Bishop Maginn High School in Albany will use a $20,000 Higher-Powered Learning grant from the Albany Diocese for distance learning through videoconferencing. Starting Feb. 1, teacher Joseph Zaccardo will offer a simplified version of Maginn's statistics course to 10 eighth-graders at St. Thomas the Apostle School in Delmar.

A 90-inch monitor will be located at Maginn; cameras and speakers, at St. Thomas, so "kids at St. Thomas are going to be able to sit there with their Chromebooks and ask questions," explained Maginn head of school Joseph Salamack.

Mr. Salamack envisions all four diocesan high schools applying for a joint grant to offer similar programs, with courses like health and history. Some courses could be a hybrid of online and in-classroom material.

"A lot of kids will speak more clearly and more often online, because that's what they're used to," he noted.

Maginn dean of students Richard Gilooley has even designed an online course on how to take an online course, Mr. Salamack said, so schools can gauge which students would respond well to the distance-learning-by-videoconferencing format. (KB)