Thank You for visiting ECOT PALS! Please allow me to introduce myself. My name is Jeremy. I consider myself many things... An entrepreneur, technologist, a bit of a futurist, a life-long Ohio resident, and most importantly... a devoted father to my 5 children.
As I followed my eldest child’s progress (Celiah) through 4th grade in brick-and-mortar schools, I began to question if the path she was on was the best available. My daughter was expressing frustration at the pace of her traditional school education due to her teachers having to deal with constant classroom distractions and the discipline of her classmates. She told me that her teachers spent a great amount of time dealing with disengaged students and disruptions; therefore, she and the curriculum weren’t getting much attention. She was in class with the best of intentions but struggling to find her voice amidst all of the noise. Celiah was fascinated with learning but was quickly becoming disengaged because she felt as though her passion and drive were being stifled. She wanted more. In addition to her feeling held back for the attention of others, she was having a hard time fitting in with the traditional school social scene. Her interests, individuality and overall polite demeanor did not seem to mesh well with the majority of her classmates. After witnessing several cases of bullying in her school, she was heartbroken and jarred. She volunteered for an in-school program and started speaking to classes throughout the school about bullying. She was proud of herself for her role in trying to help but was also let down because despite her best efforts, the bullying not only continued but increased. After all of this, I began exploring all of the public education options that Ohio had to offer, eventually taking a leap of faith by enrolling her in ECOT (The Electronic Classroom of Tomorrow).
Celiah has been thriving at ECOT and is excited for her 5th school year online. She loves her school, her teachers and making new friends with her classmates. Her passion for learning has grown exponentially every day since she enrolled. This is a great feeling as a parent. Gone are all of the frustrations, boredom and social anxiety that were holding her back in traditional school. ECOT’s teachers have been nothing short of incredible. The way that they are evolving with the technology while adapting and improving their techniques to engage my daughter and her classmates has been truly something amazing to watch and be a part of. Celiah is able to get the exact amount of attention she needs at just the right time while still benefitting from group learning during her live online sessions. ECOT allows her to be herself while pursuing her education in a safe and distraction-free environment at a pace and format that works best for her individual needs. She has been able to not only excel academically, but ECOT’s flexibility has given her more time to participate in extracurricular activities, school clubs, and additional educational opportunities like ECOT’s Career Technical Education program.
But the benefits of ECOT go deeper than just the flexibility and academic success. Rather than sharing lockers, hallway gossip and lunch tables with other kids from all of the relatively same background, socioeconomic status and from the same subdivision, Celiah interacts with classmates and teachers from across the state... from Cincinnati to Cleveland... from all backgrounds and statuses. She is undeniably one of the most grounded and humble 13 year olds you will ever meet. She has an open caring heart that easily relates to others regardless of their looks, learning ability, or where they’re from. Her view of the world is so big and so beautiful. It’s inspiring. I give ECOT a ton of credit for not only helping my daughter to be a star student but also for helping me as a parent to foster an environment, where diversity is not only talked about but celebrated in my child’s daily life. I believe that this unique exposure combined with her stellar grades will help her launch into adulthood and the real world much faster and more comfortably than would be possible without access to this school.
I'm big on the idea that the way its always been done may not be the best way for everyone. With new capabilities in technology, new socioeconomic challenges and new science behind how people learn and grow... major changes to a K-12 format that is so long in the tooth should be expected and embraced. However, what we found out is that the media, the state legislature, our friends and even our own family members were not so informed and supportive of this schooling option. In fact, there's an entire gang of media bullies out there who are on a mission to deface and defund public school choice for kids and families in the state. We've spent a great deal of time defending our daughter's choice to attend ECOT and quite frankly, we're sick of playing defense on this topic.
So with your help, I am starting a group called “ECOT PALS,” which stands for ECOT “Parents Alumni and Supporters.”
We believe in public school choice for all of Ohio's kids and families.
We believe that ECOT is an effective and absolutely necessary asset to the residents of Ohio.
We believe that ECOT is leading the way towards real innovation in primary public education.
We believe that "the way we've always done it" is not good enough for all anymore.
ECOT PALS mission is to build a vibrant community of supporters, advocates and outspoken evangelists for public school choice in the State of Ohio.
Each day, battles rage on over the necessity and effectiveness of charter schools in our state and all across the country. These battles are primarily centered around money and politics.... are fueled by misinformation.... and fought in the media, behind the doors of legislature and even between uninformed citizen neighbors. Sadly, the voices of the actual students, parents and teachers are not always equally represented in these debates.
ECOT PALS exists to bring some humanity to the discussion.
Having a strong professional background in educational technology, I am well aware that It's just human nature to fear and lash out against things we don't understand... Believe me... I get it. But, with ECOT supporting over 15,000 of Ohio's children today with an amazingly progressive and effective education, and having helped to deliver 20,000 diplomas in such a short time, it's time to replace the fear and misinformation with the real stories of ECOT's students, families, teachers and staff.
Will you please consider joining us?
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Even though we are at the very early stages, your support is critical. If you'd like to take a more active role in increasing the impact of this group or would just like to chat about your interest, we'd love to hear from you. Please contact us directly and let's talk.
Thank You! But before you go, please take some time to read stories we're curating from ECOT PALS Members in our blog