Come fall, learning could look a little different for some kids. It could happen with a tablet or computer. And parents and students in Lee County are looking for those options.
Principal Al Shilling told us Lee Virtual School ended last school year with about 360 kids. As of Thursday morning, LVS has nearly 400 new applications.
“If we were to open school tomorrow for full-time virtual students in Lee County K-12, we would more than double our enrollment,” Shilling said.
We spoke to a parent whose daughter has health issues, and she says virtual learning will help them tremendously.
“So much better and so much safer,” Carmen Leon-Rivera said.
Leon-Rivera is praying her daughter, Desiree, lands a spot in Lee Virtual School.
“I think virtual learning will be good for her,” Leon-Rivera said.
Desiree lives with both asthma and ADHD. Leon-Rivera said she also lives with these health conditions.
Previously enrolled in South Fort Myers School, Desiree suggested she make a change for the safety of the entire family.
“She’s seen everything that I’ve gone through, everything,” Leon-Rivera said. “And she’s afraid to hurt me in the process of it.”
Leon-Rivera says, while she worries her daughter will miss the social interaction, it’s still the right move.
“I want her to have that, but I have to look out for the safety of my daughter and me and my son for the situation,” Leon-Rivera said.
But Leon-River is not the only parent hoping to get her daughter in to LVS.
Principal Shilling says interest is higher than he’s ever seen in 10 years.
“We’re going to need a bigger boat,” Shilling said.
While Shilling is excited about all the interest, he wants to make one thing very clear: Just because it’s online, virtual learning is not the easy way out.
“Our type of online teaching and learning is a lot more rigorous than that,” Shilling said. “It is definitely not the same.”
Click here to go straight to the LVS online enrollment application. If you’d like to learn more about virtual learning, the school is holding a Zoom meeting 6 p.m. tonight.
As far as how big these classes are, Shilling says it’s about 28 to 30 kids per teacher.
“Online interactive workbook with a very high degree of teacher involvement that’s augmented with synchronous live lessons.