Columbia County high school students are getting multiple options to fit their learning style in the upcoming school year.The new learning options are similar to what they will experience in the college and workforce setting, Columbia County School District associate superintendent Penny Jackson said. With more jobs allowing employees to work from home and colleges offering online courses to give students flexibility, the school system is preparing students for life after high school.”Our world is so technology-driven now and the traditional classroom, eight hours a day, doesn’t work for everyone,” Jackson said.Options will include online courses where students can complete courses from home. Classes will still be led by Columbia County teachers and students will have to go to their school to complete labs and assessments. Online courses will also be available during the summer for $150 per half credit to allow students to get ahead on courses and possibly graduate early.While some courses will be strictly online, others will take a hybrid approach where students attend classes some days, but learn from home on others. Another option gives students the ability to attend classes in the school building four days a week and attend online classes from home one day a week.The schools are also adding three periods at the end of the day to give students the option to start and end later in the school building. Jackson said this learning style is optimal for students who struggle to focus in the mornings or work late jobs. They will not be able to participate in after-school activities, however, because they will still be in class.The school system does not plan on adding bus routes to accommodate students who arrive later in the day. Those students will be responsible for their own transportation.If students experience difficulty with classes while learning from home, they will still be able to contact their teachers in person or via email for help. Jackson said the school system will monitor students’ progress to determine whether the learning option is working for them. If students begin to fail, they can be put back onto a regular schedule. She doesn’t believe that will be the case as these learning options have improved many test scores in school districts throughout the country.”We have not seen any that have started declining because of this,” she said. “If we did, we would re-evaluate.”In addition to providing more flexibility for students, the learning options will help the overcrowding in many of the high schools. The board of education tabled rezoning plans for high schools in January when it approved these learning options.Jackson said all of these styles are completely optional and students might still elect to take classes five days a week in a brick and mortar school but believes as students see the benefits and flexibility, they will choose one of the new styles.