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Growth and Achievement with Virtual Courses in North Carolina’s Onslow County School District

Growth and Achievement with Virtual Courses in North Carolina’s Onslow County School District

It’s easy to see that virtual courses can provide much-needed flexibility for today’s diverse learners. But, measuring the rigor and efficacy of those virtual courses, especially as compared to traditional in-person courses, can be tricky.

Ultimately, the same things that make for high-quality traditional courses make for high-quality virtual courses—pedagogically sound design; standards-aligned elements; scaffolded curriculum; and caring, communicative, and creative teachers. And, for some learners, finding those high-quality online courses and offering the flexibility and alternative learning environment that they provide can be the key to academic success.

That has certainly been the case for Onslow County Schools (OCS) in Jacksonville, North Carolina, which serves a large population of highly transient students from neighboring Camp Lejeune, one of the U.S.’ largest military bases. With 48 percent of OCS students transferring either within or out of the district each year, finding innovative ways to give students more consistency in their academic experience is key. In 2016, OCS turned to virtual courses as a solution to this ongoing challenge. After looking at multiple providers, the district chose to partner with Edmentum’s EdOptions Academy because of our extensive catalog of 400-plus courses; built-to-state-standards curriculum; outstanding, state-certified virtual instructors; and commitment to ongoing training and program consulting.

Now, two complete school years after the Onslow Virtual Academy and EdOptions Academy partnership was born, the results are speaking for themselves. Thanks to thoughtful program planning and design on the part of OCS administrators, and students’ hard work in EdOptions Academy courses, learners in the Onslow Virtual Academy are not only showing impressive growth, but their achievement is also outpacing that of students statewide. We’ll let the stats do the rest of the talking.

Onslow Virtual Academy students are showing outstanding graduation success:

Onslow Virtual Academy students are showing higher average achievement than other students in the district and in the state of North Carolina:

Onslow Virtual Academy students are showing growth in achievement over time:

Want to learn more about how Onslow County Schools is partnering with EdOptions Academy to offer flexible virtual learning options that support outstanding student achievement? Check out this recorded webinar to hear from OCS Director of Virtual Education Vikki Childress about steps the district has taken to create a successful, cost-effective virtual program!