Harrisburg High School started on the path toward customized learning over three years ago and now they are one semester into a new world. Students are learning at their own pace, picking a class schedule that works best for them. Now, parents have some concerns.
"I just kind of wondered, so, are they not utilizing their time wisely during the day? Is there any teacher instruction going on or is it all truly self-paced and then are the parents having the burden to work with them?" Marci Pirlet said.
Marci has a daughter about to enter high school and the new modular learning system. What they were being told from people in the program was not easing their concerns.
"I wasn't really hearing a lot of positive feedback from it, so I was really kind of nervous on how well I was going to do in this environment and whether there were actually teachers lecturing you and telling you what to do," Kennedy Pirlet said.
Students need to reach certain benchmarks before they're allowed to move on to new curriculum; otherwise they stay at the same level until they pass. They can learn at their own pace, but they still need to achieve set goals before they can graduate.
"I think in the beginning they didn't, they thought 'Oh, I have all year to get this done,' so they weren't really using their time, and now I think they're realizing, 'No, this is kind of huge because now it's putting us behind and we might not make it," Marci said.
After learning a bit more about what to expect, Kennedy seems more prepared for the new way of learning as well.
"I was most concerned about being in accelerated classes this year, having to re-do things next year, but I don't think that's going to be necessarily a problem anymore and I feel more comfortable going into it," Kennedy said.
Whether the school district stays with this way of teaching is up to this year's sophomore class. By the time they are seniors, if they feel that this new system was not beneficial to them, the district will likely go back to the way classes were taught before.