School Board members want a say in how online courses are offered to students in Portland schools. A new program starting this fall would allow students to take online classes.
The new program was first introduced to the School Board at their meeting on Tuesday, September 2nd. According to Superintendent Caulk the program is part of the school’s curriculum and does not need Board approval, as long as it remains within budget.
Pearson is the private company that was hired to run the new online program. Pearson currently runs the State’s online school that was created under the new charter school law. The School Board had no say in the choice of the company. Pearson provides the program at a cost of $4250 per student, less than the $7000 per student that Portland schools receive in state funding.
It is unknown which students would be allowed to take the online classes. According to Caulk, the classes are part of a pilot program that targets students who have left for the state’s online charter school. In Portland this is only seven students. Chief Academic Officer David Galin maintains that the online classes would have to be offered to all students.
Caulk said he would have answers to the School Board’s concerns at their next meeting on Tuesday, September 16th. The School Board will meet at 7:00 pm in Casco Bay High School, Room 250. Casco Bay High is located at 196 Allen Avenue.