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WCSD teachers to educate students across state

Students all over Pennsylvania will be learning from Warren County teachers this school year.

When students return to Warren County School District in the fall, they will be taught by district teachers whether they are sitting at desks in school buildings or in front of computers in their homes throughout Warren County.

Students at computers in McKean, Lycoming, and Lancaster counties will also be learning from Warren County teachers.

“The Warren County School District Virtual Academy offers and provides online educational courses to outside school districts,” according to an explanation of what the 2020-2021 budget supports in the budget summary. “Outside school districts continue to request online services for kindergarten through twelfth grade. Through marketing avenues, this area of online educational services may continue to expand to more districts in the future.”

On Monday, the school board approved cyber services agreements with four school districts.

Two of those – Bradford Area School District in McKean County and Ephrata Area School District in Lancaster County – have been on board for years. The others – Kane Area School District in McKean County and Montoursville Area School District in Lycoming County – are new.

Students in those districts will have the option – like students in Warren County School District – to go to the Virtual Academy. That program is supported by Warren County School District teachers.

Students can take some or all of their courses that way — if the home district permits.

Warren County School District receives dollars from the sending districts.

“We charge $2,750 per licensed seat,” Director of Business Services Jim Grosch said. “If a student just wants one course, we charge $500 for a full-credit course and $250 for a half-credit course. Last year we brought in $200,000.”

“This money comes directly to the WCSD and helps with our expenditures,” Grosch said.

It could help the district hire more teachers.

“If we bring on other districts, we will have to hire more staff,” Superintendent Amy Stewart said.

Although there is a chance that COVID-19 – or something else – could cause Gov. Tom Wolf to shut down schools again, Warren County will not be on the hook to provide cyber schooling for all of its students and every student in four other districts.

According to Stewart, there is a limit on the number of students those districts may send. “The contracts allow us to cap enrollment.”

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