By Leigh Anne Shelor, Online Program Coordinator at The Piedmont School

Our educational system continues to push for “21st century learning” for students. Technology, of course, has been the forerunner in this non-traditional push for several years and continues to be a main focus in this ever-changing educational plan. If you enter most schools you will find more and mor​e classrooms that allow students to utilize tablets, phones and computers to enhance the lessons. There are even classrooms that are following the flipped classroom method that allow the student to watch a lesson online at home for “homework” that have been created and videoed by the teacher. Students are able to watch, re-watch, stop and start the video, mute the volume, and spend as much time as needed to understand the lesson. Then when coming to class, the teacher can work on reinforcing the skill and provide more time for practice and specific questions from the lesson the previous night.

One of the newest trends in our educational world is the online class opportunity. Through online courses, students are able to acquire knowledge and reinforce skills to advance their learning. There are fewer distractions than in a typical classroom setting, the courses are somewhat student-driven and self-paced, and offer the convenience of working from home, on vacation or anywhere else that you have a computer connection. The opportunities for a wide variety of courses taught at a high standard are great, and can be tailored to fit the student’s needs and accommodations. At some point, between middle school and college, most students will very likely be exposed to an online class format.

At The Piedmont School, we began offering an online course of study for our high school students this year. Through Fuel Education, our students were able to take required core classes, and a variety of elective courses that they otherwise would not have been able to take here or in a traditional public school setting. It has allowed them to expand their knowledge, and learn a variety of study skills that will help them to be successful in whatever future endeavor they choose to pursue. We will continue to offer these courses in the coming year for high school, but will also incorporate them into a more blended program with face-to-face courses as well. This will allow us to continue to meet the needs of the student where they are and allow for opportunities beyond the four walls of the traditional classroom.

As part of our summer enrichment program, we will also be offering an opportunity for students to begin taking some of these courses in preparation for future online courses and for additional credit in the high school program. One program will be open for rising 7th grade- 9th grade students, and will offer a choice of four elective-style courses. The other program will be for rising 10th- 12th grade students, and will offer elective courses that can earn additional credit in our program and can be coordinated with other schools to determine if credit will be offered there. The program will be offered June 15th- July 31st, and would require the student to do all work from their own computer. Students would be required to meet with an assigned mentor once per week at The Piedmont School, but will have access to teacher feedback throughout the course. (Our building will be closed the week of June 29-July 3rd.)

Summer is often a time that parents feel students need a break from the rigor of a classroom. Through these online courses, students can continue to reinforce skills and expand knowledge while still having the flexibility of enjoying vacation time and summer activities. For more information on the summer program and our regular course offerings in the online program, please contact Leigh Anne Shelor at or by phone at 336-883-0992. You can also visit: for more information.

Sponsored by The Piedmont School