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Gov. McDonnell Investigating Cyber Schools for Virginia

Photo, Marisa Ravn
Photo: Marisa Ravn

Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell and Secretary of Education Gerard Robinson recently toured the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School in Midland, Pa., in hopes of implementing a similar program of charter schools and cyber charter schools in their state.

According to Pennsylvania cyber teacher Christine Crow, there are many benefits of a cyber classroom – students can replay automatically recorded classes and teachers can devote time to teaching that might otherwise be spent on correcting discipline, bus duty, or monitoring hallways.

McDonnell said:

“There’s so much opportunity here, excellence and flexibility for education, and at a lower cost. This also takes away a lot of the classic problems faced in traditional schools, like discipline. We would like to replicate something like this in Virginia and maybe even partner or collaborate with NNDS” – the National Network of Digital Schools, of which the Midland school is a member.

Cyber classrooms also allow for partnerships in the new frontier of online learning: schools in NNDS can benefit from Little Lincoln early childhood online programs, the Cutting Edge Science curriculum developed by the Los Alamos National Laboratories, and arts and music with the Lincoln Park Performing Arts Center and the Yamaha Music and Wellness Institute.

McDonnell added that inspired by the NNDS network, his administration has “started laying the foundations of charter schools,” is exploring collaborations between K-12 schools and higher education, and is working on “a framework for virtual schools.”

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