Rethinking Student Support: Camdenton

Savannah WaszczukAccess Launch, District Profiles

Since Launch provides highly qualified, Missouri-certified teachers with all courses, leaders at Camdenton High School are able to reposition full-time staff to better serve students.

Leaders at Camdenton High School understand the value of online learning. “We feel it’s very important for every student to take at least one virtual class in his or her high school career,” says J.D. Hunter, Camdenton High School Assistant Principal. “We like that it provides an accountability piece and a self-motivation piece, and of course the fact that it’s technology driven, which we think is the future for almost all education.”

The district’s hefty goal of providing every learner with an online course comes with an even heftier challenge: finding a fully certified staff that has time to meet the individual student needs of each and every one of those 1,340 learners. That’s where Launch comes in. “Instead of having to pull a teacher out of a history course to provide our students with something like study hall or guided study hall, our teacher can monitor virtual courses in addition to their traditional offerings,” Hunter says. This is possible with Launch, because every Launch course comes with a highly qualified, Missouri-certified teacher that serves as the students’ teacher of record. “In the past, those are things we’d have to hire additional teachers for,” says Hunter, who is also the College and Career Readiness Director. “We are able to rethink how we allocate our FTE to make sure we are best serving our students.”

Many Camdenton High School students got their first taste of online learning in summer 2018 with Launch’s summer school offerings. “Because we’re a tourist location, we knew that our summer school numbers could be a little better if some of our kids who worked during the day didn’t have to make it on to campus,” Hunter says. “Taking campus out of the equation made a lot more sense for us.” Moving in to the fall semester and future years as a Launch partner district, Hunter shares another goal: Having students get a virtual course completed early in their high school year by having them take health virtually their freshman year. “It might be a year or two down the road, but that’s what we want to do,” Hunter says. “We’re just excited to be a partner, and we’re happy to be able to get virtual learning going here in Camdenton.”

Camdenton Facts
K-12 Enrollment: 4,337
High School Enrollment: 1,340
City Population: 3,718 for Camdenton (but the lakeside school district serves students who live in 9 towns!)
School Colors: Purple and Gold
Mascot: Lakers
Notable Alum: “We like to think that everyone who graduates from CHS is a notable alum!”—J.D. Hunter, CHS Assistant Principal
Fun fact: Camdenton’s mascot used to be a tiger, but with so many other Tiger teams in the area, in the mid-1950’s a CHS basketball coach contacted the Minneapolis (now L.A.) Lakers of the NBA and asked permission to use the Lakers logo and name. The student council voted, and Laker Nation was born.