Case Study

Restoring Rigor to Summer School Online Credit Recovery

Temecula Valley Unified School District, CA


Students were slipping off the graduation track earlier and earlier in their academic career. The district wanted a preemptive intervention strategy that reached students before they required formal credit recovery.


  • Use online learning to increase student achievement and improve graduation rate.
  • Use online learning for credit recovery programs and address struggling students' needs earlier in their academic career.


  • Selected Apex Learning digital curriculum to launch a multi-tiered intervention program, including preemptive interventions, to address struggling students' needs.
  • Program includes extensive virtual support for increasing student achievement.


  • Nongraduating seniors earned credits through the summer school online credit recovery program and received diplomas.
  • All summer school students completed and passed at least one online course.
  • Students in summer school credit recovery program doubled in 2010.

Increasing Academic Rigor

Temecula Valley's summer school online credit recovery program had the reputation for being easy. The district needed to increase the rigor of its online curriculum to restore the integrity of its diploma and the reputation of its program.

Improving Student Outcomes

In 2008, Temecula Valley switched providers to Apex Learning digital curriculum, which was known for its rigorous instruction. The district offered summer school online credit recovery programs at two high schools and gave priority to nongraduating seniors and credit-deficient rising seniors.

Implementing Online Credit Recovery

One of the challenges of any credit recovery program is that each student starts at a different point and has a unique set of needs. In this blended learning model, the Apex Learning digital curriculum provided direct instruction and formative and summative assessment, allowing each student to move at his or her own pace, spending as much or as little time as needed for mastery of the material. The classroom teacher engaged one-to-one with each student, using real-time data to monitor student progress and performance to determine the best way to help each student achieve.

We implemented Apex Learning digital curriculum because of the rigor and standards-based alignment. The online courses set expectations for high achievement and supported students to learn and succeed.

Todd Reed

Director of Instructional Technology


Challenging Students and Increasing Learning

Students noticed the difference. They found the new online courses more rigorous, and they overwhelmingly rose to the challenge. Students engaged in active learning and received targeted support from the scaffolding integrated into the online courses. No matter where they were on the learning spectrum, they began to experience success. This motivated them to invest more time in their learning.

Building Student and Teacher Confidence

The program successfully re-established the value of credits earned through the summer school program. Students gained a sense of confidence and accomplishment. Teachers found students thrived in the more rigorous, personalized learning environment that Apex Learning digital curriculum helped foster.

Expanding Online Options

This success led to the expansion of the online credit recovery program beyond summer school, giving students access to credit recovery during the regular school year so they could stay on track and graduate on time.

Our teachers were impressed by how the Apex Learning digital curriculum and instructional management capabilities allowed them to effectively manage the classroom and respond to the individual needs of every student.

Todd Reed

Success by the Numbers

School years 2008-2011:

  • 1,791 student enrollments
  • 2,657 course completions

About Temecula Valley Unified School District

  • Temecula, California, 90 miles southeast of Los Angeles
  • 28,680 K-12 students
  • 3 traditional high schools
  • 2 alternative high schools