EdisonLearning to Open First Online Charter School
Teachers differentiating instruction in real-time based on student’s performance during a lesson; and students connecting science lessons to the multimedia content on the Web; this is what EdisonLearning’s first online charter school will look like when it begins operation in South Carolina at the start of the 2009 school year.
As the nation’s largest partner to public school districts and communities - serving 350,000 students in 24 states - EdisonLearning received approval of the South Carolina Public Charter School District in a unanimous 7-0 vote, this week, to operate a new online high school serving 1,000 students.
“As one of the original innovators in operating schools differently, EdisonLearning, with the addition of Provost Systems, is equipped to help students succeed in a new world - where educators have the capacity to innovate in their instruction and do what is best for student learning and academic achievement,” said Dr. John Chubb, EdisonLearning Senior Executive Vice President.
In the new South Carolina online charter, named - Provost Academy – South Carolina - EdisonLearning will fully utilize Provost’s capabilities as the only supplier of online educational solutions that comprehensively integrate student information systems with learning management solutions and student engagement data. “The integrated solutions offered by Provost Systems will provide the infrastructure necessary to allow teachers to spend more time teaching their students and less time with data and administrative duties,” said Jeff McCoy, Chief of Strategic Partnerships for EdisonLearning.
Even though only 2,175 students—less than 1 percent of all South Carolina public school students—attend online charter schools, each school is immediately filled to capacity, which attests to the public interest in this educational innovation.
Stressing that in the 21st century a sound background in STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) is mandatory for student success in college and jobs, Dr. Chubb said that, “Provost Academy – South Carolina will engage students in a program that introduces them to a unique variety of scientific topics as they progress through the program. The overall curriculum also will demonstrate to students the importance of becoming educationally well rounded.”
Dr. Chubb also pointed that the school will employ a variety of productive teaching methods by addressing multiple learning styles in each lesson that includes various multi-media components (podcasts and streaming video). All instruction will be complimented with Text and Voice Discussion Forums, and on demand tutoring for 12 hours a day.
Students of Provost Academy – South Carolina will be provided computers and internet access while they are enrolled in the school. There will be no out of pocket expenses for students, or their parents, since the school is a public school with no tuition.
Peter Brown, president of Colite International in Columbia, South Carolina, and chairman of the Provost Academy – South Carolina board, noted, “The value to South Carolina students and their educational experience will be endless with Provost Academy. Besides the basic core curriculum, students will have access to select courses from a broader range of content than is possible in a traditional environment, such as: Mandarin Chinese, and macro and microeconomics. Clearly, this 21st century educational delivery model will not be confined to time and space.”
EdisonLearning acquired the education software company Provost Systems, based in Santa Clara, Calif., in June of 2008.#