Branches of Oaks: Online & Brick and Mortar
Oaks Christian School is named, of course, after the oak tree. In its history, Oaks Christian has grown many branches to provide educational shelter, beauty, and nourishment for students. It has added additional grade levels, unique departments, extensive facilities, engaging staff, and rigorous courses. In 2010 when the school opened an online branch, many new ways to serve students emerged. Kevin Lindsey, an academic dean on the main campus, takes a moment to reflect on the ways these online options have given him a chance to support his students in creative ways.
Q: Together the brick and mortar campus and OC Online seek ways to creatively support students through their middle school and high school education. Can you share an example where you, as a dean on the main campus, have been able to help offer a solution to one (or some) of your students through the assistance of OC Online?
There have been too many to name!
Two particular cases come to mind. The first is a student that needed to take time away from Southern California for a professional pursuit. It was so nice to be able to confidently provide aligned courses that allowed the student to continue their academic pursuits with the goal of returning to main campus after the semester away.
The second was a student that had to hit pause for a medical reason. Using summer terms and flexible start dates, we were able to map out a plan for the student to still graduate with their class.
Working with the online team is great!
What are some of the reasons you think your students seek to take online courses at OC Online?
First, I think it really works for some students. I have had multiple students thrive in the online platform.
Second: flexibility. It doesn’t take less time, but doesn’t require you to be in a class at a given time.
How has OC Online helped your students who need to start or enroll in a course after the brick and mortar add/drop date? Can you describe your experience of that process a bit?
Being able to start a course a few weeks after the main campus start date has really helped our students. It gives students an option to restart without quitting. It is not easier; but a fresh start can provide new motivation.
What have you enjoyed most about having OC Online’s courses to support the work you’re doing with students on campus?
The best part is working with the educators. It is reassuring to be able to refer a student to OC Online and know that they are being handled by quality professionals that have the same goals as I do. Mainly, the mission of the school.
What are some of your dreams for further collaboration between the brick and mortar campus and OC Online?
A shared dream between all of us is exploring the possibility of providing courses online that cannot be offered on campus. I would like us to continue the momentum being built with our partnerships [with other Christian schools]. Lastly, redefining what it means to be a blended main campus student.