On Learning Outside the Lines, we’ve been very focused on tailoring education and personalizing the experience to meet the learning needs of students. From at-risk students who need credit recovery solutions to those who require advanced placement courses, most districts struggle to provide all of the resources needed to address their diverse student population. In Louisiana, the Board of Elementary and Secondary Education (BESE) stepped in to provide the resources needed for each of the districts in the state.
As of last school year, BESE began offering the Supplemental Course Academy (SCA), which gives school districts and other public schools access to online courses that are not available in the traditional secondary school system. Further, Louisiana’s Minimum Foundation Program (MFP) allocation enables districts to take advantage of funding specifically for this purpose.
Even with these resources available, some districts will leave the funds untouched. For those districts, here are the top 5 reasons to leverage your available funding now:
1. Gain access to extensive course catalog offerings
While resources are often limited to meet the individual needs of each student, online courses provide an opportunity to create customized learning experiences, individualized to each student, based on the goals to be accomplished. Course offerings include world languages, STEM courses, advanced placement (AP) courses, and career building electives.
2. Offer extensive AP courses
AP courses give high school students the opportunity to take a higher level course and earn college credit before attending a college or university. This expedites students’ college careers and saves them money, since they don’t have to pay to take those credits. Additionally, it opens up the door to college scholarship opportunities for students who have taken AP courses and have done well on AP tests. Beyond the cost savings to the student in the long run, these courses also help students prepare for college and ease the transition to a higher level education.
3. Move beyond traditional courses into a world of elective course offerings
When students are in high school, they often don’t have the opportunity to explore what their future holds after they complete their education. By providing a wide assortment of elective courses, students can explore possible career paths. Often schools don’t have the resources to offer a wide range of electives, but by leveraging online courses and SCA funds, students have more options.
4. Prepare students for college
Today, higher education institutions are requiring more—now more than ever—of incoming students. There is a greater demand for understanding concepts and more in-depth analysis. In today’s classroom, due to many challenges, students require more supplemental learning. By leveraging online courses through SCA, districts can offer students more opportunity to prepare for the next step in education.
5. Leverage broad world language curriculum
MPF funding can be used to provide students many online language courses. While world languages are a priority for most districts, they simply don’t have the resources to cover a variety of languages. Ted Feller, Executive Director of Secondary Education for the Evergreen School District, leverages online learning to extend the district’s curriculum. “We provide four different world language programs—Mandarin, Spanish, German, and French—to all six of our middle schools. In total, 235 students earned high school world language credits this past year, putting them ahead of the game before they even enter high school.”
How will you leverage your SCA funds? Last year, more than 350 Louisiana students chose online courses from K12, a curriculum partner of Fuel Education. Your students can earn the credits they need—in the subjects most interesting to them—with the nation’s leading provider of online education solutions for students in grades K-12. Learn more here.