Students at Grove Public Schools are getting a new path to education.
Superintendent Pat Dodson said, “I still believe that the traditional teacher in a classroom with other students is the best way to reach the students. But I also understand that traditional school is not for everybody.”
Dodson is an old-fashioned kind of school administrator, but he knows the district has to stay ahead of the curve when it comes to how students are educated. That’s why he is launching the district’s very own online virtual school called e-GROVE. It stands for Grove Ridgerunner Online Virtual Education.
The district hired a virtual school coordinator who is also a certified teacher to help online students. But that term – “online student” – doesn’t hold much weight because those students can still have a social school experience and be connected to the school community.
Dodson explained, “Let’s say they want to play football. They can take one class brick and mortar and still have the rest of their classes online. Or if they want to be part of our robotics team. Or we have an award-winning band.”
The superintendent says he knows the district will have to work out the kinks in the first year, but getting into the online school game is vital to the district succeeding because Dodson says more and more students are leaving for online schooling.
But he said, “More than likely, they come back to us, and it seems like they’re a little behind. We end up having to catch them up. Sometimes the test scores . . . When they’re away from school for a long time, we are responsible for those scores but they haven’t been in front of our teachers all this time.”
But no matter if a student learns online or in the classroom, the superintendent says they’ll have all the tools to succeed. “We want success for our kids. We want them to leave our school district being prepared to tackle anything that they want to pursue in their career.”
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