Distance Learning

Missouri Delivers Virtual Summer School

Middle and high school students across Missouri are earning original credit and recovery credits online by enrolling in the Missouri Online Summer Institute. The virtual summer school, hosted by Grandview R-2 School District, gives students free access to a wide set of online classes delivered by Fuel Education.

Students in grades 7-12 have until July 20 to complete their studies, which cover required courses, electives and computer and technical education classes. Among them are language arts, math, science, social studies, world languages, physical education, fine art and music appreciation, as well as agriculture, health sciences, hospitality and engineering.

The courses are delivered in modules that start with a pre-test to evaluate the student's baseline knowledge of the content. Because the courses are adaptive, the student may advance as quickly as he or she is able.

"The online courses create flexibility for students to complete their courses wherever and whenever they choose, and for our teachers to make accommodations based on students' specific learning needs," said Elaine Schlett, the district's online summer school coordinator, in a press release. "Flexibility is important because students enroll in MOSI for many reasons. Students recover credits, get ahead so they can pursue dual enrollment or internship opportunities during the year, and access courses their home district may not offer."

Grandview student Mitchell Zoph, who began taking courses through the online summer school as a freshman, said he's been able to attend classes unavailable at his own school. "Additionally, I have been able to adapt my learning to focus on my potential career paths and interest because of the many classes offered. It's been incredibly helpful to have the flexibility that comes with these online classes. For me personally, they have been an invaluable resource."

If a student is already attending summer school in another district in the state, by Missouri law, they're prevented from also taking classes in the virtual school. The cost to the district of the summer school curriculum last year, according to board of education minutes, was $20,000.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal and Campus Technology. She can be reached at dian@dischaffhauser.com or on Twitter @schaffhauser.

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