NewsWatauga County Schools

Watauga Virtual Academy aims to increase flexibility in coming school year

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Last Updated on July 26, 2022 2:06 pm

BOONE — Watauga County School’s online public school, the Watauga Virtual Academy, is working this summer to prepare programs aimed at increasing flexibility and options for students and families in grades Kindergarten through 8th grade across the county.

This fall, the WVA will offer K-8 homeschooled students the opportunity to attend part of their school day at the virtual academy. WCS has offered a similar program to high school students for the last several years which allows dual-enrolled students to take part in athletics, clubs and extracurricular activities at Watauga High School.

WVA Principal Kelly Walker said that opening the school to dual enrollment was part of a larger effort to ensure the virtual academy meets the needs of a wide range of parents and students.

“It’s our goal to build on our existing programs and opportunities that get students together and further the community that we’ve built over the past year in the WVA,” Walker said. “But we really want to look towards our opportunities to expand and be more flexible, too. We are so proud of the quality of our teaching staff and the things they’ve been able to offer students, and we want to make families aware of what’s available to them.”

Walker said the WVA is a structured online school that has licensed teachers at each grade level in which students attend classes every weekday. While the bulk of the work is online, she said the school had fostered a strong community of students and parents over the last school year with several in-person opportunities and gatherings.

“With in person events like our science and art nights, we’ve really grown together so much as a community.” Walker said. “I’m hopeful that offering dual enrollment this year will just further that goal.”

Watauga County Schools Superintendent Scott Elliott said that enrolling in the WVA was a great way for families whose students need additional flexibility, or who might not be able to attend in-person classes every day, to access the benefits of public school in Watauga County.

“WVA students, and homeschool students who elect to dual enroll, have the same access to the wide range of activities, athletics and other events that our families know and expect from our brick and mortar schools,” Elliott said. “In a lot of ways, it’s the best of both worlds. Families can have access to the flexibility that comes with online learning, while still being able to take advantage of some of the things that Watauga County Schools offers its students that might not be available in other settings — small class sizes, a school-provided laptop, extra-curricular activities and athletics, etc.” 

For more information about the Watauga Virtual Academy, contact Principal Kelly Walker by emailing walkerk@wataugaschools.org or calling (828) 264-7190.

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