Opening Doors of Opportunity for Rural Students in Goodrich, Texas

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Opening Doors of Opportunity for Rural Students in Goodrich, Texas

Goodrich Middle and High School - Goodrich, TX
Lara Devillier
Secondary Principal
60 Students
Grades 6 to 12
Courseware
EdOptions Academy
95% economically disadvantaged students
10% of disadvantage students in dual credit classes
The Challenge: 

Goodrich Middle and High School is a small school in Goodrich, Texas, with an enrollment of only 60 students. Many districts have difficulty recruiting and retaining teachers for specialized subjects like science and foreign languages, and in a small town, this difficulty is even more pronounced. When Lara Devillier joined the school as secondary principal, she knew she had a lot of work to do.

“When I first came, we didn't have a lot of options as far as hiring in those areas [science and foreign languages], and we also didn't have pathways—we didn't have a lot of options for our kids,” Ms. Devillier explained.

Ms. Devillier heard about Edmentum at a CTE convention, and after learning more about how Edmentum helps districts provide more course options for students, she decided to move forward with a partnership.

"Edmentum offered a teacher of record and courses, which was exactly what we needed,” Ms. Devillier reported.

Goodrich Middle and High School had difficulty recruiting the teachers needed due to its size and location. After weighing its options, the school partnered with Edmentum to allow students to take some of their courses online through Edmentum Courseware with a state-certified Edmentum teacher. Students struggled at first but eventually rose to the challenge and succeeded. With new higher levels of achievement, many students are now able to take dual enrollment courses through the University of Texas.
How They Did it: 

Goodrich Middle and High School started its partnership with Edmentum by implementing EdOptions Academy, which includes Edmentum’s online curriculum, along with Texas-certified online teachers. Goodrich Middle and High School started with the specific classes it needed: Spanish 1, Spanish 2, Chemistry, and Physics, and the school realized that this opened up a lot of other opportunities for its students.

Students struggled in the online courses at first because it was difficult for them to get used to the self-management it takes to complete coursework online and perform to the high expectations of their Edmentum teachers. Upon noticing their children struggling, parents voiced their concerns to Ms. Devillier as well, and she simply explained to them that she knew their students could rise to the challenge. The faculty and staff at Goodrich Middle and High School and their Edmentum online teachers were determined to help the students succeed and continued to push them to complete assignments successfully. Over time, the students acclimated to the rigor of the courses and the self-discipline needed.

"Edmentum really did help us strengthen our academic program," Ms. Devillier relayed.

On occasion, Goodrich Middle and High School uses Edmentum’s solution, Courseware, to expand its course offerings to better suit student interests. For example, two students approached Ms. Devillier to explore their options for an elective course, as they had no interest in taking shop class, which is what was offered on campus. With hopes of becoming nurses one day, they enrolled in the Courseware Medical Terminology course instead.

Another unique opportunity arose as one of the teachers at Goodrich Middle and High School prepared for her composite science test. Once she passed it, she would be certified to teach all science courses.

"She was our certified life science teacher, and she really wanted to get a composite, so she decided to take the [Edmentum] online course with her students,” Ms. Devillier said. The teacher was better able to support students working through the content, as she was working through it herself. After completing the course, she passed the test. Ms. Devillier continued, “She ended up being the Texas Medical Science Rookie Teacher of the Year. She was amazing.”

Ms. Devillier is an advocate for her school’s partnership with Edmentum. To ensure continued student growth and proficiency, she does frequent check-ins, which she calls Edmentum Blitzes. During an Edmentum Blitz, all teachers report on their students’ progress in their courses. If a student is doing poorly or falling behind, Ms. Devillier and the faculty reach out to parents and figure out a plan for that individual student.

I truly believe that zip codes shouldn’t define a kid’s opportunities.
Lara Devillier
Secondary Principal
Success: 

Now, Goodrich Middle and High School offers a full range of courses, even in the midst of a teacher shortage, and the school attributes its 100% graduation rate with its ability to address each student’s needs.

“I truly believe that zip codes shouldn’t define a kid’s opportunities,” Ms. Devillier said.

Also, Ms. Devillier has taken her school’s course offerings up a notch and now partners with the University of Texas to provide a dual credit program for her students. Goodrich Middle and High School has 95 percent economically disadvantaged students, and 10 percent of those students are in dual credit classes, holding 12 or more hours.

"I do believe that Edmentum has a more rigorous online platform than most others,” Ms. Devillier said. “Because my kids had been using it for two years prior to starting our dual credit program, they were able to succeed, and I really do attribute their success to Edmentum because had they not had those experiences with Edmentum Courseware, and because your EdOptions Academy teachers are very committed, my kids hold a 3.5 at UT."

Edmentum really did help us strengthen our academic program.
Lara Devillier
Secondary Principal
The Future: 

Goodrich Middle and High School continues to use Edmentum Courseware and EdOptions Academy, and Ms. Devillier hopes to continue adding more classes to the secondary school’s program list. Although it is a very small school, it offers more courses than the much larger schools that surround it. Word is getting out about its wealth of course offerings, and its enrollment is shooting up.

“My teachers know that whether it comes to Edmentum, or it comes to credits, or it comes to athletics, we do whatever it takes, just to make sure our kids are successful,” Ms. Devillier said.

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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