By Darla Shelden
City Sentinel Reporter
For those looking for a non-traditional educational opportunity, the iOKCPS Innovations K-12 Virtual Institute offers another option to earn a high school diploma and attend classes online.
“The program’s flexibility is attractive to students who work, or have health or behavior issues,” said June Woodall,” iOKCPS Counselor
iOKCPS online program offers a number of choices in scheduling core classes and electives, as well as provides small student –teacher ratios.
Nicholas Anderson, who has been with the program for two years said, “I love the versatility of the online program”.
Woodall added, “Nicholas can be sick and still work from home. He can do his classes practically anywhere.”
Another student, Jayme Pierson, likes the options available in order to schedule her schoolwork around her job.
“Students can work on their own time as long as they put in 32 hours a week,” Woodall said. “The flexibility of what days and times is up to each student.”
Julissa Ramirez, who just recently enrolled in online classes stated, “I love every aspect of it.”
Woodall added, “She can catch up on homework anytime of night or day and says she likes the ability to study in a comfortable way and take her time doing it.”
However, online school isn’t for everyone. It is important that parents/guardians and students make an informed decision about online learning.
Woodall said, “Each student needs to be self-motivated and self-discipline to be successful in the program.”
In its third year, the program is free and available to OKCPS students. Any student living in the Oklahoma City Pubic School boundaries 365 days a year can take advantage of the program. It offers several AP courses that are not available in some high schools such as Sign Languages, Mircroeconomics and Psychology.
“The district contracts with a company that provides curriculum and a certified teacher who interacts with students via Skype and web mail or personal telephone calls,” Woodall said.
“We have 6 seniors this year,” Woodall stated. “We have a regular graduation ceremony with a reception following the ceremony. Most of our students attend OCCC and are doing very well. They all say the online school has prepared them to be an independent learner.
“We believe student learning should be customized to meet individual learner needs. This is accomplished by providing access to engaging instruction and a rigorous curriculum. Our innovative approach provides this environment to students in full and part time settings including an emphasis on blended learning strategies.” Woodall said.
In addition, iOKCPS students can contact their teachers for ideas on how to enhance virtual learning and get extra assistance when needed.
“The web is our textbook, and the world our classroom,” said Scot McAdoo, Innovative Program Coordinator at Oklahoma City Public Schools, regarding the program.
Enrollment forms can be found on the website. All applications should be mailed to Lita E. Applebaugh, iOKCPS. c/o Northeast Academy H.S.. 3100 N. Kelley Avenue, Oklahoma City, OK 73111.
The complete iOKCPS course catalog is available at iokcps.schooldesk.net. For more information call 405-587-0427.