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School choice deadline approaching

Posted at 6:54 PM, Jul 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-07-21 18:54:45-04

LEE COUNTY, Fla. — It’s getting down to the wire. Lee County parents must decide if their children will learn from home or in-person by Sunday night. If you don’t choose one of four options by then, your child will automatically be enrolled in face-to-face or brick and mortar learning for the 2020-2021 school year.

Principal Al Shilling showed Fox 4 what a typical lesson for students enrolled in virtual school looks like. There’s a virtual demonstration, practice, and then an assessment.

Parents have until August 3rd to enroll into an actual program. Lee Virtual is just one option, Shilling says best for self-motivated students.

“They require little or no remediation or special support, and they want to advance at their own rate,” he said.

The other three options are face-to-face learning, homeschool or Lee Home Connect where students will have a live teacher to guide them through every lesson. That option allows students to switch to face-to-face learning after one quarter.

Shilling says virtual enrollment skyrocketed when the Florida Department of Education announced all schools must open their doors.

“Typical school year for us, we would have anywhere of a couple hundred applicants. We are well over 8,000 applicants at this time,” said Shilling.

He added that many students will bring challenges to teachers.

“The biggest thing is being accessible to students and provide them with specific academic assistance, being able to return assignments within 48 hours or less and return all contact in 24 hours or less,” he said.

If you have an elementary student and you’re not able to walk him or her through each lesson, he says Lee Home Connect may be a better option for you.

“The younger the student, the higher degree of involvement needed by the parents,” he said.

It’s also important to keep in mind once you sign up for Lee Virtual School, your child must stay enrolled for an entire semester to earn credit.