Magazine article Success

Virtual Connection: Success for Teens Brings Online Students Together in Ohio

Magazine article Success

Virtual Connection: Success for Teens Brings Online Students Together in Ohio

Article excerpt

Home schooling might be a common practice, but have you ever heard of virtual schooling, where students take classes from accredited teachers from the comfort of their own homes? That's the premise of the Virtual Community School of Ohio. Based in Reynoldsburg, Ohio, the school provides free online education for children in grades K-12. The concept works particularly well for students who need specialized instruction or who are able to work at an accelerated pace.

But virtual schooling has its drawbacks; and that's where counselor Kelsey DePompei comes in.

"In working with students in the digital environment, it can be easy to develop bad habits if students do not hold themselves accountable for staying on track," she says.

DePompei recently added a newtool to her repertoire: SUCCESS for Teens, a personal-development curriculum created by the SUCCESS Foundation, and its cornerstone text, SUCCESS for Teens: Real Teens Talk about Using the Slight Edge.

"As part of our staff's professional development, we regularly refer to SUCCESS," she says. "When I became the school counselor, I found a stack of SUCCESS for Teens and decided to read through one. I was so impressed with the material in the book that I decided to develop a life skills coaching group revolving around the reading and discussion activities." (The SUCCESS Foundation donates hard copies of the book to qualifying public schools, churches and nonprofit youth-development programs; SUCCESSFoundation.org offers free downloads of the book and facilitator's guide to everyone.)

Last year she formed the group with 10 students, sending each a copy of the book and leading the course through educational learning platforms Blackboard and OpenLearning. SUCCESS for Teens, in which teens talk about developing positive skills and habits via manageable steps, is very relevant for her students, she says. …

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