Red Hook schools consider online learning with Marist

The Red Hook School District is considering joining Marist’s Project Greystone, an e-learning initiative that would allow recommended students to take Marist courses entirely online at a significantly discounted rate.

In addition, after joining the project, Marist would allow the district to award a $10,000 annual scholarship for one student to study science, technology, engineering or mathematics at Marist.

According to Donna Gaynor, who presented the proposal at the May 24 school board meeting, the Greystone program “has been around for a couple of years, but we haven’t taken advantage because of the fee.”

There is no longer a fee to join the consortium of high schools. There would be incidental costs incurred for training kids to access the courses, proctoring exams if necessary, and other support.

Under the e-learning program, a three-credit course would cost $399, compared to $1,830 charged by the college for a traditional three-credit course. All e-courses are taught by Marist professors. There would also be discounts of nearly 50 percent available for teachers and staff pursuing their Masters of Education at Marist.

“We’re talking about access and opportunity. We’re not offering high school credit at the present time,” said Superintendent Paul Finch. “We’d be the gateway for access.” Students would receive Marist credit for the courses and those credits may be accepted at other institutions.

The $10,000 renewable scholarship would be available starting this year, awarded only to juniors and if the student was not accepted to Marist or chose to attend another school, it could not be transferred to another student.

“Marist is trying to fill their school, that’s one piece of it, but they’re finding that a lot of the local kids are not going to Marist because it’s local,” said Gaynor.

No final decision was made by the board on the proposed participation.

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