Montgomery Co. public school students can stay virtual

Montgomery County Public School students in Maryland will get a new full-time virtual option for next school year.

The proposed new program, Virtual Academy, will be an option for students in pre-K through 12th grade.

“We know there’s a part of the community who may not want to return for health reasons, or may just be thriving in this virtual learning environment — able to focus more, and are performing better,” MCPS Engagement, Innovation and Operations Chief Derek Turner said.

Students would have to apply and be accepted into the Virtual Academy — the school system is still working on the criteria.

MCPS’s Brian Beaubien said the concept would be very different from virtual classes students have taken this academic year.

“The content that’s within those courses is built specifically for the virtual space,” he said. “So it’s not leveraging content that was not built with that intent in mind.”

Virtual Academy students would remain enrolled at their home schools, but will take all of their classes online. And they will be allowed to participate in in-person sports and extracurricular activities, and receive meals, at their home schools.

MCPS plans to release a survey next week to determine how many students and families might be interested in the all-virtual option.

See the board meeting below.

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