Virginia Beach schools tune into more opportunity
- By Dan Caterinicchia, Dan Caterinicchia
- Mar 01, 2000
A successful distance learning pilot program at three Virginia Beach high
schools prompted the local school board to expand the program to all 10
of the city's high schools
During the 1998-1999 school year, students at Princess Anne, Bayside
and Ocean Lakes high schools took a class in discrete math that was only
offered at one of the school district's 10 high schools. The students used
videoconferencing capabilities provided by Cox Communications Inc. to interact
with each other and the teacher who lead the class from Princess Anne.
Three more schools were hooked up by the end of January, and the remaining
four should be connected by the beginning of the next school year, said
Eva Roupas, distance learning teacher specialist for the Virginia Beach
City Public Schools.
"The primary goal of the program is to create more opportunities for
students, based on a more level playing field systemwide so they can be
competitive in the future," Roupas said. "This way the school they physically
attend doesn't matter because there won't be opportunities that are only
offered at one school and not another."
Classes are currently offered in discrete math, theater appreciation,
honors public speaking and various advanced placement areas. More are on
the way. To date, more than 200 students have participated in distance learning
courses, a number that will at least double next fall when all 10 schools
are connected, Roupas said. Every school will be responsible for sending
and receiving at least one course.
The total cost of the project is about $400,000, and Cox has provided
all the equipment and installation services, Roupas said.