No longer can a student at Silver Stage, Smith Valley or Yerington high schools - none of which are known for their slew of honors or advanced placement offerings - say they couldn't take a class because their school district didn't offer it.
Even Dayton and Fernley high school students can jump on board the new virtual high school program offered by the Lyon County School District in conjunction with the Clark County School District.
The school board approved the partnership in October. It makes available, for the 2,419 students at its five high schools, classes for remediation and advanced classes for enhanced study. About 50 courses are offered each semester.
"The (board was) enthusiastic about it," said Sean Moyle, associate superintendent of curriculum for Lyon County. "Sometimes in some of the smaller schools, like Yerington or Smith Valley, they're not able to offer some of the classes like at larger schools."
Enrollment has closed for the fall semester, but registration for spring classes begins Nov. 28. A sample of the advanced-placement classes offered this fall includes: biology, calculus, English literature, French IV, macroeconomics, physics II, psychology, statistics, Spanish IV, U.S. history, U.S. government and world history.
That's in addition to regular class offerings like: algebra, computer applications, English, French, Spanish, world history and many more.
Moyle brought the long-distance education before the board because the program, which had been used previously, had been dropped from the curriculum.
"In the past, we haven't had a lot of students participate in the course," he said. "But it's definitely a nice opportunity for them to take the classes that might not be offered at the local school."
Before registering online, students must have their guidance counselor approve their registration to ensure the course is not already offered at their school.
"For example, if students were interested in taking a French class at Yerington High, and it's not offered there, they could take it through Clark County," Moyle said.
Students can take the courses online or through video or DVD. Clark County will send the cassettes to students.
Classes are taught by approximately 60 Clark County School District teachers, working either full-time for the virtual high school or part-time at an actual school and part-time at the virtual high school.
"In an online class, students are required to work five to six hours a week," said Kim Loomis, curriculum administrator for the program. "Of those hours, one hour is required of face-to-face contact," by the computer.
The Lyon County School District pays the course fee, and when a grade is given to a student, it is passed onto their counselors for inclusion in total credits. There is no limit on the number of classes a student can take through the virtual high school.
"(Lyon County students) would be able to take our summer school classes as well, either video or online, including driver's education, which is, of course, now a big thing for a lot of schools that don't have a certified driver's-ed instructor," Loomis said.
Last year, more than 6,000 students statewide took classes from the Clark County program. To find out more, see www.ccsdde.net on the Internet.
n Contact reporter Maggie O'Neill at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1219.