Odysseyware programs have enabled increased student flexibility, leading to a 26% increase in graduation rates – exceeding the state average.
Thomasville City Schools
Three years ago the district faced challenges including maximizing learning time, managing financial limitations, working with students with behavioral/disciplinary challenges, and improving pacing – whether that pace is accelerated or more segmented than it would be in a conventional classroom.
Since Thomasville City Schools implemented Odysseyware three years ago, they have witnessed a real change: parents want more for their children than just going through the motions. Students and their parents can truly customize their education through a variety of programs such as New Beginnings, the Thomasville City Performance Center, ACCEL credit recovery, and the Virtual/Hybrid program.
ACCEL: Thomasville’s credit recovery program is geared to students who have failed a course and need to receive the required credit to move forward in their education or graduate. Students come to the lab for this program and attend the rest of their classes in a brick-and-mortar setting.
NEW BEGINNINGS: This non-punitive, drop-back-in program is geared to students who need to be placed into an accelerated level of study to complete their graduation requirements on time. Facilitated by the current Thomasville City Odysseyware administrator, New Beginnings is run in half-day sessions.
Dr. Oldham and his colleagues considered their options in looking for a way to market this program to a broader group that would include a virtual lab to accommodate homeschooled students as well as out-of-district students. In the district virtual/hybrid program, students can be fully enrolled, fully virtual, or a blend, which includes in-school attendance for electives or subjects chosen by the parent, and virtual attendance for the rest.
Grades 3 to 5: Currently available at Scott Elementary. The district is looking to expand it to its other elementary schools in the future.
Grades 6 to 12: Students can participate in the Scholars Academy, now available to full-time, virtual, and hybrid students. Prior to 2016, this accelerated college-prep program was limited to a brick-and-mortar setting.
THOMASVILLE CITY PERFORMANCE CENTER: Thomasville City’s TCPC provides a placement alternative for about 100 students with discipline issues. Students representing a wide range of grade levels attend TCPC, often at the same time. Since the cost of teaching each of the classes directly is cost prohibitive, it's critical for the district to have an option where the staff can facilitate the material as needed, so this brick-and-mortar site uses Odysseyware as its curriculum.
For students who benefit from learning outside of a conventional classroom setting, Odysseyware offers opportunities to maximize learning time. One gifted student was faced with choosing between completing a required course or an AP course. With Odysseyware, the scheduling conflict became a non-issue, as the student could complete the AP course virtually. The resulting flexibility allows for optimization of each student license.
Through the Scholars Academy, activities covered by the district that previously cost additional money are now covered by the district and are free to students as part of the program’s offerings. And one of the greatest benefits is students’ ability to take responsibility for their own learning and be accountable for self-pacing.
DISTRICTThomasville City Schools
- 3,100 students
- 66.42% economically disadvantaged students
- 61 virtual students
- 96 alternative school students
“Odysseyware helps districts have their cake and eat it too. You can have your public school that you love, and be a part of that community, but also provide flexibility to do other things that weren’t around when we were in school. The flexibility Odysseyware has created for our students is incredible.”
Dr. Daniel Oldham, Assistant Superintendent, Thomasville City Schools