It can be easy to get stuck on all the negative aspects of the coronavirus pandemic. There were also some positive developments for some students. Teachers were forced to find new ways or enhance old methods of providing instruction. Some of those students received that instruction remotely, and they thrived.
Since the COVID-19 vaccination is now available, there has been a push to return to normal, a push to resume life like it was prior to the pandemic beginning. The problem is education was better for some students in the remote setting. They felt safe emotionally, safer from COVID-19 exposure, and are growing academically.
At the end of the school year, districts have to plan for the next year. Washington Township and Hamilton Southeastern and stated they would like to offer a virtual option for students next school year. This school year, Washington Township parents were able to choose remote learning without many guidelines from the school district, but for the next school year, the district is setting parameters to determine if a student should attend school virtually. On the virtual academy enrollment form, the following information was included:
This application will be reviewed and you will be notified of whether or not your child has been approved to participate in our Virtual Academy. Approval considerations will be based on your child’s previous attendance, previous academic achievement, and previous online engagement, as well as enrollment capacity.
Similar to Washington Township, HSE is putting stronger parameters in place for next year’s virtual option. Students will have to remain remote for an entire semester. Students can only participate in virtual clubs; no in person club participation will be permitted.
The pandemic seems to be the driving force for these school districts to provide this option for another year. When the pandemic ends, hopefully, there are considerations for keeping a virtual option because there may be some families that find this works best for their children.