Opportunities for St. Clair County students expand with new partnership
High school students across St. Clair County will, this fall, have easier access to an expanded range of online classes offered through a cooperative effort among the county’s seven public school districts, St. Clair County RESA and Michigan Virtual for Students.
LearnON is designed to be St. Clair County’s portal to online learning, according to Kevin Miller, RESA director of Administrative Services. “LearnON is partnering with Michigan Virtual for Students to give our students a better way to access online classes. Most classes will be facilitated by local county teachers who know and understand our students, and students will register through their high school counselors,” Miller said. “An added bonus for everyone is that this keeps St. Clair County education dollars in St. Clair County.”
“Partnering with St. Clair County RESA allows the Michigan Virtual for Students to provide increased access to quality online course content to students. MV serves as a leader in the state of Michigan as a service provider, capacity builder, and change agent in the areas of blended and online instruction. This partnership aligns perfectly with that role,” said Kristin Flynn, executive director of Student Learning Services at MV. “We expect that this unique model of collaboration will attract other districts from across the state to form partnerships of this nature to best serve students with these expanded opportunities.”
Previously, county students could access online classes, but there was no coordinated, countywide effort to make the process as simple, transparent and reliable as possible, Miller said.
“Through LearnON, students register for their fall classes as they always have done. Now, though, their online options will be offered up front during scheduling. That will give counselors more flexibility in helping each student be successful and achieve his or her educational goals,” Miller said. He added that LearnON also would give students more flexibility to take a subject they want without sacrificing other preferred classes due to outside time demands from sports, band, work or other home issues. Classes can be accessed at the student’s convenience, at any location that lets them connect to the internet.
All LearnON classes through Michigan Virtual for Students will make mentors available to students who need extra help. Students also can interact with teachers and fellow students through the online portal. Teachers are accessible through a number of communications channels including video chat and texting. “This is a win-win-win situation. Online learning may not be right for every student in every circumstance. By keeping local control, LearnON educators will be in a position to provide our students the support and guidance they need to be successful,” Miller said.
LearnON options are available to all St. Clair County high school students beginning with registration for their Fall 2017 classes over the next several months. Classes available include core subjects such as English and Math. Other courses address less common subjects not typically available in most high schools, including a wide range of world languages and Advanced Placement courses. The expanded online options also will allow students to pursue a subject at whatever academic level matches their skills and interests.
“LearnON is a perfect example of how St. Clair County schools work together for the benefit of their students,” Miller said.
About St. Clair County RESA
Michigan Virtual is a private, nonprofit Michigan corporation established by the State of Michigan in 1998 to serve as a champion for online learning. It is the parent organization of the Michigan Virtual for Students and Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute.