Magazine article Techniques

Charting a New Course in Philadelphia

Magazine article Techniques

Charting a New Course in Philadelphia

Article excerpt

The newest charter high school in the Philadelphia School District could take the "school without walls" theory to a whole new level.

The proposed Contact Charter School may become the city's first virtual high school, where students can get homework assignments, e-mail their teachers and participate in secure chat rooms with their online classmates without ever setting foot in a school bus or signing an attendance sheet.

"We saw other charter schools starting up and we heard of the difficulties they were having, mainly with buildings," Joseph Conroy, a high school teacher and one of the school's co-founders, told The Philadelphia Inquirer last November. "The question arose: What if we didn't need a building? What if instead of pouring money into a building, we could put the money into the students directly? And from that, the idea of an Internet school arose."

If approved by the state board of education this spring, Contact Charter School will open in September, serving 300 of the city's high school juniors--the ninth, 10th and 12th grades will be added later. …

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