Enrollment at many area schools is declining, but online public schools in southeast Minnesota continue to grow.
The Houston school district houses two online programs, and both schools’ enrollments are expanding. The schools once were split between an elementary school and a high school, but both will now offer kindergarten through 12th grade after an announcement that the Minnesota Center for Online Learning will offer elementary classes next year. “Online learning is such a growing sector of public education,” MCoOL director Steve Kerska said. “We’re receiving applications daily.”
Kerska expects at least modest interest in the K-6 program at MCoOL and anticipates enrolling about 100 students in the program’s first year. The new students will add to a school that has already expanded from a high school to include middle school students and has grown from 460 students a decade ago to more than 1,700 today.
MCoOL will join with Calvert Partners, a private training and consultation firm, to offer the elementary school curriculum.
The online school’s sister program, the Minnesota Virtual Academy, has expanded at a similar rate. The school began enrolling high school students this year, and more than 400 new students have enrolled for next year, boosting enrollment to more than 1,000.
“Parents are looking for options, and not every kid learns in the same way,” MNVA director Angela Specketer said.
Monday, June 22, 2009
When did this become such a popular option? Or even an option at all? But I guess it's not only an option it's a growth industry. For example, some predict that the enrollment in the Oklahoma Virtual High School could grow by 20 percent to 30 percent in the coming year. A similar trend in Minnesota's Houston district’s online schools