NorthernStar Online Offers Learning Choices for Minnesota Students
Online learning opportunities
for Minnesota students are being expanded through the formation
of a public school consortium known as Northern Star Online. This
consortium represents a partnership among five Minnesota school
districts and two educational service agencies to provide a full
range of high quality, web-based academic and test prep courses.
During the 2004-2005 school
year, thirty-six online courses will be available for public, non-public,
charter, and home-schooled students throughout the state. Northern
Star Online will feature high school courses developed and taught
by Minnesota teachers. Advanced math courses for middle level students
will also be offered. The online courses will include content and
expectations equivalent to face-to-face classes taught by the partner
districts, Bloomington, Eden Prairie, Edina, Hopkins, Osseo, and
Intermediate District 287. Courses have been designed to meet a
number of student learning needs, including enrichment, remediation,
and credit recovery. In addition, the web-based learning
can supplement curriculum for homebound and home-schooled students
and offer choice to solve scheduling conflicts and address learning
In most situations classes
will be free of charge to Minnesota students. As of 2003-2004 Minnesota
law permits students to enroll in state-certified online programs,
effectively establishing part-time open enrollment for public,
private, charter, and home-schooled students. If students
choose to take more than a full-time load of coursework by enrolling
in an online course, they may still take the course and pay tuition.
“We see this consortium
as offering both students and teachers a one-stop shop for augmenting
their coursework. It will be especially helpful in situations
where students have otherwise limited selection or limited options
in making up course credits,” said Dr. John Lobben, Superintendent
of Intermediate District 287, a school district providing coursework
and one of the two educational service agencies managing the program.
Together with Intermediate District 287, Technology Information
Education Services (TIES) will assure centralized support to the
school districts and to students enrolled in the courses. By offering
a coordinated information, registration, and tech support system,
Northern Star Online will assist students in personalizing their
education and in providing choice to families.
courses that are rigorous, aligned with state academic standards,
and recognized for credit toward graduation, Northern Star Online
intends to reflect the strengths of its partners and be a new beacon
for learning in Minnesota.
and course information is available at www.northernstaronline.org or
by calling Northern Star Online at 763-550-7285.