Kingsway expands virtual learning options; approves blended & virtual learning programs for 2021-22 school year

WOOLWICH TWP. — The Kingsway Regional School District recently announced new virtual learning options for high school students beginning in the 2021-2022 school year.

The District’s new Blended & Virtual Learning Pilot Program seeks to address unique student needs while providing opportunities for personalized learning via expanded digital learning modalities. This pilot aims to create learning experiences, design environments, and cultivate mindsets that are responsive to the interests, strengths, and needs of individual students. Select blended and virtual classes will be offered to rising juniors and seniors during the course selection process later this month.

Available for students entering 11th or 12th grade in the 2021-2022 school year, blended and/or virtual course formats provide students the flexibility to work in a non-traditional learning environment through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous instruction.  These opportunities have the potential to positively impact the student learning experience through the provision of self-paced, personalized learning, and greater exposure to online learning in preparation for college and career.

All course offerings, regardless of format, align to the New State Learning Standards and/or the AP College Board Course Standards.  Additionally, each course leverages Kingsway’s curricula, built and vetted by Kingsway teachers, and delivered via our learning management system, Schoology. Course offerings include AP Psychology, AP U.S. History II, Honors U.S. History II, AP English IV, Honors English IV and College Prep English IV.

“This endeavor presents multifaceted challenges including uniting stakeholders with a common understanding of the goal and the best path forward, updating physical and technical infrastructure, designing new learning modalities and resources, and building the capacity of educators to take on new roles and new approaches to classroom instruction,” said Emily Virga, Kingsway’s Director of Virtual Learning & Instruction.  “This pilot seeks to refine a usable, scalable model that can be expanded in subsequent school years.”

When the District adopted its strategic plan, Vision 2021: Promising Excellence, several years ago, the idea of expanding virtual communities and online learning to connect classrooms seemed to be a far-fetched idea,” said Superintendent Dr. James J. Lavender. “Now we find ourselves reflecting on our work through this pandemic, recognizing that we have been thrust into a new virtual world where the education landscape continues to rapidly evolve. We must position ourselves to capitalize on the future of teaching and learning.”

School officials cannot ignore the fact that they need to continually and purposefully incorporate technology into teaching and learning; it is exciting to think about how the field of education will evolve over the next decade. While Kingsway has spent considerable time building virtual programs in real-time in response to the COVID pandemic, focusing much of the conversation on areas it can improve – the bright spots in the virtual experience cannot be ignored, positioning the district to reach that once far-fetched strategic planning goal.

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