December 6, 2012

Online public school would be good fit for some

Letter to the Editor

Two applications before the Maine Charter School Commission would allow full-time, fully online public schools to open in our state.

One of the proposed schools is especially interesting to me: Maine Connections Academy. This proposed public school would be perfect for a lot of Maine children who can not attend regular public school for one reason or another.

Children would be taught by certified teachers in a public school that meets our state's academic and accountability requirements. Children would be able to learn at their own pace -- if one is struggling with a topic they can receive additional help and when they are ready to move on to the next topic they can.

In addition to being able to access the online school via a computer, the children would receive textbooks and other tools just like students who attend traditional public schools.

Based on what happens in other states, students would be able to participate in extracurricular programs, field trips and other activities that are an important part of the learning process.

Instead of going to a public school to which we are assigned, this school would be "delivered" to the children, and parents would be an integral part of the process.

Through my research, I have found that families in other states are very satisfied with the education their children are receiving in other Connections Academy programs.

Thirty-one states currently allow full-time online schools, with Maine, New Jersey and North Carolina considering the program.

Some people might view fully online learning as a risky fad, but every aspect of our lives is positively influenced by technology. Public education should be the same, which is why I hope that the Maine Charter School Commission approves the application for the Maine Connections Academy.

Laurie Knight


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