74°F
weather icon Mostly Cloudy

Pathways students earn credits faster with new curriculum

Nye County school officials announced a milestone for the district’s alternative education program Pathways recently.

Students at the non-traditional campus completed twice as many class credits this year as they did for the entire 2012-13 school year, thanks to an online curriculum known as “Odysseyware.”

Principal Karen Hills believes her students’ success can be attributed to the way the school has retooled its blended learning model for sixth graders to high school seniors.

Hills noted the program is ideal as a stand-alone curriculum or for blended learning, credit recovery, response to intervention as well as alternative and special education.

“We knew there was much more we could be doing to leverage Odysseyware with our students, which led us to re-examine our blended learning model as a whole,” the principal said.

According to the school’s policy, attendance in the program is five hours a week, with 15 hours of study time at home expected. All courses are taught online.

Teachers are assigned to each student to provide academic support and instruction.

While responsible for their own progress, students are monitored by both parents and staff.

If a student fails to complete at least one class every 3 weeks they could be kicked out of the program.

Previously, students were given all of their courses for the year and were asked to spend at least 20 hours a week working on whatever courses they chose.

Taking a “lead by example” approach, Hills herself decided to get the full experience by enrolling in six online courses, which is a typical load for her students.

“Given the choice between so many courses, I found myself thinking, ‘I don’t want to do math today,’ or ‘oh, my favorite show is on.’ It was hard to stay focused. I knew if I was struggling to get the work done, my students were too,” Hills said.

Following her experiment, Hills and her staff changed the program’s structure to address the challenges students faced.

Students are now given three weeks to work on one course at a time.

“Now our kids can really focus on getting their courses done. Once they realize they’re actually in charge of their own success, they step up and take ownership of their learning,” she said.

At present, Hills has 123 high school students enrolled in Odysseyware courses at Pathways.

Since implementation, she said students have already completed 133 more credits than the 162 students who were enrolled last year in half the time.

“We’re seeing unbelievable learning gains with the new program. People used to think of our school as a ‘destination of last resort,’ and we’re proving them wrong,” the principal said.

Beth TeGrotenhuis, president and COO of Odysseyware’s parent company, Glynlyon, said she was very encouraged by the results in Nye County.

“Every student should be given the right tools for them to succeed. That is exactly what the team in Nye County has done, and we could not be more proud of their success,” she said.

Odysseyware added two new Career and Technical Education courses to its CTE portfolio.

The courses are an introduction to science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) as well as an introduction to agriculture, food and natural resources.

Fourteen additional AG and STEM courses are slated for introduction this year officials say.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
THE LATEST
Tonopah schools temporarily go online

Tonopah Schools have gone online until Sept. 24 out of caution after multiple students and staff call-in for “illness-related symptoms,” according to an email sent to parents on Wednesday.

Conservationists say thousands of rare wildflowers found intentionally destroyed

Conservationists discovered over the weekend that someone had dug up and destroyed more than 17,000 Tiehm’s buckwheat plants, a rare Nevada wildflower the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service said this summer might warrant protection under the Endangered Species Act.

Pair sought in theft of rare coins

Nye County Sheriff’s Office deputies and detectives are searching for two robbery suspects who allegedly targeted an elderly victim. An alleged monthslong scheme resulted in more than an estimated $200,000 in losses for the Pahrump senior citizen.

Bar tops open, drink-only service resumes in Pahrump

The state of Nevada’s COVID-19 Mitigation and Management Task Force has finally given the OK for all liquor establishments in Pahrump, including bars, taverns and wineries, to reopen and resume bar-top and drink-only service, as well as bar-top gaming.

New group launches recall effort

Following Fight For Nevada’s failed attempt at a recall effort aimed at removing Gov. Steve Sisolak from office, a new political action committee has formed with the same intentions in mind.

DMV extends deadline for renewals to Nov. 12

The Nevada Department of Motor Vehicles on Friday announced an additional extension for expired or soon-to-be expired driver’s licenses and ID cards and new, limited Saturday hours for new Nevada residents as it continues to find new ways to serve the public while operating under COVID-19 safety protocols.

Survey: Small business owners maintain optimism for future

Small business owners have faced unprecedented challenges because of the COVID-19 pandemic and are in the midst of great uncertainty with the upcoming presidential election. The Q3 Wells Fargo/Gallup Small Business Index indicates, however, there is a continued spirit of forward-facing optimism among small business owners despite the persistent trials.

Event aims at boosting rural entrepreneurship in state

The Nevada Governor’s Office of Economic Development is partnering with StartUpNV, Entrepreneur’s Assembly, Northeastern Nevada Regional Development Authority, business leaders and other government entities, in a new statewide initiative to foster entrepreneurship in Nevada’s smaller cities and towns.

Unemployment claims fall to lowest level since March

Finalized data from the Nevada Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation shows initial claims for unemployment insurance totaled 7,951 for the week ending Sept. 5, down 81 claims, or 1.0%, compared to last week’s total of 8,032 claims.