Apex Learning Brings Online Advanced Placement Courses to Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee

April 19, 2001

BELLEVUE, Wash. – April 16, 2001 – Apex Learning Inc., a builder and operator of virtual schools, today announced an agreement with the states of Georgia, South Carolina and Tennessee to provide online Advanced Placement (AP) courses for high school students. The three-year program, entitled AP Nexus, is funded through the federal Advanced Placement Initiative Program (APIP) and will provide opportunities for under-served students to take online AP classes.

This agreement allows us to be an integral part of a combined three-state effort to provide students with access to courses they do not otherwise have the opportunity to take, said Keith Oelrich, president and CEO of Apex Learning. We are proud to be able to offer these states a cost-effective alternative that has proven to be successful in helping students earn college credit while in high school.

Under the terms of the agreement, Apex Learning will enable the three states to provide online AP courses to students who meet academic criteria, but whose schools do not currently offer these courses. Coordinators in each state will recruit qualified students and onsite mentors will train and support students taking the courses. During the third year of the program, teachers in each state will be trained to teach online AP courses. Apex Learnings virtual schools include courses such as calculus AB, English literature and composition, English language and composition, U.S. government and politics, U.S. history, microeconomics and macroeconomics, physics B, statistics and chemistry.

Working with Apex Learning is both economically sound and helps us better serve our students needs faster, said Mike Copas, Tennessee Department of Curriculum and Instruction. By offering these courses online, we are now able to provide our students with a variety of AP classes without having to hire additional on-site teachers.

All three states cited economics, quick implementation, competitive advantage and lack of geographic limitations as benefits to using Apex Learnings virtual schools.

This consortium gives high school students in Georgia the competitive edge they need when applying for college, said Kay Wideman, Office of Student Learning and Achievement, Georgia Department of Education.

Apex Learning enables us to easily offer courses to students in both urban and rural school districts, minimizing the geographical challenges we normally face, said Wayne Lord, Office of Curriculum and Standards, South Carolina Department of Education. Now students in rural areas such as Williamsburg and more urban districts like Charleston will have the same access to AP classes.

The Southern Regional Education Board (SREB) will play a key role in the coordination of the AP Nexus program among the three states and will also facilitate meetings and training for classroom mentors.

In the past seven months, Apex Learning has announced agreements with states and school districts that comprise more than 6,000 high schools of the nation’s 20,000 high schools. Customers include UCCP (California), South Dakota, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Kentucky, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Washington, and Utah, as well as the Milwaukee School District and the Houston Independent School District, the fourth largest school district in the country.

About Apex Learning

Apex Learning, a builder and operator of virtual schools, partners with states and school districts to make education more accessible for their students and teachers. Apex Learning provides the infrastructure, online courses and support services to build and operate virtual schools. Apex Learning’s virtual schools address states’ and school districts’ need to cost-effectively bring quality instruction to more K-12 students and teachers. The company is fully accredited by the Northwest Association of Schools and Colleges. Founded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, Apex Learning is a privately held company with investments from Vulcan Ventures, Warburg Pincus, Edison Schools, Maveron LLC, Kaplan Ventures and Michigan State University.

Contact: Mary Beth Williams

Text 100 Public Relations for Apex Learning

Ph: (206) 267-2024


Kristen Peters

Text 100 Public Relationsfor Apex Learning

Ph: (206) 267-2022