Home-schooling Web site targets Eastern Europe

Calvert School created it after Russian school siege

October 06, 2004|By Sara Neufeld | Sara Neufeld,SUN STAFF

With interest in its home-schooling program continuing to grow in Eastern Europe, the Calvert School in North Baltimore has created a Web site for families weighing their options in the wake of the siege of a Russian school that ended with 330 dead.

The Calvert School is an internationally known supplier of educational materials for parents who teach their children at home. It has received more than 200 online inquiries from Eastern Europe since Sept. 15, the day classes resumed at School No. 1 in the southern city of Beslan after militants stormed the school.

That's about 17 times the number of inquiries Calvert received from Eastern Europe in the previous year. From Sept. 15 last year through Sept. 14, Calvert received just 12 inquiries from Russia and other Eastern European countries.

The new Web site, www.calvertschool.org/international/, offers information in Russian and English, though the school's curriculum is only in English. The site explains how home-schooling works and offers bulletin boards for families to give and receive advice and to communicate with Calvert's educational counselors.

Calvert School pays to have a link to its Web site appear when "home schooling" is entered in Google and other search engines. That is likely how many Eastern European families are finding out about its program, school officials said.

Calvert School bills its home-schooling program, nearly 100 years old, as the oldest such U.S. program. About 10 percent of its nearly 20,000 enrolled home-school pupils in prekindergarten through eighth grade live overseas.

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