District 220 starting online summer school program for elementary students
Barrington Area Unit District 220 will launch its first online summer school program this year for elementary students, provided there is enough interest.
Superintendent Brian Harris said the district has had a robust traditional summer school. He said a teaching and learning department team has been developing the online program that will start with children in grades two through five.
Harris said a minimum of 12 students will be needed for an online class to cover the cost of a teacher for the new offering. There also must be enough instructors interested in handling the courses for Barrington Online Summer School, also known as BOSS.
"And remember, at the elementary level all of our summer school in this program is enrichment and reinforcement," Harris said during a school board meeting this week. "It is designed that way for the kids that do come to the schools for that.
"But we believe an online version -- with the emergence of blended learning and the use of technology in our classrooms -- is going to be, we project, a very popular option for our kids."
District 220's director of elementary eduction, Becky Gill, said there will be a maximum 20 students for an online class. Students will need to submit evidence of their learning through an online management system.
Gill said there are a few other suburban school systems with online summer school course for younger students, such as Cary School District 26.
District 26's virtual summer school program began seven years ago. Students spend about 30 minutes per day, four days a week on assignments with access to a teacher electronically or by telephone, when needed, to answer questions or provide support, according to District 26.
Harris said District 220's online summer school will be somewhat of a pilot program. He said he's excited to see what'll happen.
"We're going to be blazing the trail a little bit in this space," he said.
Harris said fees and courses will be the same for traditional and virtual summer school, with the sessions for each running at the same time.