Gwinnett County Online Campus
Gwinnett County Online Campus (GOC) is the oldest online program in Georgia, serving students since 1999. It has grown from serving 122 students in summer school or 7th period to providing more than 5,500 course segments today. The original summer-only program has expanded to a full-time educational option for students that includes 179 secondary courses, middle grades courses, upper elementary courses, math support classes, special entity support, and curriculum resources and support. Today, GOC is the school system’s full-time, diploma-granting online school, serving students in grades four through twelve. Maturing since its humble beginnings, it is now recognized as one of the leading online programs in the nation.
Building upon the success of the supplemental program, the Gwinnett School Board voted to approve Gwinnett Online Campus as a full-time charter school in March of 2010. The State Board of Education approved the GOC Charter in April of 2011, and Gwinnett Online Campus Charter School opened as a full-time option for high school students in the fall of that same year. During the first year as a full-time school, a middle-grade curriculum team developed all of the digital content for middle grades and in the fall of 2012, the middle school opened. Elementary students in grades four and five enrolled in Gwinnett Online Campus full-time in the fall of 2013. In 2016–17, Gwinnett County Public Schools relinquished the charter school status for Gwinnett Online Campus, choosing instead to operate the school as a special entity school. While the status changed from just a supplemental program to include a full-time school option, GOC’s commitment to become the best diploma-granting, online school in the nation has not wavered.
GOC full-time students must meet all graduation requirements for credits and assessments to receive a high school diploma. Gwinnett Online Campus offers a flexible learning environment, extensive support from teachers and counselors, individualized instruction, and a full range of courses including many career and technical education, foreign language, and other academic electives. As part of the instructional delivery model, full-time students attend interactive face-to-face learning labs and CORE labs, which are live streamed and recorded. Unlike a traditional school setting, GOC students work online at the time of day that works best for their schedule. In addition, students have various social and service opportunities through student leadership teams, clubs, and rich experiences. GOC students perform in two fine arts performances each year. These face-to-face opportunities enhance the school community and students’ learning experience and are vital to the success of the unique learning environment found at Gwinnett Online Campus. With this school design in mind, the GOC Student Leadership Team established the school’s mascot— the Owls— because Online We Learn Successfully!
In its early days, GOC shared a facility with GIVE West. It was located at 2595 Beaver Ruin Road in Building F of what was called Buchanan High School of Technology (a building which was formerly used as Norcross High School). For the 2013–14 school year, GOC moved to its current location on Hi Hope Road in Lawrenceville. The newly renovated facility (formerly the building that housed Dyer Elementary School) was designed with online learning in mind.
Over the years, GOC has been recognized by a number of organizations for quality online instruction. Awards include being named a 2006 United States Distance Learning Association Silver Award Winner, a 2008 Elluminate Center of Excellence, a Creative Finalist for the Technology Association of Georgia’s 2016 Georgia Excalibur Award, a Brightspace Excellence Award for student engagement, faculty efficiency, and communication, a winner of the Blackboard Catalyst Award for Innovation, and a 2019 EdTech Awards Finalist in three categories. Individual faculty members also have earned accolades as leaders in online and blended learning in public education. Gabby Bray was a finalist for National Online Teacher of the Year in 2010. Randi Hill was named Gwinnett County High School Teacher of the Year in 2015. Teacher Michelle Jones also earned a Gwinnett County Teacher of the Year nod as one of six finalists in 2017. In addition, Kristi Rhine was awarded the 2018 Marilyn Brackett Excellence in Teaching Award for Physical Education... not your usual honor for an online school.
Today, Gwinnett Online Campus continues to be a leader in digital design focused on delivering transformational and personalized instruction across the district.