Distance Learning | News

Oregon District Adds Online School, Courses To Provide Student Flexibility

In an effort to provide students with more flexibility, Lebanon Community Schools has launched an online school for K-12 students, dubbed Oregon iSchool, as well as online instruction for special education, enrichment, advanced studies, and alternative education in its brick-and-mortar schools.

Located in rural Oregon and facing "high unemployment, homelessness, and other related issues that can make going to school a challenge for many students," the district "decided to implement an online learning program that would allow for scheduling and pacing flexibility," according to a news release.

"We know well that when it comes to students, one size does not fit all," said Kim Fandino, online program coordinator for Lebanon Community Schools, in a prepared statement. "With online learning, we have all of the resources we need to help each student progress in his or her own way."

The district is using K12's K-8 curriculum for Oregon iSchool students in grades K-5, and the company's Aventa Learning for students in grades 6-12. Aventa Learning is also in use at the district's other schools to provide additional opportunities for students, and both programs employ K12 teachers certified in Oregon, as well as in-person support from district teachers.

Features of K12's K-8 curriculum include:

  • Online and offline teaching tools;
  • Interactive animations;
  • Original CDs and videos;
  • Hands-on experiments;
  • Lesson plans integrated across subject;
  • Online Assessments integrated with planning and progress tools; and
  • An individualized approach, so students don't move on to new subjects until they're ready.

Features of Aventa Learning include:

  • More than 140 courses to choose from;
  • Multimedia resources;
  • Compatibility with Blackboard, eCollege, Moodle, Desire2Learn, Angel, and homegrown or proprietary learning management systems;
  • Teacher training; and
  • An around-the-clock student help desk.

The district is also using K12's A+nyWhere Learning System (A+LS), which is designed to help provide remediation or acceleration, to customize courses.

"We want to meet all of our students' needs, whether they are preparing for college or a career, and help them go further than they ever thought possible," said Rob Hess , superintendent of Lebanon Community Schools, in a prepared statement. "With online learning, our district can enable students to become 21st century learners by providing them the rigorous curriculum, tools, and support they need to succeed."

Located in East Linn County approximately 80 miles from Portland, OR, Lebanon Community Schools. According to the Oregonian, 321 of the district's students were homeless in 2009, representing more than seven percent of the student body.

About the Author

Joshua Bolkan is contributing editor for Campus Technology, THE Journal and STEAM Universe. He can be reached at [email protected].