In this episode, Kiley Duncan talks about the wide variety of weekly live instructional opportunities available to students though our Oakschool program. The catalog of class offerings can be found on the website.
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If you are looking for some engaging enrichment activities for your student, I want to remind you about our Oakschool. Oakschool is live weekly classes taught by our Sage Oak teachers that your student can attend online. There are tons of different classes to choose from and the enrollment for the fourth quarter is just about to open, so you definitely want to head over to our Sage Oak website and take a look at the Oakschool catalog. You're going to see that there is a ton of different courses, things like learning how to build with Legos or photography, coding and the topics are changing all the time, so you're definitely going to want to go and see what's happening for the fourth quarter of the school year. But it's a really great way for your students to engage in a weekly online lesson, taught by a Sage Oak teacher and they get a chance to hang out with other kids that are also interested in that same topic. It really helps students to form a relationship with other students, so when they see them on field trips or socials, they just kind of have that connection. They feel like they're all part of the same Sage Oak community. So on today's podcast, I invited Kiley Duncan to come on and talk to us all about Oakschool. She's going to update us on all of the new offerings, how do we log on, how do we register, how do we use our instructional funds? All of those details. So make sure you stay tuned for this great podcast all about Oakschool. Well, welcome to another episode of the Sage Studio Podcast. I'm Tiffiny Webster, and today I am joined by Ms. Kiley Duncan. I'm so happy to have her here today because she is going to be talking to us all about Oakschool, which is this incredible program that we launched this year. It's been wildly successful. I know so many of our students are loving it. Parents are happy that their students are happy, so I can't wait to learn more about it. Welcome to the podcast, Kiley. Thank you so much, Tiffiny. Thanks for having me. Oh, for sure. Okay, so tell us, what is Oakschool? So, Oakschool is a brand new program that we put together for this school year, and there is a requirement with one of our state bills where we are supposed to offer live synchronous instruction every single day for all of our TK through high school kiddos. And this was our way to make it a more engaging setting where we offer anywhere from eight to nine weeks of live instruction Monday through Thursday. And we have a huge menu of classes for students to pick from. I mean, anything from a core math or language arts class to something like clay and music and art. So we've got all these different classes, each class is about an hour long and we do make these classes appropriate for certain grade levels so that we're keen with their developmental level, and they can meet some peers through Sage Oak, even if it's not a friend that lives down the street. They might be in a different county. Mm-hmm., but perhaps they'll run into that friend at a field trip or at a social. And so it's a really neat way for students to connect with one another to have the live instruction and just keep that engagement going. And so we've had a really successful start this year and we've already been working on next year's plans too. So we're very excited about that. So. Awesome. What a creative solution. So like here you're presented with this challenge of, okay, now we're going to just offer a new program, but, you know, gotta create something and you know, you got together and formed this really creative offering for our students where, okay, we're going to do these live instruction, but we're going to have a ton of different course topics. We're going to change the course topics throughout the year so that students can always have fresh choices. We're going to make 'em grade level specific. And students can interact online with students across all of the regions that we serve, so that they don't just have to go to maybe a, you know, someone that is right in their geographical setting. So, I love this. So many pluses. I love it. So great. And I was going to say, one thing that's really neat is we, we do tap into the teachers and their skills. So sometimes we ask them, what are you passionate about teaching? What is something that's either a hobby for you or an interest, or maybe something they were trained in at some point? So a lot of our classes are sparked from our teacher's personal interests and something that they want to share with kids and expose them to. So it's really fun to hear all the ideas that they come up with for the classes. Oh, I love that. Okay. Teachers are collaborating together. They're brainstorming and generating a list of topics. Who actually does the instruction? Is it all by, Sage Oak teachers?, They're all our Sage Oak teachers, that do have a roster of students. And so I think the beauty of that is as a teacher of Sage Oak, they know exactly what they would want for their own students. So they're offering this live instruction that is quality that they can feel confident in. So I think it's wonderful that Sage Oak has outside providers that students can take classes from, but having something in house, makes it really amazing. And students can get to see teachers in action possibly, which is fun if one of their teachers happens to be one of these Oakschool teachers and they can also get to know other teachers, which is perfect. Now the teachers that are like, maybe they're regularly a TK through five teacher, would they only teach TK through five courses, or is it possible that a TK through five teacher could also teach something for a middle school student? That's a great question. So, I would say 90% of the time it is their grade level band. So if they're a TK through five teacher, that's their focus withOakschool. The thing that we have down though is some of our middle school teachers and students Have a different span where let's say there's a sixth grader that they see some fifth grade class advertised that looks really exciting, but it's not something offered to middle school. We open the door and families can really enroll in any class that they want because we want it to be student interest. All of our students are working at different grade levels, and so sometimes you might have a teacher instructing a, a different grade level band student, and it totally works. Okay. So students that are interested in Oakschool, they can enroll in these Oakschool classes. They're enrichment courses to go along with their curriculum that are being taught by Sage Oak teachers. How long are each of the classes? So they're each an hour long, once a week. We do one, one thing on top of the enrichment is a lot of our middle school classes actually are core. And so let's say a student wanted to take one of our Science classes, they could use our syllabus that the teacher provides and go to that weekly class, and that can count as their science for science credit. Same with History, same with Math, same with Language A rts. And so it's almost something where if you are looking for not a full virtual academy kind of program where you're in the classroom all day, but I want like an a la carte class where maybe I want to take this Science class for credit. We can also do the core classes. Some of, some of those core classes are offered two hours a week, but for the most part, they're all one hour per. Wow, that is such a great opportunity. I bet there's tons of parents and students who would love to take you up on that offer. So good to know. Okay, so classes are happening about once a week, but maybe for some of those middle school, they are twice a week. They're about an hour long. And how much are these courses for students to enroll in? So every course is $75 and we do offer different times of the day. So like on Mondays we've got classes anywhere from 9:00-12:00 and we'll, we even have some afternoon classes coming this next quarter, but every day there's tons to pick from, normally between the hours of 9:00-12:00 at some point. And then every class is $75. Okay. Very good. All right. If parents wanted to sign up for our Oakschool, where can they go? Can you give us a little walkthrough how, how we sign up for these? Absolutely. And so we have this beautiful catalog all put together. And I think what's great about this is if you scroll down, everything is in order based on grade level. So if you're looking for the littles, if you're kindergarten, first grade, you know that's going to be toward the top. If you're middle school, you would scroll all the way down. Each one of these has a quick little blurb to give you some idea of what the class might be about. If you want to dive deeper and learn more about the class, let's say I wanted to know more about this astronomy class, you would actually just click on the class itself, and then there's even a longer blurb that might give you some more information. One thing that I really want to make sure parents are aware of, Because I feel like this is very misleading. Up at the corner in this purple, it says, sorry, the enrollment period is currently closed. Unfortunately, we cannot get rid of that little tag, and it's always on there. And so sometimes I think that can be challenging for parents, they think enrollment is not open, so I do want to draw the attention there, so please always just ignore that. When you scroll down, you will see this master schedule and it's highlighted in yellow., you can click directly on it. And this gives you a really good idea of class titles. Which subject area is it a Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies elective or PE class? It has the day, the time the teacher teaching it. Currently we're in the process of gathering what the student materials list is so that parents kind of know what's going to be necessary for the student to be successful, but this is what that schedule looks like. If I go back to the catalog. There are two forms here, enrollment forms, so this is where you pay attention to for enrollment. If you're in PLA, you would use this red form. If you're in VLA, you use the blue form, and our Virtual Learning Academy students can only take classes on Mondays. Since the rest of the week, they are in their virtual learning. If I click on this form right now, it does say the enrollmentopens 8:
00 AM March 21st. And so this form is not currently open, but it will be very soon. So that's how you would enroll. The other thing that's really exciting is we do. Some new classes coming up this quarter that I think are super exciting. We are going to be having some in-person PE classes, which we did not have any of our other student. Very fun. Yeah. Yeah. So if you live in the Temecula or Mir Marietta area, these might be a trial class that you'd want to see if it works, and it might be something we bring back next school. That is so awesome. Okay, so I love that there is a really nice catalog. I'm so glad that you pointed out about that one little message, because I'm sure that is going to be a question that comes up, so that's good to know. When you go through there, how many different classes do you offer each quarter? Wow, that's a great question. So it, it varies. Right now in quarter three, we're offering 67 classes. This next quarter we're offering 64 classes, and sometimes the way it pans out is because let's say a teacher is teaching two hours of a class that, or two sections of a class. Two sessions, yes. Yeah. Got it. Sometimes we've got classes that are really, really popular, so we might need to offer a section one and a section two. Mm-hmm. So we can accommodate. All the students. But yeah, we have 64 different classes to pick from this year. Okay. That is a lot of choice. That's really cool. So, lots of choices there. As far as what type of course that you want to take you can sign up by the different grade level band so you can find one that works best for your student. You pointed out where we can find more of a description of the course and the signup form. And quick question for you on that signup form. Is the parent having to pay out of pocket or are they just indicating that they would like to sign up and then their teacher will help them use instructional funds? Great question. It's $75 and it must come from instructional funds. Unfortunately, we can't have parents ever pay out of pocket. I know that some parents have offered because they want so many classes, right? And. Straight from your instructional funds. And so it's really important for families to be in communication with their teacher of record to ask, do I have enough money for this class? Or How many classes do I have money for? Just so that they can make sure that they're choosing those classes wisely. Yes, definitely making sure they're keeping those funds allocated if they, if they're planning on signing up, especially when it's something like, you know, the fourth quarter they have to make sure that they've set aside some for those Oakschool classes. Well, so incredible, Kiley, I really appreciate all the information that you gave us and walking us through the signup process. Looks like you guys have streamlined it, made it really easy for parents to sign up, find out what the courses are all about, find out the ones that work best for their student, and then just get their teacher to help 'em with the instructional funds part. So, so awesome. Thank you so much for that walkthrough. Super informative. We are so excited about Oakschool. I'm so glad that it's been a successful program. I think you guys should feel super proud of yourself. You brought an amazing option to our family, so, it looks really great. Super exciting Thank you so much. We want to keep serving our students and keep their engagement high and excited about school and, and we're always looking for suggestions for new classes. So if parents have ideas feel free to reach out to me. I would love to hear them so we can get that going maybe for the 23-24 school year. I love it. So great. All right. Always so good to talk to you, Kiley. Thanks again for all you guys are doing. So make sure that you are signing up and getting your spot for the fourth quarter of Oakschool in the 2023 school year. All right, thanks, Kiley. Talk to you later. Thank you.