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Fast Times at Online High

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Online classes, a luxury once available only to university students, are now being used to educate gifted high school students who don’t fit in at traditional schools. Online High School, a year-old program at Stanford University's Education Program for Gifted Youth, is giving its 30 international students—be they in California or Korea—the opportunity to receive differentiated instruction at home. Janet Keating, head of Online High, told the LA Times, "We feel that all kids need to learn at their own rate. I finally understand that we can do this." The school, which teaches 40 virtual courses in math and science, but does not offer art, language, or physical education classes, has a student government, a student newspaper, a yearbook, and a variety of clubs. This fall, officials at Stanford hope to expand the $12,000-a-year online school to include 100 students.

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You're giving OHS the short shrift here. They do offer quite a bit more than just math and science, including language classes in Latin and Chinese and a very rigorous literature curriculum, if their EPGY composition classes for middle schoolers are anything to go on. Check out the entire class catalogue here:


Gifted kids, those that learn in 1-2 repetitions rather than 6-10, do need classes that move more quickly and cover information in greater depth. Online classes are an excellent way to allow these students to really challenge themselves in their areas of strength without breaking already strained district budgets. It's the ultimate in differentiation.

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