• 77°

Virtual K-8 draws 700 applicants in four days

By Carl Blankenship
carl.blankenship@salisburypost.com

SALISBURY – Rowan-Salisbury School’s new virtual K-8 school has drawn 700 enrollees since applications opened on Monday.

Meanwhile, virtual school Principal Amy Pruitt, also director of Horizons Unlimited, said the initial cap the district discussed for the school is 1,000 students, but that number could change because of the significant interest. Enrollment for the virtual school is open until next Friday.

Uncertainty still surrounds how or if schools will open in August. Gov. Roy Cooper declined to make a decision earlier this month and now says he’ll do so next week. But there is a real possibility of beginning classes virtually for the entire district.

Students enrolled with the virtual school would perform distance learning all year whether the state allows schools to reopen or not. Schools could also be allowed to reopen partway into the year. Traditional students could return to classes while virtual students could continue distance learning.

Horizons Unlimited will be the hub for the virtual school. It has spent the summer hosting virtual versions of its annual summer camp programming, and Pruitt said she has wanted a virtual option in the district for some time.

Pruitt noted the district-wide virtual learning at the end of last year was due to and planned during an emergency. The virtual programming for the coming school year will be planned ahead of time, and there will be opportunities for students to take on projects they are interested in. Pursuing unique life goals is a major part of the district’s renewal plan.

Other districts already have virtual options. There also is a virtual charter school, N.C. Connections Academy, which has been holding classes in the state for years. The district spent two months hosting classes virtual after schools were ordered to close in March and was already hosting occasional elearning days which keep students home for the day and working on virtual activities.

East Rowan High School started its virtual academy last year with a pilot program allowing some students to take a mixture of virtual and in-person classes as well as going all-virtual. Students who do not live within East Rowan’s area can still apply to the academy.

Rowan-Salisbury Schools hosted an interest meeting for its virtual school Monday and will hold two more Thursday in English and Spanish. Rowan-Salisbury this week also hosted an exceptional children forum for parents to ask questions about the school.

How the district will feed virtual students is still unclear. Until August 31, the district is still subject to the executive order that all children can be fed for free. The district is delivering about 50,000 meals a week via yellow school buses.

RSS Nutrition Director Lisa Altmann said the district will simply continue serving meals as is if schools return to all virtual learning and all the current exceptions and waivers stay in place. If classes resume, Altmann said, the district would need to explore options for getting meals to children during the summer.

Altmann said the district may be able to distribute meals to virtual students via its “yum yum” buses it uses for normal summer feeding programs if the district is not still under special exceptions for not feeding students in groups.

Meal pickup is another possibility, though Altmann is unsure of what will be allowed later in the year. She said the district should be able to feed the students.

To register in English for the virtual school, visit: tinyurl.com/rsshighschoolvirtual

To register in Spanish, visit: tinyurl.com/rsshighschoolvirtualspa

Comments

Crime

Blotter: Salisbury man charged for breaking and entering, burglary tools

Nation/World

Senators race to overcome final snags in infrastructure deal

Crime

Child killed in Monroe drive-by shooting; 1 arrested

Local

Rowan County Chamber of Commerce’s Dragon Boat race returns after year hiatus

Local

Marker commemorating Jim Crow-era lynchings in Rowan County, racial injustice required years of work

Local

Identified Marine was a Salisbury native, served in WWII

Coronavirus

Rowan County sees COVID-19 cases coming more quickly, remains in middle tier for community spread

Cleveland

Cleveland plans to build walking trail, community barn quilt mural

High School

High school athletics: Male Athlete of the Year Walker in league of once-in-a-generation players

Business

Young entrepreneur learns lesson of responsibility by raising quail, selling eggs

Lifestyle

Historic McCanless House sold, buyers plan on converting home into events venue

Lifestyle

Library’s Summer Reading Week 10 has virtual storytime, last chance to log hours

Coronavirus

Positive COVID test knocks DeChambeau out of Olympics

College

College football: North grad Delaney ready for next challenges at Johnson C. Smith

College

Fishing: Carson grad Bauer signs with CVCC

Business

Biz Roundup: City of Salisbury brings back in-person community resource fair

Nation/World

States scale back virus reporting just as cases surge

Nation/World

Wildfires blasting through West draw states to lend support

Nation/World

French protesters reject virus passes, vaccine mandate

News

State briefs roundup

Crime

Salisbury man arrested for robbery in Cleveland

Crime

Blotter: South Carolina man arrested after attempting to purchase dog with stolen credit card

Local

Carolyn Hurley remembered as giving person

News

Stay-at-home orders cut into commercial fishermen’s catch last year