The Delaware City School District hopes to share its online success across central Ohio.
Delaware Hayes High School hosted 11 principals and guidance counselors from eight other districts Wednesday, April 17, in a discussion of Delaware's participation in the national Virtual High School program.
Participating officials hailed from the Marysville, Mount Gilead, North Union, Triad, East Knox, Bucyrus and Buckeye Central school districts, as well as Delaware Christian High School.
Delaware high school students have participated in online classes for the past six years with big success, said Misty Swanger, the district's director of enrichment and college and career readiness.
"The kids have really adapted to it," Swanger said. "Most students who take one class end up taking multiple classes."
Delaware participates with Virtual High School, a Massachusetts-based nonprofit organization that designs online curriculums for high schools nationwide.
Delaware students can choose from dozens of online classes ranging from business and web design to History of the Vietnam War.
Classes are taught by teachers in participating districts from across the country.
Hayes science teacher Peg Babson is Delaware's sole Virtual High School teacher. She teaches online classes in anatomy and physiology to students who can sign up from anywhere in the country, and helps facilitate online classes for all participating Delaware students.
Up to 25 Delaware high school students can enroll in online classes each semester.
They meet for one period each day in the school library to work independently on assignments, read textbooks or watch online lectures.
Students sign up either because their school does not offer a particular class, or because a scheduling conflict prevents them from enrolling in a class at their home school.
Classes such as veterinary medicine and forensics have proved popular among Hayes High School students, said guidance counselor Leigh Stewart.
"There are courses we can't offer here to such a small group of students," she said. "Now we have the ability to offer those courses."
She said it benefits students by giving them a taste of online classes -- fast becoming a part of the traditional college experience.
It also helps students earn college credit early by offering additional Advanced Placement courses.