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.

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