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Lexington Two announced virtual academy for upcoming school year

Students will have the option to choose either in-person or online classes for the 2020-2021 school year.

WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. — Lexington School District Two has announced plans for a virtual academy as an option for this upcoming school year due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Due to the pandemic, the district wanted to have options available for each family. Students will have the choice to either do in-person learning or do online.

Dr. Dixon Brooks, the Chief Instructional Officer for Lexington School District Two, says they wanted to get the communities feedback when they were making plans for the 2020-2021 school year.

"Through surveying our families and community, we realized that a lot of people weren't going to be comfortable going back to school and so we wanted to provide an option for our families for us to work virtually," said Dr. Brooks.

Officials say all teachers are doing 21 hours of virtual instructional professional development.

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The district already know what it's like to have students learn from home. When the coronavirus pandemic started back in March, students were already participating in E-Learning. Lexington School District Two was one of only 15 districts in the state chosen for the program. It was originally only intended for severe weather events.

"We want to make sure our families and community realize that E-Learning is different from our virtual learning experiences," explained Dr. Brooks. "We know that it's got to be more interactive, more engaging for our kids. That's what we're working on currently."

Teachers who are a part of the virtual academy will only have to focus on online instruction instead of both online and in-person at the same time. The virtual academy will basically be a school on its own within the district.

Officials say virtual classes will work at the same pace as in-person classes.

The district is working to provide hotspots for students who may have difficulty having internet.

Dr. Brooks say they want parents to know they're serious about their child's learning.

"Regardless if we're in the classroom or they're teaching virtually, our teachers are going to be better prepared than they were when we went out in March," said Dr. Brooks. "We're really serious about that and trying to make sure that our teachers are prepared to offer our kids the best instruction that we possibly can when school starts."

The district says more than 800 students have already applied online to be a part of the virtual academy. To apply for the virtual academy, click here. The deadline will be July 23rd.

Lexington School District Two plans on releasing plans for in-person learning later on this week.

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