In our previous blog post, we discussed the importance of listening to districts to better understand their online learning needs, and process that NCVPS has established to gather information from districts large and small. Listening allows NCVPS to create the best partnership with each district.
STEP TWO: PARTNERING
In partnering with districts, we have been able to pilot all of our new programs before we bring them to scale. Our partnerships have been instrumental in creating the follow programs:
Occupational Course of Study (OCS) Program – The NCVPS OCS Learning program is our most collaborative partnership. In this program, the NCVPS teacher and the face-to-face OCS teacher work together to teach the course. In North Carolina’s public schools, the OCS program is intended to meet the needs of a group of students with learning disabilities who need a modified curriculum that focuses on post-school employment and independent living. The vast majority of students with disabilities will complete the Future-Ready Core Course of Study with the use of accommodations, modifications, supplemental aids, and services as needed. The OCS program is a modified standard course of study consisting of fifteen courses in English, mathematics, science, occupational preparation and social studies. Our OCS program has greatly exceeded our high expectations and has been nationally recognized.
Mastery Learning Program – NCVPS partnered with three schools to pilot its mastery learning program. NCVPS began using mastery learning when we launched our credit recovery program in 2008. Now the future-of-learning model points toward mastery learning, and we have taken what works so well in our credit recovery program and applied it to our standard courses. In this program, enrollment start and end dates are not time bound. This flexible program gives schools the ability help students in special, often difficult, situations. These situations seldom occur during the traditional enrollment period. Students can start the course at any time and work at their own pace to complete the course. Students who are in a course for first time credit and need another scheduling option can begin the same course in NCVPS from the start of the NCVPS and work at their own pace to complete the course. An NCVPS veteran teacher instructs the mastery course. After a successful pilot test, we were able to launch the program statewide this spring.
English 1 for English Language Learners – NCVPS piloted its new English 1 for English Language Learners course with a single North Carolina school this spring. The course is now ready to be scaled statewide in the fall of 2016. An English 2 version will be ready in the spring of 2017. In the development of this course, NCVPS revised the English 1 course to include SIOP and WIDA-based supports for English Language Learners. A subject-certified, WIDA and SIOP trained teacher instructs the EL students, who read, write, speak, and listen alongside their peers. The course fully aligns with Common Core Standards for English Language Arts and Math and include language development supports for all domains of language.
Physical Education – NCVPS launched physical education online statewide last year. The need for online physical education surfaced when a number of our early college high schools reached out to us through our virtual support center. These schools are on college campuses and have a small faculty. Districts found that college physical education courses were not appropriate for high school students, but their student population was too small to hire a physical education teacher. With that in mind, we developed our Fitness–Physical Education course to meet the North Carolina high school graduation requirement for an entry-level physical education credit. Students can enroll in the stand-alone course for .5 credit or take it in conjunction with our health course for the full one credit. The addition of this course means that high school students can now meet all of their graduation requirements in online NCVPS classes.
Intervention Math 1 – This is one of our newest partnership. We have collaborated with our Department of Public Instruction to create the Intervention Math 1 course, which is a gateway for many students for success in high school. NCVPS will offer these courses as a part of a multi-tiered system of support (MTSS). We will pilot the courses in two high schools in the fall. The pilot will include a collaborative Math 1 teacher in the classroom and the Math 1 virtual teacher. The goal is to meet the immediate needs of struggling math students. We will monitor and adjust the course during the fall pilot.