Speaker: Kristen Gross, Distance Learning Coordinator, Mechanicsburg Area School District
Please introduce yourself and describe how Accelerate Education has helped your school district.
Kristen Gross: My name is Kristen Gross and I'm the distance learning coordinator for Mechanicsburg Area School District. Mechanicsburg School District is a public school district located in Mechanicsburg, Pennsylvania. We are a midsized, suburban school with eight buildings as well as our online virtual academy. I am the coordinator of the virtual academy which here at our district, we call that MASD CAOLA Cyber Academy. We are able to provide K-12 online options and opportunities for our Mechanicsburg School District students. And we work in collaboration with the Capital Area Intermediate Unit and the Capital Area Online Learning Association, CAOLA, to provide these resources to our students. And through this partnership, we have had the opportunity to partner with Accelerate Education and offer their curriculum to our students. We have been working with Accelerate Education for the past 10 years, offering mostly just electives, advanced placement courses and world languages to our students. A few years ago, our district faced a challenge where we had so many different platforms through our online academy, and we really needed a K-12 learning platform solution, and Accelerate Education is our complete K-12 solution. Their extensive curriculum and catalog allowed us to offer an incredibly consistent, user-friendly platform to our students. The platform was also able to be configured under our own school domain. So we were able to have the opportunity to customize and personalize the learning experience for our students.
Tell us about your experience working with the Accelerate Education teaching staff.
Kristen Gross: We have had the opportunity as the district to utilize our own classroom teachers facilitating courses in Accelerate Education, along with working with Accelerate Education teaching staff as well. And it has been an incredible partnership with Accelerate Education certified teachers. The Accelerate Education teaching staff is extremely responsive and accessible. They are adaptable, collaborative, encouraging, and what some of my students like to say. amazing. My students are able to connect with Accelerate Education staff quickly and can now attend live synchronous sessions with most of their teachers weekly to help reinforce and support their learning. It's clear that the teaching staff at Accelerate Education is supervised with great leadership and dedication.
How does Accelerate Education stand out against other similar services you've used?
Kristen Gross: I think the leadership and the dedication is what stands out about Accelerate Education. The dedication alone and the commitment to teachers, to curriculum, to course improvements, to technical advancements in the learning management system, to student achievement. I think they all stand out because the leadership at Accelerate Education really listens and they're extremely receptive to our school's needs. And in my opinion, their support system is unmatched. Accelerate Education offers solutions and services to support our program and all together, in my opinion, is a fantastic comprehensive K-12 solution that provides continuity, supports all their teachers, and really expands learning opportunities and resources for students and families involved.