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ASU Prep Digital partners with Ohio Charter School network to reduce student learning loss due to COVID-19

Child using computers to learn online at home
September 17, 2021

After powering through a year or more of remote and hybrid learning due to COVID-19, a significant share of traditional school districts are returning to familiar in-person models this school year. Even so, the advantages of online learning remain clear, particularly in the event of student quarantines.

In Cleveland, one forward-thinking network of schools is offering students and their families a first-of-its-kind solution to keep students up to date with the school content and curriculum they have the potential to miss because of a COVID-19 quarantine.

A new offering called Learning Under Quarantine from ASU Prep Digital, envisioned for Breakthrough Public Schools in collaboration with The 305 Education Group, is now in place. To prevent COVID-19 learning losses, ASU Prep Digital provides online instructors to teach Cleveland-area students who miss in-person learning due to a 10-day quarantine.

This innovative approach increases teaching and learning time simultaneously, while providing a practical solution for schools that simply do not have the human or financial resources to operate dual in-person and online models.

During the 2020–21 school year, Breakthrough Public Schools — one of the highest-performing public, nonprofit charter school networks in Ohio — only operated remotely. However, for the 2021–22 academic year, network leaders knew changes were necessary.

“Our families overwhelmingly wanted their kids back in school buildings this year, and as educators, we believe that in-person education is critically important at this time to address unfinished learning and the social and emotional development of our students,” said Tyler Thornton, COO of Breakthrough Public Schools, which serves kindergarteners through eighth graders. “At the same time, we are conscious that COVID quarantining is a growing reality, and we have a responsibility to keep students engaged and progressing in their education, even when they’re unable to attend school in person.”

After vetting potential partners to answer this need, Breakthrough Public Schools selected ASU Prep Digital. The online PreK–12 school, developed by Arizona State University, combines easy-to-use technology with a strong curriculum, qualified educators, grade-specific and concurrent college courses, and customizable solutions. Each of these components blend to create one-of-a-kind formulas (or learning plans/models) that are customized to meet the needs of schools and students, helping them to succeed and advance academically. 

“We implemented the Learning Under Quarantine Model for Breakthrough Public Schools to assist their reopening framework, so that quarantined students could continue learning, while also alleviating the burden on teachers and parents,” said Julie Young, managing director of ASU Preparatory Academy and ASU Prep Digital.

“Many schools are searching for an approach that lets them effectively teach in this still unpredictable COVID environment,” Young said. “At ASU Prep Digital, we have the advantage of a proven online program that gives schools and students the option to excel in a nontraditional way. Through an extensive collaboration process, we created this new Learning Under Quarantine model to meet the needs of Breakthrough’s student population. We look forward to customizing this offering to fit the needs of more schools that could use this same type of quality teaching assistance.”

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