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Friday, November 25, 2005

Virtual Schooling in the News

For this holiday edition, from my Google News Alert for "virtual school"...

SCHOOL NOTES - Britton-Hecla teacher honored
Centre Daily Times - Centre County, PA, USA

WASHINGTON, D.C. - Lloyd Trautmann, a math and science teacher from the DIAL (Dakota Interactive Academic Link) Virtual School, was recently honored as the 2005 American Star of Teaching from South Dakota by the U.S. Department of Education. Sen. Tim Johnson, D-S.D., recognized Trautmann's commitment to education and congratulated him on the honor. "Lloyd Trautmann has demonstrated an extraordinary commitment to education throughout his career, and I am certain his achievements will serve as a model for other talented distance teachers throughout the state," Johnson said in a press release.

Students can register for online classes
Gainesville Times - Gainesville, GA, USA

Registration has begun statewide for the Georgia Virtual School's spring semester. High school students can earn required credits toward graduation through the online program, which offers electives, advanced placement, and core curriculum courses. The state has divided the spring semester into three sessions: Jan. 9-May 5, Jan. 17-May 12 and Jan. 23-May 19. Students in public schools with a population of 500 or less get first crack at the classes, as registration opened for them on Nov. 14.

Gwinnett County’s online classes gaining popularity
Gwinnett Daily Post - Lawrenceville, GA, USA

Taking a course in world history or Algebra II is as easy as logging onto a Web site. The Gwinnett County Online Campus is more popular than ever as a way for high school students to take classes that don’t fit into their schedules. The Online Campus was established as an alternative for students either taking remedial courses, wanting to take more enrichment courses or needing to get their requirements out of the way. The key to the Online Campus is flexibility. As long as they stick to deadlines and attend virtual classroom sessions, students have more control on when they work on their lessons. Rather than having to take a test at a specified time, for example, they have until midnight on the test day to complete it.

Online courses could pay off
St. Petersburg Times - St. Petersburg, FL, USA

Citrus students will soon be able take history, biology, even Latin and FCAT prep courses online. Beginning in January, high school students can enroll in one of 10 online courses that will be taught by state-certified teachers from Citrus County. The courses would be free to students. School officials hope the move to online courses will bring more state dollars to the school system, ease overcrowding at the high schools, and raise graduation rates among certain student groups, including those who are expelled or have trouble fitting in with other high school students.

Church school's classes online
Arizona Republic - Phoenix, AZ, USA

Richard Wilson wants a religious bias in his unusual public school.Called by God, he said, he established an Apostolic Pentecostal Christian church amid Queen Creek cotton fields four years ago. Then in September, the pastor became a principal by creating a school where students take online classes through a statewide charter school called Arizona Connections Academy. Wilson's students have become the academy's first cyber school inside a church, said Brad Lester, who oversees the academy's 300 K-9 students throughout the state.

Concerns shadow virtual school
Chicago Daily Southtown - Chicago, IL, USA

Are students who receive lessons via computer spending at least 300 minutes a day at their studies?
That's the question that tripped up Chicago Public Schools officials, who balked Wednesday at approving plans for a new Chicago Virtual Academy until they are sure they will receive state funds for the school's students. Fifteen other Renaissance 2010 school proposals were cleared for takeoff, but schools lead counsel Patrick Rocks said officials are waiting for a ruling from state education officials before approving the K-through-8 Chicago Virtual Academy. Public school students must receive 300 minutes of instruction a day for a district to receive state reimbursement for them, Rocks said.

Until the end of next week...

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