Lakewood High School Enters Second Year Of Its Virtual Program

By A. Lang. LHS entered the second year of its virtual school program enabling its students to recover credit for failed courses without going to summer school and providing access to its full curriculum without having to enter the public school building. The LHS virtual program offers every core curriculum course in addition to several electives and advanced placement (AP) courses. Students are assigned into one of three levels depending on scholastic aptitude. Each course is aligned to the New Jersey High School Standards and is supervised under a licensed, highly qualified New Jersey teacher.

Courses are broken into units, lessons and tasks, with set due dates. Students login and review several pages of interactive study while filling out a study sheet on paper. They complete computer generated quizzes and tests. They maintain a portfolio of tasks including their study sheets, discussion questions, journals, practice assignments, dry laboratories, and written open-ended tests that are hand-graded by their teacher.

Students who have failed a regular classroom course are assigned to a period in the LHS credit recovery lab during the school day. Last year, LHS students received credit for 389 courses that they previously failed in the classroom eliminating the need for summer school or repeating the class, saving the district tens of thousands of dollars. This year, one hundred LHS students who failed one or more courses have been assigned to the lab to make up their courses.

Students now have the option to take courses on a first time basis in the virtual program. These students have been either assigned one period in the LHS lab, or if they have a full load, they are provided the opportunity to take an extra course at home after school. Several regular LHS students are already taking advantage of this chance to enhance their transcripts. LHS students taking courses at home are required to regularly correspond with their teacher to discuss their progress and to enhance instruction in compliance with state law. Parents are advised to set their child’s computer proxy server to the loopback address, 127.0.0.1, with exceptions to the course site and the student email address, to block all extraneous Internet connections by rerouting all outgoing connections back to the student computer.

Four regular LHS students have already chosen to take all of their courses at home. LHS monitors the time a home-based student spends on daily coursework. The instructor communicates with the home-based student either virtually or through in person meetings. Instruction is thus provided directly to enrolled students in the place of their choice, and is thus within constitutional boundaries. The district then receives full state funding for the student while he or she does not even have to set foot into the building.

This program will not eliminate the need for classroom teachers. Virtual courses are not a replacement for the regular classroom and no LHS student whose schedule permits assignment into a regular class is allowed to take a virtual course. On the contrary, the program will save teacher jobs and promises the first expansion of LHS teaching positions in several decades.

The LHS virtual program is the first in the state to be offered by a regular public high school. LHS is also the first public school in the state to offer all of its courses online. Students no longer have to physically attend the building to receive full LHS credit, for a diploma, and for the district to receive full state funding. Email: [email protected]

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17 COMMENTS

  1. I can see this as a brilliant alternative to summer school, children homebound with severe illness or as the article mentioned, children who want to advance themselves by taking extra classes.

  2. This is step one . Step two is to give all the students a laptop on which to do the classes. Step three will be to require all the students to do the classes at home. Step four will be for the town to donate the high school building to ………..

  3. what a great idea lets trust highschool kids to do their work at home…. not …. how about these kids get up and go to school like the rest of us did. does anyone wonder why the united states if falling behind the rest of the world in education ???? we are getting fat and lazy . and our kids are lazy .. this is not a good idea

  4. Ms. Candy Cane – you are absolutely correct! Why do you think they aren’t giving contracts! Because they are prob waiting to get rid of hs staff! That is the plan and the 24,000,000.00 property value of high school will be up for grab…typical.

  5. Actually, this sounds like the solution to Lakewood school finance, educational and tuition problems. This is a happy day in Lakewood.

    So, in response to Ms.Candy Cane, this seems like it has the potential not only to offer high quality high school courses to kids who have dropped out of school, those who have little or no opportunity, and for children whose parents who enroll their children for a free public education, but to help the whole town by bringing back the high school vocational programs and adult school as people can access free public education from their homes, or if they like, in LHS. And what did you say about closing or selling the high school?

  6. Response to Anony:

    Step one is access to education to everyone in Lakewood. Step 2 is 100 new students and $2 million of state aid. Step 3 Lakewood test scores going up as these kids will be motivated. Step 4 the revitalization of vocational programs to provide professional courses to adults. Step 5 Property taxes cut in half. And yes, Step 6, is a brand spankin’ new, state-of the-art, high school for the children of Lakewood, with a chasuna hall at that!

  7. Correction- now there are five students taking all their courses at home.

    Please submit any inquiries to LHS at [email protected]

    I do not have internet at home, but right now we are getting the Lakewood Scoop on the district server in the high school. I am ready to answer any questions.

  8. Is this available to any high school student in Lakewood, even if My children attend a private school? this would be such a wonderful relief for the community!

  9. no substitute for the real thing, the problems with the public school system are far beyond a “virtual classroom” its called good use of finances which does not exist in Lakewood way to much money wasted on non essential services that have nothing to do with education at the expense of the public school students !

  10. Answer to lakwewood kid:

    LHS students assigned to the credit recovery lab are locked out of unit tests. The teacher has to unlock them in the classroom. Additionally, each unit has an open-ended test that must be hand graded. Although students are not locked out of quizzes they need to ask the instructor to reset the quiz if they do not do well. Students repeat the material during their interactive study, while filling out the study sheet, doing practices and quizzes. I will sometimes give students answers while instructing them. So, to answer your question, it actually helps if a parent or teacher, friend or older sibling sits with the student for these activities because repetition is a basic part of learning. Students use higher order skills doing the discussions, labs, journals and open-ened tests. Since these are done on paper, involve sentences and explanations, and are hand-graded, it would be diffiucult to have another student do the work for them. I have only encounted outright plagarism once and that was on a regular LHS math test several years ago.

    The only difference between a student at home, or wherever, and one who is in LHS, is that the student at home can access assignments at any time, has more flexible due dates, and I have unlocked more of the material. The students still have to email me to reset their quizzes that they failed, hand in written work (or email it) and to unlock their exams.

  11. Answer to Justincase:
    This program is funded by a grant from the federal government. But who really makes this possible? The faculty at Lakewood High School.

  12. Answer toi 11.?:
    This is being done in half the states in the union. The New Jersey Department of Education has made several recommendations to local districts over the decade to encourage alternative ways of getting kids to learn. This is entirely proper. A good teacher has a repitoir of many different kinds of instruction to serve the interest of the child. All children can learn and all children have a right to learn. I do not care if a child is in a private school, public school or home-schooled, if they want to learn, I will do that which I can to help them learn. Lakewood will lead the transformation of education in this state.

  13. WoW! Mr. Dr. Rabbi. Lang. Actually just Hero Lang! I went to Mesivta of Lakewood, and am trying now to go back in time to high school. You are truly a difference maker! I appreciate the cosmic shifts this has the potential to unleash.

Comments are closed.