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DEPUE — Virtual high school classes are becoming extremely popular, especially at smaller schools where they may not have the means to provide as many different classes as larger schools with higher enrollment.
Although virtual high school classes are nothing new to the state of Illinois, and even to DePue High School, the DePue School Board has decided to instill some new policies to help students excel during November’s board meeting.
DePue Unit School District superintendent Randy Otto explained that in prior years, the district normally picked up the entire cost for students to pursue this type of learning, but now with these new policies the students will be responsible for some type of payment.
“These policies will begin this month with the second reading to take into place the second semester this year,” Otto said. “When we have students take virtual high school classes, we don’t ask them to pay anything meaning the district has to pick up the entire cost. Now, if students take virtual high school for credit retrieval they have to pay $225/semester. If they’re taking it because it’s not offered in DePue, they have to pay $50/semester.”
However, if students are enrolled in a class via virtual high school that isn’t offered in DePue and maintain a “C” or better, they will get their money back at the end of the semester. Otto says virtual high school has been very beneficial for students because it allows them to take classes they normally wouldn’t have been exposed to, helping them decide on a career.
Virtual high school is open to juniors and seniors and include foreign language; advanced science, math, and english classes. Students are expected to complete so much work outside the virtual classroom, but it is not the normal lecture setting. Rather, it’s a more interactive program with an instructor overseeing all the assignments.