Managing Editor for chicago.internet.com
Bellevue-based Apex Learning Inc., a builder and operator of virtual schools, announced yesterday it will provide the Illinois State Board of Education (ISBE) with online infrastructure, accredited courses and support services to help build the Illinois Virtual High School (IVHS).
The agreement, completely funded by a grant from the Illinois legislature and a federal education grant, will allow high school students in both rural and urban areas to take online Advanced Placement (AP) courses to help them prepare for college-level study and potentially earn college credit.
“With more than 600,000 high school students, access to AP classes is not always available in all areas of the state or in each school,” said Glenn W. McGee, Illinois State Superintendent. “Apex Learning’s virtual school offerings will provide access to high-quality education across the entire state regardless of school or student location.”
Apex Learning now provides its Advanced Placement courses in the subjects of chemistry, physics B, statistics, U.S. history, macro and microeconomics and calculus to students attending IVHS. Students will have the opportunity to log onto the same online classroom with other students from across the state to take AP courses taught by Apex Learning instructors and Illinois instructors.
These students can also evaluate their course knowledge and their potential to gain college credit by taking intensive reviews of the courses through Apex Learning’s AP Exam Review.
“Illinois Virtual High School is an innovative way to provide a wider range of courses with a traditional high school learning experience without straining the state’s education resources,” said Keith Oelrich, president and CEO of Apex Learning. “Students get the one-on-one interaction and feedback from their online teachers and classmates through Apex Learning’s chat feature and required discussion boards for a full, quality learning experience.”
On December 19 the State Board held a satellite downlink and streaming video cybercast to offer superintendents and high school principals an interactive briefing on IVHS and the requirements for course participation.
In the past four months, Apex Learning has announced partnerships with Wisconsin, Michigan, Kentucky, New Mexico, Washington, Utah as well as the Milwaukee School District and the Houston Independent School District, the fourth largest school district in the country.