Pioneering Georgia Charter Network Taps Potential of Technology to Help At-Risk Students Build Critical Social-Emotional Skills

Mountain Education Charter High School (MECHS), a network of schools serving more than 3,000 students ages 14 to 21 throughout North Georgia, today announced a partnership with digital content developer, Odysseyware, to implement an ambitious new social-emotional learning (SEL) program this fall.

MECHS’s unique approach is rooted in an after-hours program, which offers online classes from 4 pm to 9 pm to serve nontraditional students, including learners who have children, who work during the day, or may have been bullied in a traditional school setting.

“Since 1993, our mission has been providing a second chance for students who no longer attend a conventional day school to complete requirements and earn an accredited high school diploma,” said Pam Smith, Director of Prevention and Intervention Services at MECHS. “We are harnessing the power of technology to integrate the sort of social-emotional development that will serve our students well in college and throughout their careers.”

Through the implementation of the Odysseyware BASE Education platform, students can navigate challenging topics such as anger, irrational thinking, or self-esteem and develop self-awareness, practical skills, and resilience in the face of adversity.

The platform, which includes courses in both English and Spanish, also offers adult companion courses, for parents, guardians, and teachers to understand and communicate with their students about difficult topics. MECHS hopes to use BASE Education to create more collaborative experiences between teachers and students by offering face-to-face interactions with instructors and small group sessions with other students to increase student attendance and engagement.

“Although teachers and school leaders understand the critical importance of social and emotional skills, they often grapple with limitations on time and the complexity of navigating a growing body of research to inform their efforts,” says Odysseyware CEO Matt Given. “Mountain Education’s unique approach reflects the potential of technology to support the development of social and emotional skills alongside powerful interactions with caring and supportive educators.”