Carter County Schools forging ahead with online school Registration could start as soon as July

Published 7:56 am Wednesday, May 22, 2019

Carter County School officials met Monday with parents and concerned residents at the Tennessee College of Applied Technology in Stoney Creek about the pending partnership with the third party online academic service Odysseyware to provide online learning to county students from grades K to 12 as soon as July 1.

Odysseyware representatives Nancy Smith, an account executive, and Melanie Tuck, implementation consultant, were in attendance and gave most of the presentation. Also in attendance were County Director of Schools Kevin Ward and Danny McClain, county secondary supervisor for grades nine to 12.

McClain started off the event by thanking the Carter County School Board for having the “vision and foresight to see the opportunity this program will have for our school system.”

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“We started looking for an online program for Carter County schools last year,” McClain said. “After looking at several vendors to find the best fit for the county, we settled for Odysseyware.” McClain then turned the presentation over to the Odysseyware representatives.

Both Smith and Tuck showed those attending what the students and parents taking part in the online school initiative will be seeing and experiencing.

The presentation made clear that students would have access to a Tennessee certified teacher and academic services online and via chat, screen share, email and phone from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Many of the questions asked by parents that were attending were regarding students’ individual assessment plans. Director Ward assured that the county would still handle the assessments and Odysseyware would be responsible for making sure those were followed.

When asked about costs for the online school, McClain said it would be free for parents and students because the Basic Education Program (BEP) would be providing the funding. The BEP is a funding program set up by the Tennessee Board of Education. The board’s website says, “…the funds generated by the BEP are what the state has defined as sufficient to provide a basic level of education for Tennessee students.”

Ward said that online students were still considered Carter County students and would have access to the same resources. When asked why the county was pursuing an online solution, he simply said they saw “there was a need.”