North Canton City Schools plans to launch a a tuition-free online digital academy for students in grades 9-12 who live in the district. Students would follow district curriculum and work toward a Hoover High School diploma.
NORTH CANTON Hoover High School students could opt to attend school online next year.
North Canton City Schools plans to launch a a tuition-free online digital academy for students in grades 9-12 who live in the district. Students would follow district curriculum and work toward a Hoover High diploma.
The digital academy is aimed at students who are home-schooled or enrolled in online charter schools. It will "meet the needs of students who struggle to succeed in a traditional setting," according to a news release.
Online students would be attending Hoover but in a different way, said Superintendent Jeff Wendorf. "We get great results and we feel we can get great results to these students. Also, they get a North Canton diploma; that's a thing we think is valuable.
"We know we can do a great job providing academic services for kids who are in online schools," he added.
The digital academy “is the right thing to do," Hoover High School Principal Eric Bornstine said in a statement. "Presently, students come back to us from charter schools where they are typically credit deficient, and we want to help students to be able to graduate in a timely fashion with a Hoover High School diploma. We understand that students learn differently, and an online academy will give us the flexibility to teach students in a manner that will make them successful."
It's also a way for the district to recover funding.
According to the news release, North Canton loses nearly $513,000 in state funding annually due to students attending other online or charter schools. This school year, 95 district students attended an online or charter school at some point.
"We're going to be competitive. We're going to get in the marketplace for kids who are spending tax dollars other places," Wendorf said.
The district will ask the Board of Education at its May 16 meeting to approve creating a new digital director position to run the digital academy.
If 13 to 15 students enroll in the digital academy, the program will pay for itself, Wendorf said, adding that he knows the district has enough students to meet that goal.
"We feel we can make it work financially to make it net positive and net neutral at worst," he said.
If the program is successful, the district will look at expanding it to students in lower grades, he said.
Reach Jessica at 330-580-8322 or firstname.lastname@example.org
On Twitter: @jholbrookREP.