GAINESVILLE, Fla. – Alachua County Public Schools Curriculum Supervisor Charles Wise is in the business of saving students—his program does it several hundred times a year.
Since first creating the Credit Recovery Online Program, “CROP,” four years ago, Wise said students have recovered thousands of credits needed to graduate.
The after school program, which features EdOptions™’ Web-based Stars Suite® courses, is available at each of the district’s seven high schools three days a week. Stars Suite® offers 39 core and elective courses that can be accessed anytime, from anywhere with an Internet connection.
Computer labs serve as classrooms at each school and subject-certified teachers work one-on-one with students, answering any questions that come up.
Prior to the program, Wise said students were limited in their ability to recover credit because the six-period day left no time for making up coursework. Often, losing credit in one class created a domino effect on student achievement: failing a freshman English class meant that the student would have to retake it during their sophomore year, leaving them to play a constant game of catch-up.
“I’ve had school administrators tell me that some kids had given up” because they knew they didn’t have time during the school day to make up the credits, Wise said. “But when students are told about the program, they have renewed hope.”
So much so that during the 2006-07 school year alone, CROP students recovered more than 3,000 credits.
Teachers are big fans of the Web-based courses, as well.
Laura Ruben, former CROP social studies teacher and current middle school dean for Hawthorne Middle High School, said Stars Suite® courses allowed her to have more “one-on-one time” time with students and reduced the burden of grading papers because the system automatically grades most student submissions.
“Stars Suite® is wonderful. We could walk around and offer any help the students might need,” Ruben said. “It offered more flexibility.”
Wise said he’s also using CROP to provide a “seamless education” to all students so that they never fall behind when they move to a different location in the district.
“No matter where a student is: homebound, going to an alternative school, or even in a detention center, they can do their work” because the Web-based courses can be accessed at home and every alternative school site in Alachua County, Wise said.
Offering the Web-based courses in alternative education settings has also helped school administrators transition students back into their traditional schools because the Web-based program tracks student progress.
“If a student is on lesson eight in U.S. History, they don’t lose that work” when they transition to another school, Wise said. “It all counts towards graduation.”
Wise said the program has positively impacted students across the county.
“We’ve used EdOptions’ Web-based program now for four years and found it to be the best credit retrieval tool in Alachua County,” Wise said. “Many students would not graduate without it.”