New OC21 Teachers Prepare for 2018-19 School Year

July 06, 2018

OC21, Putnam | Northern Westchester’s blended learning program, represents a new way to learn, and for two new members of the OC21 faculty, it’s also a new way to teach. During a recent workshop at Putnam | Northern Westchester, the program’s newest faculty members were learning how to create curriculum using a new platform called Schoology.



Sharon Courtney and April Kellam, two teachers from the Peekskill City School District, have joined the OC21 faculty and were working with Randy Hall, senior facilitator of Instructional Technology at the Lower Hudson Regional Information Center, to put the finishing touches on their courses. Courtney, who serves as Peekskill’s social studies department head, will be teaching Introduction to Anthropology, a course that has been offered through OC21 before. Kellam, the math department head at Peekskill, is introducing a brand new OC21 offering: “Choice or Destiny: Fads, Trends and Phenomena.”


OC21 provides high school students with 21st century learning opportunities in subjects that may not be available in their home school districts. The program is unique because it is ‘blended,’ involving both online and in-person instruction. Offerings have included topics such as “You are What You Eat: The Truth Behind Your Food” and “Fake News and other Hot Topics.” For the 2018-19 school year, nine OC21 courses will be available to motivated area students.


Over the course of eight days dedicated to curriculum development, the new faculty members have met with the entire OC21 faculty, as well as with various OC 21 partners to facilitate the process of turning their visions into a high quality, blended learning experience for area students.


“It has been wonderful to have this dedicated time to create something like this,” said Kellam of the numerous times she’s met with OC21 partners and faculty members since May, in preparation for the coming school year. “I have also found it extremely valuable to get tips from fellow virtual classroom teachers.”