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Compass Academy relocated

Alissa Widman Neese • Aug 27, 2014 at 2:41 PM


Compass Academy, an online high school, is headed in a new direction this year.

The online program, located in Sandusky for the past two school years, relocated to Bellevue and Norwalk high schools this summer.

It's set to debut a classroom at both new locations in the upcoming school year, and there's still plenty of time to enroll, director Sherry Smith said.

"We're hoping to start with at least 20 kids, and grow our numbers throughout the year," Smith said.

Compass Academy provides services for students ages 14 to 22 who can't flourish in a traditional classroom setting.

By working at their own pace, with occasional assistance from a teacher, students facing difficult or atypical situations can still earn credits toward their high school diplomas.

Students are still considered enrolled in their home district, and can continue to participate in extracurricular activities, Smith said.

"They get immediate feedback, and we hold them accountable," she said. "Many students in Sandusky saw great success from our program."

North Point Educational Service Center started the alternative program for Sandusky Schools students in 2012.

This past spring, the district decided to begin its own online school in Compass Academy's former location, the old Adams Junior High School building at 318 Columbus Ave. It's called Sandusky Digital Academy, and it will also debut this school year.

The decision offered North Point Educational Service Center an opportunity to serve students in Huron County, where online schooling opportunities weren't easily accessible.

"We wanted to reach out to all kids with a variety of needs," said John Ruf, North Point Educational Service Center's assistant superintendent.

The center serves nearly 30 schools in Erie, Huron and Ottawa counties, and others are already looking to provide similar offerings in the future, Smith said.

For now, Bellevue High School principal Nate Artino and Norwalk High School assistant principal Patrick Kania will take pride in spearheading one of the first efforts to expand the Compass Academy program.

"We are excited to offer our students an alternate educational opportunity that is housed in Bellevue High School and is designed to assist them in developing the skills, knowledge and attitude to be successful students and productive citizens," Artino said. "We are confident the program will be able to meet the needs of all of our students who participate."

Want to enroll?

Compass Academy is now enrolling students ages 14-22 in its online high school classes, at both Bellevue and Norwalk high schools.

For more information or to enroll, call director Sherry Smith at 419-627-3969, or email ssmith@npesc.org.

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