MECHANICSBURG, Pa. (WHTM) — Cumberland Valley School District will be offering students online courses. The district says by offering online courses, it will save money to hire more teachers as class sizes grow.
The district expects to gain 300 students each year over the next several years. It is looking for ways to reduce costs and hire more teachers.
“Cyber charter costs being the biggest one right now,” superintendent Dr. David Christoper said. “The cost of cyber charters have gone up quite a bit here in the last several years. We have about half a million dollar increase in the last two years.”
While the district is expected to grow, Christopher says the district lost 30 to 50 students over the last two years to cyber charter schools.
“We still think the highest quality of education we’re going to provide is with a teacher in a classroom with a kid, we really do. We think that is our best bet, but if we have students that that isn’t working or they have a different need, we need to provide them with options so we don’t lose them,” Christopher said.
The school board recently decided to enter into an agreement with Capital Area Online Learning Association to offer online classes. Christopher says it will give students a chance to take courses that aren’t offered by the district, but it is not yet clear if those classes will be taken during school hours.
“Pennsylvania has a teacher shortage and so certain specialty areas — world language, certain math classes, things like that — we might not even have available at Cumberland Valley, we might not be able to find a certified teacher,” Christopher said.
The district says it hasn’t decided which courses will be offered through the online service.