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New Virtual School hosts open house, virtual tour

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With the unveiling of the newest addition to the Crenshaw County School System came an open house ceremony unlike others the county has seen.

Tuesday, the Crenshaw County Central Office welcomed the Odysseyware traveling coach to its campus and offered students, parents and teachers alike the chance to take a peek at what will soon be introduced as the virtual classroom.

“This just gives us unlimited opportunities. We want a blended education experience,” said Superintendent of Crenshaw County Schools Boyd English.

Ellie Stinson, Alabama Education Consultant for Odysseyware, has worked with the company for years and truly believes that the program will benefit Crenshaw County tremendously.

“Dr. English came to me and said let me get my team together, and we all sat down and looked at it,” Stinson said.

“I believe in it 150 percent. Any program like this is only successful because of the people behind it. It’s giving the kids tools for success.

The classroom will be located at the Board of Education Central Office, and according to Stinson, Crenshaw County is the first Odysseyware Academy partner in Alabama.

Those in attendance had the chance to view the mobile Odysseyware coach, which houses multiple screens that enables students to learn on the go, and also were given a tour of the virtual classroom set up at the Central Office.

The current package created by Odysseyware for Crenshaw County Schools offers 140 open enrollments, and there will be no cost for students in Crenshaw County to be part of the virtual school.

Students will be able to complete an entire degree online if need be, according to English, and those students who do choose to be 100 percent virtual will still be accredited and can still receive a diploma from Crenshaw County Schools.

Dorothy Peterson, 19 year-long teacher, will serve as the facilitator as well as teacher for the virtual school students. Peterson will also be able to help students enrolled in Advanced Placement classes because of her certification.

“I’ve taught Advanced Placement in the classroom and online, so I’ll know exactly what they’ll need. I can make sure they’re staying on track and getting stuff done,” Peterson said.

“If they do need help, we can provide that help. I’m really, really excited about this. It’s great for Crenshaw County and it’s great for the students in Crenshaw County.”

According to Peterson, there is also the hope that math and science tutors will also be involved with the education process to further aid students in every area of their studies.