Idaho virtual school selects Starfish student tracking system

On June 1, Idaho Distance Learning Academy (IDLA) adopted Starfish Retention Solutions, Inc., a provider of student success systems, to help identify at-risk students and connect them with support resources to assist them.

IDLA is a state virtual school, established in 2002 by the Idaho legislature to provide Idaho students with more access to a greater variety of courses. The school was created to address the needs of all Idaho students—traditional, homeschooled, at-risk, gifted and adult learners. IDLA served almost 10,000 enrollments in the 2008-09 school year, and offers online courses to students as a way to recover academic credit, resolve scheduling conflicts so students can maintain a job while completing their education, getting ahead in classes, or accessing a course not available at their local traditional school.

The school chose Starfish based on its ability to immediately notify the appropriate IDLA team members when a student has not logged in to the course management system for more than seven days. Starfish communicates a similar concern when a student receives two consecutive progress reports with scores of less than 70 percent. The school hopes this will identify at-risk students more quickly, and give them the help they need to succeed.

The program is accessible with a single log-in to the school’s course management system. Starfish EARLY ALERT™ is an early warning and student tracking system, while Starfish CONNECT™ is an education networking support system that helps students access a contact list of instructors, advisors and counselors. The systems work together to generate performance data for the school.