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Morrow County School District launching online school

Parents and students are invited to informational sessions June 5,7 and 8.
Jade McDowell

East Oregonian

Published on May 26, 2017 12:01AM

Last changed on May 26, 2017 9:01PM


Students will be able to do more of their learning at home next year as Morrow County School District rolls out a district-sponsored online learning program.

“This is obviously the wave of the future, and we have to be proactive in offering that opportunity,” superintendent Dirk Dirksen said.

Students will be able to take all of their classes online, add a single online class to their school day or split their time between taking core classes online and electives like band and weight-lifting in a school building.

“All of those combinations are very possible,” Dirksen said.

Parents and students can learn all about those options at informational sessions at 6 p.m. at Heppner Jr./Sr. High School on June 5, Irrigon Jr./Sr. High School on June 7 and Riverside Jr./Sr. High School on June 8.

In the past, students living in Morrow County School District have been able to take a college course or credit recovery course online, but their only option for a full day of online learning has been to join charter schools like Oregon Virtual Academy, which directs state funds for that student outside the school district.

If students choose to switch to Morrow County’s Online School-At-Home, that state education money will go to support a local instructor the district has hired to help teach and mentor online students.

That instructor will work in concert with online learning companies and with the InterMountain Education Service District’s new online school to offer a package of options to students. The education service district officially launches their IMESD Online program in July as a way to staunch the flow of students in Eastern Oregon enrolling in online schools sponsored by other districts.

Although re-capturing the state money for those students will be helpful to districts, Dirksen said Morrow County School District is offering online school to benefit students by offering them more choice and flexibility in their learning. He said some students work better in an online environment at their own pace, while others respond better to the in-person interactions of a brick and mortar classroom.

“I really think it’s an individual choice,” he said. “It’s difficult to say which is better or worse. I’ve seen kids do really well in school, and seen students do really well online.”

For more information, parents can attend the informational sessions in June or call the Morrow Education Center at 541-922-4004.

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Contact Jade McDowell at jmcdowell@eastoregonian.com or 541-564-4536.



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