Increasing Student Retention: How Can We Help Students?

Contributor: 
Lainney Ballew

How can we help struggling students so they don’t drop out? In order to help them, we really need to identify why they are struggling and why we are losing them.

Some, but certainly not all, reasons students drop out are that they:

  • Are falling behind in class and in their grades, which makes them feel unable catch up—so they give up hope and lose motivation
  • Need to help support their families in various ways, and so they are unable to attend traditional brick-and-mortar schools
  • Feel their learning needs aren’t being met by traditional methods

Catching Up or Getting Ahead with Online Summer School Programs

Contributor: 
Amanda Cunningham

Many young people experience learning losses when they do not engage in educational activities during the summer break. Typically, students lose about two months of grade-level equivalency in mathematical computation skills, and low-income students lose an additional two months in reading achievement—despite the fact that their middle-class peers make slight gains according to the National Summer Learning Association.                                                              

Summer school doesn’t need to be the un-air-conditioned agony that students and teachers imagine it to be. Instead, it can be an opportunity to help students stay on track to graduate, get ahead with core courses, or be inspired with career-building electives.

Solving the Special Education Crisis through Online Speech, Occupational, and Behavioral Therapies

Contributor: 
Amanda Cunningham

More than 13 percent of America’s school-aged population—more than six million children—require special education today according to the National Center for Education Statistics. Given this challenge, compounded by a nationwide shortage of special education teachers and related services clinicians, schools struggle to provide the federally mandated services these students need to progress academically.

Across the country, schools and districts are leveraging digital learning to overcome these staffing and resource challenges in order to improve student outcomes and to address the many needs of their K–12 students. Whether to expand course options, to provide assistance to those who need additional help through online speech, occupational, and behavioral therapies, or to provide an alternative learning environment, digital learning is a nontraditional method with proven success.

Getting to Know Students in the Online World

Contributor: 
Kelli Hicks

When I first started teaching online, I thought I would never get to know my students very well in the new environment. In my previous brick-and-mortar classroom, I was able to see my students every day and was able to talk and interact with them in person. As a result of this daily interaction, I didn’t just know them academically.

I knew about their families, who their friends were, their jobs, and their hopes for after high school. As I started into my first online course with my first student, I thought I would miss out on this aspect of teaching.

Let’s Leap into Math to Learn Leap Year Calculations!

Contributor: 
Cindy Bryant

This past Monday, February 29, was Leap Day. You may think that Leap Day is added to the calendar every four years, creating a Leap Year, but it’s more complex than that and requires a bit of math to calculate.

How Do I Calculate Leap Year?

As it turns out, February 29 is not added to the calendar every four years. While it’s true that all non-century years that are divisible by four are leap years, this just doesn’t hold true for century years.