In January of 2016, WSST began using Odysseyware to expand opportunities for students to take courses beyond the core curriculum
Western School of Science and Technology
Nearly half of WSST’s student population was not passing one or more classes. The school had limited course offerings and credit recovery options and summer school only allowed students to make up half a credit, so recovering grades and credits was a discouraging and time-consuming task. In addition, a large percentage of the student population are first-generation Americans with families that face a language barrier.
Odysseyware allows the school to supplement their subject offerings with a range of career, technology, computer and health courses. The school chose Odysseyware for its flexibility and broad range of course choices. It also made financial sense for their limited budget as it has allowed them to effectively offer timely intervention for all their students.
Odysseyware is a main component of the Expanded Opportunity program which allows students to recover credits at a much faster than was previously possible. The program includes in-school intervention blocks, a quarterly full re-teach day, and after-school intervention times. Odysseyware has also been key in helping students avoid the need to re-take classes and the credits recovered has been dramatic; in the first quarter of 2016, students recovered 50 credits and by the end of the semester they had recovered a total of 75 credits. The number of students on track to graduate has greatly increased under this program. Previously only 60 percent of students were on track to graduate, but that percentage has now increased to 84 percent and Moore predicts it will be in the 90s by the end of the 2017-2018 school year.
Summer school has now become an additional efficient solution for students who have struggled to master the core curricular subjects of math and English Language Arts. Learners can make up basic course requirements and also get ahead with advanced courses, such as Calculus and AP® Physics.
The 2017-2018 school year will be the first year that WSST graduates a senior class. It will also be the first year the school puts into practice its policy of having seniors design their own curriculum according to their personal interests and aptitudes. Odysseyware will play a central role in this by making additional courses available, such as Environmental Science, Media Studies, and Macroeconomics, which allows students to further customize their learning.
With its focus on technology, WSST offers students both online and hands-on experiences in the areas of coding, web design, robotics, and other electronics fields. In these and other areas, Odysseyware can supplement outdoor and applied learning activities, even the current building of additional classrooms using storage containers.
As WSST is poised to move forward into its fourth year and first graduating class, Moore is enthusiastic about the change she has seen in learners.
- 425 students
- 98% economically disadvantaged students
- 80% students from non-English speaking families
- 97% Latino students
“Odysseyware has opened up opportunities for my students and shifted their mindsets about personal responsibility. We are aiming to be the first high school in the area to receive an A rating from the state, and I believe we are well on our way.”
Tara Moore, To & Through College Counselor, WSST