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Over 1,050 now registered for virtual learning
Courtney Bennett with laptop.jpg
Dr. Courtney Bennett reports enrollment in Warren County’s Virtual Instruction Program has soared to more than 1,050 applicants. The program is open to all students in grades K-12 who want to learn at home, provided they have a computer and internet access.

The rising number of COVID-19 cases in Warren County is making a new method of school attendance a popular choice for parents and students.

As of Friday morning, 1,051 students had applied to attend school via Warren County VIP@Home, a method of virtual learning which allows students to pursue their education without physically entering a classroom.

“Each student who is enrolled in VIP@Home must log in daily in order to stay on pace and be counted present,” said Dr. Courtney Bennett, who heads up the Virtual Instruction Program. “We have developed a schedule for students based on each students’ grade level which indicates how much time each student must work each day. This schedule is a part of our Continuous Learning Plan for our district.”

The curriculum for VIP@Home students is aligned with state curriculum content. “VIP students work on the same content standards as students in the regular classroom,” said Dr. Bennett.

Although students enrolled in the VIP@Home program will learn from a remote location, they will have weekly contact with a teacher to ensure their progress. The teacher will answer any questions they have. 

“Contact will be made through email, ReMind messaging App, phone calls, and video conferencing,” Dr. Bennett said.

“VIP@Home teachers will be able to progress monitor through our Learning Management System,” Dr. Bennett explained. “Currently, the VIP uses Google Classroom to house our curriculum content and to communicate with parents and students. The district team has opted to use iReady, Benchmark Advance, and EdGenuity.”

“Teachers will be able to see when a student logs into the program and how much time the student spends working on an assignment,” said Dr. Bennett. “We are also able to see how much idle time a student has. For instance, if a student logs in, but does not interact with the content, we are able to track that and know when a student needs intervention.”

All returning Warren County students are eligible to apply, provided they have internet access and a laptop or a computer.

“We suggest students use a laptop or a computer,” Dr. Bennett added. “Our curriculum runs on a web-based platform as opposed to stand-alone apps that are typically utilized on tablets.”

The minimum commitment to the VIP@Home program is nine weeks. 

“This serves to help students mitigate learning loss, assess where students are academically, and provide them with the curriculum they need to remediate and make academic progress,” Dr. Bennett said. “If parents so desire, they may enroll their child back into their remanded school after the nine-week period ends, or they may opt to remain with VIP@Home.”

“It’s all about working with parents and providing a workable solution for families,” Dr. Bennett said.

There is no charge for parents to enroll their child in VIP@Home, but applicants must provide their own laptop or computer and have internet access.

The application deadline for VIP@Home has been extended until Tuesday, Aug. 4.