Bagdad teenager Cari Kellis is the official voice of a new student blog at Primavera Online High School.
At the start of the school year, Primavera officials introduced the Parent-Students Portal Community, a "fully-moderated internal social network."
Kellis is a sophomore and this is her first year at Primavera. She decided to try online schooling because she wanted to help at home, as well as find a job.
Primavera officials selected Kellis from thousands of students as the statewide spokesperson of Primavera's student blogging project.
Kellis said she learned about the project when she registered for classes.
"In my application I said that I was a first-year Primavera student and that I would like to write about my experience," Kellis said.
Kellis will write a monthly blog. "Basically, I am going to write about why I like going to an online school," she said.
Jenny Hauser, marketing manager for Primavera, said online education is a sign of the times. "This is the digital age. Students are spending more time in front of the computer," she said, adding that with social networking and social media, online school is a logical progression.
"This is the wave of the future. The vast majority of colleges and universities offer online classes. To offer the blog project seemed natural," Hauser said.
Thousands of students in Arizona attend Primavera's online classes, according to Hauser. And while online students have social contact through friends and work, the new PSP Community is a way for those students to interact with other students their age, or other students that share their interests, Hauser explained.
Officials moderate the PSP Community and school officials approve all comments posted on the blog, Hauser said, adding that the PSP is not accessible to anyone outside of the Primavera community. Students must use a secure log-in to access the blog, much in the same way they access their classes.
Kellis said about 100 students attend Bagdad High School and only a few take online classes, mostly to make up credits.
Kellis learned about online classes from a friend and decided to try Primavera. She attends classes every day, mostly in the mornings.
Attending online classes, she said, "is really awesome." She recently posted her first blog, in which she wrote about how much she enjoys her classes and the teachers. Kellis also admitted that although she enjoys being home, "it is a little awkward being around my parents all day."