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5 Ways to Implement a Virtual Summer School Program

5 Ways to Implement a Virtual Summer School Program

Whether students need to make up missing credits, want to get ahead on college or career requirements, or need to work around hectic school-year class schedules, summer school programs are a great opportunity for motivated learners to make progress toward academic goals. However, managing the logistics of these programs (and making the most of limited resources) can be a perennial challenge for educators. Working with a virtual learning partner like Edmentum can ease some of that pressure and offer students expanded, flexible options for summer learning.

Ready to get a head start on your planning process? Here are five different ways that a virtual program through Edmentum can be implemented in your summer school program.

Independent Credit Recovery

Offering EdOptions Academy courses for independent completion can be a practical summer school model. Students have the flexibility to work when and where they want, and administrators can monitor progress, control the courses available to students for enrollment, and determine the timeframe students are to complete their summer courses. This model can be an effective approach for schools looking to stay virtual for summer school or for students who have struggled with the classroom environment in the past or who need the flexibility to manage significant family or work commitments.

Extended School Year

This summer school model allows students who need more time to complete school-year courses to stay on track with their cohort for graduation in the four-year timeframe. Students can be enrolled in an EdOptions Academy course that is equivalent to the course they were originally enrolled in during the spring semester. In this way, they get to keep the continuity of learning as soon as summer begins. In some cases, students may need to work on completing multiple courses simultaneously. Typically, students are required to finish all EdOptions Academy courses by August so that they’re ready to take the next set of courses starting in the fall semester.

Lab-Based Credit Recovery

Credit recovery is the most common use for summer school, and a majority of programs are conducted on-site so that schools and educators can provide the greatest level of guidance and oversight to students. In this format, students are enrolled in EdOptions Academy virtual courses taught by our state-certified teachers but are required to spend time in a supervised lab working through their lessons and assignments, where they can take advantage of additional support from school or district staff.

Generally, the expectation is that students will work in the lab between three to seven hours a day and spend additional time working at home. Schools have held these programs for anywhere from two to six weeks, and students are expected to finish their coursework within the set timeframe. If students complete their course(s) early, they no longer need to attend the lab time.

Credit Advancement

This summer school model allows students to take EdOptions Academy courses for original credit in order to free up space in the school-year schedule for specific courses or prepare for postsecondary requirements. This can be a great way to overcome scheduling challenges for students interested in taking several elective courses or advanced courses offered at only limited times. And, for students with very clear college and career goals, summer credit advancement programs can be a great way to get ahead and set themselves apart on applications.

This type of program can be offered in either a lab or independent format, but it is important to make sure that the timeframe for students to complete their credit advancement courses end before the first day of school because students generally need these courses as prerequisites for regular school-year courses.

Parent-Paid Credit Recovery or Advancement

If your school or district isn’t in a position to offer a full summer school program but parents are still interested in enrolling students to earn credits, get ahead, or try something new, that’s an option too! Through the Apex Learning Virtual School (ALVS), parents can enroll their learners in flexible, self-paced summer learning courses. Learn more about enrollment and explore the ALVS complete course catalog here.

The family-paid approach can be effective if school funding is especially tight or if your school’s or district’s existing summer offerings are more traditional, on-site programming and families are looking for alternative options.

Interested in learning more about how your school or district can partner with Edmentum for flexible virtual summer learning options? Get the inside scoop from our virtual experts about building a successful summer school program with EdOptions Academy.

This post was originally published January 2019 by Sarah Cornelius and has been updated.

madison.michell's picture
Madison Michell

Madison Michell has been a member of the Edmentum team since 2014 and currently serves as a Marketing Manager. As a former Kindergarten and 3rd grade teacher during her time as a Teach For America corps member, she believes education truly has the power to transform lives. She is passionate about connecting educators with online programs, best practices, and research that improve teaching and learning for today's students.