The Canal Winchester Times

Apex learning program allows for flexibility

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Canal Winchester students who want to graduate early, take Advanced Placement classes, need intervention or need to recover from a course they did not pass the first time are a point and click away from achieving their goals.

The Apex learning program, launched this year, offers students "blended and virtual learning," according to high school Principal Kirk Henderson.

Henderson said the one-year license the district purchased for the program allows up to 35 students to work at a time.

The license allows students to take as many courses as they need, he said. Once they finish their courses, other students can take their places.

"Students must come to school every day so that we can monitor their progress," Henderson said.

While the district is primarily using Apex for students who need more credits, it also is for students such as Jacob Perry who wanted to graduate early.

Perry needed only three classes in order to graduate in December so he could have extra time to prepare for a military career.

"I think it is good if you are a motivated and dedicated individual, know your strengths and weaknesses, and are good at teaching yourself things," he said. "In the normal classroom setting, you're kind of hindered by the fact that you're with the entire class and not everyone learns at the same pace.

"If you know that you are a self-starter, the program allows you to move forward a lot faster," he added.

Henderson said Apex is not for every student, but those who complete it feel a sense of accomplishment and self-worth.

"Once students know they are back on track, they are more willing to work harder in other classes," he said.

Perry's father, Jennings Perry, said he is grateful to the district for a program that allows some students to "push the fast-forward button" early to achieve their dreams.

"It's nice to see the structure of the school system that takes the individual child into consideration and allows them to excel, or even (with) other children, to slow the pace," he said.

The district plans to offer Apex as a summer school program this year.

While no one has taken Apex for advanced credit this year, Henderson said two students have already expressed interest in taking AP Physics in the 2014-2015 school year.

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