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Valley View to implement online math, English tool in high schools

Published: Monday, June 10, 2013 8:50 a.m. CDT

BOLINGBROOK – A new online learning program will be implemented next fall in Bolingbrook and Romeoville high schools.

Created by the manufacturers of the Odyssey program – a web-based tool that was administered this year in Valley View middle schools – the online Compass Learning high school program features interactive and adaptive videos, practice instruction, animated graphics and assessments to assist students in math and English subject areas.

The Compass Learning program unanimously was approved May 28 by the Valley View School District Board of Education, and high school administrators plan to first incorporate the online tool into the framework for special education classes, then expand the program to all students.

The initial phase will begin when school resumes in August, and secondary implementation is expected to start shortly after, Valley View Assistant Superintendent Rachel Kinder said.

When she first proposed the Compass Learning Program on May 13 to the Valley View Board of Education, Kinder said more than half the district’s high school students do not meet the benchmark for career readiness skills or secondary education.

“Approximately 55 percent of Valley View High School students do not meet the minimum collegiate or career-ready expectations in math and reading,” Kinder said.

This year, middle school students who used the Odyssey program experienced one-half times the gains compared with students not using the program, Kinder said.

At the high school level, Compass Learning will be administered to special education students during designated resource periods. Additionally, high-schoolers can use Compass Learning to make up a failed math or English course or get ahead in certain classes.

The goal, Valley View administrators say, is to blend the Compass program into class instruction. Children who have fallen behind in math and English will need to use the online tool during elective periods.

While this may cut into students’ art and music classes, Kinder said it is the administration’s duty to ensure college and career readiness.

“It will make our students that much stronger in these areas,” Kinder said.

The Compass Learning program will cost $66,072 for two years and $9,800 to continue the program beyond two years. Valley View will pay for the online tool with a state grant.

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