CARY, NC (WNCN) – The Board of Education for the Wake County Public School System is talking about the virtual academy, but not for the upcoming school year.
State laws require a big change in how virtual school works, but some parents are disappointed they won’t have a virtual option in the fall.
Kira Kroboth has three children at high risk for COVID-19 complications. She hoped the Virtual Academy would be available next school year.
“The fact that there won’t be a year and there will be a gap year is sad because there are kids like mine who need that protection,” she said.
This year, her children are attending a virtual charter school, but there are currently more than 8,500 students enrolled in Wake County’s virtual academy, including Jennifer Rosario’s two children.
“My husband is in a high-risk category, so we tried to be very safe,” Rosario explained.
Currently, WCPSS Virtual Academy students are considered part of their base school, but legislation states that after this school year, districts can only offer virtual classes as a separate virtual school.
This is something the Board is considering for the 2023-2024 school year.
“I feel like our hand will be forced before that,” Rosario said.
“I figured they might have been working on it all year, even if it’s just a backup plan,” Kroboth added.
Wake County school district officials say the plans can be adjusted if necessary.
“We must be prepared to go in a different direction if at any point circumstances warrant it,” said Drew Cook, deputy superintendent for academics.
Cook pointed out that there are some pre-pandemic options that include virtual learning, but stressed that it’s not a replacement for the virtual academy.
Some virtual schools have waiting lists and some programs require certain medical needs or require students to meet other specific qualifications.
As we see another spike in COVID-19 cases, some parents say they don’t feel comfortable without a virtual option.
“If we see another spike in a couple of months, we’re going to make a decision ourselves, and unfortunately, it may not be personal and Wake County,” Rosario said. “For me, it’s just not worth the risk.”
https://www.cbs17.com/news/local-news/wake-county-news/wake-county-school-leaders-discuss-virtual-options-for-2023-2024-no-virtual-academy-for-upcoming-year/ Wake County School Leaders Discuss Virtual Options for 2023-2024; no virtual academy for the coming year