Wednesday, September 25, 2013
Berkeley County students are now being offered proficiency-based courses where 120-hour attendance requirements do not apply, according to BCSD Chief Academic Officer Dr. Kevin O'Gorman.
The courses were part of the discussion at the school board's Sept. 10 meeting at Sangaree Middle School.
According to O'Gorman, some methodologies for the courses include: distance learning, online learning, project and inquiry-based learning, independent study, and/or combinations.
O'Gorman said all teachers in the proficiency courses are required to be High Qualified, hold South Carolina certifications, and must be appropriately certified for the subject taught unless a State Board of Education waiver has been granted. Proficiency courses have to meet all relevant state statutes and regulations unless an SBE waiver has been granted to the district.
“In previous years, Berkeley County School District has used multiple vendors offering proficiency-based learning systems,” O'Gorman said. “This year, after thoroughly auditing the full list of vendors and comparing services, the district has streamlined its systems and is now using only Apex, A+ and the South Carolina Virtual School Program.”
He added that teachers need to have direct interaction with students on a regular basis. If the course is taught in a lab setting then a teacher must provide all instructional support in the lab. Students who have home access to the material will be required to take the assessments at the school so that they can be monitored. All courses are offered for free excluding the summer.