Even high-performing students in top-notch school districts can use a little help every once in a while. That’s where online credit recovery options can make a real difference. Mount Si High School decided to take advantage of this technology to keep students on track toward graduation.
Located just outside of Seattle, Mount Si High School serves around 1,900 students. Like the rest of the Snoqualmie Valley School District’s 11 award-winning schools, Mount Si is an academic powerhouse, dedicated to instilling a love for learning while also preparing students for college or the workforce. In fact, Mount Si has been included on the U.S. News & World Report Best High Schools lists and was awarded the magazine’s silver medals for the past six years, based on reading, math, and college-readiness data. And the school also boasts an impressive 95.2 percent four-year graduation rate.
Part of the school’s strategy to keep students engaged and on the right path is through online courses offered through Mount Si Online, a partnership between the district and Stride Learning Solutions. Mount Si Online digital learning options are as diverse as the students themselves and tailored to their individual learning needs. High school students have the option to take online or blended courses, with up to 200 students accessing digital learning options at any given time. Students across the district can opt into a full-time online model that meets all state requirements for alternative learning, and advanced eighth grade students can take online courses for credit enrichment over the summer. These online courses play a pivotal role in keeping the school’s graduation rate more than 15 percent higher than the state average.
Flexible program keeps students on track for graduation
But for some students, simply taking an online course for original credit may not be enough, and they may require a different solution to help them on their journey toward graduation. As with many schools offering online courses, Mount Si found that some students were mastering part of the course material but were not passing the class. Rather than require these students to re-take the class in its entirety, Mount Si Online offers students a flexible solution for those who do not pass a course on the first go around.
These students may need a little more support and remediation, but the ultimate goal is for students to test out of previously mastered material so they can focus on filling in knowledge gaps they missed the first time around. And like other blended courses, credit recovery courses can be taken at home or in the online classroom lab during the traditional seven-period day.
Unlike other courses, however, credit recovery courses run for 90-days. These courses have flexible start dates which allow students to access them when they need them. Students who achieve mastery of at least 70 percent during a unit precheck may advance past the content for that unit and take the unit exam. This level of personalization builds on students’ prior knowledge and allows them to focus their time on content they truly need to master.
The credit recovery courses have been a resounding success, with the school boasting a 100 percent passage rate for credit recovery courses in calendar year 2020.
Mount Si Online’s coordinator Amy Fauver Lane says, “Mount Si High School principals are very happy with the results we are achieving at Mount Si Online. In fact, they’ve even told me that other districts have called to learn more about our online learning program as they are looking to build their own.”