Due to the spread of COVID-19 in Colorado, some students from Erie High School have chosen to attend “LaunchED” courses, which are online classes based on the Florida Virtual curriculum.
One major difference between LaunchED and Erie is the teachers. “Teachers with Florida Virtual are a little more lenient with missing work because online can get a little complicated,” Emily Masters, a junior attending the LaunchED program, explains. “I love that they can understand and work with you.”
Another student who has transitioned into the LaunchED program, Sydney Petersen, describes online learning as self-paced and confusing at times.
“And also, we were told, the teachers were going to be better at Florida,” Petersen clarified. “but I got on and they were like just I learned WebEx four days ago.”
LaunchED is an online learning program that is taught by teachers in the St. Vrain district, but the curriculum is based on Florida Virtual. At the beginning of the semester, students had the option of changing to LaunchED, which is scheduled to be based online for the entire semester. The other option was to stay with Erie High, even though administrators were uncertain if students would be going back to online learning or stay online for most of the semester.
“I think Erie classes are less certain and less reliable,” explained Erie High junior, Emery Wright. “while Florida virtual is more targeted towards helping kids learn as best they can online ONLY.”
Even though classes on LaunchED are through Florida Virtual, Advanced Placement (AP) classes are still incorporated. However, even with the added classes, some students are missing out on classes they would normally be taking.
“I think I would be taking the same classes, but I’d also be taking more electives because I was supposed to take two choir classes and AP art,” Petersen commented.
The COVID-19 outbreak has changed education in many ways, with one result being the introduction of virtual learning. It’s difficult to decide which program is more beneficial, Erie High or LaunchED, but there are certainly many similarities and differences.