DORCHESTER COUNTY, S.C. (WCSC) - Dorchester School District Two says they are finalizing plans for next school year’s virtual academy.
The district says they have hundreds of students planning to enroll necessitating their looking nearly six months ahead. DD2 is looking through more than 850 applications in comparison to the nearly 8,000 students who are currently enrolled in their virtual academy.
Of those more than 800 applications, district officials say not every student will be accepted into the virtual academy.
Acceptance is based on the student’s current attendance record and performance says DD2 Virtual Academy Program Director Greg Harrison.
Harrison says this is about the level of interest they were anticipating. While the March deadline might seem early, he says the district needs to finalize plans to be able to allocate money and send out all teacher contracts by April.
DD2 say this will be the first time they will be offering several contracts for completely virtual teachers.
Harrison says next year’s virtual academy is the start of a new program they plan to offer for years to come. He says several students who had transitioned into homeschooling are now coming back to the district virtually.
“We’re looking at our virtual academy not really being a reaction to the pandemic anymore, but really being a preferred learning style, a preferred learning environment for students who are not scared about COVID, who have no medical reason,” Harrison says. “But really they just seek out an alternative learning environment.”
Harrison also says the district has not decided whether to offer 4th and 5th grade courses, but students have applied for those grade levels, and DD2 will decide that this week. All applications need to be in by the end of the day this Thursday to be considered and the district says they will let parents know if their child was accepted on or before April 12th.
Harrison says if parents haven’t heard by then, they should reach out to the district.