News and Trends
Back-Office Business: How Schools Get It Done: October 2010
Arizona district combines
online with on-campus
The challenge: The Vail (Arizona) School District has become one of the few
districts statewide that were approved to be Arizona Online Instruction (AOI)
providers. This means that students in the district can take some of their regular
classes online during the school day.
Let’s get physical
The solution: The combination of classes varies for each student depending
on his or her needs and desires. Whereas one student may take three classes
online and his other three classes (including AP courses) on campus, another
student may choose simply to take Art or PE first thing in the morning, leaving
the rest of her day open for working on online classes. All students taking a class
on campus at the VAHS receive a netbook to use while enrolled in that class.
The challenge: The state of Florida requires 150
minutes of physical education each week, but not
all schools can build that much time into the weekly
schedule with a certified PE teacher.
California schools pilot
new iPad algebra curriculum
The solution: Almost 40 schools have turned
to a new online physical education program for grades three through five from
Florida Virtual Schools. The 30-minute online course incorporates physical exercise
by setting activities to music and by using numbered mats that reinforce
academic skills and allow classroom teachers to provide practice for FCAT -tested
skills such as multiplication, addition, and subtraction. By adding this physical
time to other weekly PE activities, these Florida schools are able to enhance their
program, and meet the state’s 150 hour-a-week requirement.
The challenge: California Secretary of Education Bonnie Reiss joined Long
Beach Unified School District Superintendent Christopher Steinhauser and others
recently at Washington Middle School in Long Beach to launch a year-long
pilot of the first full-curriculum Algebra app for the Apple iPad. The pilot also
represents the launch of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt’s HMH Fuse, a new mode of
curriculum delivery that uses interactive platforms and mobile devices.
The solution: Empirical Education Inc., a Silicon Valley research organization,
will compare students using the new iPad-delivered content to those using conventional
textbooks. A report on the research findings is expected in fall 2011.