Easton Schools Could Have Own Cyber Classes

The Easton Area School District is considering a plan to have its own cyber-curriculum.

The Easton Area School District is considering working with a Pittsburgh-based company to set up a new "cyber academy."

The program -- unveiled at Tuesday's school board academics committee meeting -- would allow students to take cyber classes taught by district teachers through a company called VLN Partners

The idea would be to allow students to take a mixture of cyber classes and regular courses at the district schools.

"And I believe that’s the future," said Steven Furst, the district's director of teaching and learning.

Furst told the board the move would improve test scores and save money.

Right now, the district pays about $10,000 a year for each student taking cyber classes. If that student requires special education, the cost is almost double.

Furst said if the district worked with VLN, the cost would come down to $5,000 for both regular and special education students. The district would also pay a one-time $16,750 fee to sign on.

The district would work with VLN and also IU-20, Furst said.

"It's like having a mentor, so we’re not doing this blindly," he told the board.

The program would allow teachers to eventually "Eastonize" the VLN material, Furst said. At the very least, any cyber classes students take would be in line with state education standards.

"If you really want to get this going, you should stop talking about 'Eastonizing,' core curriculum," argued board member Robert Moskaitis, saying the district needs to "walk first."

Jena Brodhead, a district teacher and head of the teachers union, said it's important that the cyber academy becomes Easton-based, with "Easton teachers teaching Easton curriculum."



Rasterone September 17, 2012 at 11:46 AM
Run in a solid business like manner with attention to both costs and results , a internal cyber charter and an EXTERNAL cyber charter could result in elimination of lots of overhead costs such as sports, teachers-lots of these , bus and bus drivers, some administrators, possibly close at least one more building PLUS deliver an equal or better education . Ideally, taxes could be cut as well. At the extreme high end it now costs about $3 hr per student to have somebody at the top of the local salary scale, $100,000 inc benefits , stand in front of a classroom of 30 students --By sidestepping high pension costs etc and focusing on cost effective delivery to same body of 30 students there could be 3:1 cost savings and actually a profit if one poaches students from other districts.


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