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ECS to launch virtual school

Escambia County Schools this week announced a collaboration with digital curriculum company Odysseyware, designed to ensure that homebound and adjudicated students unable to attend school can continue to access rigorous digital courses.

The district’s new virtual school, which launches in August, will also enable students to pursue accelerated, competency-based courses while complementing their studies with career-focused courses in fields ranging from culinary arts to foreign languages.

“What started as an effort to harness the potential of technology to ensure continuity for homebound students, has evolved into a powerful, virtual resource to complement the needs of all learners,” said Amy Cabaniss, Escambia County Schools supervisor of curriculum and instruction. “We’re creating a truly unique experience, designed to augment the capacity of our traditional schools with expanded digital content and resources.”

Escambia County began using the digital curriculum in the spring semester in an alternative school setting with 40 students.

In June, the program was expanded to enable students to access high school courses during the summer months.

When the virtual school becomes available districtwide in August, all students will have access to core academic content and career and technical education, as well as elective courses like culinary arts, welding and music appreciation.

“Odysseyware’s unique approach provides us with the flexibility to customize the courses to ensure alignment with Alabama’s state standards,” Cabaniss said. “We’ll be able to meet students where they are, and create pathways to college – and careers – that work with the real-world challenges and demands many of our students are facing.”

The Odysseyware Academy will be available for students in grades three through 12.

“We have a lot of parents who want to homeschool their children, but we have had to in the past send them elsewhere,” Cabaniss said. “With this program, they enroll with us at Escambia County Schools, but go to school at home through the Odysseyware program. Odysseyware is one of the more noteworthy programs of its kind.”

The school system also benefits from the program despite students not being on campus.

They are able to count those students toward their numbers to get state money for the next year.

For more information, call Cabaniss at 368-8979  Ext:2401