OTSEGO, Mich. — As families prepare for their kids to go back to school, one West Michigan school district is keeping flexibility and COVID-19 in mind.
Otsego Public Schools said there are already around 30 students signed up to learn virtually for the upcoming school year.
School officials said this offers flexibility for families while also helping those who have COVID concerns.
"It will be a school for students who are in kindergarten through 12th grade who choose to do online schooling," said Otsego Public School's Director of Otsego Virtual Academy Tina Maxwell.
The Otsego Virtual Academy will launch for the 2021–2022 school year to ensure families can choose the best options for their students.
"It could be full time or it could be part time. Some students might just take a couple of classes, and other students could take all of their classes online," said Maxwell.
The academy focuses on flexibility more than COVID-19 worries as the district noticed some students learn better through an online platform.
"For the most part, most of the learning will be a student choosing their own schedule or creating their own schedule with their parents and working through their classes in that way," said Maxwell.
Otsego Public Schools is launching a virtual academy for families who want more flexibility and for those who are still worried about COVID-19. @FOX17— Lauren Kummer (@LaurenKummerTV) August 4, 2021
Learn more: https://t.co/dR4k2rfrNS pic.twitter.com/e03amIKrMY
Maxwell said this also helps students with time management skills.
The Michigan Merit Curriculum called "Pearson Connexus" will be similar to what students are learning in person in school but not the exact same.
"We have students who want to take AP courses or two math courses at the same time because they are in advanced math. It gives them the opportunity to do that if it doesn’t work out in their schedule," said Maxwell.
Otsego Public Schools said they value the importance of social interaction as well.
"The students can participate in sports. They can use the media centers. They are allowed to do extracurricular activities. Not all virtual academies have allowed that, but Otsego really wants all of their students to be involved and to be a part of this community," said Maxwell.
The school district hosted an introduction and family engagement information session from 6 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Wednesday through zoom.
The district will also host another learning session from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. for students and parents on Aug.12.
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