Small School with Big Course Offerings in Noxon, MT

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Small School with Big Course Offerings in Noxon, MT

Noxon Public Schools
Cindy Waymire,
DLC Coordinator/Computer Tech Liaison
181 students
Grades K to 12
Courseware
92% Caucasian
49% economically disadvantaged
The Challenge: 

When school is in session at Noxon Public Schools in Noxon, Montana, the student population equals that of the town as a whole, serving the communities of Noxon, Heron, and Trout Creek. In the far western part of the state near the Idaho border, the approximately 200 students reach the school across a one-lane bridge.

A prime task for schools of that size is offering a varied schedule similar to what you would find at larger schools, one that can keep students engaged with their studies as a whole.

“Our county in Montana is one of the poorest in the state due to the shutdown of the lumber mills and mines around here,” said Cindy Waymire, Noxon Schools’ computer tech liaison. “We do not have a large teaching staff here because of the numbers of students and the fact that we just don't have the means to support more staff.”

Waymire continued, “Edmentum allows us to offer more courses to students. Most of our students take online Plato [Courseware] classes for electives, and without outside virtual classes, our students wouldn't have the opportunity to take many out of the ‘norm’ classes for those elective credits.” 

Even in small, rural schools, students want to explore courses that can provide paths to college and careers or better engage them in their studies. In a tiny school in rural Montana located across a one-lane bridge, students find themselves with elective options as divergent as fashion design and criminology thanks to Plato Courseware.
How They Did it: 

Waymire’s computer lab can only host 12 students at a time. It is full during all of her seven class periods. For the most part, the classes run themselves.

Waymire explained, “The students come in for their class period (some come in multiple times per day) and work on the course they are in (or need to recover, as the classes are mixed) at their own pace. I am there to answer any questions they may have and help with any technical issues, but it is mostly self-paced with the students working on what they need to complete on their own.”

As Waymire mentioned, her class is also the school’s primary means of credit recovery. “I do have several students that are in a group home setting and have missed so much school that they have to take classes to get caught up, but they have not taken the class before, so it is really first-time credit,” she said.

Most of our students take online Plato [Courseware] classes for electives, and without outside virtual classes, our students wouldn't have the opportunity to take many out of the ‘norm’ classes for those elective credits.
Cindy Waymire,
DLC Coordinator/Computer Tech Liaison
Success: 

According to Waymire, one of the primary benefits of the online learning program is the ability it gives students to gain experiences for the world after high school. She elaborated, “It has broadened our students' level of knowledge and made going to college and universities much easier . . . with some knowledge base of what they are going to be taking.”

Plato Courseware gives students the opportunity to explore career options that are otherwise unavailable to schools of Noxon Schools’ size. The criminology course is particularly popular, but all of the courses pave a path toward the world of college and careers. Not surprisingly, Waymire’s classes are very popular.

Waymire reported, “I noticed immediately when we included some of those courses on the course list that students were excited to take some of those classes. The options presented by Edmentum were lucrative to the choices available to students, and they LOVE the classes that I am able to offer through Plato. My class is full, and I usually have more students wanting in than space in my classroom.”

Engagement in school is also important. In the five years since Noxon Public Schools brought Plato Courseware into its course offerings, the school hasn’t had one student drop out. In the 2013–14 and 2014–15 school years, every Noxon High School student met Montana’s completion requirements.

The options presented by Edmentum were lucrative to the choices available to students, and they LOVE the classes that I am able to offer through Plato. My class is full, and I usually have more students wanting in than space in my classroom.
Cindy Waymire,
DLC Coordinator/Computer Tech Liaison

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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