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Wood County seeks virtual enrollment

PARKERSBURG –Wood County Schools is surveying area families to get a better estimate of possible virtual school enrollment this fall.

Last week, officials said about 80 students were enrolled in the completely online program, but numbers were expected to increase as the school system approaches the Sept. 8 opening of facilities for the 2020-21 school year.

The district over the weekend published a list of frequently asked questions on social media and a post from Superintendent Will Hosaflook was sent by the school system’s new messaging app.

“To better prepare for the upcoming fall semester, Wood County Schools is seeking an accurate number of students who would like to participate in a full-time virtual school program,” Hosaflook said in the message. “Students would be a Wood County student choosing to take their classes online in a rigorous, web-based learning environment.”

Hosaflook cautioned virtual school would take the place of classroom learning for the entire semester, though students would still be eligible to participate in sports and co-curricular activities, such as band.

“This is not an easier pathway, but a different pathway to utilize during these uncertain times,” Hosaflook said.

In the district’s frequently asked questions document, officials say the virtual school differs from remote learning, the term used for online instruction when students are not physically at school.

“Remote learning is when the teachers in our schools are providing instruction. Virtual school is an already created course with clearly defined directions,” according to the FAQ. “Remote learning will occur on days students are not on campus. Virtual school keeps your child enrolled (in) his/her school, however instruction is not ‘live’ and your child does not attend any classes on campus.”

Virtual school requires some form of internet access from home, and students can be assigned a tablet from the school system on which to complete work or can use a home computer. Students enrolling in virtual school can only opt to return to a regular classroom setting within the first 14 days of the semester or during a semester change.

For more information on virtual school visit woodcountyschoolswv.com and click on Menu: Parents and Students: Virtual School. Parents also can contact Jason Potts at jason.potts@k12.wv.us.

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