Purdy’s new idea for online learning

Wednesday, May 8, 2019

Chancellor: ‘Technology has a huge role in education now’

Online learning isn’t anything new in today’s school systems, but Purdy has some ideas for the next school year to accommodate the students who take online courses.

Steven Chancellor, Purdy superintendent, said there are a couple of different virtual learning options offered in Purdy.

“One of them is called Missouri Options, which is for students over the age of 17 and more than one grade level behind their peers,” he said. “It is a way for them to get caught up and to graduate.”

Chancellor said it is a standalone course, so those students would be removed from the normal classroom, and they would go onto the virtual platform.

“The number of students doing that varies,” he said. “Sometimes, we only have one student doing it.”

Chancellor said it is not intended to be a go-to option.

“It is not ideal for us to have students that far behind,” he said. “It is definitely more of an as-needed or when-needed option.”

Chancellor said the school didn’t need a designated teacher for that program, especially if there was a chance that there wouldn’t be any students in it.

“But, then there is the issue of dual credit, and AP class or taking online college classes,” he said. “Those students technically need to be assigned to a teacher.”

Chancellor said since it happens throughout the day, the students would be paired with teachers while they had classes.

“The students would sit in on a class and do their work separately,” he said. “It was working just fine, but we have decided to centrally locate that class.”

Chancellor said a classroom has been dedicated to online courses where the students walk in with their device and do their work.

“One student may be doing AP psychology, and someone may be doing calculus 2 or maybe even advanced chemistry,” he said. “The point is that now, they are in one centralized location with one teacher assigned to them.”

Chancellor said foreign language is another part to this idea.

“We are having more students come to us requesting to get into a class that is something other than Spanish,” he said. “We have been thinking about how we can increase our diversity, and I think the second piece of this is that when a student comes to us that speaks a different language, they are fluent in reading and writing in that language.”

Chancellor said that isn’t always true, and those students need a proper education just the same.

“So, what we hope is that we can take the students that live in a multi-language home and deepen and broaden their education in their native language,” he said. “This would be an online education and in our minds we will pair the program to the student.”

Chancellor said this is the perfect opportunity to try out something like this.

“It is an idea that we have, and we have ideas here all the time,” he said. “If this proves to be ineffective and not helping our students, we will not be too prideful to go back and do something else.”

Chancellor said the district can’t help but acknowledge that technology has a huge role in education now.

“We are excited about it, and we are hoping it works,” he said.

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