Originally published in Spectrum News – June 11, 2020
WINSTON-SALEM, N.C. — The health and safety of students is always the top priority of school districts, so officials are considering virtual options for the upcoming school year.
Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools had virtual academy in the works even before the pandemic and is rolling it out in August. District leaders say they’ve gotten interest from about 1,400 families at this point and they’re following the lead of other large districts like Charlotte-Mecklenburg have already established a virtual option.
Virtual learning could soon be commonplace for students in the Triad. Anissa Scales recently signed on to be principal of Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools’ new virtual academy. She believes safety and innovation are drawing families to the new option.
“They are really concerned because there’s no cure for COVID, there’s no vaccine,” she says. “Some of the parents have expressed stories to me where their students have thrived in this e-learning environment. And so, you know they’re really excited because they have not seen this drive in their students.”
Families across the state are turning to other virtual options also. The North Carolina Virtual Academy has been around for five years and is seeing a boom in interest.
“Almost 90 percent of our students have re-registered with us, and we received over 3,000 new students applications for our lottery this year,” says Lauren Acome, the head of school for NC Virtual Academy.
Acome believes, in this time of uncertainty, parents want to have want to have confidence in their children’s education. These virtual platforms follow similar guidelines as brick and mortar schools, and include live teaching on a daily basis.
Winston-Salem Forsyth County Schools is hosting a number of virtual academy information sessions for parents in the coming weeks, including two Thursday at 11 a.m. and 5 p.m. The North Carolina Virtual Academy is always accepting applications.
To learn more about North Carolina Virtual Academy visit: https://ncva.k12.com/