Written by Christine Pitawanich, Posted: Thu, August 29 2013 at 5:38 PM, Updated: Thu, August 29 2013 at 11:04 PM
School is just around the corner and at least for the Eagle Point School District, it could mean fewer kids filling the halls.
The Eagle Point School District is starting an online K-12 school.
Soon-to-be Eagle Point High School Freshman Hailey Logan is looking forward to the school year. She said she's happy about the new online option for students.
"I am taking language arts and social studies [online]," said Logan.
Principal of the District 9 (or D9) Online School, Bryan Wood said the program is a comprehensive K-12 school, offering kindergarten through 12th grade.
The program allows students to work outside of the classroom and learn on their own terms.
What to expect for K-5 Students at the D9 Online School
"The K-5 program is more of a home school with teacher support. But we supply the curriculum, all the workbooks for that program as well as a certified teacher and tutoring center that's open for anyone to come daily," said Wood.
For kindergartners through fifth graders in the program, parents will play a big role in their education.
"We talk about it with the parent. If you're going to do the online program, here's your buy-in, here's your responsibility."
Wood added that in-home tutoring by certified teachers will also be an option for kids and parents who need more help with the material.
6-12th Grade at D9 Online School
For the older kids there are a lot of options.
"We have 105 courses, 19 advanced placement courses, six different languages and elective tracks within computer programming, software game design, a lot of agricultural based livestock," Wood said.
He said the elementary, middle and high school kids attending the online school will also take three field trips to supplement their learning.
In addition, there will be a learning center for online students open from 8am-7pm where school officials plan to have a certified math, language arts and elementary teacher. Inside the building there will be two elementary classrooms students can use for testing, computers and access to the internet.
Flexibility and More Options for Students
Students don't have to commit to one method of learning or the other. It's possible to take classes both online and at school.
"We've had a lot of students signing up for 4-5 classes at the high school then taking a couple of our electives online," said Wood.
The flexibility is a big plus for Logan who is a cheerleader.
"I can do my classes after practice come to school for my regular classes and practice between," explained Logan.
Oftentimes, students who participate in sports have to travel to games. Wood said the online school helps kids keep up with their school work. He said kids with jobs, or families who travel will also benefit.
More Program Directives
In addition to working around kids' and parents' schedules, Wood said the program will relieve some of the burden of class sizes.
According to officials, there are about 233 students in the Eagle Point School District that live in the attendance boundaries who are attending charter schools, private schools, or other online schools.
"Basically, we feel like those are our students. We have a responsibility to those families and we feel like this is an option that will allow them to return to our district and we can meet their needs," said Wood.
Going to school online is a free option and kids will still be able to participate in after-school sports and activities.
So far Wood said there are about 30-50 students enrolled, but he anticipates that number to increase.
Enrollment will be open all year long.
If you're interested, call 541-830-6602 or visit the D9 Online School website: http://www.eaglepnt.k12.or.us/vnews/display.v/SEC/Eagle%20Point%20High%20School|Alternative%20Education%20Programs%3E%3ED9%20Online
Wood said D9 Online School also maintains a Facebook page and Twitter account.
Christine Pitawanich was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest. In 2010, she received a master's degree in Broadcast Journalism from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse University in New York.
Christine also has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communications from the University of Washington.
Before joining the NBC5 News team, she had the opportunity to file reports from Washington D.C. for WFFT FOX Ft. Wayne News in Indiana. Christine has also interned at KOMO-TV in Seattle.
Christine loves to ski, try new food and have fun in the outdoors.