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Online-Only School for Girls to Open

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The Bethesda, Md.-based Holton-Arms School, a private college preparatory school for girls in grades 3-12, announced today that it, along with a consortium of other all-girls schools such as the Laurel School in Cleveland, the Westover School in Middlebury, Conn., and Harpeth Hall School in Nashville, is opening an all-girls online-only secondary school, starting pilot classes in the 2009-10 school year.

Holton-Arms officials claim this is the first online-only school for girls in the United States, but Digital Education could not independently verify that claim.

"We believe that girls inhabit online spaces differently than boys and that this initiative can combine a powerful, transformative online learning environment for girls with a high-quality, twenty-first century academic experience," said Brad Rathgeber, the school's director of technology, in a press release.

To meet the specific needs of girls, the online school will emphasize connections between classmates, incorporate collaboration into lessons, inspire and reward creativity, and give the students opportunities to engage in solving real-world problems, according to the press release.

The school is launching two pilot classes during the fall semester and four classes for the spring semester. There will be upper-level secondary courses in math, the sciences and humanities. Students from the Holton-Arms member schools will take and evaluate the initial courses.

Edit: A previous version of this blog post stated that the online school for girls was launched by Holton-Arms. In fact, it is being launched by a consortium of all-girls schools.

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