OPS sending out ‘virtual academy’ option to parents

OPS sending out ‘virtual academy’ option to parents
Published: Jul. 9, 2020 at 7:00 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 9, 2020 at 7:01 PM CDT
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OWENSBORO, Ky. (WFIE) - As the month of August approaches, Owensboro Public School parents will have to pick between sending their children back for in-person learning or signing them up for virtual learning.

The school board sent out a registration to parents on Thursday for “OPS Virtual Academy.”

“If you want to stay home, here’s the avenue to do that,” Dr. Matt Constant, superintendent at Owensboro Public Schools said. “But if you want to come back to school, you can do that to.”

Some families say for them, in-person learning is not an option.

“My children will be going into first grade, third grade and sixth grade,” parent Hope Neel said. “At this time, we are not at all considering sending them to in-person schooling.”

The mother of three children says she’s signed her children up for school’s virtual academy.

“Because they can’t learn if they are sick,” said Neel.

Amber Reikofski, another parent, says due to her daughter’s autoimmune deficiency, she’s also signed her up for virtual learning.

“I’m glad they offered this because I was going to have to pay for home school,” Reikofski said.

Reikofski says she's looking forward to having her kids at home.

“I think it is going to be different, but I think there’s going to be a lot of good that will come with it too,” Reikofski said. “I get to learn some stuff along the process.”

Dr. Constant says virtual learning will look and feel different than the ending of last school year.

“This will actually be new learning, whereas the NTI period - a lot of that was review,” he said. “It will be supervised and monitored by a certified teacher.”

The superintendent says he’s hoping for about 20% of students to chose the virtual option, with 80% returning to the classroom.

“Given that scenario we can more easily provide for distancing, eating breakfast and lunch, temperature checks and all those things we’ll be taking into account on our reopening plan,” Dr. Constant said.

It’s not been decided yet if virtual students will be able to participate in sports and extracurricular activities.

School officials say registration for virtual learning will be open until next Friday.

Once they hear from parents, they say they’ll put a solid reopening plan together that will go to a vote during a school board meeting scheduled for July 23.

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