Bucyrus Schools: Focus on individualized education


Students today learn much differently than their parents and grandparents. Three years ago, the Bucyrus City School District identified a need in its educational programming to provide a customizable, individualized education for its students. The district developed the Educational Options program to meet the needs of all Bucyrus City School District. Marty Schuster, Director of Educational Options, provided a program briefing to the Board of Education during its regular meeting in May.

During the 2015-2016 school year, the Educational Options and Virtual Learning Academy programs served 103 students. Six seniors graduated with the Class of 2016 earning credits primarily through the Educational Options program, and 25 students are already enrolled in the program for the 2016-2017 school year.

“The purpose of the Educational Options program is to provide multiple opportunities for Bucyrus students to obtain their education in the district,” Schuster said. “These programs give us the ability to provide students with opportunities that meet their needs.”

Students completed 106 elective courses through the Virtual Learning Academy during the 2015-2016 school year. The most popular courses taken included psychology, sociology, forensics and criminology. New courses, such as astronomy, hospitality and tourism, and fashion and interior design, are continuously added to the Academy’s curriculum.

“We are providing a personalized education to every student in the Bucyrus City Schools,” Secondary School Principal Dr. Mark Burke said. “The implementation of this program has led to an improved atmosphere in the entire Secondary building because students previously disengaged in the traditional classroom are now engaged through the non-traditional classroom opportunities provided by this program.”

In addition to the completed semester hours and high school credits awarded, the district’s Credit Flex and Credit Recovery programs helped an additional four Bucyrus City School District students position themselves to receive their diploma with the graduating class of 2016.

“While we have had students in grades six through twelve take advantage of these programs, we are most proud of the fact that ten more students graduated this year,” Burke said. “This is the measurable success we envisioned achieving when we implemented the program.”

As the program enters its fourth year, district administrators are focused on expanding the Educational Options programs to serve more students in grades 6-8. Six Bucyrus Middle School students’ educational needs were able to be met through the program, and the district’s courseware provider is steadily increasing Middle School course offerings.

“We are incredibly excited about the success our students have achieved during the first three years of this program,” Bucyrus Superintendent Kevin Kimmel said. “We are continually adding courses to our Virtual Learning Academy and working diligently to expand the other components of the Educational Options program to our younger students so they can achieve educational success through a customized educational program.”

To learn more about the Educational Options program, please contact Marty Schuster at 419-562-7721 or email [email protected].

Staff report

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