Abby Ruiz, a dual credit English teacher and Launch Learning Lab Facilitator at Seymour High School, shares how Launch is providing the small-town students big opportunities.
Launch: What are some of the benefits of partnering with Launch?
Abby Ruiz: Seymour offers many rigorous courses for students, however, like many other small schools, Seymour is unable to provide the wide variety of classes that larger schools can. Launch has allowed us to provide AP classes and some dual credit coursework that, prior to partnering with Launch, were not available to our students. Launch also allows us the flexibility to work with any student’s situation, making them successful. Some students are just not able to fit a PE class into their schedule. We are now able to put them in an online PE course, thus allowing them to complete the course outside of the school day. Others may have health issues make it impossible for them to attend seated classes. Launch keeps that student from falling behind. The credit recovery portion has been a wonderful addition, as we have many students who, for one reason or another, do not succeed in the classroom and must make up that credit.
Launch: Can you share any stories on how Launch has made a difference in a student’s education/path?
A.R.: I currently have a student who was home schooled. He returned to public school last year and only had enough credits to be classified as a sophomore. Thanks to Launch, he was able to recover credits and will be graduating in May with his class. I also have a student who is very academically gifted. Launch has provided him with AP courses that are challenging, which kept him in school. Finally, I have a student that is unable to always pass her classes. She is one of the hardest workers I have ever known, and it was frustrating knowing that she might not be able to graduate with her class. She was able to catch up by using Launch at both school and home. She just got her cap and gown.
Launch: What do the students say about Launch courses?
A.R.: The reaction has been extremely positive. They love the organization of the classes. They are able to see what they have done and where they need to go next without getting lost. They also like the concept that if you pass the pretest, you do not have to go through the entire unit. Some parts of their credit recovery classes were not difficult for them, and they don’t need to spend time on something they already know. They are thrilled that the content is exactly what they have seen in the classroom.
Launch: Are you able to compare Launch with any other online course providers?
A.R.: We previously used another program for credit recovery, and some of the coursework was not relevant. With Launch being developed right here in Missouri, students are familiar with the concepts. We also used Rosetta Stone for language courses. Launch has been so much better with Launch, because there is a live teacher for these courses. Students are able to communicate with this teacher and ask questions.
Launch: Is there anything else you’d like to add?
A.R.: Adding Launch has been the best move for our students. Our students have been so much more successful, and I have seen a new-found confidence in them!! It makes me love my job so much more.