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Broadening Options for At-Risk Students in Riverside, CA

Broadening Options for At-Risk Students in Riverside, CA
School Name and Location: 
Riverside County Office of Education
The Challenge: 

The Riverside County Office of Education (RCOE), located in Riverside, California, provides administrative and alternative education services for the 23 independent school districts within the county. It does this through a centralized office in Riverside and 25 locations, including regional learning centers, court school programs, and other sites serving high school dropouts, expelled students, and pregnant/parenting teens.

"We operate community, teen parent, court, and dropout recovery programs," explained principal Janice Delagrammatikas. "About half of our programs are independent study programs. We operate classrooms in 19 different locations." Although students come to these centers for various reasons–including expulsion, justice issues, and lack of childcare–the students all have one goal: recovering the credits they are missing so that they can eventually graduate and lead productive lives. When RCOE wanted to expand the course options for these students, it needed a more comprehensive online solution to service these various locations.

How They Did it: 

The needs of the students in RCOE alternative education programs are varied. Some students needed test preparation to pass California's state assessments or the GED® test. Credit recovery was obviously a requirement for various student populations. Response to intervention support, particularly in self-contained environments, was also needed. Above all, students just wanted more courses, including electives. Plato Courseware met all of those needs.

Teachers assign and monitor the work they want to see completed in Plato Courseware. Students are able to access their courses in the centers, in a computer lab, at the local library, or at home. That kind of flexibility is important when students could be in a juvenile hall or available at only certain times of the day because they are taking care of their children.

Success: 

Last year, RCOE alternative programs graduated nearly 300 students, including almost 50 students classified as English language learners and nearly 100 students with disabilities. It's fair to assume that many of those students would not have graduated if it weren't for RCOE's creativity and dedication to pursuing alternative programs. Overall, the graduation rate for Riverside County outpaced that of the state of California. "Plato provided us more course options for the students and additional time for students to access the instruction," said Delagrammatikas.

The Future: 

RCOE is currently looking at more ways of diversifying its alternative education program to reach more at-risk students. It is encouraged by the flexibility that Plato Courseware has shown in meeting its needs and is confident that Edmentum can handle any new challenge RCOE would like to tackle.

For more information:

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