Compass Academy relocated

New classrooms for online education will debut in Bellevue, Norwalk high schools this year
Alissa Widman Neese
Aug 5, 2014

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



This is wonderful! Let's cater to these little thugs that can't sit still all day because they are wired and were up to no good all night.

Now you can cheat the system and get a diploma while you are sitting home smokin weed, playing xbox on house arrest.

The dumbing down of America. It's politically incorrect to make them conform to rules, schedules and learn some social skills when "they can't flourish in a traditional classroom setting".




"The dumbing down of America" - would be worse if they didnt do this and just dropped out.

"Let's cater to these little thugs" - I know a student who went through Online schooling. Why did they? Their family fell on hard times and because of it their school life was affected negatively. They graduated and are now a productive member of society - so lets not get too hasty calling them "thugs".

Further more, why should we try and force people to do things a certain way that ultimately wont help them? Doesn't seem like a way to help them at all.


Oh, MAKE them conform to rules. MAKE them study and attend school regularly. If only wishing something could make it happen, Captain Obvious. Look, we can either try to help them find a way to a diploma OR we can prepare to support them for the next 50-60 years of their adult life.

Labeling them "thugs", of course, offers you the easy way out, huh? Instead of being part of a solution, or supporting other's efforts to implement a solution, you can just complain.

The Hero Zone's picture
The Hero Zone

I agree with you, coaster. Especially about the supposition that the kids are "thugs" learning this way.


Why SHOULDN'T we make them conform to rules, make them study, and make them attend school regularly? Name a single employer that won't require EXACTLY THAT when they hit the job market!

Part of schooling -- along with the classic definition of education -- involves teamwork and other social skills along with DISCIPLINE. You really want to prepare a kid to join society as a productive adult, you need to ensure they can function in the REAL world!

Florence Nightingale

The program is designed to do exactly that - "developing the skills, knowledge and attitude to be successful students and productive citizens" as per the Bellevue pricipal. Some kids need more help than others to get there - it's in society's best interests to give it to them.

Tsu Dho Nimh

Look how the job market has changed. People don't always report to a daily location, punch the clock, and stay in one area for 8 hours. So much of the labor force involves computers, conferences online, and working from home.


Dick don't be so hasty. Times are changing. Not saying Brick & mortar is the best or the worst; but it is great for e-papers, shopping online etc. This could be good for the majority.

AJ Oliver

I'd ask the Register and area journalists to keep a very close eye on the on-line charter schools. Many are outrageous scams that steal much-needed money from public schools. I'd demand that Compass Academy provide all relevant stats on success & attendance. For some on-line schools, the kids get a computer on which to do their work at home - but as many as half of them NEVER LOG ON A SINGLE TIME.
And Tracey, you're a coward.

Florence Nightingale

AJ, I understand your concern, but this is not a private program. It's part of the public school system and kids enrolled in the Sandusky Digital Academy (formerly Compass) will graduate with a Sandusky High School diploma if successful.