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Thursday, February 16, 2006

Virtual Schooling in the News

This week's Google news alert for virtual school.

Students may soon get chance to attend public school without ...
Fulton Sun - MO, USA

Students across Missouri may get the opportunity to enroll in the state's 525th public school district - one without walls, bullies or extracurricular activities - by next year.Known as a virtual school, students would be considered pupils in their respective districts but would attend classes from their homes through the use of the Internet. The Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education would be responsible for the education.

School board eyes items at long meeting
Baldwin City Signal - Baldwin City, KS, USA

Monday's Baldwin Board of Education meeting was packed with a virtual school proposal, air quality problems, bus and dirt work bids, district-wide reports, one patron complaint and an audit report. The item at the meeting that drew much attention and time was the presentation from Insight Schools, which is a privately-funded virtual school company.

Virtual School sets sessions for parents
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette (subscription) - Little Rock, AR, USA

The Arkansas Virtual School, a program of the Arkansas Department of Education, is hosting parent information sessions this month for families interested in ... [Limited description due to subscription requirement.]

Learning online and at home
Beloit Daily News - Beloit, WI, USA

“A-E-I-O-U.” Six-year-old Nathan Walker rapidly blurted out his vowels. As a kindergartner, Nathan should be learning phonics. But, Nathan already knows how to read. Joanne Walker smiles. Though proud, she is reluctant to brag about her son's smarts. But, she said, she and her husband, Jerod, did notice their eldest son - when in preschool - was learning rapidly for his age.

Education secretary outlines state's 2010 Initiative
The Capital Journal - Pierre, SD, USA

Dr. Rick Melmer, state secretary of education, offered the Pierre School Board information during their Monday meeting about the state’s 2010 Initiative and other education-related issues that state lawmakers are currently considering.According to Melmer, the 2010 Initiative for education is divided into three programs: Starting Strong, Finishing Strong and Staying Strong. Starting Strong includes screening for 3-year-olds to determine whether they are on schedule for normal child development and preschool programs sponsored by school districts.

Electronic high school gives self-starter students alternative
Salt Lake Tribune - United States

Virtual teachers have the luxury of wearing fuzzy slippers, beginning class at midnight, or traveling to exotic destinations while giving important instructions to their students - quite unlike traditional classroom teachers who wear the requisite attire and stand in front of the classroom on a specific day and time. The virtual teachers in question work for the Electronic High School (EHS) in Utah, and their principal, Richard Siddoway, oversees this online school based in Salt Lake City. They seem to have it all, but they, too, face challenges when setting up their course curricula and dealing with the students and overall student success in the virtual realm.

This week's Google news alert for cyber school.

District officials say proposed increases are not sufficient
Waynesboro Record Herald - Waynesboro, PA, USA

Pennsylvania Gov. Ed Rendell's proposed budget includes a 5 percent increase in state funding for public education, but some Franklin County school districts would get considerably less than that. Rendell's proposed budget calls for a 2.2 percent increase in basic education funding for the Waynesboro Area School District and a 2.1 percent increase for the Tuscarora School District, while Greencastle-Antrim School District would receive 6.3 percent more in state dollars in the upcoming fiscal year. [See all stories on this topic]

School boards facing major budgeting challenges
Clarion News - Clarion, PA, USA

“I think the budgeting this year is going to be a real challenge,” Allegheny-Clarion Valley Superintendent Patrick Lukasavich Ed.D. told the school board last month. North Clarion Superintendent Rodney Hartle said he has looked into the averages of past budgets and said he believes the district can expect an expense increase of 3.2 percent with the two major issues in the budget being the cost of natural gas and healthcare.

Guardian Angels look at Kingston
Mid-Hudson News - Newburgh, NY, USA

Leaders of the Guardian Angels will be meeting with Kingston City and school district officials later this week to discuss a future role for the New York City-based street safety group in that city. Kingston Alderman Leonard Walker invited the group to meet with local officials because of his concerns about the poor graduation rate in Kingston schools. [See all stories on this topic]

WHAT TO DO ABOUT 'CYBER BULLIES'
Sussex Sun - Sussex, WI, USA

The National Crime Pre­ven­tion Council calls it "repeated and uncalled-for aggres­sive behavior, or, quite simply, unpro­voked meanness." Bullies have learned that bullying works. It makes them feel powerful and in control. Some bullies might also see it as a way to become popular, look tough and "in charge," get atten­tion, achieve social status or make others afraid of them. A bully might actually be the victim of abuse or have other underlying problems that cause his behavior.

Cyberspace new realm for bullies' fear tactics
Palm Beach Post - Palm Beach, FL, USA

Two freshman girls from a school in Palm Beach County logged onto Match.com and created a profile for a teacher they didn't like. Under interests they wrote "hard core porn." An unpopular kid that cheerleaders made fun of stole one of the girl's buddy list, an online address book of her friends' screen names, and offered it back in exchange for sexy pictures.

Residents speak out on proposal to close local elementary school
Centre Daily Times - Centre County, PA, USA

Penns Valley Area school district residents showed up in force at Wednesday's school board meeting with two questions on their minds: How much are my taxes going to go up next year and is Gregg Township-Spring Mills Elementary going to be closed? "Please don't close my community school," Dustin Zettle, 8, said during the public comment portion of the meeting. The second-grader at Gregg Township-Spring Mills Elementary said, "I hear people talk about money, taxes and that my school has good test scores. I'm too little to know about all that stuff, but I do know that we at Spring Mills Elementary are getting a good education and that is what is important to us."

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