Tracy Weeks: Online school success

February 28, 2013 

Online school success

The New York Times editorial you reprinted on Feb. 20 (“Online college classes not making the grade”) highlighted shortcomings of online courses for college students.

While we have much to learn in this new environment of online learning, it is important to know that the N.C. Virtual Public School is successful with secondary students in online courses. Approximately 50,000 public school students from all counties are taking 150 courses across subjects including advanced placement, world languages, electives and credit recovery. Students with significant learning disabilities are able to access specialized courses that blend online with face-to-face learning.

In the NCVPS environment, our student-teacher ratios average 1:26, and 81 percent of our students pass their courses. NCVPS is successful because we hire only highly qualified, licensed teachers, and we require that teachers establish a connection with students. This begins with a phone call before the course begins and continues with personalized feedback and course customization. Our students are well supported by teachers, through peer tutoring and by school coordinators. For the third consecutive year, an NCVPS teacher is a finalist for National Online Teacher of the Year.

At NCVPS, our focus is on the student, and our success shows it.

Tracy Weeks, Ph.D.

Executive Director, NCVPS

Raleigh

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