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The American Academy’s Rebekah Richards Addresses Virtual School Symposium

For Immediate Release

SALT LAKE CITY – November 19, 2008 - The American Academy's Senior Vice President and School Principal, Rebekah Richards, recently addressed attendees of the Virtual School Symposium (VSS) of the North American Council for Online Learning (NACOL). Richards led a pre-conference workshop and a series of breakout sessions focusing on the unique needs and opportunities of online education. The sessions ranged from "What Online Teachers Need to Know and Do" to "Experiments in Open Source Content."

Online education at the K-12 level is growing at a significant pace. According to bestselling author Clayton M. Christensen in Disrupting Class, a book on disruptive innovation in learning, by 2019 about 50 percent of all high school courses will be delivered online.

"It was a privilege to address and discuss these opportunities and challenges with practitioners, policy makers, and educational leaders at VSS," said Richards.  "I've attended the Virtual School Symposium for several years; this year there was a marked transition from visions of the future to addressing operational challenges in delivery of online learning solutions today. The dialog was very substantive: there is a clear need for public, private and charter schools to offer not only complete online learning options but also hybrid solutions that schools can use in and out of class."

VSS highlights the most recent work in K-12 online education across the nation. It is the only national conference focused on online learning and virtual schooling for K-12. More than 1,100 educators and policy-makers attended the symposium.

As part of America's Promise Alliance, The American Academy will become one among an intricate network of more than 200 businesses, nonprofits and education organizations, elected officials, faith groups and foundations helping to support the needs of at-risk youth across the country.

For a complete list of Richards' breakout sessions or to view the presentations, visit the VSS 2008 Overlay. Richards will be presenting "What Online Teachers Need to Know and Do" again to the International Society for Technology in Education as a part of the organization's webinar series on December 8.

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About The American Academy
The American Academy is an accredited online high school built on a system that has served more than 80,000 students since 1994. It serves students worldwide who want to supplement their high school program or earn their high school diploma. The American Academy offers a flexible educational experience along with a high quality, engaging curriculum that aligns with state standards. Through its relationships with long-standing education institutions, including the Utah State Board of Education, The American Academy provides leading-edge resources and access to licensed, experienced instructors. For more information, please visit

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