Why build a Virtual School? The rationale for the virtual school project arose from the need to address the shortage of teachers, especially in the area of advanced placement (AP) classes that school districts experience from time to time. Houston Independent School District was interested in providing a cost-effective model of instructional delivery that would positively affect student transportation issues and related expenses. In addition, there was a need to improve middle school students’ academic skills in preparation for high school and college. Reclaiming the home school market in the greater Houston area was another benefit that was anticipated. In addition, a virtual school would prepare students for a 21st century learning environment.