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Minnesota high school to offer students mix of online, traditional classes

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The Lakeville School Board last week approved a plan to offer the district's high school students an option to mix online courses along with traditional classroom courses, the Pioneer Press reported.

The LinK12 program, which will be available in Lakeville's two high schools, will begin in the fall of 2014. When students begin registering for classes in January and February, they will have about 100 online courses to pick from, including core subjects and electives.

The district won approval to implement the online courses from the Minnesota Department of Education in August, the Pioneer Press said. So far, about 100 students have enrolled in the LinK12 program, and most of the courses will be taught by Lakeville educators.

Roz Peterson, chair of the Lakeville School Board, told the paper the LinK12 program is "all about offering choices for our students to decide what works best for them."

While the students are learning online, they won't necessarily be doing so from their homes. The district is building a cyber cafe at Lakeville North High School to accommodate students if they want to take the courses within the building.

Like Lakeville, the Anoka-Hennepin School District won approval from the state Department of Education in August to start offering online classes, the Star Tribune reported.

Anoka-Hennepin's StepAhead Online High School, which began in the fall, currently allows ninth and 10th graders to take all their courses online.

KARE 11 said online course offerings for 11th and 12th graders will be added over the next two years.

In addition to earning their diplomas, Anoka-Hennepin students can also earn free college credits through the coursework, the district said.

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