Despite the challenges of distance learning during pandemics, public school systems across the United States have set up more and more virtual academies to address families who find distance learning most effective for their children. I am.
A majority of the 38 state education sectors that responded to the Associated Press survey this summer indicated that additional permanent virtual schools and programs will be implemented in the next school year.
Parental demand is driven to some extent by virus concerns, but there is also a preference for flexibility and independence associated with remote instructions.And the school district is eager to maintain subsequent registrations Watch the students leave For virtual charters, homeschooling, private schools, and other options-a reduction that can lead to reduced funding.
“It’s the future,” said Dan Domenech, Executive Director of the American School Administrators Association. “Some of these states may be denying it now, but soon they line up because they see the benefits of it when they see other states doing it. You need to line up. “
Karen Strauss, the parent of New Jersey, lost her brother-in-law in a pandemic. Her vaccinated teenager returns directly, but she wants to stay at Bridgewater’s house until her five-year-old son can take a shot. According to Strauss, Logan excels online under the guidance of a teacher.
“If learning from home is best for them, why not do it? What is the reason, except that people are afraid of change?” She said.
The school district’s plans for a gradual rise in long-term full-time virtual programs soared during the pandemic. Virtual academy students are usually educated separately from other students in the district.
In Virginia, prior to the pandemic, most locally run virtual programs offered individual courses only to grades 6-12 students, offering full-time instruction. Was almost nonexistent. In the new school year, 110 out of 132 federal school districts will use virtual Virginia, a state-owned kindergarten-to-high school program, to offer some or all of full-time virtual education, spokespersons. Charles Pile said. So far, he said, 7,636 students are enrolling full-time in the fall, compared to just 413 in the 2019-20 academic year.
Elsewhere, Tennessee authorities approved 29 new online schools in the 2021-22 school year. That’s more than double the number created in the last decade, said spokesman Brian Blackley. Colorado has increased in number compared to the year before the pandemic, according to spokesman Jeremy Meyer, with 20 requests for permanent single-district online options and permanent multi-districts. Submitted 6 requests for online schools in Colorado. Minnesota has also seen a significant increase, with 26 new online providers approved by July and 15 applications still pending.
This year, in New Mexico, where schools, like most states, require schools to provide face-to-face learning, Rio Rancho Public Schools use federal relief funds to add a fully remote K-5 SpaRRk Academy. Did. According to a survey, nearly 600 out of a family of 7,500 students are interested in virtually continuing, including those who prefer to be more involved in their children’s education. Janna Chenault, Head of Elementary School Improvement, said.
“We moved back and forth which grade to start with, but we’re going to be K-5 because we were interested by some of the kindergarten parents and wanted to keep them in our district. “, Said Chenault.
The epidemic of delta variants and rising prevalence cast a shadow at the beginning of the school year, but President Joe Biden and educators across the country were concerned, primarily due to concerns that many were underserved. , Encourages return to face-to-face education. By distance education.
Texas test scores show that the percentage of students reading at grade level has dropped to the lowest level since 2017, while math scores have plummeted to the lowest points since 2013. Distance learners driving decline.. Louisiana test results also showed that public school students who attended face-to-face classes during a coronavirus pandemic were superior to those who relied on distance learning.
In the pre-pandemic survey, Fully virtualized school performance.. According to a 2019 report from the National Education Policy Center, data was limited by various reports and accountability requirements, but was rated acceptable out of 320 virtual schools with performance assessments available. Was only 48.5%.
However, according to Domenech, families looking for a virtual school often have strong students who feel trapped in the classroom.
“These are students who are spontaneous and probably already doing very well with respect to the top 10% of their classes. Therefore, distance learning is a great opportunity for individual learning to allow them to move at their own pace.” He says. Said.
Prior to the pandemic, 691 fully virtualized public schools enrolled 293,717 students in the 2019-20 academic year, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics. This is compared to 478 schools with just under 200,000 enrollments in 2013-14. Forecasts for next year are not available, according to NCES.
Approaches to distance learning vary from state to state, and like Idaho, decisions are entirely up to the local committee. Districts may also need state approval to operate their own online schools outside of schools that may exist for state-wide students.
Massachusetts needs detailed suggestions from districts that need fair access, curriculum, and documented demand. The new Arizona online school will be probated until it proves academic integrity through student grades.
At least some of the school district’s virtual schools may never accept students. In North Carolina, 52 districts planned a fully virtualized school, but some districts were set up as emergency response plans as needed, said Mary, State Education spokesman. Lee Gibson said.
Some parents are opposed in states such as New Jersey, Texas, and Illinois, which have removed a wide range of remote options and restricted them to students in special circumstances.
“We’re not trying to prevent anyone from returning to school or trying to get the world back to some normal state,” said Deborah Odor, New Jersey’s mother. She wants sons and daughters who are too young to be vaccinated to continue in remote areas this year for health reasons.
“We haven’t been given a choice,” said Odor, who is part of a parent group petitioning to change it.
Many parents had rocky experiences in online learning during the pandemic, but they often experienced versions implemented with little planning. Michael Barber, who studies online learning at the University of Turo, California, said parents who left a negative impression of distance learning could slow down their overall growth.
“Even if that option was available to them three or five years later, that kind of experience polluted them,” he said.
Pandemic is spurring a boom in virtual services for schools in the United States | Domestic and Global
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