Three more schools to install ACCESS labs

By Staff
Kim West
All six high schools in Franklin County are expected to be fully equipped with ACCESS distance learning classrooms by early next year, according to education officials.
Russellville High School, Belgreen High School and Vina High School have already received the Alabama Connecting Classrooms, Educators and Students Statewide labs, which are each funded by $85,000 grants from the state.
Tharptown High School, Phil Campbell High School and Red Bay High School are expected to have their ACCESS labs in operation at the beginning of the spring 2009 semester.
"We're hoping to have the labs up and running when school starts in January," said Gary Williams, assistant superintendent for Franklin County schools.
Schools with ACCESS can offer a wider range of foreign language classes and advanced courses in math, English, social studies and science.
"We only have one Spanish teacher in this system so we have already been using distance learning for the past few years in the county," Williams said. "With ACCESS, there might be a teacher in Mobile teaching Mandarin Chinese with one student taking the class at Belgreen, along with 29 other students in schools across the state.
"This program is nothing but good in a small system where you can't have a teacher for every subject in every school. This allows students to take the courses they need."
The ACCESS catalog includes calculus, genetics, Bible as Literature, creative writing and several advanced placement courses, which can be taken for college credit.
Williams said the program offers advanced and remediation classes with two modes of learning.
"Classes range from remediation to advanced courses, although students mostly use this for advanced courses," Williams said. "Classes are offered as either interactive-based or web-based. With the IBC, students can see the teacher on the screen, while web-based is through computer instruction."
Each ACCESS classroom is staffed by a facilitator and equipped with computers, laptops, whiteboard, camera, projector, printer, scanner, copier, DVD/VCR, headphones, microphones and a router.
"I don't think we will need to hire more staff as of now because the classrooms can be staffed by a teacher's aide or certified teacher," Williams said. "If necessary, we can ask teachers to volunteer their preparation time, and they can be paid at an hourly rate.
"We're really excited about having labs in every school, and it's going to be great for our school system."
Currently 181 schools in Alabama have ACCESS labs, which were introduced three years ago. All 371 high schools will be equipped by fall 2009, according to Gov. Bob Riley.
"Students in our rural communities are just as bright and just as capable as any others. They deserve as much opportunity as other children in this state," Riley said. "With ACCESS, every high school will be able to provide more learning opportunities than ever before. Alabama will be the first state in the nation to have online learning and video conferencing in every high school."

News

PHOTOS: Community turns out for Phil Campbell Festival

Franklin County

University of Alabama announces spring graduates

Franklin County

Dean’s, president’s lists students named for UA spring term

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: Veteran Spotlight – Hugh Plott

Galleries

PHOTOS: Inaugural downtown Russellville Art Crawl winners

Galleries

PHOTOS: Russellville Public Library holds princess, pirates bounce party

Franklin County

Northwest Shoals Community College signs 24 students in FAME class

Franklin County

PROGRESS 2024: Veteran Spotlight – Tony Chard

News

Car show benefit helps raise needed funds

News

Russellville High School varsity cheerleaders attend UCA cheer camp

Franklin County

NWSCC receives $18,000 in grants from Dollar General Literacy Foundation

News

Russellville equine therapy visits library program

News

Steam locomotive delivery to Red Bay delayed, arrives July 1

News

Local author holds book signing at RPL

Franklin County

Former Russellville resident performs ‘Miracle Worker’

News

Presenting: Miss Phil Campbell

Franklin County

All American Tang Soo Do students recognized

News

Russellville High School students sign to pursue fine arts careers

Franklin County

Football Funday, special needs probowl take place June 15

Galleries

PHOTOS: RMS students take the stage for spring sing

News

Russellville member named among finalists for GFWC Jennie Award

East Franklin

East Franklin Junior High celebrates May 21 graduation

Belgreen

Belgreen Class of 2024 celebrates graduation

Franklin County

Local churches plan Vacation Bible School programs

x