Case Study

Digital Learning Provides Cost-Effective Academic Solution

July 09, 2015
White River Valley Schools, IN

CHALLENGE

White River Valley Schools needed a way to reduce spending, while still providing students with a high quality education in a rigorous learning environment.

GOAL

  • Increase graduation rate by offering students the opportunity to recover credits online.
  • Retain students and attract new students from outside the district by offering a comprehensive online course catalog including Advanced Placement® (AP®).

SOLUTION

  • Use Apex Learning online courses as a cost-effective solution to address the wide range of academic readiness and learning needs.
  • Gain a competitive advantage by offering the Apex Learning Comprehensive Course Catalog.

RESULTS

Student enrollment from outside the district increased 8 percentage points due in part to the AP online course offering.

About White River Valley Public Schools

Small, rural district about 85 miles from
the state capital, Indianapolis

  • One high school (grades 7-12)
  • 850 K-12 students
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Supporting Students Needs

Dr. Layton Wall, superintendent, and Dr. Michael Langevin, director of student achievement know the concept of "doing even more with less." Facing dramatic budget cuts, digital learning surfaced as a cost-effective and efficient way to address a wide range of student needs.

Selecting Digital Curriculum

When Dr. Langevin reviewed digital curriculum providers, Apex Learning stood out. "I heard consistent reviews about the success students were having in other districts," said Langevin. "Administrators liked the rigor of the instruction and how it engaged students in active learning experiences." The district selected Apex Learning Comprehensive Courses and launched a credit recovery program.

Increasing Student Achievement

One challenge of any credit recovery program is that each student is starting at a different point with a unique set of needs. Apex Learning online courses provided direct instruction and formative and summative assessment, allowing each student to move at his or her own pace. The classroom teacher engaged one-to-one with each student, using real-time data to monitor student progress and performance, and determine the best way to help each student achieve.

 

 

Apex Learning allowed us to meet student needs and still be fiscally responsible.

Dr. Layton Wall
Superintendent

 

Our students have responded positively to the online curriculum. We started offering it in summer school and after students started talking about it our enrollment in these classes more than tripled for fall.


Lee Ann Engelhardt
Jr./Sr. High School Principal

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Expanding AP Options

The district expanded academic choice with Apex Learning online courses. For the first time, students could take comprehensive online courses for initial credit, Honors and AP. "I could not afford to hire more teachers, but I could offer Apex Learning AP courses using one of our certified teachers already on staff," said Dr. Langevin.

Attracting New Students

Offering courses online attracted new students from outside the district. Indiana parents choose which school their student attends and state funding follows. Dr. Langevin attributed an 8 percentage point enrollment increase to the new digital learning programs.

Leveraging Digital Curriculum

The growing interest in digital learning sparked new uses. Teachers used the assessments and study guides to supplement classroom instruction. The district launched a new dropout recovery evening program for over-aged students. And struggling middle school students used Apex Learning Foundations courses to develop their reading and math skills before advancing to high school.

My vision is that all our students have a quality education that meets their individual needs. We want to provide whatever our students need to walk the stage and go on to live productive lives.

Dr. Michael Langevin
Director, Student Achievement

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