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Thursday, March 02, 2006

Virtual Schooling in the News

The Google news alert for virtual school.

District mulls fiscal realities of online school
Greater Milwaukee Today - WI, USA

At the Country Springs Hotel and Convention Center Thursday night, the Wisconsin Connections Academy showcased the Foat family to a group of area parents thinking about sending their children to the Appleton online charter school. The Foats, Waukesha residents, live within the Whittier Elementary School boundary. The Foats decided, though, to enroll their third-grader, Sam, and their first-grader, Katie, into the Wisconsin Connections Academy, the state’s first kindergarten through eighth-grade online elementary school. [See all stories on this topic]

Virtual School bill moves forward
Aberdeen American News - Aberdeen, SD, USA

The state Education Department should regulate the increasing number of electronic courses offered to South Dakota students, lawmakers decided Monday. HB1236, which would create a state framework for Internet and televised courses provided to high school students, won final approval from both chambers of the South Dakota Legislature Monday. The House voted 64-4 and the Senate voted 33-2 Monday to send the bill to Gov. Mike Rounds, who requested it

Will virtual school encroach upon homeschool
Joplin Independent - Joplin, MO, USA

If you are a proponent of education and you follow legislative activity about education, you already may be aware of House Bill 1275 introduced by Representative Brian Baker. HB 1275 requires the State Board of Education to establish a virtual school by July 1, 2007. Any student in kindergarten through grade 12 could enroll in this virtual classroom, regardless of where the student lives in Missouri. The participating student would be officially enrolled in the district of their residency. No opposition to HB 1275 was voiced in either the House or Senate committee hearings.

Online schools exploding across the United States
Greater Milwaukee Today - WI, USA

When the fax machine finally cooled Friday, Heidi Laabs estimated 1,060 applications were received for iQ Academies, the Waukesha School District’s online charter high school. Friday marked the end of Wisconsin’s open enrollment period, a three-week window when Wisconsin parents can apply to send their children to schools other than their local school. Laabs, executive director of curriculum and instruction, said Waukesha School District officials expected iQ Academies would receive about 1,000 applications.

Phys ed students today need ingenuity
Myrtle Beach Sun News - Myrtle Beach, SC, USA

The Pensacola News Journal reported the other week that a former Escambia County middle school gym teacher was charged with six counts of bribery. According to the Sheriff's Office, Terence Braxton charged Ward Middle School students a dollar a day to get out of physical education class. The school principal expressed surprise and told The Washington Post that the 28-year-old second-year teacher had "a very good rapport with the kids." I do not doubt that. A dollar a day would be a bargain at twice the price.

Kids who skip school get costly lesson
Cleveland Plain Dealer - Cleveland, OH, USA

The 17-year-old East High student hid her face in her jacket when she learned that skipping school Wednesday would cost her mother $150. "Oh no," the girl winced, "my mom's going to be mad." The girl was one of 35 students, all eighth-graders or older, picked up during the first of the Cleveland School District's weekly truancy sweeps to be conducted until the end of the term. School security forces and city police focused on neighborhoods around Martin Luther King and East high schools.

Can we graduate from high school already?
Minnesota Daily - Minneapolis, MN, USA

Very few twentysomethings admit wanting to go back to high school. After all, no one misses the insecurity, the fear of not being cool enough and the superficial relationships interrupted by the occasional backstabbing. Or do they? College students, and others in their 20s, must have a secret nostalgia for their teenage years ' or they wouldn't be on MySpace.com. That's because MySpace is really just a huge virtual high school populated by the same prototypes we all remember. The site reduces real people with actual interests and in-the-flesh friends to participants in an addictive, two-dimensional popularity contest. The whole thing is akin to collecting wallet-sized school pictures of your "friends" when you were 14 years old. Whether you aimed for quality or quantity, your popularity was determined by who appeared in that stack of photographs.

A virtual arts experience
Lake County Record-Bee - Lake County, CA, USA

EcoArts of Lake County will bring its 2006 Sculpture Walk to a computer near you, thanks to a $5,000 grant from SBC. The Excelerator grant will help create a CyberWalk of pieces in the 2006 Sculpture Walk, whose actual works will reside in 107-acre Middletown County Trailside Park, off Route 175. Sculpture made from, or relating to nature, is sited along both sides of a 3/8 mile central trail through meadows and woodland.

The Google news alert for cyber school.

Colleges going cyber: Tech transforms recruiting
USA Today - USA

The day after the Super Bowl, the undergraduate admissions office at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland e-mailed 108 high school seniors in the Pittsburgh area to congratulate them on the Steelers' victory. That might seem odd. After all, what does the Super Bowl have to do with college admissions?
But technology is transforming how colleges communicate with high school students they are trying to woo.

House passes anti-bullying legislation
WIS - Columbia, SC, USA

School employees would be required to report bullying under a bill that received final House approval Wednesday. The "Safe Schools Climate Act" prohibits students from harassing, intimidating or bullying other students and includes a provision banning cyber-bullying. The bill now goes to the Senate, which passed similar legislation last year. Under the House version, the Board of Education would have until September to develop model policies for school districts. [See all stories on this topic]

Cyber centres to close at 1am
Malaysia Star - Malaysia

Within weeks of implementing its new guidelines on cyber cafés and cyber centres that favoured the outlets, the Subang Jaya Municipal Council has been forced to re-look at the new regulations. MPSJ has come up with a stern decision. Opening hours are until 1am. MPSJ president Datuk Mohd Arif Abdul Rahman said the council had met residents and the cyber café and cyber centre operators when it came up with the recent guidelines. They were implemented last month. ”However, we have found that all the excuses that the operators came up with to maintain their late operating hours were unfounded,” he said. “Hence, we have decided to ask them to close at 1am.”[See all stories on this topic]

Parent says charter schools save NA money
Pittsburgh Post Gazette - Pittsburgh, PA, USA

Rather than being a financial burden, students who attend cyber charter schools save money for North Allegheny taxpayers. That was the message Elsie Spry delivered to the school board at its meeting Feb. 15. Mrs. Spry, a Marshall resident, made her brief presentation in response to an earlier report from financial services manager Mike Hopkins. At a school board meeting in January, Mr. Hopkins had estimated that the district paid between $350,000 and $380,000 to cyber schools for the costs of educating about 41 students whose parents live in North Allegheny.

David Hendricks: Magnet school going further on cutting edge
San Antonio Express (subscription) - San Antonio, TX, USA

Business Careers High School students and teachers will step even closer to the "real world" of business this fall with wireless laptop computers and a new curriculum, thanks to a $1.8 million makeover and solid support from the San Antonio business community. Started in 1991 at the behest of then-USAA chief Robert McDermott, the innovative Northside Independent School District magnet school has prepared thousands of high school students for college studies and business careers.

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