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Personalizing Student Learning Through Tacoma Online

Tacoma Online, an online school founded in 2021 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, has evolved into an integral part of Tacoma Public Schools’ innovative learning landscape. Catering to over 1,200 students from K-12, it provides a personalized online learning experience and remains committed to bridging educational gaps exacerbated by the digital divide. Tacoma Online provides flexible and accessible learning opportunities that cater to individual student needs anytime and anywhere. 

Tangible outcomes of the program’s effectiveness include increased credit attainment, improved attendance rates, elevated academic achievements, and prioritized student engagement levels. These successes are quantified through the school’s PACE program (Personalized, Accelerated, Connected, Empowered), capturing both quantitative metrics and qualitative feedback. Each student has a PACE Coach, a caring adult staff member committed to supporting each student’s social, emotional, and academic growth. 

The initiative’s success is evident in its enhanced offerings, including optional in-person learning experiences that enrich the educational journey. These advancements pave the way for expansion beyond the immediate region, reaching students across the wider area. The program is expanding to include Tacoma Flex, the part-time enrollment of secondary learners choosing to engage in in-person and online learning.  

According to Adam Kulaas, Director of Innovative Learning & CTE for Tacoma Online, forging robust partnerships with community organizations and technology providers laid a solid foundation for the program’s success. In addition, Tacoma Online provides tailored support for students and educators transitioning to online learning. Consistent data collection and analysis of student performance and engagement continue to drive ongoing program refinements and support sustained growth and efficacy.