As Coronavirus Spreads, North Texas Districts Look Into Home-Based Virtual School Option

Originally aired on KTVT-TV – March 13, 2020

As more cases of coronavirus pop up across North ​Texas, some local school districts are now looking into home-based virtual school options. ​

Aniya Dunn made the transition from ​public school to online school last year. ​

“I really wanted to try it ​because sometimes I do like to stay home,” Dunn said. “Also for me, public school was harder.”

She likes the flexibility and the capability to access her classes and teachers whenever she likes.

So now, the seventh grader begins ​her school day by simply turning on her computer to access all of her​ classes, lessons and ​assignments.

​She attends the Texas Online Preparatory School which is accredited by the Texas Education ​Agency. Her curriculum is ​led ​by state-certified teachers. ​

“It was very easy to transition ​out of public school into the e-school,” Dunn’s mother Kristi Ellis said. “You don’t have to teach the curriculum ​yourself. ​She has her teachers for every single ​subject. ​So if she has questions for any assignments, ​she has teachers that she can ​talk to just like ​a regular brick and mortar school.”

Now, as coronavirus spreads across the world, ​a growing number of districts are looking into this option.


​“We’ve had quite a bit of what we call leads in the enrollment level,” ​Texas Online Preparatory School’s Head of School Charles Smith said. “In Washington — where there were more cases originally — the enrollment leap spiked by about 102%.”

During Hurricane Harvey, Smith said enrollment doubled ​within three months and through online school, students were able to continue their education.

“Most of the students are coming to us in some sort of crisis and so we have to facilitate much more than just their learning,” Smith said.

That includes setting up a temporary curriculum and then ​using standard state systems to transfer records when students are ready to go back.

To learn more about Texas Online Preparatory School, visit https://tops.k12.com/

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