Online school keeps growing [UPDATED]Published 11:08am Tuesday, March 26, 2013 Updated 11:15am Tuesday, March 26, 2013
While other districts have been closing their online schools, the I.Q. Academy is growing by “leaps and bounds,” and the district now has over 500 students who attend school online.
Kennedy Secondary School Principal Dean Monke on Monday gave a report on the growing numbers of students in the district’s I.Q. Academy online program, which has increased steadily since the program started in 2008.
According to I.Q. Academy Assistant Principal Brad Strand, the program started its first year with 130 students from around the area. At the start of this school year, the number of students was around 300 and is still increasing.
One reason for the rapid increase this year was the inclusion of K-5 students in January. Strand said the academy welcomed 15 students when the online option was opened to K-5 students. That number is now 60.
Strand also said that students at I.Q. Academy aren’t just from the surrounding area.
“When we do our state testing, we have it at seven to eight sites, from Rochester, Thief River Falls and even the Minneapolis area, just so the students don’t have to drive some 200 miles,” said Strand.
With MCA testing in April, board member Melanie Cole asked Monke if there was any chance that the district’s test scores would be diluted with the addition of so many students, but Monke assured the board that any changes in scores would only be reported to the school to be used for the improvement of the students’ education.
Monke also said the biggest problem the I.Q. Academy has is getting its students to attend standardized testing. Monke said he has encouraged all students, traditional or online, to be ready for testing in the middle of April.
Board approves asbestos removal, waits on McKinley heat pump replacement
The school board approved the removal of asbestos at McKinley and Adams schools, but will wait to vote on a plan to replace a heat pump at McKinley after contractor bids for the project came in higher than expected.
According to board member Mark Masten, the bids received were all $200,000 more than were originally expected. The board will wait on further approval until a plan that fits the current budget has been created.