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Norco Hybrid School of Innovation aims to give students control over their education




High school students whose friends posted photos of drinking and smoking were about 20 percent more likely to become drinkers or smokers themselves.
High school students whose friends posted photos of drinking and smoking were about 20 percent more likely to become drinkers or smokers themselves.
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It's summertime. If you're a kid, you're probably enjoying those long, sweet days with no homework and no school.

But what if, when summer is over, you could return to class and only have to show up twice a week?

That's the idea behind the Hybrid School of Innovation from the Corona-Norco Unified School District. Students there will spend the rest of the week studying at home and online. The inaugural class will be made up of 80 freshmen students.

"What we do is take a lot of the curriculum that would normally be covered in a traditional classroom, in a lecture environment and we move that to an online learning management system," Brad Hellickson, Hybrid school official, told Take Two's A Martinez. Hellickson helped establish the learning methods of the school.

"When they come into the classroom, teachers have the opportunity to work with them one on one to help them with any issues that they may have. But more importantly, students are coming in to work collaborative in groups to work on projects that deal directly with the core learning activities." 

While respective of the traditional school model, Hellickson believes that there is a growing group of students who would benefit from a new model of learning.

"I don't see it necessarily as a problem as much as a shift in what the need of our population is. We have students that the traditional model works very well for," Hellickson said.

"But we're seeing an increasing population of students that need something different more and more we have students that are seeking a customizable learning pathway. one in which they have more control over what they're doing, more agency,"

But that raises a question: how much agency is too much agency, especially for kids who are just entering high school? Hellickson understands that concern, but he thinks the Hybrid School of Innovation is solving more problems than it's creating.

"In this particular program, students are able to not only take ownership of the learning and feel the success through that but also they're able to direct some of the activities. I think that is applicable to almost any age level. but especially as we get into the intermediate and high school kids. That ability to go deeper into the learning is absolutely something that's a fit for that age level."

The first classes for The Hybrid School of Innovation start in August.

To hear the full conversation, click the blue player above.