Surfing to School Online
Missouri lawmakers approved the creation of a new public school this week. But, it's not located in any one community because it's a virtual school in cyberspace.
The new school will use computers to link students with teachers and textbooks instead of putting them together in a traditional classroom.
"Technology has advanced to the point that it really is a tool that can be utilized in providing education in a new way," said Bert Schulte of the Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. "We've seen what some other states have done with virtual education, and believe that we can learn from some of the early beginnings that they've had with those programs, and therefore build in Missouri truly a model program."
Supporters see it as a school for full-time or part-time students.
"I think the good part of it is that, with DESE taking the leadership on that, it will have the same standard we have in public education," said Jonetta Weaver, Shepherd Boulevard Elementary principal. "The part of it that would be concerning is if it was a private individual. But, having the same standards as DESE would have, would be a good thing."
The virtual school will be available for kindergartners through high school.