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The Daniel Jenkins Academy in Polk County, Fla., will become the nation's first school to offer students a completely online curriculum in a classroom, despite district level educators having doubts that such a system can be effective. Florida High School (FHS), which previously only served individual students, will be the subcontractor for Jenkins' online system.

Although Jenkins principal Sue Braiman originally thought up the idea of an online school because of the space limitations involved with construction of the aging building, parents have been swayed to enroll their children because of the promise of small classes and individualized, self-paced education that lets students build their school days around their learning strengths.

Parents' biggest complaints with the traditional school were discipline problems, overcrowding, overwhelmed teachers, and bomb threats interrupting classes. Although no teachers will be present in Jenkins' classrooms, students will still share lunch and hallway interactions. Students will also have the opportunity to do away-from-school projects, take field trips, and participate in extracurricular activities at a nearby high school.

(USA Today, 6 April 2000)

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