Valdosta City Schools is partnering with Ombudsman Educational Services to open the Ombudsman Valdosta Learning Center, which will offer a highly personalized, technology-rich blended learning program for middle and high school students who have not been successful in traditional school programs, who are at risk of dropping out, who wish to recover credits to advance with their classmates, or who have adult responsibilities and would benefit from a flexible schedule.

Release Highlights:

  • Valdosta City Schools is partnering with Ombudsman Educational Services to open the Ombudsman Valdosta Learning Center in August.
  • The new alternative learning center will offer a highly personalized, technology-rich blended learning program for 100 at-risk middle and high school students to help them stay on the path to graduation.
  • Families who would like more information about the new program can contact Dr. Alvin Hudson, assistant superintendent, at (229) 671-6006 or ahudson@gocats.org.

For Immediate Release

Valdosta, Ga. (August 3, 2012) – Valdosta City Schools is partnering with Ombudsman Educational Services to open the Ombudsman Valdosta Learning Center, which will offer a highly personalized, technology-rich blended learning program for middle and high school students who have not been successful in traditional school programs, who are at risk of dropping out, who wish to recover credits to advance with their classmates, or who have adult responsibilities and would benefit from a flexible schedule.

Sixty middle school students will attend one of two sessions from 7:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. Forty high school students will attend one session from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Students will be referred to the Ombudsman Valdosta Learning Center by the district, and families who would like more information about the new program can contact Dr. Alvin Hudson, assistant superintendent, at (229) 671-6006 or ahudson@gocats.org. Classes begin Aug. 8.

All students will benefit from:

  • small class size and personalized attention from caring, highly qualified teachers who are passionate about working with at-risk students;
  • differentiated instruction, which blends teacher-led instruction, independent practice, collaboration in small groups and enrichment activities to help students apply knowledge and enhance their social skills;
  • personalized academic plans and goals created specifically to meet individual students’ needs;
  • a rigorous and engaging technology-rich environment that allows students to receive immediate feedback and become familiar with tools they will use in college, trade or vocational school or the workplace;
  • focused, dedicated preparation for Georgia’s Criterion-Referenced Competency Tests (CRCT) and End of Course Tests (EOCT);
  • post-secondary preparation, including service learning and volunteer projects that help students explore careers, develop the skills required to secure a job and give back to their community;
  • Valdosta City Schools will provide services for students with special needs for all sessions;
  • greater accountability and improved academic results.

“I see the Ombudsman program as an extension of the rigorous academic programs offered on all of our campuses. After extensive research of the program, we were pleased with the academic and social components provided to the students. Ombudsman Educational Services specializes in helping at-risk middle and high school students get back on track in the learning process. Some of our students may not function well in a traditional learning environment. This program provides alternative schedules and non-traditional learning environments so that students can learn at their own pace. It is very individualized and designed around technology. It is truly an alternative program that will provide another avenue for our students to be successful and graduate. Valdosta City Schools is excited about the partnership,” said Dr. Bill Cason, superintendent of Valdosta City Schools.

Ombudsman’s rigorous academic program is aligned to Common Core Georgia Performance Standards. Ombudsman is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI), the organization that accredits Georgia schools, and is the first organization of its kind to receive system accreditation from AdvancED, the world’s largest independent accreditation commission for primary and secondary education organizations.

Ombudsman students make significant academic gains. According to the latest available data, during an average enrollment period of about 90 days during school year 2010-11, Ombudsman students nationwide gained two grade levels in math application and more than one grade level in math computation, vocabulary, spelling, language mechanics and reading comprehension.

“Ombudsman partners with school districts to provide students with an alternate route to a high school diploma using our blended learning model, which is grounded in educational psychology and research-based best practices,” said Mark Claypool, Ombudsman president and CEO.

“Students receive one-on-one instruction from caring teachers who guide and encourage them to make positive choices about their education. Ombudsman helps students recognize their ability to learn and celebrate their successes so they can achieve their academic and career goals.”

Nationally, more than 80 percent of Ombudsman students graduate, earn credits or return to their district school closer to or at grade level. Ombudsman has educated more than 140,000 students since its founding in 1975 and partners with more than 130 school districts in 20 states to operate more than 140 alternative education and dropout recovery programs. For more information, visit www.ombudsman.com.

Resource Links

Valdosta City Schools
Website:          GoCats.org
Blog:                Dr. Bill Cason’s Blog
Twitter:           @GoValdostaCats
Facebook:       facebook.com/ValdostaCitySchools
YouTube:        youtube.com/GoVCSCats

Ombudsman Educational Services
Website:          Ombudsman.com
Blog:                DestinationDiploma.net
Twitter:           @OmbudsmanEd
Facebook:       facebook.com/OmbudsmanEducation
YouTube:        youtube.com/OmbudsmanEducation

Contacts

Valdosta City Schools
Jennifer Steedley, Director of Public Relations
(229) 671-6065
jsteedley@gocats.com

Ombudsman Educational Services
Robin Embry RETURN
Lovell Communications, Inc.
(615) 297-7766
robin@lovell.com