Mansfield ISD Accelerates Summer Learning with Advanced Academics
Mansfield Independent School District (MISD), one of the largest and fastest growing school districts in Texas with more than 33,000 students enrolled at more than 40 schools, offers an innovative summer school program that lets students take classes for acceleration. Part of Mansfield ISD Virtual School, the summer school program was launched in 2010 and has grown from five courses to its entire catalog of 75 courses. In summer 2012, students took more than 390 courses and passed 91 percent successfully.
“Our summer school program is intended to give students a flexible way to earn credit in classes they have not previously taken,” said Paul Cash, Mansfield ISD director of student services. “We've designed our program with built-in accountability measures to ensure that students succeed. Full-time mentor teachers monitor student progress each day and contact parents if a student is behind or failing a class.”
During the 2012 summer school session, Mansfield ISD students enrolled in 48 different courses, including core subjects like English, math and science, foreign languages and electives ranging from technology to health. The Mansfield ISD Virtual School uses Advanced Academics standards-based curriculum, learning management system and highly qualified, certified online instructors.
Mansfield ISD online summer school courses are open to district incoming freshmen and high school students at a cost of $150 per semester-long course. Students can complete coursework at home or a location of their choice but must take mid-term and final exams on site. If they prefer, the school district operates a computer lab four days a week where students can complete their coursework.
“We are thrilled that more than 90 percent of online courses taken by Mansfield ISD students this summer were completed successfully,” said Gary Crary, regional director for Advanced Academics. “The key to this program's effectiveness has been its high-quality curriculum and flexible schedule combined with multiple layers of student support and accountability.”
Two full-time monitors are responsible for mentoring the summer school students. The monitors track students' progress daily and contact both student and their parents if a student is not making satisfactory progress in a course. If student results do not improve, they are required to work on-site at the school computer lab until performance improves. In addition to the full-time monitors, summer school students receive personalized support and instruction online from state-credentialed teachers who hold bachelor's or master's degrees in their subject area and have significant online and traditional classroom experience. Online teachers are available via phone, e-mail or chat 24 hours a day, five days a week.
“Mansfield ISD partnered with Advanced Academics as our online course provider because of the high level of student and customer support,” said Cash. “Students have instant access to curriculum-specific teachers whenever needed and can live chat with a teacher during the day, in the evening or even at night. Advanced Academics' customer support has been very helpful with student enrollment and responsive when dealing with any technology issues.”
Mansfield ISD has found the summer school program is particularly attractive to incoming freshmen looking to earn high school credits for electives classes so that they can create room in their schedule. In the future, the district is exploring new ways to use the online courses for other levels of summer school and to help students prepare for state assessment tests.
About Advanced Academics
Advanced Academics, a leader in the field of online learning, partners with schools and districts in 30 states across the country to offer customized online solutions that uniquely serve each customer. Advanced Academics' programs have proven to be successful in providing flexible learning opportunities for students in grades 6 through 12 and increasing overall academic performance. Since 2000, Advanced Academics has offered comprehensive middle and high school courses, highly qualified and state-certified teachers, and a web-based learning management system that enhances student learning. A part of DeVry Inc. (NYSE: DV), Advanced Academics is accredited by the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI) and the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC), and meets the standards for National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) eligibility. For more information, visit www.advancedacademics.com.
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Meg Martin, 405-397-6156