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Virtual Academy readies for heavy use

As families make decisions about how to return students to school, Warren County School District’s Virtual Academy is gearing up for heavy use.

“We have a team of educators working hard to get everything prepared and ready for our students,” Virtual Academy Principal Misty Weber said. “We are preparing schedules, technology, and workbooks for all of the Virtual Academy students.”

There will be more students this year than ever before — both district students and students from districts that have agreements to use the Virtual Academy. The number of districts with such agreements doubled this summer with two new districts joining the two that had been affiliated for years.

“Currently close to 600 students in Warren County School District will be learning full-time using the Virtual Academy and about 450 outside district students,” Weber said. “We have added staff to meet their needs and look forward to a great year.”

While many students will be new to the academy, the academy is not new.

“The good news is virtual learning is not new to us and our current system is ready to handle all of our new learners,” she said.

“The new course list has been posted on the district website,” Weber said. “We have added some new electives that we hope students enjoy.”

District officials will meet with students to discuss programs they would like to see added to the list.

“Our tech department is working hard to get all of the technology ready for students who need it,” Weber said.

Those who sign up for the Virtual Academy may go to the central office to get what they need for the school year.

“Wednesday, Aug. 19 will be the first day we will meet with families to pick up materials,” Weber said.

Families do not need an appointment and may stop in any time from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on that day.

The office will also be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 24; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 25; and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 26.

“This is open to any of our full-time students who have put in an application with us,” Weber said.

“If there are any questions we can assist with please contact us at 814-723-0574 ext. 1315.”

The district published the Virtual Academy course offerings to its website — www.wcsdpa.org — this week.

The elementary school (grades K through 5) offerings include language arts, math, science, and social studies (the A and B sections are for the first and second halves of the year); health; physical education; four levels of art; arts and crafts for K, 1, and 2; and keyboarding and scratch coding under the technology heading.

The core classes in middle school (sixth, seventh, and eighth grades) include English language arts for each grade, one section of math for sixth grade and two each for seventh and eighth (including honors algebra), earth science (6), life science (7), and physical science (8), world geography (6), ancient world history (7), and government and civics (8). There are also 11 middle school electives including such titles as: character education, game design I, career exploration I, and guitar.

At the high school level, the core offerings include multiple sections of each grade level of ELA; and at least one section of the following: algebra I and II, geometry, trigonometry, calculus, statistics, and consumer math; biology, chemistry, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, environmental science, physics, and marine science; U.S. history I and II, world history, American government, and economics.

There is a wide variety of titles among the available high school electives including: Accounting; History of the Holocaust; Art in World Cultures; Paleontology; Forestry and Natural Resources;E-sports and the History of Video Games; Spanish I, II, and III; Career Planning, and Real World Parenting.

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