Sampson Independent

Virtual school contract OK’d as cost savings

Sampson County School officials are moving forward with contracts to revamp the alternative program into a virtual learning system.

During a recent meeting, the Board of Education voted to use Apex Learning Digital Curriculum Solutions for $83,000 per year. The decision was made as a cost savings alternative. In the last school period, the Charles E. Perry building in Roseboro served students in the Hobbton, Lakewood, Midway and Union districts.

According to Dr. Wesley Johnson, assistant superintendent of instructional service, operations at the building were costing the district $450,000. Some of the expenses were used for teaching positions, guidance counseling, custodial maintenance and for a director. The monthly expense for lights, water/sewer and natural was also costing the district thousands of dollars.

With a committee, Johnson said different companies were reviewed. Based out of Seattle, Apex’s digital curriculum is designed to help meet the diverse needs of students. The Apex program will also be used for credit recovery at high schools in the district.

During a June meeting, Johnson presented the change, which is also expected to save time for students who live in spaced out regions of the school system. As an example, Johnson said it would take about three hours for a student in the Clement area if they’re riding the bus.

Some of the ideas with technology involved giving students laptops to and establishing an evening academy. To accommodate where students live, there’s a possibility that it could be moved around to a different district each day. Students would only be required to attend if they failed or need additional help outside of their online courses. Talks also include providing counselors and mental help professionals.

Currently 16 students are returning to the alternative program following evaluation. During the year, the average of students at the Perry building is between 25 and 30.

Sampson school officials review documents during a recent board meeting. school officials review documents during a recent board meeting.
Contract approved for $83,000

By Chase Jordan

Reach Chase Jordan at 910-249-4617. Follow us on Twitter at @SampsonInd and like us on Facebook.