Georgia county has a new way for students to learn, parents say it's working

This year, 23 of Henry County's 50 schools will be taking part in the personalized learning initiative.

It's a new way for students to learn, and parents and teachers WSBTV talked to say it's working.

Parent Brandy Smith and a group of parents and students say they support the personalized learning initiative.

The curriculum is customized for each student, helping them to figure out the best way to learn.

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"One of the things that I really like is that it gives my kids an opportunity to work at their pace, so if my kids have completed the work that's required at the level where they are, they can move up,” Smith said.

Maggie Renken's daughter Zuri is a fourth-grader at Mount Carmel Elementary, and uses personalized learning.

"We have a lot of different programs online we use a lot,” Renken said.

Teachers say personalized learning keeps students more engaged, because students who master a skill can move on to a higher level, while students who need help in a specific area can receive more attention.

"It's very engaging getting the kids to figure out what they're missing so we can fill the gaps so they can move on in a progressional path,” teacher Camille Bratton said.

The Henry County School District is hoping to have personalized learning in all 50 schools by 2020.

Meanwhile, WSBTV talked to one parent who says she was skeptical at first, but then changed her mind.

Victoria Whitten has decades of experience with Henry County Schools.

She grew up in Henry County and has one child who graduated, and two others still in school.

She admits she was skeptical when she first heard about personalized learning.

"Oh, I hated it!” Whitten said. “I did not like it at all, but I didn't know anything about it. I just knew it was different and I didn't like change. But the more I got to know about it the more informed I became, the more I began to understand and my mindset shifted."

Now, Whitten says is one of the personalized learning initiative's biggest backers.

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