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Monday, November 05, 2007

VSS2007 (Guest Blogger) - Providing Virtual Success for At-Risk Students

Session notes from our guest blogger, Abby.

Providing Virtual Success for At-Risk Students
Julie McIntosh
University of Findlay
www.findlay.k12.oh.us/fda

Group Questions:
  • What experience do you have with at-risk students?
  • Have you worked with digital high schools or online teaching?
  • What programs have been successful for you?
  • What barriers have been in place at your district?
Findlay Digital Academy
  • 2100 students, 30% defined as at-risk
  • Defined at risk as meeting one or more criteria:
    • failing one or more classes
    • low SES
    • behind in credits
    • social issues/problems
    • emotional problems
    • health issues
    • teenage pregnancy
    • OR Traditional Model was not working for student – Gifted & Talented or learn in large blocks of time.
Coaches were a huge intervention mechanism. Licensed teacher available as instructional coach for help. Students not showing up. Pressured them. Started coming and increased performance scores.

Several Models utilized for remediation
  • Continuous improvement model – more teacher driven, not immediate feedback
  • Plato – test-mastery, liked instant feedback
  • Apex – provide AP course opportunities, work with APEX teacher
  • Family Education Partnership Program- parent can earn diploma at the same time.
Findlay statistics:
  • If student has not logged on in 21 days they are removed
  • 2006 had 35 students ended with 124
  • 2007 had 70 students
  • GPA prior to FDA .73, during FDA 3.46, GPA after returning to traditional classroom 1.2
Session really didn't go into much detail about how instructional coaches or other methods were specifically used to help at-risk students. Several of her slides went over starting a virtual school as opposed to addressing the issue of at-risk student support, in my opinion.

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