DeKalb Administration — Please take notes:
From Jon Rogers – Georgia’s Race to the Top >>
For any student seeking credit recovery or credit advancement options, Savannah-Chatham County Public School’s Twilight High School Program will likely meet his or her needs. The Twilight program provides a blended learning environment in which students can access online courses anytime, anywhere. Twilight has instructors qualified to teach in all major academic areas. Blended instruction includes an online curriculum aligned to state standards, called A+, and teacher-driven assignments. The Twilight Program Manager, Debbie Fischer, has witnessed firsthand how the combination of online courses, coupled with access to classroom instructors, can lead to most efficacious results. “Students have the opportunity to work independently and with their instructors,” said Debbie Fischer.
Students may attend the Twilight program part-time or full-time, making it ideally suited for any student need. Those who have children or are employed, or those who are homebound due to medical issues, can benefit from the Twilight program. “There are students who are behind and want to get caught up; maybe they have failed a course here or there,” Fischer said. “There are some who want to graduate early and only need a few more credits, so they do this instead of going to their home schools; or they go to their home schools and also attend Twilight.”
Although the program’s flexibility allows students to work independently and at their own pace, the courses are designed to be just as challenging as traditional teacher-led instruction in a traditional classroom setting. Students may gain credits in all core classes, CTAE classes and even Personal Fitness. Students must meet all course deadlines and complete testing, lab requirements, and any other assignments for mastery of the course within the ten-week period. They are also required to keep a course log and journal to document time spent on assignments. “It’s as rigorous as it is in the regular, conventional classroom,” Fischer said. “Because it’s self-paced, they are responsible for their own learning, and their instructors are there to assist and aid them when needed.”
The first year, there were 108 students in the program, and those students earned a total of 154 credits. The program was housed at Woodville-Tompkins Technical and Career High School. The second year, the district decided to expand the program to all high school students who either wanted to take courses they had failed, or those who wanted to take advanced and accelerated courses. That year, there were over 800 students enrolled in the program, and they earned over 1,600 credits. The 2012-13 school year brought even more prosperous growth to the Twilight program. The school district showed its full support for Twilight by allowing all schools within the district to set up and conduct their own programs based on the original. Savannah-Chatham had 1,500 students enrolled, and those students earned over 1,888 credits! Students may gain credits in all core classes, CTAE classes and even Personal Fitness.
Participation costs nothing for students already enrolled in the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System. Twilight is funded by a $12.7 million grant made possible through the Georgia Race to the Top Initiative. “It is a great opportunity for those students who really want to get back on track, or get ahead and graduate from high school,” Fischer said.
Savannah-Chatham Receives K12 2013 Transformation Award
K12 Inc. (LRN), a provider of curricula and online education programs for students in pre-kindergarten through high school, honored six school districts that have transformed education for their students through innovative online programs at the Blended and Online Learning Symposium; a conference hosted by the International Association of K-12 Online Learning (iNACOL) in October.
The winners of the K12® 2013 Transformation Award were each selected for a transformative practice that resulted in improving the overall effectiveness, efficiency, and success of online learning, ultimately leading to improved student outcomes. “These school districts are proving every day that through blended and online learning they can successfully address the individual needs of more of their students,” said Gregg Levin, senior vice president of K12’s school and district partnerships. “We are very proud to partner with each of these districts, working together to provide solutions to help their students achieve their academic goals.”
Savannah Chatham County Public Schools was the Transformation Award Winner for Extending the Learning Day to Keep Students on the Path to Graduation.