Columbia Public Schools (CPS) started making online classes available for high school students 7 years ago. It was pushed as a district initiative, not individually. That means students from Hickman High School, Rock Bridge High School and Battle High School take online classes together.
While CPS develops some online classes on their own, most courses being used are from separate vendors. As of now, the CPS has contractual deals with Aventa Learning by K12 and Apex Learning. Contracts are renewed once a year based off of reviews and feedback.
Julie Nichols, the manager of Instructional Technology at CPS, said each year there has been an increase in students using online classes. Currently 183 students are taking online classes this semester.
According, to Nichols there are three key benefits to online classes that have caused this increase:
- It doesn’t cost students or families any additional money to take online classes.
- Courses are asynchronous (students take classes on their own schedule) - That means students in extra curricular activities can take classes and do work when it fits best.
- The classes prepare students for higher education - Online classes are very popular at 2 year and 4 year colleges so, CPS students will have experience.
If you have any questions about public schools in Columbia, comment below or tweet at us @CoMoExp.
A previous version of the story listed 150 students taking online classes this semester. This number has been updated from new information we have received.