State’s Top STEM School Offers Virtual Program to Enhance Academics
for Students Throughout the State
OKLAHOMA CITY – Oct. 19, 2020 – The Oklahoma School of Science and Mathematics (OSSM) announced Jessica Decker as instructor of the School’s Virtual Regional Center, a one– to three-year program of added educational opportunities and challenges for gifted rural high school students. The curriculum provides a complementary and accelerated program to expand students’ local high school courses in math and science.
“OSSM’s Virtual program allows students to maintain their local high school affiliation and extracurricular participation,” said OSSM President Frank Wang, Ph.D. “Jessica has been affiliated with OSSM since 2012 as an instructor and was also a student of the Virtual Regional Center in 2006. I’m excited about the future of the Virtual Regional Center under her direction.”
Decker earned her bachelor’s degree in Mathematics Education and is pursuing a master’s degree in Science Education, both from Northeastern State University in Broken Arrow, Okla. She joined OSSM in 2012 as an instructor of several classes, including AP® Physics, AP® Calculus, AP® Environmental Science, Algebra and AP® Statistics.
Established in 2014, OSSM’s Virtual Regional Center allows students to attend from any location in which they can access the internet. Students meet with instructors remotely, either from a classroom, library, or even from their own home, where they receive college-level math and science instruction. They also participate in In-person labs once every three to four weeks, an activity that has currently been postponed due to COVID-19 restrictions.
OSSM’s Virtual Regional Center is an outgrowth of its Regional Center program, which started in the late 1990s. Through the regional program, students from largely rural areas take advanced math and science courses in half-day programs at OSSM satellite locations in Enid, Okmulgee, Poteau, Stilwell, Tahlequah and Wayne. These classes are typically housed in local career tech centers.
Nationally ranked as a top public high school in the United States, OSSM provides a college-level, academically advanced curriculum in science and mathematics to juniors and seniors across the state. Created through legislative action in 1983, first as a two-year residential public high school serving all Oklahoma schools, OSSM expanded to include six satellite locations plus a virtual program and math contests and day workshops for middle school students, teacher professional development, residential summer academies, and outreach activities for students of varying ages. For more information, call (405) 521-6436 or visit the website at www.ossm.edu.