Blended learning ‘a success’ at Beaver Creek

Beaver Creek sixth grader Bella Ciminieri, left, and seventh grader Alyssa Wheeler are two of the school’s 129 students to be involved in a pilot program called Blended Learning. VVN/Bill Helm

Beaver Creek sixth grader Bella Ciminieri, left, and seventh grader Alyssa Wheeler are two of the school’s 129 students to be involved in a pilot program called Blended Learning. VVN/Bill Helm

RIMROCK – It’s been a week since school started back, but the Beaver Creek School’s new Blended Leaning program is already “a success,” according to the district’s superintendent.

Monday, Beaver Creek District Superintendent Karin Ward will ask the governing board to approve the purchase of 20 additional computers to make sure the pilot program’s children are “fully equipped” for their learning.

Alyssa Wheeler, a seventh grader at Beaver Creek, said she enjoys the program that provides fifth- through eighth-grade students a chance to feel “more independent.”

“I can go ahead or stay behind to work a little longer,” said Alyssa, whose favorite subjects are mathematics and science.

Not only do the blended learning classrooms provide laptops for each child to use while at school, but also sofas, gaming chairs and pub-type tables and chairs for ease and comfort.

But the classes still have desks and chairs for students who require the more traditional way of conducting their studies, Ward said.

At first, Alyssa said the blended learning classrooms were “an adjustment.” Same for her friend, sixth grade student Bella Ciminieri.

“When I heard about it, I was not happy about it,” Bella said. “But now, I really like it. You can go at your own pace.”

Bella said that she would recommend any child new to the program to try it out.

“I enjoy this more than an ordinary classroom,” she said. “There’s an ordinary classroom you can go into, but I’d try this first.”

At this time, Beaver Creek has 129 children who are participating in the blended learning program.

Also Monday, the Beaver Creek School Board could approve the creation of a new extracurricular club called Bike for Kids.

The program would be led by volunteer Jeff Clarke and would be funded by a $5,000 grant by the Verde Valley Cycle Coalition, Ward said.

“At least a couple of times each month, our kids would go on a bike ride in the Beaver Creek area,” Ward said.

The Beaver Creek School Board could also approve the purchase of a golf cart for the district’s maintenance department. According to a draft copy of the board’s Aug. 13 agenda, the cost would be “built into the capital funds and not exceed $7,000.”

At 6 p.m. Monday, the Beaver Creek School District governing board will hold its regularly scheduled monthly meeting at the Beaver Creek School District campus, located at 4810 E. Beaver Creek Road in Rimrock.

Call 928-567-4631 for more information.

This meeting is open to the public.

A copy of the Aug. 13 agenda will be available within 24 hours of the meeting at http://www.bcs.k12.az.us/Governing_Board.

-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42

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