May 24, 2002

K12 Welcomes California Virtual Academy As Newest Partner School; Chairman William Bennett Praises New Educational Option For Families

WASHINGTON — K12, the nation’s leader in online elementary programs, is pleased to note partnerships with Independent Study charter schools Santa Cruz, Kern, Fresno, and San Diego counties to open in the fall of 2002. Supported by local parents and educators, these schools, which will be called California Virtual Academies, are now hosting informational Open Houses throughout central and southern California.

According to K12’s chairman William J. Bennett, “These new schools will broaden access to an excellent education and foster greater parental involvement in education. The California Virtual Academies will feature a self-paced, customized curriculum that benefits students of all abilities, support and guidance from certified teachers, and-not least-a safe learning environment where character education can be an essential part of the academic program. We congratulate the Santa Cruz, Kern, Fresno, and San Diego counties for their leadership in creating these 21st-century public schools that combine the best of modern technology, an exceptional curriculum, and research-based teaching methods.”

These five new independent schools of choice will open this September for children in grades kindergarten through five (higher grades will be available in future years.) It will provide any California family that lives in the sponsoring counties or counties contiguous to the sponsor counties, with everything needed to provide a world-class education, including books and hands-on instructional materials, teacher support, a computer, an Internet connection and printer, and high-quality learning and assessment programs. The schools will eventually serve children in grades kindergarten through twelve.

Students are eligible to attend one of the California Virtual Academies based on their county of residence.

The California Virtual Academies are hosting free informational Open Houses from June 3-6 at 16 locations throughout the state. At these 90-minute sessions, parents can learn about the schools, see the K12 curriculum and materials in action, and learn about the requirements for enrolling for this coming fall. The Open Houses are the ideal opportunity for parents to get their questions answered and to find out if the California Virtual Academies are the right choice for their family.

Two separate Open Houses will be held at each location at 1 p.m. and 7 p.m.:

Monday June 3, Oceanside at Hampton Inn, 1680 Ocean-side Blvd. Telephone: 760-722-1821

Wednesday June 5, San Diego at the Hilton in Mission Valley, 901 Camino Del Rio S. Telephone: 619-543-9000

The schools’ unique “team-teaching” approach involves a powerful partnership between parents and teachers in which children receive individual attention and a personalized course of instruction. In the California Virtual Academies, students will complete their daily coursework using the K12 curriculum. Most student work will be completed away from the computer using books, workbooks, science and art supplies, and manipulatives.

Ron Packard, K12’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “Our hope is to use technology, where appropriate, to provide families with a world-class curriculum. These schools will offer top-quality academic content to students in central and southern California. Our program combines high academic standards and compelling content, and offers a self-paced learning program that allows gifted students to excel and helps students having difficulty to spend more time where needed. This is a powerful new option for families.

For more information about the California Virtual Academy visit www.caliva.org or call toll-free 1-866-512-2273.

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