MIFFLINBURG — Mifflinburg Area School District directors heard all about non-traditional education Tuesday night.
Casey Magargle, MASD non-traditional education administrator, told directors that a variety of programs were getting results. He said E-learning, or online learning, has been getting the most attention of late.
“We have 71 full-time enrollments,” Magargle said. “That’s from grade six all the way up to grade 12.”
Magargle said there were 77 part-time students, 65 of them were doing remediation or taking one course specifically needed for the Keystone Exams.
“Our teachers are acting as mentors for them,” Magargle noted. “They are using the curriculum from E-learning because it allows us to do a diagnostic test and put them right in at the places they need to use it.”
He claimed a better success rate than any current cyber charter school.
“For several reasons we are doing much better,” Magargle told directors. “The social events happen to be one. They are really helping our students invest in this program and our district rather than somewhere else.”
Magargle noted tuition for cyber charter students was also costly to the district and they have no say in their success once they go.
However, one PA Cyber Charter School student came back.
“This young person only attained a half a credit for an entire year,” Magargle said. “He came back to us this year and for the first two marking periods he has passed every credit we have offered him so far.”
Magargle said the student was using the current school year to get caught up, then planned to attend “regular” high school in 2020-21 and SUN Area Technical Institute in his senior year.
Another student was at the widely-advertised Commonwealth Connections Academy, who is now both in E-learning and two classes daily at the high school.
“That student did not pass a single credit and somehow they kept him enrolled the entire year,” Magargle noted. “Once again, with the structure and support we offer in our E-learning Academy, they are passing all of their classes.”
A third student was a dropout, Magargle said, and has now been able to pass all classes and still maintain full time employment.
Magargle attributed the success of local E-learning to ensuring students assume ownership of their efforts. Communication with parents was also crucial.
Other non-traditional programs included an AEDY (Alternative Education for Disruptive Youth) program with Compass Academy, Williamsport. Magargle said three students were currently there, with none additional during the current school year. Three others have transitioned back to the district.
Dual enrollment with Bloomsburg University has also proven successful. Twenty-three students are involved in the ACE (Advanced College Education) program in which they can earn 24 college credits, for about $3,000, to be transferred to the college of their choice. Part-time partnerships with Bucknell and Susquehanna universities as well a “Penn College Now” class will also allow students to earn college credits while still in high school.
He added that the nearby Luzerne County Community College campus in Watsontown could also provide opportunities for a college experience without having to leave high school for an entire day.