Flexibility in the “One Room Schoolhouse” in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania

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Flexibility in the “One Room Schoolhouse” in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania

Selinsgrove Area High School - Selinsgrove, PA
Matthew Lehman
Teacher
900 Students
Grades 9 to 12
Courseware
15% Special Education
36% Free or Reduced Lunch
The Challenge: 

It is no secret that the past decade has been a tumultuous one in education. Evolving accountability standards, changes in funding methodologies, and demographic shifts have all made it more challenging than ever for schools and districts to provide a high-quality, differentiated education for every student.

Such factors tend to affect smaller, rural schools more acutely as they often lack the resources to make many curricular changes. When Selinsgrove Area High School in rural central Pennsylvania first considered a blended learning solution nine years ago, their original goal was to provide a cyber school to compete with other such offerings that were syphoning off students from their roster.

But as the district (and education landscape) evolved, so too did the use cases in which online learning could have an impact.

“We are always looking for ways to better individualize learning in the school,” says Selinsgrove hybrid teacher Matthew Lehman. “The goal is always to get students to graduation on time, whether that is through credit recovery, alternatives to the classroom setting, or the full cyber school approach.”

Originally used as a cyber school solution to reattract students to the district, Edmentum Courseware has allowed this high school in rural Pennsylvania to offer blended learning options that fit all students’ needs, even if they learn best in the “one-room schoolhouse” approach. Now, more students are taking ownership of their learning and graduating on time.
How They Did it: 

The Approach

When Selinsgrove first adopted Courseware nine years ago, the original goal was to win back some students that had opted for out-of-district online schools, but they quickly realized that at-home learning opens up more options for all students.

Now, Mr. Lehman operates out of a classroom in the high school that has been unofficially dubbed “the one-room schoolhouse”, for the wide variety of courses it is able to deliver and students it is able to serve.

“The students embrace the flexibility when it comes to assignments that are due. Students need to complete their work by the end of the semester… It gives them some ownership of their learning and forces them to ask ‘What do I have to do to keep everything on track?’” Mr. Lehman says.

Every online course is assessed by a Selinsgrove teacher. They choose what they want to use for assessments and assignments so the course matches district parameters.

Over the course of a school year, 50 or more students per semester are engaging with Courseware, either in the high school’s classroom or at home.

Implementing Edmentum

The most important feature of Edmentum Courseware for Selinsgrove is the ability to customize courses to meet their needs and requirements. For example, the school wanted to make changes to the Geometry content, so teachers worked to align the online assignments and assessments with how the course is taught in their traditional classrooms.

Once content is loaded, Selinsgrove has found Courseware to be very student-friendly, especially after students complete a required in-person training period. This training cuts down on the time Mr. Lehman has to spend troubleshooting so he can focus on supporting students’ academic needs.

“I have students working all day long while I supervise what they’re doing. Courseware allows me to balance the in-person and virtual needs of all students.”

The students embrace the flexibility when it comes to assignments… It gives them some ownership of their learning and forces them to ask ‘What do I have to do to keep everything on track?’
Matthew Lehman
Teacher
Success: 

Over the 2017-18 school year, 62 Selinsgrove students worked with Edmentum Courseware, earning 84 credits toward graduation. Roughly half of those students were not on pace to graduate when they started their online courses. Overall, 20 students were able to graduate that would have found it very difficult to do so without the option of online learning either at home or in the “one-room schoolhouse”.

The district also enjoys having Courseware available as an option to address special cases and unique student circumstances. For example, a middle school student was able to keep up with their work while their father led a semester abroad program for a local college, giving that student the ability to take part in a real-world educational experience while meeting their academic requirements back home.

The Future: 

If anything, the challenges faced by Selinsgrove Area High School over the years in their online learning program have been due to their success. Mandating a training period for students has helped with the logistics, freeing up Mr. Lehman to support more of the in-person needs of his students. The school is looking forward to expanding the program and growing in staff to support more students.

For more infomation:

Contact 800.447.5286 or visit www.edmentum.com to learn more about Edmentum's online learning solutions.

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