The San Diego Unified school board is considering a new virtual high school today, on the advice of Superintendent Terry Grier. The program would begin this year at Mount Everest Academy, which guides students who are studying independently at home, and would expand to satellite campuses where students take online courses, aided by teacher mentors at the site.

It would cost $152,200 in its first year and is expected to enroll roughly 75 students. The goal is to expand enrollment to more than 700 students by 2010. That could eventually make the virtual school a freebie for the school district: Recouping students who would otherwise drop out or go to other programs, such as independent study charter schools, could regain state revenue for San Diego Unified.

The school board will vote on the proposal this morning.

EMILY ALPERT

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