Committee Considering Virtual School Change

The district virtual school committee has been debating the choice of a new website host for online classes.

Currently, the district is paired with K12’s Peak program but Mary Burns said, “We’ve had some concerns about the content and delivery.”

Although Byrns is happy that Peak “offers a wide variety of classes,” she hoped to improve upon the Middlebury foreign language courses. “I would like to see more contact and relationship-building with our students,” Byrns says.

Because of Peak’s mismatched course dates, timely grading and missing assignments were an issue this past semester. These system issues created more work for our students and Byrns.

“Students even found errors in test questions, which resulted in a drop of confidence in their content,” said Byrns.

Misunderstandings and gradebook issues have stirred up frustrating troubleshooting and contact with the language professors, but many have felt that the professors lacked reliability when contacted about these problems.

With disappearing work, ungraded assignments and slow communication, the committee has started looking at other options. “As of now, we are still learning about possible vendors and are scheduling times to meet with them,” Byrns said.

A change in website would mean students would have to learn a new interface, but Byrns said that she is confident that our online students have the ability to adapt easily to different systems of learning already, and that this change shouldn’t be an issue.