Archived Story

Academy deemed successful

Published 11:50am Wednesday, August 27, 2014

In a year’s time the Lawrence County Academy has doubled its enrollment.

The school that provides an alternative path to high school graduation for students who do not want to pursue traditional education, had an enrollment of just 35 at the start of its 2013-2014 school year. This year, the academy already has 70 enrolled for its Sept. 11 start date.

“We’re excited for the start of this year,” Bob Wilds, LCA director, said. “Last year was our first year and it was a learning process for us as well as our students. We believe that we have used that experience to better the program and are prepared for an even better 2014-2015 school year.”

LCA is a virtual community school of Ohio, designed to give struggling students a chance to earn their high school diplomas through an online-based curriculum. Unlike most VCS Ohio schools, however, LCA does meet in a classroom with a teacher once per week.

“That is something different we do but feel it is important to give the students some face to face time with their instructor,” Wilds said. “Other than that they also have to put in 30 hours a week of online course work to meet Ohio state requirements.”

Lawrence County Schools Superintendent James Payne deemed the school’s first year as a success and said he believes it will continue to provide an important alternative for students in the county.

“These are kids who for whatever reason have been disengaged with the traditional learning process,” Payne said. “These are students who were at risk of being drop outs and we have provided them with a different road to get their education. For us it is a success if we either graduate them or put them back into their home schools or programs at Collins Career Center. Anything that keeps them pursuing an education.”

Last year six students graduated from LCA, while another 33 re-entered their home schools or programs at CCC. But, keeping students in school isn’t the only benefit to LCA’s program.

“It also keeps our kids in Lawrence County,” Payne said. “Before we started LCA our students were seeking out online courses in other districts so this allows our students to pursue that option without leaving the county.”

LCA’s is still taking enrollment applications from students and has a parent orientation meeting scheduled for 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 4 at CCC’s Getaway campus.

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