A new charter school in central Indiana plans to blend the teachings of a traditional Hoosier career path with modern technology. The Indiana Agriculture & Technology School is an online public school that is tuition-free, and as part of the learning process, students spend time on a 600-acre farm north of Morgantown. The hands-on opportunities include courses and instruction in animal, plant and soil science, forestry and conservation and farming.
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Chief Academic Officer Keith Marsh said the school will fill a growing need. "We just see a generational change," he said talking about the aging population of farmers in Indiana and the world, "in talking to a lot of farmers, their kids work the farm and they may not be interested in taking over the farm. So, it’s just one of those things that we see that we could fill maybe a gap there that’s needed."
The 7-12 school offers more than 200 state-accredited middle and high school classes. Students can earn credits toward an Indiana Core 40 diploma and receive career technical education instruction and courses following the Agriculture CASE Curriculum. Marsh says the difference between the Indiana Agriculture Technology School and other virtual schools is the school’s structure that includes a "four-tiered" system: teachers, academic tutors, success coaches and student learning advocates. "A kid, every single day is being contacted and worked with with their academic work," he said. "That’s totally different than any other virtual you’re going to see, because the engagement part is what’s missing."
In an interview with Inside INdiana Business, Indiana Agriculture & Technology School Chief Academic Officer Keith Marsh said the school will fill a growing need.