Never mind: Ignite fizzles in Coupeville schools

Brian Rose, co-founder of Ignite Education Group, answers a question about starting an online academy for Coupeville. - Nathan Whalen / Whidbey News-Times
Brian Rose, co-founder of Ignite Education Group, answers a question about starting an online academy for Coupeville.
— image credit: Nathan Whalen / Whidbey News-Times

After more than a month of negotiations, an Oregon-based online academy decided last week to forego partnering with the Coupeville School District.

Superintendent Patty Page said Thursday morning that the online academy, which emphasizes career-based education, decided to work with a school district closer to its Portland base.

Ignite Education Group considered partnering with the Coupeville School District to offer a career/technical online academy. Officials from the group plan to start with one high school in Oregon and one high school in Washington. The online effort would be a career-based virtual academy that emphasizes health sciences, 21st century business, technology, engineering and digital media.

Coupeville school leaders have long looked for ways to improve career education courses for students attending the small high school. As recently as last Monday, officials from Ignite attended a school board meeting to answer questions.

To partner with Ignite, the Coupeville School District would have received 4 percent of the per-pupil funding.

School board member Carol Bishop said she was concerned about the failure rate students have in online academies. She didn’t want a similar performance to damage Coupeville’s reputation they’ve worked so hard to achieve.

Special education issues were also raised, but all concerns turned out be moot as Ignite pulled out of negotiations.

Page said staff is now looking for a different online option to help meet students’ needs. If approved, students will be able to subscribe to a course and staff will monitor progress.

The desired new online service would include core classes, credit recovery situations and elective and career-based courses, Page said.


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