Online high schools in Alaska
Alaska, the largest of the 50 states, has embraced distance education for many of its school aged residents, who make up more than a quarter of the population. Spread across an area of nearly 570,641 square miles, Alaska has 53 public school districts, 66 high schools, 28 charter schools and 28 correspondence schools as of 2011. Distance matters: The 2010 Census found about 1.2 residents per square mile in Alaska, versus the national average of 87.4 residents.
The Alaska Department of Education reports that 8,064 high school students graduated in the 2010-2011 school year, but in the 7th through 12th grades, 2,779 students dropped out. SAT scores for all graduating seniors in the state were comparable with the national averages in mathematics and writing, and above average in critical reading. For those students who are not succeeding, online high schools in Alaska could be an alternative.
Public and private options for Alaska online high schools
The State Department of Education has approved several tuition-free virtual high schools. One online high school supports students who have dropped out and need an alternative approach to completing their studies. The program confers diplomas for those who complete all credit requirements and pass the Alaska High School Graduation Qualifying Exam; students generally must be under 20 years of age.
Another "cyber" school, open to all Alaskan students aged 5-19, is tuition-free for students who are not enrolled in another school, while public school students can also take classes for a fee. Available subjects include core classes, physical education, and unique science courses such as Space Exploration or Auroras.
Parents and students in Alaska can find a wide selection of private correspondence and online high schools, which often feature flexible scheduling and open enrollment. Schools such as these make it possible for students in remote towns or villages to complete high school without relocating elsewhere in the Last Frontier state.