STMA Online Offers Flexible Learning For Students | Press and news
While many students are returning to classrooms after more than a year of pandemic disruption, some students in the St. Michael-Albertville school district may still choose the option of taking some or all of their courses online. via STMA Online. The program offers online classes for K-12 students with STMA certified teachers.
After the registration deadline of September 1, nearly 100 students registered for STMA Online. According to STMA’s online director Mark Jansen, they never had an estimated number of registrations for the new option.
“Honestly, I didn’t have a number in my head because we’re so new that I didn’t have any numbers or basic data to start from. We had just formed this program to allow our families in our district to have options for distance learning online, ”Jansen said.
The majority were already STMA students, but some who enrolled are from outside the district and others are from homeschooled families.
“Many districts in the state don’t offer distance or online learning options for students, especially at the elementary level, and we are,” Jansen said. “We’re quite proud of the fact that we provide such a great option for K-12 families.”
He was unaware that other districts did not offer this option until families called to say they were happy that STMA offered an online K-6 program.
The STMA online courses were created with Edmentum Courseware, which made a program for STMA its certified teachers. Teachers have shaped the curriculum provided by Edmentum to STMA standards to go with traditional face-to-face lessons.
Jansen said it will be different from the previous year’s online distance learning which required students to learn through virtual meetings, and instead allows students in Grades 7 to 12 to learn in a way. more independent and with more flexibility. “One of the reasons we chose to allow this flexibility was because some of our students, especially last year, found full-time jobs or close to full-time jobs,” Jansen said. “So we wanted to give students the opportunity to continue working and supporting themselves or their families while continuing their education.”
These students can choose to learn entirely online or do a part-time mix online while taking traditional in-person classes. Classes will be transcribed in the same way as regular face-to-face classes, with students receiving an alphabetical grade. No difference between an in-person course and an online course will be made on the transcripts, so future colleges will not be aware of the difference either.
Kindergarten to Grade 6 students will still have structured days with lesson plans and practical materials that will need to be picked up and dropped off by parents. They will also participate in virtual morning meetings to enable socialization that might otherwise be missing from online learning. According to STMA Online, the K-6 structure begins from 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. and will begin with a morning meeting, time to cover each academic topic, a built-in lunch and recess, ending with a wrap-up closing and time to complete daily tasks.
Students will need to log into their classes at least once a day. It is recommended that one or two activities be completed per day per class to stay in tune with their classmates in traditional classrooms. If absences or problems with the internet prevent a student from connecting during the day, students can call Jansen and the absence will be recorded in the school system like any other student under the brick and mortar framework.
Students can contact their professors throughout the day by direct messaging, email or phone. Teachers will respond quickly to students when they can. Kindergarten to Grade 6 teachers will also have open office hours at the end of each school day.
Families can register for the winter term at the end of November so that students start at the beginning of December.
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