Vigo County Schools host town hall for new virtual academy

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TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – During the 2018-2019 school year, 367 Vigo County students were enrolled in virtual schools outside of the Vigo County School Corporation.

Beginning with the 2019-2020 school year, a new free option will be available locally, the Vigo Virtual Success Academy.

“What we know is that brick and mortar school isn’t always the best fit for every student,” said Robin Smith, principal of Vigo Virtual Success Academy.

said Robin Smith, principal of Vigo Virtual Success Academy

Vigo County students who are home-schooled, home-bound, in need of credit recovery, or those who need flexible scheduling and alternative education are eligible for full-time enrollment in this academy.

“We want to make sure that we’re providing a platform that will allow them to be educated and to meet those needs,” Smith said.

Students enrolled in the virtual academy will be allowed to take five classes per trimester with the expectation that students spend at least one hour a day on each class. These classes will have certified teachers.

Attendance will be monitored by academy personnel using a report that tracks time on task.

Students will also have to take all final exams at Booker T. Washington High School.

An official with Vigo County’s virtual partner, says other school districts especially one in Onslow County, North Carolina have seen great success with this type of schooling.

“Their students are actually earning better scores on SAT, ACT, they’re out doing the district and the state averages on all of end of course exams,” said Scott Lobdell, director of implementation for EdOptions Academy.

Some students who were at Tuesday’s open house say they are excited that Vigo County is offering a new option for education for those who can’t always physically attend school.

“Sometimes I can’t get out of bed because I don’t have the motivation to because mentally I’m like, ‘Why am I doing this?’ But I can go to school even when I’m having days like that because of this other option. So think it’s going to be really helpful,” said Harley Smith.

Students interested in the Virtual Success Academy will need access to a device such as a computer, iPad, or cell phone for classes. Computer lab space is also available at Booker T. Washington High School.

The Virtual Success Academy will operate on the same academic calendar as the other Vigo County schools.

According to Robin Smith, the IHSAA does not allow students in virtual schools to play sports.

Students in good standing will be allowed to attend events such as homecoming or prom.

Smith also says the schools are working on plans for graduation.

To set up a consultation meeting you can contact Robin Smith at 812-462-4427 or robin.smith@vigoschools.org

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