Worried about Enrollment Declines? Explore the Option of District-Owned Homeschooling
In education, experts often talk about competency-based learning models and how to scale these efforts. In reality, these new learning models often spur from the idea that students move on when they have demonstrated mastery, and often complete courses or concepts ahead of schedule. Many of these theories and models date back to the one-room schoolhouse and homeschooling families.
COVID-19 highlighted this idea as educators worked to engage students from a distance at scale. For the first time many public school students were able to experience anytime, anywhere learning. Almost every district is finding there are students who were enrolled in their district who are now planning to continue with homeschooling.
According to the Household Pulse Survey administered by the US Census Bureau “In the first week (April 23-May 5) of Phase 1 of the Household Pulse Survey, about 5.4% of U.S. households with school-aged children reported homeschooling. By fall, 11.1% of households with school-age children reported homeschooling (Sept. 30-Oct. 12). A clarification was added to the school enrollment question to make sure households were reporting true homeschooling rather than virtual learning through a public or private school.
That change represents an increase of 5.6 percentage points and a doubling of U.S. households that were homeschooling at the start of the 2020-2021 school year compared to the prior year.”
What does this Mean for Districts?
With enrollment down in virtually every district, how can leaders provide multiple learning pathways for students who plan to continue with their homeschooling model? Mike Wetherbee, Superintendent of Sheridan Public Schools saw an opportunity to partner with a district-owned homeschooling provider to help provide options for families, while keeping funding within the district. Wetherbee stated, “If you have parents considering homeschooling, here is a model that has worked for us. It allowed us to keep students in the district, while giving parents an accredited homeschool option that we felt good about. Edovate has been a great partner.” He goes on to say that, “Edovate is a solid homeschool program that has the same type of rigor we have in our school system. It provided us with an accredited program that allowed students who were more comfortable at home during the COVID-19 pandemic to receive a quality education.”
Having a district-owned homeschooling option allows every stakeholder to be involved in the student’s education. According to Laurie Bartoletti, school counselor for Sheridan schools, “As a school counselor, it has been great to have an option for parents that I feel confident about recommending. Edovate has been able to step in as our school district homeschool option. They work directly with the parent and student while also keeping me included in the progress. I have complete confidence in referring families to Edovate and have been very happy with the performance of their academic advisors. I would recommend this program to any counselor looking for a homeschool option or asynchronous credit recovery option.”
The Time to Consider Multiple Learning Pathways is Now
As district leaders consider options moving forward for students, it is important that flexibility and options remain in place for families. With all of the challenges that came with COVID-19, there were some good lessons learned, and those should be implemented moving forward.
Edovate’s district-owned homeschooling programs became popular in 2020 when schools and districts saw an increase in parents wanting a homeschool option. Their accredited homeschool option gives parents the flexibility they want with the oversight and support a school prefers. They work with the family to select a curriculum, complete academic assessments, and provide them support throughout the year. This program allows districts to keep their students, and provide parents with a quality program that is personalized for their family.
If you are interested in learning more, contact an Edovate school success associate at 484-229-8890 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.