US Public Schools are Setting Up 'Virtual Academies' Amidst Pandemic
(Photo : Image from Pexels) US Public Schools are Setting Up 'Virtual Academies' Amidst Pandemic

US public schools are now setting up "virtual academies" amidst the pandemic in order to continue education. Despite challenges when it comes to distance learning throughout the pandemic, public school systems across the United States are setting up these virtual academies in massively growing numbers in order to accommodate families who reportedly feel remote instruction would work best for their children.

Parent Demands Driven by Ongoing Concerns

According to the story by Phys.org, a majority of the total 38 state educational departments that have reportedly responded to an Associated Press survey just this summer actually indicated additional permanent virtual schools as well as programs will be in place in the upcoming school year. Parent demand is now driven in some measure due to concerns of the ongoing virus but also because of a preference for more flexibility and independence that also comes with remote instruction.

School districts are also eager to maintain enrollment directly after seeing students leave for home schooling, virtual charters, private schools, and other options as well. These declines could even lead to less funding. There have been unconventional schools in the past like Elon Musk's school while he noted that regular schools are just "torture."

Virtual Academies Students

The executive director of the American Association of School Administrators Dan Domenech noted that it is the future. It was stated that some of these states could be denying it as of the moment. Soon, however, they will have to get in line due to seeing other states already doing it and witnessing the advantages of it.

The school districts' plans for full-time, long-term virtual programs, which have been gradually rising, spiked during the whole COVID-19 pandemic. Students in virtual academies are generally educated separately from a district's other students. Over 100 Schools in the US are already requiring their students to get vaccinated.

In Favor of Virtual Classes

In New Mexico, like most states, is also requiring schools to offer the direct in-person learning this year, Rio Rancho Public Schools actually used federal relief funding in order to add to the fully remote K-5 SpaRRk Academy. A recent survey even found just 600 out of 7,500 student families that were reportedly interested to continue virtually.

The families also included many who wanted to become more and more involved with their children's own education, according to the elementary improvement officer Janna Chenault. Chenault noted that they had to tweet back and forth in order to decide which grade they should start in.

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NEPC Pre-Pandemic Research

Chenault then noted that they did have interest from some of the kindergarten parents and that they wanted to keep them in their district in order for it to be K-5. Before the pandemic, research raised certain questions regarding the performance of these fully vaccinated schools, as seen on NEPC.Colorado.edu.

A previous 2019 report coming from the National Education Policy Center noted that the data was actually limited by disparate reporting as well as accountability requirements but still showed that out of 320 virtual schools that had available performance ratings, there was only 48.5% that were rated acceptable.

Related Article: COVID-19 Mask Debates Continue in Schools Despite More and More Children Getting Infected

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Written by Urian B.

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Tags: US Public Schools