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Georgia Online High School Creates 38,000-Member Community Group

A Georgia high school has added a group to its online community that includes social and academic resources, including discussions, blogs, and study groups.

James Madison High School, located in Peachtree Corners, offers an all-online accredited high school diploma program. The online community has more than 38,000 members.

The community provides a link to the virtual campus, where students go to find lessons, assignments, tests, etc.

Features of the virtual campus include discussion groups on a variety of subjects and topics, such as education and careers; a welcome center, which includes orientation videos and live-streaming chats; tutorials focused on areas such as science and math; and online help from staff for questions on grades, credit transfer, shipping, payments, etc.

According to Leslie Gargiulo, chief education officer for James Madison High School, features of the online community include tools for students to:

  • Communicate online with faculty and tutors;
  • Participate in study groups;
  • Join online discussions;
  • Write blogs; and
  • Weigh in on polls.

"After a student enrolls, we encourage them to join the online high school community right away. Our research indicates that the more active a student is in the student community, the more likely they will be motivated, earn better grades and graduate sooner," said Gargiulo.

According to the school, one online community member who recently finished the American History course, wrote: "I really learned a lot about U.S. history and found that I was able to answer all the questions on the practice SAT subject test for U.S. History. The course is packed with a ton of information. You have to make the effort in order to score an A or B--it's very comprehensive, so common sense and prior knowledge won't help you here."

James Madison High School, which is owned by Ashworth College and accredited by the Distance Education and Training Council and Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement, follows Common Core State Standards. High school students also have access to Ashworth online community groups.

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About the Author

Tim Sohn is a 10-year veteran of the news business, having served in capacities from reporter to editor-in-chief of a variety of publications including Web sites, daily and weekly newspapers, consumer and trade magazines, and wire services. He can be reached at [email protected] and followed on Twitter @editortim.