Small, rural school districts like the one in Avon, Illinois are utilizing a distance education program for their high school students with great success. This program involves students in one or more locations being taught by a teacher elsewhere via video and audio links.
For example, one class was taught by a professor from Carl Sandburg College in Galesburg to students at Avon and Williamsfield high schools in a virtual setting where students at both schools and the teacher could see and communicate with each other in real time. There is an initial investment to get programs like this up and running, but in the long run the benefits outweigh the startup costs for rural schools. Through distance education, high school students in rural communities can now take a number of advanced courses which enable them to complete their first year of college credit before even graduating from high school.