St. Louis Public Schools (SLPS), MO - 2014 Transformation Award Winner

Mary Kate Appel

Transformation Award Winner: For providing personalized learning to enable high-risk students to graduate.

St. Louis Public Schools (SLPS) decided to implement an online program to help the district’s high-risk students complete high school. During the 2013–2014 school year, SLPS established four Virtual Learning Centers within the high schools across the city that had the highest dropout rates. The centers 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.

In addition, 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.

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-to-one time with students to provide additional help, answer questions, and keep them on track.

SLPS uses PEAK Library to build its own courses and to offer students additional fine arts course options, such as art appreciation and humanities. Instructors use PEAK Library to customize courses for students by building lesson plans tailored to each student’s knowledge level.

St. Louis recently added a middle school program to assist students with significant skill deficits. 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. The district’s goal is to provide the program and curriculum that best fit each student’s individual needs. 

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