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LEMOORE — Lemoore Union High School District will have another school option for students in town and neighboring communities when Lemoore Online College Preparatory High School begins offering courses in August.

LUHSD Superintendent Debbie Muro said the district — which already offers a traditional high school, a middle college high school, a continuation high school and an adult school — wants to continue providing a wide variety of educational opportunities for students.

“Students may need to work to help provide for their families, have health issues that prevent them from regular attendance in school, prefer a flexible schedule or just prefer a home-school type program,” Muro said. “Our new Lemoore Online High School will meet their needs.”

Victor Rosa, LUHSD assistant superintendent, said the district has been talking about creating an online school option for several years, after other surrounding districts like Tulare and Fresno began exploring and ultimately creating online options.

Rosa also said when Lemoore Middle College High School was created 10 years ago, the district received a lot of calls from parents on the Naval Air Station Lemoore base who would ask about an online schooling option, so he knew there was definitely a need for this type of school.

Lemoore Online is already enrolling students in ninth through 12th grades for the fall semester. The school is designed for students who are interested in a virtual classroom experience in which they are in control of their school schedule.

“Whether students are looking for a home-based schooling option or need flexibility in their schedule due to commitments such as work, practice, religion, or other opportunities, Lemoore Online may be an option for them.” Rosa said.

According to the school’s website, students can get the convenience of an online education and still receive the support they need, including academic counseling, tutoring, tech support and academic support as needed. Courses in English, math, science, social studies, foreign language and electives are available; and even advanced placement and career technical courses are offered.

Rosa said Lemoore Online is located on the West Hills College Lemoore campus, adjacent to Lemoore Middle College High School, whose principal, Chuck Gent, will also serve as principal of the online school. As a charter school, students from anywhere in Kings, Tulare or Fresno counties can attend, he said.

Lemoore Online offers a full college preparatory, A-G option for students who meet all requirements for University of California and California State University entrance. Students who may not have been in a college preparatory program in their current high school can still meet graduation requirements at Lemoore Online and are encouraged to apply.

Students meet with their teachers and counselors on campus at assigned times tailored to each student’s needs. Although all exams are taken on campus, students will only need to meet with their teachers as needed for questions and clarifications.

According to its website, Lemoore Online is a full-time program with students assigned a full complement of courses. However, they are unable at this time to offer part-time enrollment for those needing only one or two courses.

Using a combination of animations, simulations, video-casts, relevant Internet sites, and other activities that support the lesson topic, students will have access to information that can be reviewed as many times as necessary to achieve mastery. Using Edgenuity as a curriculum delivery platform, students log into their online account each school day to access their courses, while an assignment calendar shows their daily pace needed to keep each course on-track.

Rosa said the district hired two new teachers and any other teachers in the district can offer tutoring to students at various times. For now, he said there is no number limit to how many students can enroll, and he doesn’t expect enrollment numbers to be a problem for West Hills because students will make appointments with teachers and only be on campus certain days.

LUHSD board member Jason Orton said the board voted unanimously in support of creating this online school. He said he is really excited the district is adding another option to further support students who may not find what they need at the traditional Lemoore High School or at Lemoore Middle College High School.

Orton said he’s seen the option work for surrounding school districts, and he believes there is definitely a need locally. He said the free school is also an option for those who are considering home-school because it offers the same level of college preparatory courses of any high school in a convenient setting, with technology that the newer generation of students is comfortable with

“It’s exciting to be on the board at this time and growing [the school] from the beginning,” Orton said.

The reporter can be reached at 583-2423 or jzavala@hanfordsentinel.com

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