Virtual School An Excellent Initiative

A variety of types of children fall into the “at-risk students” description used by educators for youngsters who may not remain in school long enough to earn their diplomas. Students with behavior problems, those with learning disabilities and children whose home lives are not conducive to education are included.

A new tool for helping such students was developed a few years ago. It is the West Virginia Virtual School.

High school students who need a few classes to stay on track for graduation, but for one reason or another cannot obtain them in traditional classroom settings, are candidates for the Virtual School. It is just what the name implies, a way of learning that emphasizes technology to teach.

The Virtual School emphatically is not a way to gain credit for “cake” courses. Online instruction has improved by leaps and bounds during the past few years, so the program can provide quality education. In some ways, online instructors work harder than those who report to classrooms.

In 2000, when the Virtual School opened, just three students participated. Enrollment has grown to nearly 2,100.

All involved are to be commended for using technology to, in effect, rescue students who may have fallen through conventional education cracks. If anything, the Virtual School should be expanded.