The Harrisburg School District will unveil a brand new cyber education program this fall semester, and teachers are looking to recruit current and even former students for enrollment.
It's called "Cougar Academy." It's made possible through a partnership with the Capital Area Online Learning Association (CAOLA).
Participating students will be given laptop computers, printers and Internet reimbursement. They will have access to virtual instruction from seven certified teachers already employed by the district.
Students will also have the opportunity to gain one-on-one tutoring at a newly formed drop-in center at John Harris High School. Secondary curriculum coordinator Michelle Trostle said "in-person" interaction is rare in private cyber charter schools.
According to Trostle, the cost per student will be approximately $3,000/year. She said tradition cyber charter schools cost the district $9,600 to $20,000 per student each year, so this will be a huge savings for Harrisburg schools if charter students transfer to Cougar Academy.
"If 40 students enroll, we can expect to save approximately $280,000 per year," Trostle said. "That's money that can be put towards programs and services for our students here, rather than going to a private organization."
The district is hoping this program will also recruit recent drop-outs, who can return to school until age 21.
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