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DPI announces launch of Web academy for Wisconsin students

High school students across the state will now be able to take courses online to help toward their high school graduation.

The Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction announced this week the launch of the Wisconsin Web Academy.

"Virtual education is an innovative reality in the 21st century and an effective educational strategy for some students," said Elizabeth Burmaster, state superintendent.

"The Wisconsin Web Academy will ensure that all children in our state, regardless of where they live, will have access to quality online courses taught by appropriately licensed educators," she added.

Recent legislation required DPI to provide online education by offering online courses to school districts, Cooperative Educational Service Agencies (CESA), charter schools, and private schools located in Wisconsin.

The new online academy will be run by Tomahawk-based CESA 9 which has been providing online courses for eight years through its Wisconsin Virtual School.

"We are excited to build upon that experience as we partner with the DPI to offer more courses to more students and schools via the Wisconsin Web Academy," said Jerome Fiene, CESA 9 administrator.

WWA will offer more than 70 online high school-level courses in subjects such as English, social studies, science, business, and mathematics.

Elective courses in areas such as foreign language, information technology, career planning and life skills will also be available.

Along with these offerings the academy will also offer advanced placement courses in 22 subjects along with online test preparation programs for ACT, SAT and PSAT tests.

WWA will also offer some middle school courses in science, mathematics, social studies and language arts.

Burmaster said these courses will help broaden the offerings of local school districts.

"The WWA will help school districts provide more options and educational opportunities as they work to provide a quality education for all of their students," Burmaster said.

Students taking courses through WWA will be enrolled in their home school districts and receive credit from those districts.

According to Fiene, all WWA instructors are trained and certified to teach interactive courses and the courses are set up to meet Wisconsin's academic standards.

"Students who have taken Wisconsin Virtual School courses over the past eight years have consistently rated the content and their teachers as excellent," Fiene said.

According to Burmaster, parents interested in enrolling their children in the WWA should contact their local school district.

Enrollment for WWA's 2008-09 school year will begin Aug. 18.

Burmaster also encouraged school districts interested in offering courses through WWA to contact CESA 9 at 715.453.2141.