Contributor: 
Katherine Anderson

In its new series, "Research: Outcomes of Blended/Online Learning Programs," the Evergreen Education Group takes an in-depth look at successful blended and online programs across the nation examining the best practices that have created tangible results. We are pleased to share with you highlights from the Wright City Academy case study.

The Wright City Academy Story

Open since the fall of 2005, Wright City Academy provides online alternative education and credit recovery programs for at-risk high school students attending Wright City High School. The school, serving approximately 419 students in grades 9 through 12, is located in a rural setting near St. Louis, Missouri, and is part of the Wright City R-11 school district.

Wright City Academy is a unique online and blended learning program that is helping struggling students become independent and successful learners. It provides a full day, online alternative high school program for students who seek a different path or are unsuccessful in the regular high school. It also includes an online credit recovery program. Students in the credit recovery program take courses in computer labs managed by Wright City High School teachers, who provide one-to-one tutoring and assistance to each student.

"The Academy is not like regular school where they have to stay in class throughout the entire school year," an Academy instructor notes. "We can be more flexible with these students than they can be at the high school. We take a more personalized approach."

Wright City High School teachers are the online instructors for all Fuel Education original credit courses, and Missouri-certified teachers from FuelEd teach the credit recovery courses.

Getting FuelEd with Successful Curriculum

After switching from other online course providers to Fuel Education in 2013, there have been many positive changes for the Academy. Carla Woods, an Academy instructor, explains, "FuelEd is much more rigorous and much more technology based with videos and links to outside sources. FuelEd is set up like a class with labs in science, and interactive games to reinforce concepts, and videos to make the point."

Students find the online curriculum engaging and motivating. "The best part of these online courses is you can work at your own pace," notes one student. "I completed more in these courses than I have in any other class. I actually learned a lot. In some regular classes, I would just get the bare minimum done to pass."

An Academy instructor further elaborates, "When students apply themselves, they see the progress. These FuelEd online courses really make students work and are a lifeline for many of these kids."

From January 2014 through August 2015, 86 percent of Academy students successfully completed their courses and 83 percent of the regular high school students who had failed a course completed their credit recovery course.

FuelEd original credit and credit recovery courses are critical to the success of Wright City Academy’s alternative education and credit recovery programs. Together, these programs meet a wide range of intervention and improvement needs. Wright City Academy is turning frustrated and unsuccessful students into motivated learners, who take pride in their work and aspire to earn their high school diploma.