Cabell County Schools launch new virtual learning option

Published: Jul. 21, 2021 at 6:19 PM EDT
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HUNTINGTON, W.Va. (WSAZ) - Cabell County Schools is offering a new virtual learning option for students during the 2021-22 school year.

Registration is open for the Cabell Virtual Learning Academy.

“The COVID pandemic really brought to light the need for something like this and to provide families with flexibility, and it really expedited the urgency of doing something like this,” said Justin Boggs, executive director of middle schools for Cabell County Schools.

The academy was in the works before 2020, but school officials used remote learning to see what worked and what did not. Superintendent Ryan Saxe says they found students need face-to-face interaction with a teacher to be successful.

“The students are going to have that one teacher that they know. They are going to be having conversations, they’ll be having classroom instruction that is face-to-face through our devices,” Saxe said.

The students will be taught by teachers hired specifically for the academy. They will receive live instruction each day.

“The individuals that we hired want to be virtual school teachers. They understand the mechanics of how instruction needs to look and feel, especially in a virtual learning world,” Saxe said.

Kindergarten through eighth grade will receive live instruction from Cabell County teachers, but those in high school will be taught through the West Virginia Virtual School platform. The program is more self-paced without a live teacher.

“They are a little more disciplined, little more mature that may be. That’s the option that we have right now, but we’re also looking at expanding that in future years,” Boggs said.

With new variants of COVID-19 and cases increasing, Saxe and Boggs said they wanted to offer this option as some parents are hesitant to send their kids back to school.

“We’ve received some calls saying, ‘I think I would rather my student go ahead and continue or do virtual learning this year’. Maybe they’ve lost a loved one to COVID possibly and they just feel like this is the best option for them,” Boggs said.

The old Highlawn Elementary school will be the hub for the academy. Renovations are being completed, so teachers will have their own classrooms.

“It’s taking an old facility and it’s bringing some new life to it to be able to meet the educational needs of students all across Cabell County,” Saxe said.

Boggs says about 160 people have pre-registered for the academy.

Each child will receive an Apple device when they enroll. The students will also be able to take part in after-school activities, as well as graduate with other Cabell County students.

Students must be enrolled in Cabell County Schools to take part in the academy.

For more information, or to enroll in the academy, tap here.

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