The Knoxville School Board approved a contract with Iowa Net High Academy at their regular meeting on August 12.

Iowa Net High Academy is a program designed to increase high school graduation rates by offering alternative options to students. It will serve as a tool for students who may be considered “at-risk” or struggle with issues that could prevent them from attending classes. This program will help students who have exhausted all their other options from dropping out of high school.

Through this program, students will stay enrolled in the Knoxville School District, even if they are not physically attending classes in the district. Classes through the Iowa Net High Academy are taught online. Licensed teachers employed by the program will make weekly visits to the student’s home to mentor and work with them on their schooling.

The program is specifically customized for each student enrolled to help meet their specific needs. Along with weekly meetings with a teacher from the Iowa Net High Academy, students will remain in contact with a staff member within the Knoxville School District.

The goal of the program is to hopefully help students transition back into classes taught within Knoxville Schools. Student Services Coordinator Angela Nelson believes there are a handful of students within the district who would benefit from the Iowa Net High Academy. Students who complete the program will receive a regular diploma from Knoxville High School.

Superintendent Cassi Pearson said the district will have students try other less restrictive programs before opting to enroll them in Iowa Net High Academy. The program, which administrators are working on creating enrollment criteria for, will serve as the final effort for students.

New teachers to the Knoxville School District were also introduced to the school board at the meeting. 4th-grade teacher Caty Haning will be joining the team at Northstar Elementary. The Middle School will welcome special education teacher Kaylee Forst, science teacher Mary Oldham, math teacher Grant Pearson, and half special education, half ELA teacher Heather Smith. Social studies teacher Camille Crossett will also join the district, teaching at the High School.