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District Profile

Monte Vista Elementary students are running in class. And jumping. And stretching. Teachers not only look on, but encourage the behavior. The 3-6 grade teachers are guiding students through targeted exercises and games as part of the Early Sport program, a research-driven fitness program that exemplifies 'new PE.'

Fifth and sixth graders are rehearsing for Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream in Marti Agler's highly gifted class of 12. The Boise, Idaho, students recently finished analyzing Macbeth, as well as parliamentary debates about school vouchers and drilling for oil in the continental U.S.

With the camera rolling,17-year-old Lara Wilinsky faced an amiable-looking older couple. It was her first interview as a journalist, and Wilinsky wondered how exactly to ask about the night the couple's daughter was murdered.

The frail, older woman began rolling up her sleeve, and 200 miles away, a classroom full of high school students leaned forward to watch her. As part of a history unit on the Holocaust, administrators and teachers in the Imperial County (Calif.) Office of Education arranged a videoconference with a survivor, who spoke from the Simon Weisenthal Center in Los Angeles. The Calexico High School students, who would have had to make a four-hour bus trip each way just to visit the museum, got to ask questions and hear the woman's stories without ever leaving their classroom.

Saturday School a Class Act