Springfield Local Schools officials are looking to hire the first principal of a digital academy they hope to begin in August.
Troy Armstrong, director of technology and curriculum, said that although the academy will not operate from a building, students and parents need someone to whom they can go with comments or problems.
"With the system headquartered in Marion, Ohio, we really need someone here,'' Mr. Armstrong said. He said there are a number of administrative tasks that will have to be accomplished through the school year and that the Springfield Board of Education wants someone who will be able to make recommendations on how the academy might perform in the future.
The salary and job description have not been decided.
Dr. Armstrong noted that the local digital academy will be on its own after starting this year with the support of the Marion-based Tri-Rivers Educational Computer Association Digital Academy.
That organization will provide computers, scanners, printers, for each student and the curriculum for the Springfield academy to get under way.
The Springfield academy has received a state grant of $50,000 and Dr. Armstrong said they have applied for a federal grant for $150,000 as start-up money for the academy. Both grants are standard for similar start-ups, he said.
The bulk of that money will go to establish the local office for the school and for payments to TRECA for its support and
The Springfield academy will has its own board of trustees, and keep separate books and records, although it will be under the supervision of the system's board of education.
The target for enrollment for the first year, he said, is 25 students and the system hopes that some of those are youngsters in the district who have left to attend alternative schools.
Classes will be available for children from kindergarten to seniors in high school. There is no goal for how those enrolled are spread across the grade levels.
The digital academy is in many ways like an independent charter school, and operates without classrooms. Those enrolled receive instruction and assignments and complete tests via computer. They don't attend a traditional school building, but must put in a required amount of hours.
Keeping track of those and other issues will be among the duties of the principal.
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