Change in Requirements for Online Classes

Is the “Any Time, Any Place, Any Way, Any Pace – Online Learning for You?”
Seaholm students have always been required to take an technology course for graduation.  Recently, a legislative change to the State School Aid Act allows for any Michigan public high school student to take two classes online per trimester and still be considered a full time student.  This legislative addition to the School Aid Act is called 21f.  This is part of Governor Snyder’s vision of Anytime Time, Any Place, Any Pace learning.
However there are restrictions for full-time Seaholm students. Approved online courses are those that are needed for graduation, meaning a requirement of the Michigan Merit Curriculum. The Highlander reached out to the Seaholm counseling department about the classesavailable, but the details were not finalized by publication date.
However, currently the MMC requires 18 credits from specific academic categories to meet graduation criteria.  Birmingham Schools adds an additional 10 elective credits for a total of 28 credits required to graduate from BPS.
In October 2013, as required by this new legislation, a catalog of online courses was made available to the public.  This catalog contains the syllabi for all online courses offered by any participating Michigan school districts and the Michigan Virtual School who maintains the course catalog. Each syllabus provides information about the required assignments, how often you will meet with your instructor, availability of academic support, and cost.  Interested students were able to begin classes in January 2014.
The Michigan Virtual School offers classes in English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies, World Languages, and even Elective Courses. Some of the available courses according to the MVS’ website are Leadership & Society, Mathematics of Baseball, Probability & Statistics, Anatomy, Ocean Ecosystems, Psychology, AP US History, Latin, Spanish, and Digital Imaging.
Any Seaholm student can benefit. Not every student prefers a schedule of each subject in a traditional classroom at a trimester pace. One advantage of an online class is that you may have up to 1 academic year to complete a certain class. A longer period of time to explore content may result in better student engagement and content mastery.
For example, instead of having 2 trimesters to complete Biology 1 or Biology 2, a student would have one full academic year to complete it. This extended pace may be better suited to not only their learning style but also their personal non-academic goals.
Another advantage by taking an online course is that you could potentially meet 2 graduation requirements by taking only 1 online course in any academic area. For example, a student taking an American Sign Language class online could meet a world language requirement in addition to the technology requirement.
Further, there may be options for courses that meet the MMC criteria for graduation. Some of these may not be courses Seaholm offers but is an area of interest for a student. Classes can also be taken in the summer.
If you feel this option may be worth investigating and to learn more, go to the BPS website http://www.birmingham.k12.mi.us/, click on the Parents/Students tab, and click Online Learning.  The most information about this new option can be found through https://micourses.org/resources/21f_tool_kit.html or visit http://www.mivs.org.

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