Montana Office of Public Instruction Expands High School Curriculum Through Apex Learning’s Online Courses

April 25, 2001

Apex Learning Inc., a builder and operator of virtual schools, and Montana Office of Public Instruction today announced a strategic agreement to expand online courses and support services to high school students and teachers across the state.

Under the terms of the agreement, Apex Learning will provide online Advanced Placement (AP) courses, infrastructure and support services to increase student access to high-level classes and help them prepare for the AP Exams.

“Like many rural states, Montana has had the challenge of offering various courses and resources to meet individual student needs,” said Keith Oelrich, president and CEO of Apex Learning. “With our results-oriented courses and virtual school technologies, and the State’s commitment to education, students have the advantage of taking high-level classes and learning new technologies to become academically successful.”

“This is a great opportunity for both Montana students and educators,” said Senator Conrad Burns (R-Mont). “Our children will have learning advantages offered by this emerging technology, and our educators can be trained to teach these courses to students not just in Montana, but across the nation. I’m please the OPI has made this important step.” Senator Burns is the Chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee’s Communications Subcommittee, which oversees issues such as telecommunications and video conferencing. He is a strong proponent of distance learning.

Students in Montana’s 110 high schools have the option of taking AP courses taught by Apex Learning instructors. These courses consist of macroeconomics, microeconomics, calculus, chemistry, English language and composition, English literature, physics, statistics, U.S. history, and U.S. government and politics. In addition, students taking Apex Learning’s online courses have access to AP Exam Review, an online award-winning study program that creates a personalized study plan to help them prepare for the actual exam.

“Students who take AP courses often do not take the AP Exam for fear of not passing,” said Kathleen Mollohan, director of Montana’s Advanced Placement Incentive Program. “With the help of Apex Learning’s comprehensive online courses, and AP Exam Review, we have seen an increase in the number of students who enroll in AP courses and look forward to seeing an increase in the number of students who take and pass the AP Exam, potentially earning credit toward a college degree.”

Apex Learning is also providing Montana teachers with access to Advanced Placement offerings with its Online Professional Development courses and ClassTools™ product. Teachers have the opportunity to take online professional development courses to help them prepare to lead virtual school courses and traditional AP courses. ClassTools™, a powerful online teaching assistant, allows teachers to build entire AP courses or select specific assignments for their students and track their progress with assessment and reporting tools.

Since last fall, Apex Learning has announced agreements with states and school districts that comprise more than 6,000 of the nation’s 22,000 high schools. Customers include Georgia, Illinois, Kentucky, Michigan, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Wisconsin, and Washington, 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.