Ala. pilots virtual high school
- By Dibya Sarkar
- Oct 02, 2000
Alabama recently unveiled a high school that may soon be open to any student
in the state.
The Alabama Online High School (AOHS), a distance-learning system, is
being piloted in 15 high schools in five counties this school year, with
plans to expand the program statewide next fall.
The network will offer 29 mandated courses and a variety of electives,
including the arts, GED assistance and remediation. All courses are designed
and taught by certified teachers and approved by Alabama's Department of
Education, according to Janel Bell, spokeswoman for Gov. Don Siegelman.
"The original hope was to connect rural Alabama schools and share teaching
resources," she said, adding that the 15 schools in the pilot project are
located in rural areas. "Gov. Siegelman is committed to bringing our educational
system to a more technical age."
Bell said AOHS is another tool to help prepare students, who will be able
to take courses, such as Spanish, not available in their local schools or
receive extra assistance to help pass the state's exit exam for graduation.
According to Tony Harris, spokesman for the state's Department of Education,
there are 205,000 high school students statewide. He said at least 61 percent
of Alabama classrooms have Internet access.
The $10.3 million project is a cooperative venture between the governor's
office, the state's Department of Education, University of Alabama's Program
for Rural Services and Research, local school systems, educators and state
Florida and Kentucky are the only other states with statewide online
accredited high schools.