Innovative Online Learning Program Expands Options for High School Students Across Pennsylvania

Capital Area Intermediate Unit's Partnership with EdisonLearning provides access to new learning opportunities

Jan 05, 2010, 10:57 ET from EdisonLearning

HARRISBURG, Pa., Jan. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Districts across Pennsylvania can now offer their high school students more course options thanks to an expanded partnership between the Capital Area Intermediate Unit (CAIU), one of the 29 nonprofit regional educational service agencies in Pennsylvania, and EdisonLearning, the nation's leading public school innovator.

"Bringing the online learning model to public schools helps districts better serve their students," explained Amy Morton, executive director of CAIU. "Instead of moving to alternative cyber schools to meet their needs, students can stay within their district and still have access to wonderful new educational opportunities."

Capital Area Online Learning Association (CAOLA), a part of the Capital Area Intermediate Unit, selected EdisonLearning as its provider of eCourses after a comprehensive review of providers, spring of 2009.

The online courses being provided by the CAIU - EdisonLearning program offer students opportunities for classes they may otherwise not have within their school's brick and mortar offerings. For example, not all schools offer various Advanced Placement courses or foreign language courses because there are not enough students to fill a classroom.

Kevin Roberts, Director of Curriculum for the Big Spring School District in Carlisle, PA says, "This program has helped our students access courses that they typically would not be able to take, such as Chinese I, whether it be due to limited offerings or scheduling conflicts." Roberts also added, "Financially, it doesn't make sense for our district to hire a teacher for this special subject, but the online option gives our students a valuable experience in a language that they really wanted to learn."

The online options also support credit recovery, interventions, alternative education and summer school.

Camp Hill, PA student, Madeline Seefeldt enjoys the online course offerings and the schedule flexibility. "I am able to work whenever I please, and am able to take courses that are either not offered at my school, or I have been unable to take due to scheduling conflicts."

"Students need and deserve the choice that best matches their learning style, and online learning offers a richer experience, personalized curriculum, and a greater variety of coursework than students might find in a traditional classroom," said Jeff Wahl, President and CEO of EdisonLearning. "We are honored to be working with CAIU to offer high school students in Pennsylvania the choice of an engaging, adaptable and quality online learning experience."

Through districts currently supported by the Capital Area Intermediate Unit, 150 students are enrolled in the online program. With collaboration through the other Intermediate Units throughout the state, all districts can now participate at the beginning of the next semester.

CAOLA is building their online options to offer full-time cyber classrooms next year to complement the districts' offerings.

About the Capital Area Intermediate Unit

CAIU strives to achieve educational excellence with families, schools and communities through leadership, partnership and innovation in Cumberland, Dauphin, Perry and Northern York Counties in south central PA. CAIU is one of 29 regional educational service agencies in Pennsylvania. It focuses efforts on its 24 member school districts, 2 area vocational technical schools, over 60 non-public schools, several charter schools and cyber charter schools. In addition, it operates the Capital Area School for the Arts, Capital Area Adventures, and the Capital Region Partnership for Career Development. For more information visit

CAIU's Capital Area Online Learning Association leads its initiative for viable, cost-effective and quality online learning solution for students. For more information and a list of online course offerings, visit

About EdisonLearning

EdisonLearning is the nation's leading public school innovator and partner for school districts and charter schools serving more than 350,000 children in 24 states and the UK. We work with school leaders and communities to provide solutions that inspire students to think, learn, and succeed - and prepare them to meet their full potential and the expectations of the 21(st) century workplace. Visit for more information.

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SOURCE EdisonLearning