The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

January 20, 2013

Ashtabula Area City Schools offer on-line learning

Star Beacon

ASHTABULA — The Ashtabula Area City School District offers the option of online learning to students interested in learning from home.

"We want to make it clear that we feel learning inside a classroom with peers and a classroom teacher is definitely what is best for children,” said Acting Superintendent Patrick Colucci. “However, if parents are set on registering their child for online learning, we want them to know that ours is well established, academically strong and offers many benefits others do not.”

Ashtabula Area City Schools have offered online learning for six years, but have not pushed it because school officials feel strongly that in-school learning is most beneficial to students, he said.

“The increased number of online schools makes the push necessary,” Colucci said.

Mary Kobelt, AACS online learning coordinator, agreed.

“Lakeside Online students are still able to play sports, join clubs, attend dances and book fairs and be a member of our band,” she said. “Another big benefit is that we also offer tutoring programs for targeted grades. You aren't dealing with someone 1,000 miles away. You are working with people in your community.”

Ashtabula Area City Schools also will provide a computer and Internet access to families if needed.

"A student who attends Lakeside Online, graduates with a high school diploma. That child may also participate in the graduation ceremony,” Kobelt said. “When a child completes courses through schools such as ECOT or Virtual Learning Academy, their transcript says 'electronic' school. A child's transcript is what determines entrance into a college, technical school, etc. We are learning that many colleges frown upon students who do not receive an actual diploma.”

Colucci also emphasizes an extremely important point to residents of Ashtabula County, Lakeside Online keeps tax dollars in Ashtabula County. Other online schools send your tax dollars out of county and probably out of state."

Anyone interested in finding out more information about Lakeside Online may call Mary Kobelt at 993-2522 ext. 11034 or log on to and click the 'online learning ' link.