Over the past few months, we have been highlighting Fuel Education’s latest Transformation Award winners. To round out our series, we go to St. Louis Public Schools (SLPS) in Missouri where teachers and facilitators are helping to transform education in their district through a combination of PEAK’s credit recovery courses and remediation tools.
During the 2013–2014 school year, SLPS established four Virtual Learning Centers at district high schools with the highest dropout rates. The district decided to implement an online program as a means to help high-risk students attain their diplomas. These centers have seen great success and are staffed by district personnel who serve as facilitators to assist students enrolled in the online program.
Using FuelEd’s online credit recovery courses, assessment tools, prescriptive learning and remediation content, certified online teachers, and online learning platform, the Virtual Learning Centers offer a viable way for students to recapture credits, stay in school, and graduate. Additionally, the district reaches out to students under the age of 21 who have dropped out and encourages them to return to school and take advantage of the credit recovery program at the Virtual Learning Centers.
To bolster student success and accountability, St. Louis Public Schools tracks student progress through PEAK reports to identify struggling students early on, so they can intervene and provide students the support they need. Teachers spend one-on-one time with students to provide additional help, answer questions, and keep them on track.
SLPS also uses PEAK Library build their own courses and to offer students additional Fine Arts course options, such as Art Appreciation and the Humanities. Instructors utilize PEAK Library to further customize courses for students by building lesson plans tailored to each student’s knowledge level.
Given the success of the virtual programs at the high school level, SLPS recently added a middle school program to assist students with significant skill deficits. In this setting, PEAK Library allows the district to review and refresh students’ early elementary skills, as needed, in order to keep them on track with their peers.
During the first year, 61 SLPS students graduated from the full-time virtual program. In addition, more than 1,000 students—approximately 20 percent of the district’s graduates—were supported by the program when they took original credit and credit recovery courses, as well as when they received supplemental content in their traditional classes.
St. Louis Public Schools is committed to doing whatever is necessary to help students graduate. A district-wide goal is to provide program components and curriculum that best fit each student’s individual needs in order to offer a truly personalized learning experience.