Charles City Schools to Launch Virtual, Alternative Campus

The school board of Charles City Community Schools, Iowa has approved the launch of a new 'Innovative School Campus' that will allow students to personalize schedules for remote and in-person learning.

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(TNS) — Charles City High School's associate principal will have a new role with the school district, starting next year.

Larry Wolfe, who has been the associate principal with the Charles City High School for nearly nine years, will lead a new virtual and alternative learning campus as its principal.

The move was approved by the Charles City Community Schools' Board of Education on Monday night.

At its March 22 meeting, the board passed a resolution to launch the Innovative School Campus, designed to meet the need of students looking for alternative educational opportunities, like digital learning. The board designated 30 percent of the latest round of COVID-19 relief money toward the effort; Wolfe's salary will be $100,000.

The goal for the new campus is to help all students learn no matter what they need. "It's not a cookie-cutter plan. It's a plan that asks families what students need to be successful," Wolfe said in a press release issued by the district.

District Communications Director Justin DeVore did not comment on the specific dollar amount the district intends to spend on the school outside of Wolfe's salary, saying via email the district would evaluate the needs of the district's families as the year progresses.

The Innovative Campus will bring together under one figurative roof all the alternative learning programs already offered by the district as well: Home School Assistance Program, School to You, and Carrie Lane High School.

Learning could take place either online or in person — for example, a student may want to take math and reading at home and come to campus for science and choir, DeVore said in his email. In addition, classes may not run on a traditional schedule, either, he said.

"We will allow students to personalize their own non-traditional schedules to align with the goals students want to archive," DeVore said via email. "The curriculum will be available to students before, during, and after school hours. Students could hold a job in the afternoon and work on school work early in the morning and in the evenings."

The district currently serves more than 100 students, K-12 online and in alternative programming.

Wolfe will work with faculty members Josh Dean, Dan Caffrey, Don Betts, David Voves, Marie Conklin, Naomi Yaddof, Susan Leeper, Stena Schmitt, and Julie Mostead, along with current faculty members.

"This might be the most challenging thing I have ever done as a school administrator, trying to bring all of these entities together and be successful," Wolfe said in the release. "But we will try different solutions as we move forward; this way, we will find strategies we can do and the plans we should stick with. I'm nervously excited, but I know, I will put in a great effort, and so will the people around me."

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