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Mount Si receives Internet grant
SNOQUALMIE Mount Si High School this month
received the second-highest amount of money from the
Washington Internet Curriculum Grant Awards. The $5,650 will be used to
provide additional advanced placement (AP) and college
level courses for students via the Internet.
"It's an opportunity for our whole community, not just
the high school. We believe we are providing a community
learning environment," said Scott Poirier, Snoqualmie Valley School
District curriculum director.
The award was announced by the state's Superintendent of
Public Instruction, Terry Bergeson. Grants totaling $80,000
were awarded to 27 high schools in Washington so students
could take advantage of Internet courses. Approximately 44 schools
had applied for the grants.
Bergeson had requested $2 million to fund the program in
the 2001-2003 biennium. In 1999, the Legislature allocated a
total of $500,000 for the 1999-2001 school year to support the use
of Internet-based curriculum. The grants pay the $350
per-student, per-semester fee for Internet service, plus money for a teacher.
"This is the second year of what we hope will be an
ongoing initiative," Bergeson said. "It
enables schools to better provide high-quality programs
which meet the varied interests of students. It also gives students
a chance to explore their individual interests and receive
college credit at the same time."
Mount Si Web multimedia instructor Joe Dockery said
the grant will go toward two things: the purchase of online or
Web-based advanced placement study exam tools that will prepare
students for tests, and Web courses that give students college credit.
"Students take an advanced-placement test, and if they
pass the test, they get college credit," he explained. "The kids can
log on and go through a series of tutorials that are sort of
custom-made for them. It will show what areas they are strong and weak
in, and then it'll provide multimedia tutorials to give them the
materials for the areas they need extra help in.
"The nice aspect to online classes is that students will
have access to them 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and they
can do it at home and it's really individualized," Dockery
added. "This is first time we'll be offering our own fully online course."
The second half of the grant will fund an online course for
students within the school district that Dockery is teaching.
The class is ideal for students who already have a full schedule or
who cannot fit a Web-based class into their current schedule.
Home-schooled students will be able to take the class, along with
students from another school district, state or country.
"We'd love to have some kids outside of our school take
advantage of its, especially kids in our Valley who are home-schooled
or are in a different situation," Dockery said.
And the best part of an online class, besides the fact that no
paper or textbooks are required: "They can longer say the dog
ate their homework," Dockery said.
The first semester of the new online course starts Jan. 29, so
students who want to sign up should call Mount Si's counseling
office at (425) 831-8152. Sign-up will last until the end of January.