APS  approves online course offerings

ALPENA — On Monday, the Alpena Public Schools Board of Education approved a list of online courses that students in the school district can take.

Superintendent Dr. John VanWagoner shared the list of classes with the curriculum and technology committee last week and recommended the board take action to approve the courses. The committee recommended the board approve the list of online courses.

The bylaws and policies submitted to the board regarding the courses stated the list will provide a comprehensive instructional program to serve the educational needs of the students in the school district. The bylaws and policies also stated that no course of study shall be taught in the school district unless it was adopted by the board and the superintendent should recommend to the board courses of study that are in the best interest of the students.

“Under the pupil accounting rules that have changed recently, there is a recommendation that a course is adopted before a student takes that course,” VanWagoner said.

The list has all the vendors the school district already has been using as resources for the online courses.

“I wanted to get caught up with what we are offering right now for online courses for students,” VanWagoner said. “If a student wants a different class from a new vendor in the future, I may be coming back to the board to have it approved.”

Board member Steven Donajkowski said there are now 1,932 online courses that students can choose from. There is legislation that allows school districts to let students take up to two online classes at the student’s and parent’s discretion.

“One of the things I really want to get to is the point where we see our teachers doing this versus paying an outside vendor or teacher from that aspect,” VanWagoner said. “We’re working on getting our learning management system up and running for teachers to use.”

VanWagoner said APS wants to have teachers supply the classes for students so it can get the number of vendors down. He also said it’s going to take a while before teachers are able to teach classes online.

The list is available for viewing at https://www.alpenaschools.com/schools/other-programs/aps-online/

Julie Goldberg can be reached via email at jgoldberg@thealpenanews.com or by phone at 358-5688.