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Franklin Regional students now can receive credits online

| Wednesday, June 26, 2013, 9:00 p.m.

This fall, for the first time, Franklin Regional students will be able to receive graduation credit for courses taken online at other institutions.

The school board unanimously approved an agreement with the teachers union last week that will enable students to receive credit for courses taken off-campus.

“Now, our students will be able to get classes they may not have been able to get here at Franklin Regional,” school board member Paul Scheinert said.

The agreement dictates the procedure for receiving credit for courses that students take online that aren't taught by Franklin Regional teachers — a procedure that was prohibited under the teachers' contract.

“We believe that this (agreement) reflects a good-faith effort by both the administration and the association to find solutions that balance the concerns and needs of all stakeholders,” union President Dom Colangelo said.

Board members were displeased with an earlier draft in which students could not receive credit for any course that the district stopped offering because of a lack of enrollment. But union leaders and district officials reached an agreement to change that.

“I'd like to congratulate the administration and (the union) for putting together an outline on this,” said board Vice President Joe Seymour, who resigned at the end of the meeting. “Our families and students are taking the initiative to have unique educational experiences. It's definitely a workable improvement.”

District officials began negotiating the agreement with the union earlier this year, after board members approved instituting a 90-minute quality resource time each day. During the time block, students will be able to get additional one-on-one help from teachers. But for those who don't need to work with a teacher one-on-one, there weren't a lot of options, some board members said.

Under the agreement, students can take online courses during that time, if they desire. Up to three credits can be counted toward graduation requirements.

Seymour said he has been contacted by several families who are interested in taking advantage of the new opportunity. Board members said they were pleased with the negotiations.

“It's definitely an improvement,” Board President Herb Yingling said.

Daveen Rae Kurutz is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-856-7400, ext. 8627, or

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