KERN COUNTY, Calif. — Online learning is nothing new for the company Stride Inc.
"We didn’t necessarily see a slow down in learning or opportunities to learn. We actually saw it pick up," said Dr. Shaun McAlmont.
Formerly called K-12, Stride offers online courses for students and adults. McAlmont is the company's president and said they saw 50,000 more people join their programs during the pandemic.
“It was unfortunate that during the school year, there were school districts that really struggled in offering just their basic level of education," he said.
McAlmont said the virtual school year has been detrimental for many.
“For some children, it was really heartbreaking that they had made progress throughout the year, COVID hit and a lot of that progress went awry," he said. "And that’s unfortunate when the following year, they’re expected to pick up at a higher level."
McAlmont said it could take years to build back that learning loss if proactive steps aren’t taken. Steps like taking Stride’s free online classes this summer.
Virtual classes allow families to still spend the summer together without letting their kids fall behind.
“And if you can do it virtually, it offers the amount of flexibility that a family would need to do some vacationing, etc.," he said.
Stride offers credit recovery and career readiness too. McAlmont believes the pandemic has forever altered our nation’s outlook on virtual learning.
“I believe that schools want to pandemic-proof their learning. They've got a back up, they've got it already structured. I believe school districts will be much better prepared in the future," he said.
And he thinks this new perspective is for the better.
“This concept of virtual education adds a level of flexibility that I think may have not been noticed before," he said.
Some courses start next week while others start later in June and July. Click here to sign up.