Niswonger Online Newsletter

September 2020

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Fall 2020 Semester Quick Facts

  • 695 students enrolled in Fall 2020 classes
  • 113 students enrolled in Year-Long 2020-2021 classes
  • 30 schools represented
  • 33 courses offered
  • 33 Niswonger Online teachers

Mark your calendar!

  • Early September: First Due Date (Varies by course.)
  • September 16: Progress Reports
  • September 30: Progress Reports

New on the website

We have a new section of our website dedicated to helping parents support their students in our online classes. Please check it out by clicking here.

Message from Mrs. Pavlovich, Director of Niswonger Online

Niswonger Online Newsletter Sept 20

Student Spotlight: Eliza Smith

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Eliza Smith is a sophomore at Volunteer High School in Hawkins County, Tennessee. She is currently taking AP Environmental Science and AP Psychology with Niswonger Online. Eliza also completed Government in Summer 2020, and Economics in Spring 2020. She was nominated for this Student Spotlight by her Economics teacher, Dr. Burgin.


Eliza stands out to me as a student who made the most of her online experience during a difficult time. Eliza submitted meaningful questions, thoughtful responses, engaging forum comments with her classmates, and really owned the learning process. Several times, even though she already had received a grade on an assignment, Eliza would ask clarifying questions and would request additional materials to extend her learning. -Dr. Burgin

Student Spotlight Interview

What are your favorite school subjects?

My favorite subjects are English, particularly creative writing, and history. However, I love the way science and math instill in me a greater appreciation of the beautiful and complex world around us.


What are your favorite hobbies or extracurricular activities?

I enjoy writing, reading, and crafting as well as participating in organizations such as Key Club, Beta Club, and SkillsUSA. I also love fellowshipping with my friends and family.


What do you like most about online learning?

I love how online learning enables me to work at my own pace and truly take responsibility for my education. My teachers have provided so many fascinating resources for me to delve into and discover more about the unique subject areas, and I love getting to immerse myself in the worlds of knowledge that they have created. I am also thankful to be gaining many key technological skills and experiences that I know will help me in various facets throughout life in this modern world.


What advice do you have for a student taking their first class with Niswonger Online?

For me, following the pacing guides and planning ahead are so important. If you have a big game, performance, or family gathering to prepare for, and you might not have all the necessary time to complete your assignments for that week, work ahead or speak to your teacher. And take advantage of the unique experience to soak up as much knowledge as you can- in both the subject area and the different life skills an online course builds upon. When our world was thrown into new territory at the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic, I was fortunate to be able to use the insights I had gained from Niswonger Online as all my classes transitioned into the virtual classroom.

Thank you, Eliza, for taking the time to share with us. We are inspired by your excitement for learning, and we are thankful to be able to provide you with new subjects to explore!

Teacher Spotlight: Dr. David Burgin

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Dr. David Burgin teaches Economics and Sociology for Niswonger Online. He lives in Johnson City with his wife and daughter where he has taught at Science Hill High School since 1992. At Science Hill he primarily teaches AP Microeconomics and AP Macroeconomics, Economics, and Government. Dr. Burgin was named Johnson City Schools Teacher of the Year for Grades 9-12 in 2020.


Dr. Burgin is always looking for ways to enhance his Niswonger Online courses and connect with students. Here's what he has to say about the stock market game he added to his Economics course last year:


Marketwatch has been a really neat addition to the Economics course. It serves as a cool way to introduce students to the stock market. Instead of just reading about corporations, stock market, buying long, short selling, buying on margin, etc., the students can actually put what they are learning into practice with real-time trades and a friendly in-class competition. The assignments sprinkled in throughout the Semester long course ask students to manage a mock $100,000 portfolio in which they can buy, sell, short sell/cover, and buy on margin stocks from all of the major indices. Marketwatch is sponsored by Dow Jones & Co and has a wealth of information for students learning about the markets as well as seasoned investors wanting to stay on top of their actual portfolios. While this is just one piece of the Economics curriculum, it has served to help connect students to real time events and raise awareness and interest about the financial markets.


Thank you for all you do, Dr. Burgin! We are so grateful to have you on our team!

Course Spotlight: American Sign Language I

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We are excited to offer American Sign Language for the first time in Fall 2020. This course covers basic vocabulary, numbers, conversations, and an introduction to ASL grammar. Students also have an opportunity to explore Deaf culture and careers using ASL. Students can continue their study of American Sign Language in future semesters with American Sign Language II and III.


Please note that many, but not all universities (outside TN), are accepting ASL as a foreign language. Please check if ASL is accepted and how ASL may or may not work with your major by calling the college or university you plan to attend.