Recently, we wrote a post that highlighted how schools are measuring their blended and online learning programs. Some measures are quantity driven while other measures focus on being quality driven. While quality can be difficult to measure, a good program offers engaging curriculuum and addresses the specific needs of each student. And, when this is done successfully, the program often gains a positive reputation and results in increased enrollment.
Brandi Gurley, principal of Orange County Virtual School (OCVS) in Orlando, Florida, has seen this type of success at her school. She attributes a rise in enrollment to the success of providing a personalized learning environment for each student. OCVS serves students in grades K-12 and partners with FuelEd to deliver engaging personalized content that meets state standards for education.
“For my school, personalized learning is more intimate.” Gurley told us.
She went on to iterate that, “It is our way of saying to our students, ‘I’m going to provide you with whatever you need.’ With virtual learning, it is easy to recognize those needs because we work with each student in a one-to-one environment. You can see the student’s individual needs and then specifically pinpoint the curriculum or content for that student.”
Focusing on the quality of the program instead of simply hard numbers, ensures that the program has rigorous and engaging curriculum and that performance is tracked and reported so that instructors can intervene and make adjustments as needed. With each component focused on the personal needs of the student, the result is higher performance levels.
Gurley points to the recent test scores and has seen a significant improvement in performance:
“We’ve seen a drastic change in the test scores of our 3rd graders. Students performing at grade level now measures at 90 percent. Last year it was at 70 percent, and we surpassed our goal of 80 percent. To see the movement and the growth with those test scores shows me that when you focus on quality, it can be very successful!”