Salem planning for virtual learning options in the fall

Students can also pick and choose which courses to take virtually or in person

SALEM, Va. – Another local school is planning for virtual learning options in the fall. As we’ve reported, Botetourt County has plans in the works.

Salem is working on the Spartan Online Academy. Salem High School staff has already determined what courses they can offer fully online and those will be options students can sign up for.

“This is about personalization, this is about giving students what they need and what is best for them. For some students online works for some it doesn’t. We envision the Spartan Online Academy really being an application-based process,” said Dr. Alan Seibert, Salem City Schools Superintendent who says not every student will qualify.

They’ll look at how students did this past year in the online environment.

Students can also pick and choose which courses to take virtually or in person, so if a student needed more help in something like math, they could take that in person and the rest online.

He says the structure is already there so it makes it easier. Obviously, there are a lot of other logistics to work out.

“We’ve modeled the Spartan online academy after our other academy programs. We have students who spend a half-day at Virginia Western Community College or half-day at the Governor’s School. We imagine this could be an approach where a portion of your day would be in person, a portion of your day would be online,” said Seibert.

Seibert says this would probably have to include a midday transportation shuttle run but he says it’s easier to do with high school students because they have a longer walk distance.

They’re still working out a lot of the details and say expect more info coming soon.


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