More than 1,500 apply in first week of virtual learning enrollment
By Jeff Harrison
Parents of Mid-Del students are showing interest in virtual learning for the upcoming school year.
The school district received more than 1,500 applications in the first week of enrollment for the Mid-Del Virtual Academy, its new online learning program.
Mid-Del Schools announced July 13 it would offer both traditional in-person instruction and virtual learning due to the coronavirus pandemic. The district will accept applications for virtual learning until Aug. 7. The first day of school is set for Aug. 14.
The virtual academy will be conducted entirely online. All students in the virtual program must have a computer or device and internet access. The virtual learning includes a commitment of at least one semester. The district originally required a one-year commitment.
Superintendent Rick Cobb said the virtual learning option has been popular with parents who are concerned about sending their children to school due to the virus.
“Most are applying because of concerns over COVID-19. Some are telling us they really have wanted this option for some time now. The fact that students can attend the Mid-Del Virtual Academy and still participate in extracurricular activities seems to be a key reason for interest as well,” Cobb said.
EPIC Charter Schools has seen a steady rise in enrollment amid the pandemic. The state’s largest virtual charter school counted more than 38,000 students last week and is adding 1,000 new students a day, according to the Oklahoman.
Cobb said Mid-Del Schools can compete for virtual learning.
“We have a much higher graduation rate (96% vs. 40% based on the latest A-F Report Cards). Our virtual students are still Mid-Del students. They can still participate in activities with their peers, graduate together, and seamlessly re-integrate into the school when they choose to come back. Our teachers will all be certified in their subject area. My understanding is that with statewide virtual schools, this isn’t always true,” Cobb said.
Mid-Del Schools recently contracted with Edgenuity for its online instruction. Mid-Del teachers will be available throughout the day to assist students. The material will be available online 24/7.
Mid-Del will implement several safety procedures related to COVID-19 including a requirement that all students and staff wear a mask or face covering. School staff, to the best of their ability, will follow social distancing guidelines for students in classrooms, hallways, cafeterias, gyms, buses and common areas. The district will also promote good hygiene and ask families to conduct temperature checks before students leave for school.