Virtual Schools in Baldwin City?

Should they go virtual, or not?

That’s the question facing USD 348 Baldwin City. According to the Baldwin City Signal, the school district is entertaining an offer from the Insight School of Washington, which wants to establish an office in the state in Baldwin City.

Insight School is a virtual school available free of charge to any student in the state of Washington. Diplomas are granted by the Quillayute Valley School District, of Forks, a small town in the state’s Olympic peninsula.

At a recent meeting of the Baldwin City board, member Scott Lauridsen said that Insight has grown beyond expectations: they’ve enrolled three times the number of students as expected.

So will the district forge a partnership with Insight?

“Once again,” the Signal reports, “the concern from the school board is the financial part of the contract and how the state assessment scores would be affected.”
One board member expressed concern whether the school would conform to Kansas standards. (Our guess: probably). Another person at the meeting suggested that it’s time for the district to take advantage of the financial opportunity:

“Dorathy said the board should look into it, because area virtual schools are taking Baldwin students away from this district.

‘It’s competition in a way. You are in it or you aren’t. I think it’s something that the board has to face, because virtual schools are all around us and we are losing students to area districts.'”

Indeed, the use of virtual schools will grow over time. Virtual High School, a non-profit cooperative of schools, offers school districts a variety of options. Some release students to take selected classes. Others offer classes to students from other school districts.

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