Center Grove High School students who want to work ahead by enrolling in summer courses no longer will have to travel to school to take the class — all they need is a computer connected to the Internet.
Next summer, Center Grove will offer 17 online courses for high school students in and outside the school district. The new courses mean incoming freshmen who want to complete required classes or seniors who want to take an additional math course or elective can complete the courses from home or a library, online coordinator Joanna Ray said.
Center Grove also will offer nine online courses students can take during the fall and spring semesters, Ray said.
A group of Center Grove teachers is designing the courses, and this week students from Center Grove High School are testing the first sets of completed lessons. The teachers will use feedback from those students as well as Ray while they finish designing the courses this year.
ON THE SCHEDULE
Here are the online courses Center Grove plans to offer this summer:
English 10 Lab: End of Course Assessment prep
Film Literature (new course)
Information and Communications Technology I
Information and Communications Technology II
Modern World Civilization
Probability and Statistics
Mystery/Detective Literature (new course)
Here are the online courses Center Grove plans to offer for the fall and spring:
English 10 Lab: End of Course Assessment Prep
Center Grove Superintendent Richard Arkanoff listed creating online courses as one of his goals for the school district last year. He wanted to give students who work or who take classes at the Central Nine Career Center a way to complete required courses without having to travel across town multiple times per day. He also said creating the online courses was necessary to keep the school district competitive.
While other school districts, including Clark-Pleasant, have designed online courses, Center Grove is the first to announce plans to use the courses with students.
Clark-Pleasant was given a grant by the state to create courses that could be used statewide, and currently the school district has no immediate plans to use the courses that were created, technology director Jim White said.
Center Grove’s online courses will be available to students in and outside the school district, though how much students would have to pay to take the courses hasn’t been set, Ray said.
First Center Grove needs to see how many students want to take the courses, and where they’ll come from, she said.
“Is this going to be huge? Is this going to be big?” Ray said. “It’s hard to tell.”
Center Grove teachers are expected to have the first semester of the online courses completed by April; and while they’re working on that, the school district also has to decide how much the courses will cost. That includes reaching salary agreements with the teachers running the online courses and determining what students will be charged, Ray said.
Online courses can’t simply include online versions of tests and quizzes. She said teachers also have to create online projects students can complete on their own as well as in groups.
“You can use some of the same ideas. But when it’s delivered in an online format, you really have to reconstruct it from the ground up,” she said.
Ray said teachers also need to create reading assignments and establish hours when they’ll be available to meet or video conference with students.
The teachers have completed some online lessons for the courses and have nominated several students they think would do well in an online class to test those lessons. This week those students are spending 30 minutes using lessons from the new courses. Then they’ll give teachers feedback about what’s working about the course, whether anything is confusing and if it’s the kind of course they’d be interested in taking, Ray said.
To qualify for the online courses, students will need to complete the classes’ prerequisites, just as they would for a traditional class. The student’s counselor must also approve enrollment in an
online course, Ray said.
Center Grove plans to survey students at the high school to see if they are interested in online courses. Priority will be given to Center Grove students, and then the school district can enroll students from other schools.
The enrollment cap will be about 25 students per course, meaning up to 425 students could enroll this summer. Ray said that number comes from the online guidelines used by IUPUI and helps ensure that teachers are able to work with any students who need individual help.
“If we find that’s just not meeting the needs, then we’ll go up or down accordingly,” Ray said.