Lansing Expands Virtual Academy

LANSING, Mich. — An online learning academy has expanded to three Lansing high schools in an effort to increase graduation rates and reach out to dropouts, according to the Lansing State Journal.

The Lansing School District is working with contractors AdvancePath and American Academy on the programs, which began last fall at Sexton High School and expanded last week to two more schools, the Journal reported.

Two learning models are being used, one in which students complete their work in a computer lab under teacher supervision, and the other in which students can work off site, but meet regularly with mentors, according to the Journal.

"It's a culture change, and if you ask me, we are ready for the culture change," Sergio Keck, director of specialized programs for the Lansing School District, told the Journal.

"We know there is a high percentage of kids that have dropped out of our schools, and we're hoping this is one of the avenues that can help them graduate," Keck said.

A newly released study by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy notes that online instruction is increasing throughout Michigan public schools. (See item above.)

The Lansing State Journal, "Mid-Michigan schools look for new ways to give students path to success," January 24, 2011

Mackinac Center for Public Policy, "Virtual Learning Can Improve Student Outcomes and Save Money," Jan. 27, 2011