Guided, school officials said, by current research on how girls learn best, Lauralton Hall has affiliated with the Online School for Girls, an all-girl learning community that connects students worldwide through coursework in an online learning community.
Lauralton Hall President Antoinette (Toni) Iadarola said she believes the best way to prepare students for the future is to remain on the cutting edge of new directions in education.
“It’s in the DNA of our founders, the Sisters of Mercy, to be innovative and ahead of our time and we are committed to their vision,” Iadarola said in a prepared press release.
The Online School for Girls offers self directed courses that focus on several key principles: Emphasizing connections among participants; incorporating collaboration into the learning experience; inspiring and rewarding creativity; and engaging in real-world problems and applications while having students probe the social and ethical dynamics that define and stretch society.
Founded in 2009, the Online School for Girls combines two national education trends: Single-gender classrooms with online education.
“By offering an educational experience that is not limited by location, the Online School for Girls enriches the learning experience and broadens the opportunities available to our students,” said Principal Ann Pratson. “Like our own courses, OSG teaches what it means to be literate, participatory, and fluent in the tools of the 21st century. The online platform also teaches a skill set vital to young women today: Technology, communication, analysis, and access to global concepts.”
The Online School for Girls is a “learning community comprised of more than 65 girls’ and co-ed schools from around the United States,” according to the online school’s website.
“In addition to connecting girls, the Online School for Girls connects schools,” the website states. “Teachers and administrators in the consortium have opportunities to interact and collaborate with each other through professional development courses, teaching classes, and our Advisory Council.”
Schools, like Lauralton, pay a one-time fee to join the online school.
Lauralton lists the online offerings under an “Academic” header on its website.
“In the 2011-2012 school year, girls from 13 states, Australia, England and Asia took high-quality online courses offered through the Online School for Girls,” Lauralton’s website states. “At Lauralton, juniors and seniors were offered the opportunity to enroll in these online classes in the 2012-2013 school year.”
The website notes that online education is the fastest growing segment of education today.
“Taking an online course requires the ability to manage time well and to stay on top of tasks,” Lauralton educators say on their website.
On top of Lauralton’s tuition, students must pay an additional $675 for a semester and $1345.50 for a full year of online classes if they wish to take them.