REDMOND, Ore. - Forget about school buses, homeroom and one teacher for the year. Redmond's new online K-12 school anything but traditional.
"Kind of a key word floating around out there in the online education world is 'anytime, anywhere'," Mike Nye, online school coordinator for the Redmond School District, said Tuesday.
Redmond K12 Online will be offered to every student in the district.
"You really can have a virtual learning environment that mimics your typical bricks and mortar learning environment," Nye said.
This is how the district plans to do that with their online school.
"We're going to support each student with a three-person team approach," Nye said.
That includes mom or dad as a learning coach, an online teacher provided by Connections Learning and a local certified teacher who will act as a mentor.
"Students in Redmond K-12 Online will have the opportunity to get a Redmond School District diploma," Nye said.
District officials say they believe their program will appeal to parents already home-schooling their kids.
"They'll have access to over 600 online classes and certified teachers and free materials that come with every single class -- and it's totally free to them," Nye said
Yes, you heard him right -- unlike other school programs on the web, Redmond K-12 Online does not cost a dime. The district is trying to hold on to students leaving to other online programs, because each student means money from the state -- so the losses can hurt.
"Online education is definitely a trend that's not slowing down," Nye said.
Kids can still participate in sports and activities at the school they'd be going to if they weren't taking classes online.
"We want to take those components and intermix them with this supportive, flexible, rigorous, multimedia rich online curriculum," Nye sid.
A wide-reaching curriculum in the comfort of their own home.
While it's an online school, much of the instruction is hands-on learning. How much time is spent on the computer varies by age.
There will also be a tech center in Redmond, where students can meet with their mentors and interact with other kids.
Bend-La Pine Schools, along with the Crook County School District, already offer similar online programs to their students.
Open enrollment for Redmond K-12 Online has begun. The district is holding three informational meetings for parents and students. The first two are on March 14th at Ridgeview High School. Meetings are set for an hour, and you have two options: one meeting will start at 10:30 in the morning and the second will begin at 6:30 p.m.
Find out more at www.redmondk12online.org.