Students enrolling in the Macon County Schools Virtual Academy will be starting the school year on August 24 with all remote learning. School districts across the state are required to offer families the option to enroll their children in Plan C – which is 100% remote learning. It was up to individual districts to decide what Plan C would look like for their schools and for Macon County, that meant establishing the Virtual Academy.
Macon County Schools Superintendent Dr. Chris Baldwin said that the virtual academy will be taught primarily by Macon County Schools teachers, assigned to the virtual academy. In instances were teachers are not available for specific subjects, Dr. Baldwin said that the North Carolina Virtual Public School may be utilized, but only if the class is too small for the district to provide an instructor.
“Instruction for these courses may be provided by MCS teachers, NCVPS or other avenues,” said Dr. Baldwin. “First, we need to know how many students request these courses through the virtual academy as well as how many teachers are willing, or need to teach these courses virtually. Once we get this information from the surveys we can better determine how the instruction will be provided.”
Students enrolled in the virtual academy will be permitted to participate in after school clubs and sports, assuming those options are held this Fall. Currently all sports have been delayed until at least September 1 by the North Carolina Athletic Association.
Details regarding the structure of Macon County’s virtual academy in terms of administration is still yet to be determined.
“NCDPI has had a high volume of requests for virtual schools and cannot guarantee an administrator for Macon County’s virtual academy at this time,” said Dr. Baldwin. “ If there is not a dedicated principal for the MCVA, we would have a central point of contact for parents to reach out to for questions.”
According to Dr. Baldwin, the main difference between enrolling a child in the Macon County Virtual Academy rather than an online homeschool platform, will be the teachers.
“MCS teachers will primarily be providing the instruction for the students of the MCVA,” said Dr. Baldwin. “This will provide a smoother reentry to our schools for students once the pandemic is behind us.”
Students who begin the school year in the virtual academy must remain enrolled in the virtual academy for the entire semester. However, students who begin with in-person instruction will be permitted to switch to the virtual academy at any time.
The school system will be providing technical support for all students enrolled in the virtual academy.
“Devices will be available for pick-up at the school the child last attended in our school system, said Dr. Baldwin. “Devices will be available from 9:30 am until 2:30 pm beginning of August 17, 2020. Instruction via MCVA is tentatively set to begin on Aug 24, 2020.”
Parents who selected the Virtual Academy option on the parent survey have done everything necessary for their child to be enrolled this Fall. However, if you have not filled out the survey, you are able to until Wednesday July 29. If a parent filled out the survey and did not select the Virtual Academy, but now wish to enroll their child, they need to contact the school their child last attended and make them aware by July 31. Parents who want to enroll their child in the Virtual Academy and do not plan to complete the survey, may do so by also contacting the school their child last attended.
Macon County Schools will be announcing final plans for the Fall school year on July 30, the day before the virtual academy enrollment deadline.