The North Greene School District is joining several other school districts in ROE #40 and Lewis & Clark Community College as a part of the RISE Network for classes.
The Rural Illinois Shared Education Network or RISE allows students to take remote classes with a live teacher that otherwise wouldn’t be offered at their high school.
North Greene Superintendent Mark Scott says that it’s advantageous to having a live, nearby teacher teach a class as opposed to an automated classroom with no one-on-one interaction: “For an example, I haven’t had a Spanish teacher here at North Greene for probably 7-8 years while Carrollton, Greenfield…they have somebody that lives in district that teaches Spanish. Instead of using some of these [online classes] like Ingenuity Online and this self-paced learning where it’s just a student at a computer, this RISE Network, our kids will have an actual instructor they can communicate with in real time. They won’t be in the same room with them. The Spanish teacher could be in Carlinville, Jerseyville, Carrollton, or Greenfield; but they are actually going to have a teacher in front of them. It’s a pretty neat setup that kids can ask questions and the teacher can respond. It’ll be like being in class but virtual.”
Scott says it will cost the district just a little over $5,000 to enter into the network. He says the offerings won’t just be a one-way street. North Greene will also be offering course to other schools in the network: “This is going to open up a lot of course offerings for our kids that we can’t provide right now. Likewise, we have some programs [that no one else has]. We have criminal justice, a dual credit course. A lot of these other local schools don’t have that, but we have it. Their students will be able to participate in that if they wanted to with our teacher being the in-person instructor. We would be able to send that out to other students in these other schools that participate in RISE. We send all of our schedules into RISE, and then, they create course offerings. One thing that we are seeing that’s kind of an issue but not really is that we are on block schedule. With some of these districts being on traditional schedule or block schedule in the network, some of these courses, for instance, might have to be early bird before school or offered after school.”
Scott says that RISE Network’s representatives will be spending much of the rest of the winter figuring out scheduling so that a few offerings may be ready at North Greene this Spring starting in January. He says he hopes a full slate of classes will be ready to go through the network for students returning in the Fall.
Scott says that the equipment for RISE courses arrived at the district two weeks ago. He says that getting everything set up and running will put the capstone on becoming a part of the network, which the district started exploring almost a year ago. Scott says it helps alleviate some smaller school districts in the region’s struggle to find and keep full-time teachers.