Mercer County School bus

BDT file photo

PRINCETON — About 2,100 Mercer County students have been signed up for the county school system’s 100 percent Virtual Option for attending class, but some parents have decided already that they want their children to physically attend classes, a school system representative said Friday. 

Friday was the deadline in Mercer County for enrolling students in the county’s 100 percent Virtual Option, according to Amy Harrison, data and information specialist. The deadline was published on the school system’s website and Facebook page. Letters were mailed out to parents, too.

“We stuffed 9,000 envelopes,” Harrison said Friday.

A deadline was set because the school system needed a guideline for staffing the Virtual Option. About a quarter of the students in Mercer County Schools have been signed up for the program.

“At this point we have about 2,100 (students),” she stated. “That’s quite a few. We have probably 8,000 students (in the county), a little bit more than that.”

If a parent’s address has changed, they can contact the school system at mercercountyvirtualschool@groups.k12.wv.us, Harrison said. Some parents who signed up their children for Virtual Learning have changed their minds later.

“We have had a few call and unenroll,” she said. “We’re getting a lot signing up, but we’re getting a few unenroll and decide they want their children to go to their regular school.”

Students who are enrolled for the 100 percent Virtual Option can change their minds later.

“Any student that starts in Virtual and they kind of figure out it’s not for them and they would rather be in the classroom, they can come back (to school) at the end of the grading period,” Harrison stated. “They have to give us a week’s notice prior to the end of the first grading period.”

All students enrolling in virtual school must have reliable internet access at home. Mercer County Schools will provide virtual students with a device such as an iPad, tablet or laptop computer to access their assignments, according to the plans created by Mercer County Schools.

The Mercer County Schools Virtual Education Program policy (Policy I-15) may be viewed on the Mercer County School’s website.

— Contact Greg Jordan at gjordan@bdtonline.com

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