Bauxite School District created the Miner Academy to increase the graduation rate and address the needs of all learners, especially those for whom the traditional school environment was not a good fit.
High school students with jobs, students with behavioral issues, students needing to catch up on skills, and students struggling with learning disabilities were among those in the larger district student population who found it difficult to complete their high school requirements and obtain a diploma. And, because of the small size of the district and limited teacher and course resources, advanced students interested in accelerated curriculum or more electives were often missing out on opportunities to get ahead.
A state charter school grant funding of over $200,000 prompted a remodel of the former district office into Miner Academy. The Academy is centrally located and easily accessed by students who attend part-time and are enrolled in their traditional school. Odysseyware is the central driving force behind the technology-based curriculum at the Academy, which serves over 400 learners, and provides a solution that is both student-and teacher-friendly.
Because Odysseyware is a flexible online solution, it allows the Academy to help struggling students make up lost credits at their own pace while continuing to hold down jobs and attend to other personal responsibilities. The credit recovery program also lets students move ahead with course completion rather than having to put in “seat time” to repeat a course.
Middle and high school students with learning disabilities often give up on themselves by the secondary school level. These students are better able to get the individual help they need in the more intimate learning environment of the Academy, where the student-teacher ratio is between 8 and 6:1. The customized learning pathways in Odysseyware also ensure students don't ”fall through the cracks” in acquiring the skills and concepts they need for success.
The combination of technology and a classroom teacher available to support students in their personalized learning journey is a winning combination for Miner Academy. Students can work at their own pace, both at home and at the school site.
The district’s technology-based summer school option, which uses Odysseyware as its primary curriculum, allows students in the regular high school to also catch up on skills or progress ahead in the curriculum.
With the district unable to provide a full range of advanced courses in such areas as foreign language, Odysseyware comes to the rescue for students on the fast track to college. Both middle and high school students can accelerate their learning pace, allowing the district to compete with larger middle and high schools.
Miner Academy has increased the district graduation rate from 91.7 to 95 percent, and students are taking more personal responsibility for their learning. Boasting a 75 percent graduation rate, the Academy has also allowed the district to retain approximately $27,000 per year for students who might otherwise have dropped out. College reports from former students also say they are excelling among their peers in independent learning, research, and overall technology literacy skills because of their experience in the Academy.
DISTRICTBauxite School District
- 1,614 students | 4 schools
- 44.4% economically disadvantaged students
- 95% graduation rate
“More than any other solution we tried, Odysseyware addressed everything that had been preventing kids from staying focused and achieving. In traditional schools, so many students fail to master every skill and concept taught in any given class, but Odysseyware offers a tech-based curriculum allowing students to progress at their own pace."
Tyler Tarver, Director of Curriculum, Instruction, Communications & Technology, Miner Academy