Online program lets any student take AP classes from Minnetonka HS

Students all over the state will soon be able to take online classes from Minnetonka High School.

Minnetonka High School's Assistant Principal Robb Virgin says the school district's "Tonka Online" program recently received approval by the state and NCAA to offer 40 courses by fall to every single high school student in Minnesota.

Junior Caroline Anderson is taking her first ever online AP World History class.

"It makes so every night you don't have a lot of homework," Anderson said. "I can decide tonight will be a good night to do online."

Senior C.J. Clarke's  AP Environmental Science class is preparing him for college at the United States Naval Academy. He doesn't have to sit in a classroom, gets more sleep and learns responsibility.

"You have to be a self-starter when you take an online class," Clark said. "I think that's a huge part of college.  A lot of projects you have to do on your own."    

Teacher Patricia Price has been teaching students virtually for years and knows how to make sure kids don't fall through the cracks.

"We work really hard to make sure we're communicating with the student just like if it were face to face," Price said. "They are able to message us individually and I have discussion boards where students can talk to each other."

Virgin says the curriculum for the courses is unique because it’s actually designed by Minnetonka teachers.

"How our teachers connect is at the core of what we do," Robb Virgin said. "Exceptional relationships and that leads to exceptional learning. It doesn't matter where a student is from in order for that to happen."

"It makes me for sure a better student," Anderson said. "I'm a lot less stressed I enjoy when I'm learning more. I like it a lot more."

This summer, students from all over the state can choose from AP Chemistry, AP Biology, AP Statistics, AP Calculus and more. Summer courses are fee-based and school year courses are free.

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