Wake County Schools

Wake working out how students will learn online, whether Plan B or Virtual Academy

Posted July 14, 2020 9:18 p.m. EDT
Updated July 16, 2020 12:19 p.m. EDT

On Wednesday, more than 30,000 students had enrolled in Wake County's all-online learning option.

At 7 a.m., Wake County Public Schools reported 15,000 elementary students and roughly 8,000 students each for middle and high school had enrolled in the Virtual Academy for a total of 30,375.

Virtual learning, which has become a go-to option for many parents and students who have expressed concerns over safety in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, was the topic of conversation Tuesday at a meeting of the Wake County Board of Education, just hours after Gov. Roy Cooper said public schools across North Carolina can reopen next month with limited attendance and continued online instruction.

Board members discussed the need to support teachers as they support students and shared concerns about the quality and consistency of the educational process as students move from in the classroom to online learning and back.

Special consideration will be given to providing resources for students with disabilities, English language learners and those who need enrichment services.

Brian Pittman. senior director for middle school programs, said students should expect instruction to happen Monday through Friday, with about 6 hours per day spent on learning, regardless of environment.

He said Wake County public schools will look to provide "live instruction” to all students each day. The number of hours of live versus self-directed instruction will vary based on the plan implemented by the school.

Those in Plan A, which looks a lot like "normal" school with in-person classes, would get a full day of in-person instruction.

Instructional scheduling frameworks

In Plan B, instruction in the classroom will include a teacher present all day. Students learning online can expect at least 5 hours of live instruction.

If the district goes to an online-only option, or Plan C, students will get at least 2.5 hours of live instruction per day.

Those who sign up for the online-only option of the Virtual Academy can also expect at least 2.5 hours of live instruction per day.

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