ONLINE LEARNING REPORT SHOWS N.C. VIRTUAL PUBLIC SCHOOL SECOND IN THE NATION IN ENROLLMENTS
This year's 2010 Keeping Pace with K-12 Online Learning lists North Carolina's Virtual Public School (NCVPS) as the nation's second largest virtual school in terms of enrollment. In just three and a half years, the school has become one of the fastest growing virtual schools in the country, topping 70,000 in enrollments by the fall of 2010.
"This big increase for North Carolina shows that more of our students are turning to technology to solve the rising demands within our school systems," said Gov. Bev Perdue. "During difficult economic times we must continue to find innovative ways to meet expanding needs for our schools systems so all students graduate career or college ready."
North Carolina continues to see rapid growth of over 30 percent per year in virtual school enrollments. Passing rates have topped 82 percent in the past year and completion rates have increased by more than 15 percent as well.
The demand for online classes continues as districts seek ways to solve scheduling conflicts and space issues and to expand course offerings during difficult economic times. NCVPS continues to work to train districts on blended learning integration and many districts have signed on to be "GOLIVE" districts in order to take advantage of strategic planning services offered through NCVPS.
"The growth of North Carolina's Virtual Public School is good news for North Carolina students and their families," said State Board of Education Chairman Bill Harrison. "This shows that students are seeing the value of virtual learning."
"The virtual public school offers schools an opportunity to extend their learning opportunities for students," said State Superintendent June Atkinson. "This is an outstanding tool for our school districts to use in meeting student needs and for leveling the playing field from school to school and from school district to school district."
The NCVPS offered its first online courses in June 2007. It was established by the E-Learning Commission, an organization created by the Business Education Technology Alliance (BETA) under the leadership of then-Lieutenant Governor Bev Perdue. BETA was formed by the General Assembly to ensure that technology was effectively incorporated into North Carolina's public schools for the purpose of preparing a globally competitive workforce and citizenry for the 21st century. For more information, visit www.ncvps.org.
The Keeping Pace report is an annual review of state-level policy and practice of U.S. virtual schools researched by Evergreen Associates in Colorado and includes full-time and supplemental programs all across the United States. For more information or to download the report, visit http://www.kpk12.com/.
About the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction:
The North Carolina Department of Public Instruction provides leadership to 115 local public school districts and 160 charter schools serving over 1.5 million students in kindergarten through high school graduation. The agency is responsible for all aspects of the state's public school system and works under the direction of the North Carolina State Board of Education.
For more information:
NCDPI Communication and Information Division, 919.807.3450.