Meghan Bogardus Cortez, EdTech
Forget summer brain drain for K–12 students in Missouri. They have access to more than 100 free online classes thanks to the Missouri Online Summer Institute, a program open to students in grades 7–12, K12 Inc. reports in a press release.
Class offerings range from required electives to Advanced Placement courses and career readiness classes, such as Introduction to Agriscience, Engineering Design and Web Design. K12 Inc. reports that MOSI began as a summer course offering from Grandview R–2 School District and expanded quickly, with enrollment ready to surpass 1,000 this year.
“This program allows students to attend summer school on their own schedule,” says MOSI Coordinator Mike Brown. “They can take part in family vacations and summer sporting activities yet still continue their studies online to achieve their academic goals and satisfy graduation requirements.”
Brown tells Business Wire that MOSI is most beneficial for students in rural school districts to get ahead in their studies, just as their peers do. Rural school districts often don’t have summer school or have it only for remedial classes. MOSI courses are taught by state-licensed teachers, and the students have access to a virtual classroom where they can collaborate with peers and teachers.
Online and In-Person Summer Classes Can Boost Opportunity
A recent study from the National Summer Learning Project found that elementary school students who regularly attended summer learning programs experienced boosts in math and reading skills.
“The academic advantage for the students with high attendance levels after the second summer translates to between 20 and 25 percent of the typical annual gains in mathematics and reading,” a ScienceDaily article reports on the study.
Many states, such as Virginia and Florida, have expanded and improved online learning programs because they open access to students anywhere and help them learn at their own pace.
With efficacy shown in summer schooling, it seems a no-brainer to combine the two.
In a Parenting article, Alabama middle school Principal Blair Andress says online summer courses are a good alternative to supplement the traditional school year, especially for students who need to catch up. Other experts indicate that online courses — during the school year or the summer — work best for kids who are self-starters.
“Online learning prefers students who are better at managing their own learning and have a motivation to do so,” says Andrew Tatusko, assistant director for online faculty development at Pennsylvania State University.