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Archive for Monday, August 23, 2004

New online school draws 158 students

August 23, 2004

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The Lawrence Virtual School will begin the school year with at least five times as many students as the school district was hoping for in the school's first year.

District officials had set a goal of 30 students. By 5 p.m. Friday, 158 students had been enrolled in the virtual school.

"It was absolutely crazy here on Friday," virtual school principal Gary Lewis said. "The phones were ringing off the hook and people were faxing in information and requesting more information."

Lewis said student enrollment could increase by the end of Monday. Applications postmarked and put in the mail on Friday will be accepted.

"So, I have to open the mail this afternoon to get a final count," he said.

The number of students will mean that Lewis must ask for a special meeting of the school board. The school board authorized the purchase of up to 150 computers last week for students in the virtual school. The student enrollment requires that more computers be purchased. The virtual school's first day will be Sept. 7. The board won't formally meet again until Sept. 13.

The school district's preliminary enrollment report last week showed a total of 9,944. At that time, 111 students were enrolled in the virtual school. The district's enrollment is 9,991 with the additional 47 virtual school students.

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