The West Ada School District was among five award recipients nationwide to receive a Transformation Award from Fuel Education this year.
Fuel Education took note of the district's Rebound School of Opportunity, which opened in 2010 as an alternative for students who had dropped out of school, had been or was close to being expelled, or struggled with social anxiety and other challenges.
“When they walk in the door, we want them to know there are people willing to help them,” Rebound Principal Mike Hanneman told Fuel Education. “Rebound is a fresh start for them.”
The school’s enrollment peaked at 216 students last school year, and administration is looking for a larger venue so the school can expand and increase enrollment, Tobey Jossis, West Ada's coordinator of digital learning, told FuelEd.
Students attend school five days a week with the choice of a morning or afternoon session. The flexibility is designed to accommodate students with jobs, children or other responsibilities.
Rebound students take six-week, online courses through Fuel Education. The school's three computer labs each have a mentor who tutors students and helps them navigate virtual learning.
The course passage rate last school year was 91 percent, Jossis said. Since 2010, 117 students have earned their high school diplomas through Rebound.
The Transformation Award recognizes schools, districts and organizations who use online and blending learning to solve educational challenges and prepare students for the future, according to a press release.
Other award-winners this year were Baltimore County Public Schools (Maryland), the Ector County Independent School District (Texas), Hermiston School District (Oregon) and Uplift Monterey (California).
“These schools and districts have taken a fresh look at student challenges and have identified inspiring, new ways to use online learning to create impactful programs,” stated Sean Ryan, general manager of FuelEd.