Students entering seventh through 12th grade in the Milton School District now have the option to learn fully digitally. Applications for enrollment in the new Milton Wired program for the upcoming 2021-22 school year are due Aug. 15.

Tara Huber, associate principal at Milton High School and principal at the Milton Edgerton Community Alternative School, explained how the new program will work this coming school year. She made her presentation to members of the curriculum committee of the Milton School Board last week.

She said the new program will allow students to access curriculum in an alternative format and will have flexibility to learn in a way that best meets their needs. The students will take classes asynchronously through Milton schools programming and online platforms. Other core course curriculum will be offered through the online learning program Edmentum.

“This came up when we were looking at options for students who want digital learning options,” Huber said. “In past years, we’ve dabbled with different programs and want to maintain some of our students.”

Huber sent a survey out to families to see how many students might want this option before creating the Milton Wired program. About 20 students in seventh and eighth grades expressed interested. A larger number of high schoolers indicates a desire for the online option, she said.

With that much demand, the Milton Wired program was deemed necessary.

“Our MECAS teacher Matt Smith is going to come to the high school, and we have a space for all (digital) databases,” Huber said. “He will come up and run the Wired program. We will look at students’ past performances to see if it’s a good fit for them to be all at home. Or they can try the online program but come to school with teacher support.”

Students in ninth through 12th grade will have those two options or they can choose a hybrid option. Each student will be able to personalize the program to best accommodate their lifestyle or preferences.

Meeting attendees agreed that this would be a great option for students to have.

“We have the high schoolers saying ‘I love the flexibility. I love the option of being able to go hybrid and in person,’” said Ryan Ruggles, the district’s director of curriculum and instruction. “To me, that’s the right reason to do this.”

School board president Michael Hoffman said, “I think the students that do the best in this program are very motivated students. But I could also see students that want to do it for the wrong reasons. It sounds like you’re doing a screening process which I think is really important.”

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