Kentucky Offers Statewide Virtual High School

Starting in January, the Kentucky Virtual High School will become the country's first statewide program offering online high school courses and will include advanced offerings in foreign languages, math and science.

The courses will be available to adults working toward passing the General Educational Development test, people learning English as a second language, home school students, homebound students and youths in the juvenile justice system.

Courses, for now, will include algebra, geometry, chemistry, physics, Spanish, German, Latin, Latin literature, humanities and college-level calculus. Individual districts already are offering online classes.

"The initial course offerings will feature courses in the areas of greatest need in Kentucky, particularly in the rural areas," said Education Commissioner Wilmer Cody.

"We don't have enough foreign language teachers or math teachers or science teachers."Students will communicate with teachers and classmates, do assignments, take tests and receive regular credit. All instruction will be completely online, and some will use CD-ROM and video supplements.

The Virtual High School (www.kvhs.org) has two corporate partnerships, one with Class.com Inc., to use secondary courses developed by the Division of Continuing Studies at the University of Nebraska with a $17 million grant from the U.S. Education Department. The second is with eCollege.com, a company that brings online education to the classroom and to distance learners.

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