News Anchor: In education news, a first in California, a charter school in San Francisco will combine online instruction with a traditional teacher in the classroom approach.
ABC 7′s education reporter, Lyanne Melendez, got a look at this new school and she’s here to explain how it’s going to work. Lyanne?
Lyanne Melendez: Well, you know Dan, there are educators at Stanford and Hartford who say that half of the public schools in this country will be partly online in the next decade or two. By this we mean students following the curriculum on the computer. That’s what Flex Academy in San Francisco set out to do this morning.
News Report: This is California’s first hybrid school.
80% of the instruction will be taught online and the remaining 20% in a traditional classroom.
Like any other school, students are expected to show up here five days a week from 8am-3pm.
Ariana Fisher, student: “It’s less distractions here. I guess everybody gets to focus on [their] own lesson plan.”
Milan Fisher, Ariana’s mother: “It just so happened that my daughter still wanted the socialization that a ‘brick and mortar’ school gave, so it was actually quite an easy decision for us.”
Lyanne Melendez: This morning it was time to ‘get acquainted’ and if this looks like a hotel conference room, well, it is. Classes started today at the St. Francis Hotel in downtown San Francisco.
Of course, St. Francis is only a temporary location for them-this will be the new home for the new school, the old Press Club on Poe Street.
The new building should be available in two weeks with plenty of classrooms and computer space for the nearly 50 students so far enrolled at Flex Academy.
Students will have the K-12 online curriculum which is used my many kids who are home schooled. That curriculum offers 130 courses including five languages. It’s school at your own pace with individualized attention.
Mark Kushner: “So, for example, if you’re behind you get more help so you can succeed. If you’re very advanced and fast, you can go faster and that can differ at different subjects.
Lyanne Melendez: Humberto Cruz is only one of four teachers hired by the school.
Humberto Cruz: It’s not how interesting a lesson I put together or how much I can sort of entertain them, it’s really up to them to sort of get through the material and I provide support when I think it’s something really difficult.
Albero Berul: At my old school there were about 40 kids to a classroom. It was pretty overcrowded and it was just the teachers didn’t really have enough time for each student.
Lyanne Melendez: Like any other public charter school, they are funded by the state.
And, by the way, they do get their computers tomorrow. Now even though the school is located in San Francisco any student in the Bay area can enroll. Like I said before, they have 50 students- they hope to enroll 200 this semester.