ICCSD Announces Online School for 2021-22 School Year
The Iowa City Community School District announced today the establishment of a permanent PK-12 online school, ICCSD Online. The school, which is free to any school-aged student in Iowa, is now accepting students for the 2021-22 school year. Iowa parents and students who are interested in enrolling in the program should visit the ICCSD Online website, www.iowacityschools.org/ICCSDOnline, or contact the school at ICCSDonline@iowacityschools.org. ICCSD Online provides equitable access for all students and offers learning supports for students with Individualized Education Plans, English Language Learners, students in extended learning programs, and students requiring special accommodations for learning.
The slogan for ICCSD Online is Real Teachers. Real Classmates. Virtual Learning. What distinguishes ICCSD Online from other virtual schools is the emphasis on the student/teacher relationship and the classroom experience. Like other online programs, ICCSD Online allows for much more flexibility than traditional schools, but students in ICCSD Online will have live classes with teacher and student interactions. Classes take place using Zoom and all students in the program are provided a Chromebook laptop free of charge.
At the high school level, ICCSD Online is offering both a full-time program and a part-time program. Students who open enroll into the program from outside the ICCSD will be in the full-time program and be eligible for a diploma from the Iowa City Community School District. High school students within the district can enroll either full-time or part-time. Part-time enrollment can occur in the morning or the afternoon and it allows students to maintain a relationship with their home school while also offering a more flexible schedule.
In addition to a complete high school program that features the Iowa Core Curriculum, ICCSD Online includes 18 different Advanced Placement (AP) Courses, making it the only online school in the state of Iowa with more than 15 AP offerings online. Each AP class is taught by a certified teacher who also teaches in one of the three comprehensive Iowa City Community School District high schools.
The open enrollment period for Fall of 2021 for families living outside of the Iowa City Community School District ends on March 1, 2021. Families within the school district will be asked to formally make this election at a later date.
The class structures in ICCSD Online are similar to the current ICCSD online program that currently serves over 5,500 students. Gregg Shoultz, Director of Online Programs for the District said, “We have learned so much this year about what works and what doesn’t work for online education. We took the best of what is working and included it in the new virtual program.” Shoultz reported that student achievement data, parent and teacher survey data, parent focus groups, and direct input from current online teachers informed the design of ICCSD Online. “We compiled hundreds of pages of written responses from parents and teachers about the program. We know online, virtual education isn’t the right fit for all students, but we also know that it is working for a great many students,” Shoultz said.