Burbank Unified considers offering additional online courses

Burbank school officials are considering expanding the online classes offered to students, following a period of a few years when the district offered several online courses for students seeking to recover credits.

The school district began offering online classes to students about two years ago, so they could recover credits in core subjects such as English, math and social studies.

By this fall, the district could offer credit classes to high school students in art appreciation, creative writing, geography/world cultures and media literacy, school officials said.

"One of the things about online learning is it really creates a change, and that change is that it puts students in control," said Emilio Urioste, director of secondary education for Burbank Unified.

In the online courses, students can complete them at their own pace, meaning they could finish the work before the semester ends.

The online classes would still require students to participate in a classroom with an instructor overseeing them, either during the early-morning period before regular classes begin or the last period of the day.

"The teacher's really assisting the students throughout the course as they have questions," Urioste said.

Adopting an online model that would hold students accountable has become a method school officials are striving to maintain as a regular and ongoing option in the district.

"Education and learning is changing and, as with everything, we have to incorporate more technology," he said.

The Burbank Unified school board is expected to vote on expanding the district's online courses in the upcoming weeks.

Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.

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