Stony Creek offers new curriculum
Stony Creek Joint Union School District officials will soon be able to offer their high school students a more well-rounded education.
The school board voted 5-0 last week to adopt a new high school curriculum that will use the latest technology that is adaptable to a variety of learning experiences, including classroom, home computers and mobile devices.
The new curriculum is called Accelerate Education, which provides online and independent study courses, blended learning, digital curriculum and mobility enabled systems to increase educational opportunities and achievement to students and teachers in grades 9-12, school officials said.
"The curriculum is good," said Interim Superintendent Tracey Quarne. "It will allow students to take a variety of courses not available here."
The program is accredited by the Northwest Accreditation Commission and is compatible to California standards in education, Quarne said.
By targeting a tech-savvy generation, school officials said they are paving the way for more students to pass courses and obtain a higher quality education.
"Accelerate Education is being used by our students already for credit recovery," said Stony Creek board President Adrienne Haylor.
Given budget constraints, Quarne said boosting online programs is the only way to accommodate students.
Students can take a variety of regular and honor classes in algebra, calculus and trigonometry, Language arts, biology, chemistry and physics, social studies, history and economics, foreign language, health and physical education, and a variety of electives, such as anthropology, art history, business communication, child development, media studies, music appreciation, sociology and design.
The program will be geared toward independent study, which is designed to allow students to progress at a pace suitable to their own skills, yet keep students on track for graduation.
The curriculum will also allow students to demonstrate a mastery of material based on competency before moving on to other material.
Although some students are already taking online education courses, Internet accessibility in rural Glenn County has been a problem — primarily with the time it takes to download information.
"Hopefully it's going to be a lot faster once GCOE's new communication towers go up," Haylor said.
Most of the county's rural schools do not have high speed Internet, officials said, which is why the Glenn County Board of Education approved spending about $400,000 in district reserves to put up Internet signal towers at the GCOE administration offices in Willows and Orland.
The towers will be used to connect Plaza, Lake, Capay, Princeton and Willowglen schools to high-speed Internet along with Princeton and other Glenn County Office of Education programs.
For Elk Creek, the plan is to bounce the signals off the county-owned Needham Tower.
In addition to online curriculum, Academic Performance Index tests will also have to be taken over the Internet by the 2014-15 school year.
The towers project is expected to be completed by summer.