December 2007 Archives

December 1, 2007

By Corey Hess and Allie Margulies

INDIANA -- Cyber-schooling has its critics.

"I don't know why you would ever want to plug a primary student into a computer for their learning," wondered former Indiana Area School District Superintendent Kathleen R. Kelley in a 2004 newspaper interview. "Certainly, it can be an aid. But children are hands-on. They need to be actively involved in the learning process."

Anne Cope, mother of two cyber-schooled boys in Indiana borough, disagrees. Both of her sons - junior-high-school age Brendan and primary-school age Sam -- attend the Pennsylvania Virtual Charter School, based in Montgomery County. They attend online.

December 1, 2007

Administrators question the financing

By Rachael Ward

Since Pennsylvania's first cyber-charter school opened in 1998, a dozen have cropped up statewide. Enrollments for online education are rising.

In the Indiana Area School District, 56 students were enrolled in cyber schools during the 2006-07 school year, more than double enrollments of several years earlier, according to local school officials.

Costs are rising, too. The 2006-2007 cost of cyber-schooling was $475,139, said Superintendent Deborah M. Clawson in an Oct. 15 e-mail interview. The amount is more than double the cost in 2003, according to Clawson's predecessor.

December 1, 2007

By Sara Rising

INDIANA --In 1990, Kelly Davies was 15 and attending Ford City High School in Armstrong County. She also was pregnant.

During the first four months of her pregnancy, she experienced morning sickness. She began missing so much school that administrators were getting angry with her, she said. But they wouldn't help her work at home or help her stay in school.

Now, she is 32, employed as a cook at Spaghetti Benders in Indiana and living in Indiana with her daughter, Alicia, 16, and her newborn, Anna Bell.

December 1, 2007

By Tim Bugaile

Indiana, Pa -- MaryAnn Steffee has lived in Homer City for the past 40 years.

It's where she raised her kids. It's where she's watching her grandchildren grow up. But Homer City is not where Steffee would choose to live if she could start over.

''I'm not going to pack up and leave," she said during a Sept. 26 phone interview. "But if I had my life over, I wouldn't live here."

From 1997-2005 Steffee served on the Homer City council. One of her priorities was pushing for the Midwest Generations Power Plant in Homer City to clean up its coal-burning act.

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