A short coda to earlier private school posts
Several readers have emailed me comments about the previous blog posts (here and here) on digital learning in private schools, suggesting a few additions or clarifications. They have raised some good points that I’ll list below:
- I included several providers (VHS, Connections, and K12) in one category titled “Providers that are mostly focused on public schools, but also work with private schools and private school students.” The information in that section is accurate, but the wording may suggest that the number of private school students and schools that these organizations serve is smaller than it in fact is. VHS, for example, served 3,050 course enrollments in 163 private schools in school year 2013-14, representing about 15% of its enrollments. In SY 2014-15 its private school enrollments are up by 13% and likely to increase further before the end of the school year. K12, Inc. supports three different private schools—K¹² International Academy, The Keystone School, and The George Washington University Online High School.
- The OESIS Group began by starting the Online/Blended Education Symposia for Independent Schools several years ago, and now runs the Symposia twice a year (east and west coasts), and is expanding to international symposia as well. In addition, OESIS published its “Blended Learning Surveys Report 2014-2015 on Learning Innovations in Independent Schools.” It’s important to understand the OESIS report as pertaining to independent schools (as is clear in the report), and not widely applicable to all private schools.
- Sevenstar, which started in 2007, provides a wide range of online courses to Christian schools worldwide. In 2014 Sevenstar served 9,600 course enrollments to middle and high school students from 450 schools across six continents. Almost all students (97%) attend a physical school and take one or more Sevenstar courses to supplement their education. Sevenstar provides facilitators for every course, and also trains partner schools to use their own teachers to teach online classes as well. The variety of courses includes Advanced Placement, core courses, Bible courses, ELL, and online dual credit courses from Christian Colleges.