BANGOR, Pa. – Operating in the red is no longer an issue with Bangor Area High School's summer school program. Administrators have saved thousands of dollars since the school began partnering with EdOptions™ and using Stars Suite® as its core curriculum seven years ago.
According to Bangor Area High School (BAHS) Assistant Principal Jack Boyd, Novel™, the library of 47 Web-based curricula within Stars Suite®, has been the perfect fit for the 60- to 80-student summer school program because only one teacher is needed to oversee each subject.
"I only need four teachers to deliver the entire summer school curriculum: math, science, history, and English," says Boyd. "We would need four times the amount of teachers for summer school if we didn't use EdOptions and I couldn't afford that."
EdOptions has not only helped cut summer school expenses, but has also bolstered academic performance. To date, the program has experienced a 95% success rate with nearly all students completing their courses, according to Boyd. Since 2006, 206 students who were at risk of not graduating have earned diplomas because of this program.
"My summer school kids in general aren't as disciplined and that's usually why they've failed a course," explains Boyd. "This [Web-based summer school] offers them a chance because they can see their progress and it encourages them.”
Summer school is not only for credit recovery. BAHS also offers a Summer Enrichment Program for students looking to get ahead. Boyd states that about 10% of students utilizing Stars Suite® are doing so to accelerate their education.
The summer school program is five weeks long, during which time students earn credit by working online at one of two 90-minute sessions a day in BAHS’s computer labs. With access to course work online, students can continue to work outside of these sessions.
Instructors love EdOptions Stars Suite® because they don't have to spend time creating lesson plans from scratch and the Stars Suite® internal grading system cuts down on their administrative burdens, allowing them more one-on-one time with students, Boyd said. Encouraged by the program's success, the assistant principal has found additional uses for the program from helping expelled students finish their education, to giving homebound students the flexibility to work at any time of day.
"Curriculum availability and accessibility is my favorite part of Stars Suite®," Boyd says. "Anytime, anywhere, as long as there's an Internet connection, you can do your work."