SULLIVAN COUNTY, Ind. (WTHI) - The newest public school in the Wabash Valley will open in thefall. But there are no classrooms, in fact, not even a desk.
The Rural Community Academy in Sullivan County is starting avirtual charter school in the fall. The virtual school will use theInternet to teach students from home. The Academy itself is acharter school, or a public school option that is free to Indianastudents.
"I find the whole virtual charter school movement interestingand exciting," said RCA School Leader Susie Pierce. "Because we'regoing to have some opportunities to learn some things for our kidsand because Indiana is ready for that."
The virtual school will be ran by Connections Academy, a companyteaching about 20,000 students this year in 14 states. It will bein addition to the Academy's brick and mortar building.
The virtual school will teach up to 280 students in firstthrough eighth grades.
Pierce said the ideal students will be children who are alreadyhome-schooled, or home-bound for an illness or other reason.
"With the one-on-one that they have with the teacher, eventhough it's not physically there, with the technology today, theycan benefit from home schooling," said Pierce.
Pierce said Academy students and faculty will benefit from thepartnership too. The RCA will give them opportunities for virtualfield trips, help in subjects like foreign language, and expertisewhen buying new software.
But the one's who may benefit the most, may never see theirbuilding.
Enrollment is slated to begin later this month. The virtualschool is part of a two year pilot program approved by the Indianalegislature. Pierce said if students are successful on state-widetesting, lawmakers could make the virtual school conceptpermanent.
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