Cyberschools approach directed at military, hurricane families

The National Network of Digital Schools is developing a prototype cyberschool, in conjunction with the Pentagon and two Louisiana school districts, to address needs of military families and kids displaced by Katrina.

One of the hardest aspects of military life is that kids are constantly entering and leaving new schools. One of the many devastating aspects of Katrina was the displacement of children from their schools. Two real needs that cyberschools can address? The National Network of Digital Schools, based in Beaver, Pa., is developing a prototype cyberschool, in conjunction with the Pentagon and two Louisiana school districts, reports a Pennsylvania paper.

The network is using the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School as a model.

"You can't act-of-God-proof those schools," says Ron Klink of Ron Klink and Associates, consultants for NNDS. "Once kids are enrolled in cyber classes, wherever they are can be tethered to something sustainable and normal in their education. Their home could be washed away, but they would still have the same teacher online."

The NNDS is also exploring cyberschools for children of military parents. Klink says that cyberschools aren’t a replacement for traditional school, but can provide consistency in their lives. Along with the online school, Klink is trying to find 200 laptop computers to donate to hurricane-ravaged areas where children might not have access to schools or electronics just yet. These new cyber schools also can buy software, curriculum and other programs through NNDS.

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