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Even Grade School Students Can Go to School Online

Students in the state of Washington now have a viable alternative to spending their entire day sitting in a classroom. According to the Yamika Herald-Republic, a number of public online schools have opened up across Washington, offering courses to children from kindergarten to 12th grade:

These new public, online schools were created when the Legislature passed a 2005 law that allowed for the expansion of digital learning programs, more commonly known as "virtual schools."

Many high schools offer online classes, but they are often for making up credits and are usually on site.

Virtual schools link with an existing school district, which grants a diploma once high school requirements are fulfilled.

Last year, Insight School of Washington began offering services to more than 500 high school students around the state through the Quillayute Valley School District.

In February, a Yakima school joined the field, offering free online classes to Washington state students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Called Achieve Online, it has 102 students and is the newest offering from Christa McAuliffe Academy, a virtual school that has operated since 1985, serving 400 students around the world.

The only other free online public K-8 school is Washington Learning Academy, linked to the Steilacoom Historical School District.

Public school officials in Washington feel that the availability of online programs will reduce the number of students that drop out of school. Students typically drop out because they have a child, they need to work full-time, or they need to care for a sick family member. Online high schools allow these students to take care of their responsibilities while still attending their high school classes. Students even receive a free laptop when they enroll.


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