Pelham City Schools adopts Virtual School Program
Published 8:46 pm Monday, June 29, 2015
By JESSA PEASE / Staff Writer
PELHAM— Pelham High School students will have the option to take virtual classes in the upcoming school year after Pelham City Schools voted to accept the program at the board of education meeting June 29.
The Alabama State Legislature passed a law that requires all schools have virtual options for students grades nine through 12. Pelham City Schools’ director of curriculum Dr. Elisabeth Davis said the Pathways Program is open to all high school students based on situation and also to middle school students on a case-by-case scenario.
Davis said they are currently looking at both completely online courses and blended ones. The course list varies from core classes to electives to AP classes, designed to offer a nontraditional learning experience to the students.
“Basically, the key is it’s an individualized pathway, so I can’t stand up here and say it’s a one-size-fits-all for any student,” Davis said. “It is based on need, so they are really going to work closely with the Pathways facilitator.”
The program is starting this year, and teachers will participate in a training program Aug. 3 to learn the program, GradPoint. Daivs said Pelham will also use GradPoint for its credit recovery program at the end of the year.
It isn’t a completely foreign program to the city though. Pelham uses GradPoint for the Algebra One EOC in eighth grade, so the instructional specialist has already worked with the product
“A virtual school is a good tool, so that you can reach anybody,” said board of education president Rick Rhoades. “You can challenge everybody, no matter what (his or her) level is. It just expands the classroom in a way that is a must if our students are going to be competitive in the world that we live in right now.”
In other news, the council heard a presentation from Derrick Waddell, Pelham’s technology supervisor concerning the Children’s Internet Protection Act (CIPA). Once a year, a school is required to publicize its policies regarding protecting students’ online access.
Waddell said all of Pelham City Schools are pretty basic as far as protection policies across all school boards. He explained that is the Internet is filtered both internally and externally so students can’t easily access things that they shouldn’t be.
The board of education also,
- Recognized the Pelham High School Baseball Team for completing its season with a record of 33-12, was ranked as the No. 1 team at various times through the season and competed in the state championship match.
- Recognized the Pelham High School Girls Outdoor Track Team as runners-up at the 2015 6A Outdoor Track and Field State Championship. They also had 23 all-star athletes and one individual state champion.
- Recognized Pelham High Schools Boys Soccer Team for being ranked as the No. 1 team for the first time in school history and ranked No. 3 in 6A. This is the first time in history the team went to the final four.
- Approved the 11 additions to personnel as recommended by superintendent Dr. Scott Coefield.
- Approved the salary schedule for classified personnel, the administrative salary schedule and coaching supplements.
- Reviewed the policy manual and student handbooks.
Board vice president Paul Howell was absent for the June 29 meeting. The next regular scheduled board of education meeting will be July 27 at 6:30 p.m. at Pelham City Hall.