Their advocacy resulted in increased time and funding foronline teachers.
'Professional development is key,' said Holly Rougeaux, Indiana Area School District's Coordinator of Instructional Technology. 'Even if you start with just a small pilot group, it's important to have teachers ready to go.' Rougeaux says that communication with all teachers and stakeholders also is essential. To achieve this, the district has hosted collaborative PD workshops that teachers can attend online through Google+ Hangouts.
Indiana Area High School serves students from Indiana and Shelocta Boroughs and the surrounding White and Armstrong Townships. The school began developing A La Carte online courses to give more students access to popular courses and to expand the brick-and-mortar component of the district's virtual high school, IDEAL Virtual Academy. The high school currently offers A La Carte online courses in multiple core subjects and electives.
Contact: Holly Rougeaux
Indiana Area High School
450 N 5th St
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