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Design a Successful Alternative Learning Program (With a Little Help)

Helping students graduate is a primary goal of many schools, and achieving that goal requires a combination of dedicated staff, creativity, and proven educational tools and programs. And with every district, school, and student requiring different supports and resources, coming up with paths to graduation that work for all students can be complicated. Fortunately, many schools and districts have already built successful alternative learning programs, and can offer examples of what you can do to help your students graduate. Check out the below stories of four schools and districts that have designed ways to help more students graduate.

Winter and Spring Break Academies Help MN Students Graduate on Time: To give students more opportunities to recover credits so they can graduate on time, a district in Minneapolis runs Winter and Spring Break Academies. These academies allow students throughout the district to retake an English, math, social studies, or science class they failed, either with teacher-led instruction or using online courses. Academies operate in two schools in the district in opposite ends of town, making them accessible to all interested students.

Online Learning Program Offers Alternative for Struggling Students: After losing enrollments and seeing their graduation rates dip, the RE-1 Valley School District in CO implemented an online and blended learning program. The program, which they call “Edge,” allows students in grades 9–12 to retake core classes online without having to go over material they’ve already mastered. In the program’s first year, Edge helped 4 students graduate; the second year, it helped 6 students graduate; and this past year, they expected to have 12 students graduate, including 3 juniors! In addition to that, Edge has also helped over 200 students work to recover credits.

TX Academy Gives Students Another Path to a Diploma: Texas’ PRIDE Academy has given students who need more flexibility or who may have dropped out a place to continue their education through to graduation. At the end of its first year, 10 students graduated! Students at PRIDE Academy complete their coursework online, and celebrate every credit earned. PRIDE Academy’s vision is to “provide an alternative path to a Texas high school diploma, eliminating as many distractions as possible while serving students who do not thrive in a traditional setting.”

LA Parish Sees 6% Increase in Graduation Rates after Implementing Online Learning: After instituting grade and credit recovery efforts using Edgenuity’s online courses, a parish outside of Baton Rouge saw an increase in their graduation rate that helped them exceed the state’s graduation rate of 78%! These new programs allow students to retake tests or courses again in hopes of earning higher grades. They’ve even had a student graduate after completing all of her school work online, and this program has allowed 50 students to graduate a year early.

For more stories featuring successful online and blended learning programs, click here and here.

Check out this post to learn about the options available to help prevent students from dropping out. And if you’d like to learn more about how your school community can benefit from online and blended learning, find the information you need here.

About the Author


Where Learning Clicks

Since 1998, Edgenuity has been creating products and services that help all students achieve their full potential. As an extension of our efforts, we also produce Where Learning Clicks to share meaningful and timely ideas about trends, developments, and changes in education, as well as how to further incorporate technology into today’s classrooms.