Gwinnett Online Campus Expands to Middle Schoolers

The charter school, which opened last year as a high school, will serve grades six through eight for the 2012-2013 school year.

The Gwinnett County Online Campus will expand its curriculum to the middle school level this fall, according to a press release.

The charter school, which opened in Norcross last year as a high school under Gwinnett County Public Schools, will have 78 students enrolled in grades six through eight this August. The campus will have a total of 236 students for the 2012-2013 school year.

Through its unique learning experience and scheduling flexibility, Gwinnett Online Campus offers a combination of online and face-to-face on-campus learning. The school "seeks to enhance the learning of students in a world-class virtual environment, empowering them with the 21st century knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in the local, national and global community," says the release.

While it is based heavily online, the charter school offers the same courses and the district’s AKS-based curriculum found at traditional schools. Students still have homework and deadlines, and they're required to participate in class discussions.

A majority of these activities occur over the Internet, though, and the coursework may be completed at a schedule that works best for each student.

A wide range of multimedia tools are used to deliver instruction, present content and provide interaction. Students use these same technology tools to complete assignments and projects while mastering 21st-century skills. Additionally, students and teachers communicate on a daily basis about assignments through not only through email and phone, but also through discussion boards, virtual classrooms and other Web 2.0 tools.

For the campus' middle schoolers, they'll be asked to attend at least one of two half-day on-campus, face-to-face sessions that will be held weekly during the year. The campus sessions will be streamed live and recorded, allowing any student who is not able to attend to view them online.

Before the school year begins, an in-person orientation session will be held on campus for all students in early August. Two full days of orientation are planned where students will meet their teachers, learn how to access courses, navigate the learning management system, and participate in team-building activities.


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