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Tuesday, October 11, 2011

VHS Rewind - Virtual High School Revisited

Our school has now experienced one month of Virtual High School learning opportunities. Today, the local newspaper, The Troy Record, presented a print article featuring the program.

Thirteen high school learners have been able to access previously unavailable courses and exercise their interest to expand learning possibilities. These classes assist each learner in creating a more robust transcript as they prepare to pursue a seat in the college of their choice and the first step in seeking a preferred career. The courses range from anatomy and physiology to computer assisted drafting and design, from oceanography to a sophisticated math and computer class and Advanced Placement Economics: micro and macro.

Beyond the obvious goal of delivering a broader menu of instructional choices for learners with the appetite to enrich their background and project their future, is the secondary goal of stretching the boundaries of our learners. Green Island is a very small school district in a very small community. While the demographics of the village have slowly changed over the last decade, the local community does not reflect the population at large. Many of these thirteen learners are engaged in classes with other high school learners from a variety of states, and even a few different countries. That experience can become an opportunity for growth on a social level.

One of our teachers is also teaching an on-line class with our service vendor, Virtual High School. His class roster is dotted with four Chinese learners who attend a private boarding school in Connecticut as well as a learner from America who attends school in Seoul, Korea. That certainly affords the teacher with both a challenge and a new experience.

I will provide periodic updates on our progress with the VHS on-line program. We will soon be hosting our benefactor for lunch and the chance to visit with participating learners who will share their perceptions on the on-line class experience. We are grateful for the generosity of the individual who funded the opportunity. The sponsor does not live in Green Island. His motive was to invest in ideas that plant seeds for future success. His action reflects the work of an educational venture capitalist supporting a school that seeks to be a "small school with BIG ideas."

I trust that our efforts will reinforce his decision to invest in our learning community. I am confident that our learners are growing from the opportunity.

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