Staying home for school: More than 2K students signed up for EVSC’s Virtual Academy
EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - Wednesday is the first day back to school for EVSC students, but not all students will be returning to in-person learning.
EVSC families have the option to sign up for the Virtual Academy, giving students the chance to learn from the comfort of their own home.
Student Ella Eberhart was ready for her first day of class even though her desk is at her house this year. That didn’t stop her from making sure it was ready to go. The pink and teal desk was decked out with fresh school supplies and fun decor.
“Like everyone else, we debated back and forth and changed our minds at least 100 times about what we wanted to do,” mom, Margaret Ebherhart said.
Margaret and her husband Greg Eberhart decided to enroll Ella and her little brother Pearce in the EVSC Virtual Academy.
“In the end, we knew if we did this, we could be consistent, and we wouldn’t have to worry about a quarantine. We also knew we could feel better about being closer to our parents, which both sets of parents are in an older demographic and more at risk,” Margaret said.
The siblings are just two of over 2,300 EVSC students going virtual this year. The EVSC Virtual Academy is not a new program. It’s been around for 10 years with EVSC teachers on hand ready to assist students. EVSC officials say there are usually around 70-80 students enrolled online, but that number sky rocketed this year. As of now, over 2,300 students are enrolled, but officials say that could drop. Families can change their minds after nine weeks unless they have a high school student. Those students must complete a full semester. To keep up with the demand, EVSC also increased the number of virtual teachers. Officials say they usually have around nine teacher, and now, they are up to over 30.
Margaret says they got a taste of virtual learning last spring, and she was ready to implement some changes.
“Pearce is much more active and busy, and Ella is at the age where she is doing more writing and reading and some more quiet work, so we realized we really needed some separate space because they both learn very differently right now,” Margaret said.
Instead of the dining room table, these two now have their own personalized desks in separate rooms.
“I think the driving factor is the consistency, to know this is the plan and we are sticking to it,” Margaret said.
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