News of the Day


by Craig Altschul

Sooner or later virtual learning had to come to a high school near you. That time is now. Students at Essex High School are allowed to take one online course a year for credit through a partnership with the Massachusetts-based Virtual High School, according to the <Burlington Free Press. Online learning is becoming popular not only in high schools, but on the elementary level too. Essex High School saw its online participants go from eight last year to 22 this semester. Computer-based courses are not new to Vermont as many home-schoolers take some or all their courses online. e-course offerings should grow in Vermont with the launch of a new cooperative funded with federal stimulus dollars. The Vermont Virtual Learning Cooperative will offer its first summer school courses in a few months and year- and semester-long courses in the fall. “Students can choose what they want to do and do it at their own rate,” said Paul Irish, who is helping to coordinate the Cooperative. Essex High School ninth-grader, Chesta Singh, offers this review of her online journalism course: “It’s pretty fun. It’s a lot more fun than any of my regular school classes.” She hopes to take oceanography next year. Seems appropriate when surfing online.

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About Craig Altschul

Craig Altschul is Editorial Director of He is a veteran snow journalist, having covered the sport for more than 40 years. His syndicated snow sports humor column, Ski Tips, ran in newspapers across the country for 20 years. He was Global Editor-in-Chief for OnTheSnow for 12 years and has written for a variety of magazines and newspapers. Altschul is past president of both the Eastern Ski Writers Association and the North American Snow Journalists Association.

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