The Daily Item, Sunbury, PA

School Districts

January 3, 2013

Danville Area School District considers cyber classes

DANVILLE — Danville Area School District officials will meet later this month to discuss what advantages cyber classes could have for the district.

Superintendent Cheryl Latorre said she expected school board and administration members to explore the option at their Jan. 22 meeting.

At their Dec. 18 meeting, the board examined the option of using a cyber curriculum service known as Vlink.

Vlink already is being used by school districts in Intermediate Unit 17, which consists of schools in the Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan and Tioga counties. Cori Cotner, of Intermediate Unit 16, said their schools also have used Vlink for the past five years and it helped “stop the bleeding” from losing kids to private cyber charter schools.

Cotner said the online courses can be used by students to access advanced classes or world language courses not offered within the student’s district. The beauty of the system, she said, is that this hybrid model results in the student staying a member of their home school district instead of being enrolled in a private cyber school.

Danville had previously estimated that there are between 40 to 60 students living in the district who use online charter schools. The district estimated that, were those students enrolled in public school, Danville would have netted an additional $340,000 in state funding this year.

The district is considering other service providers as well, said Latorre, and a final price tag has not been estimated for any group.

Cyber classes could be an option for the district going forward, one that does not replace the current schools and also gives cyber charter students the option of joining Danville, Latorre said.

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