In Palm Beach, Florida, some teachers are moonlighting as ... teachers. Due to high demand for online instruction, these teachers end their day jobs, go home and log on to teach online, reports the Palm Beach Post.
The Palm Beach Virtual Community School, offers high school credits and GED courses completely online, and many of the students are trying to make up credits from a previously failed class.
"For many of these students, this is a last ditch effort," English teacher Linda George said.
The Palm Beach school district, as in many school district nationwide, has seen a surge in online school enrollment. Four years ago, online enrollment in the district was around 800. This year, that number is nearly 9,000, or about 10 percent of the program's total enrollment.
"We really do emulate the environment of a classroom, just in an online situation," said Julie Young, president and chief executive officer of the program. "Each student really experiences almost a classroom of one."
Florida requires that an online option be made available to all Florida high school students, and priority is given to students with otherwise limited access to a specific course.
Online courses draw from students who either are failing and need to make up classes or are on an "accelerated" track, trying to earn more credits in a shorter time period.
According to a nationwide study published by the New York City-based Sloan Consortium, an estimated 700,000 public school students were enrolled in courses that were either completely online or blended - part online, part traditional - in the 2005-2006 school year.