By Chris Simones
The Warren County Board of Education has voted to extend the application window for VIP@Home until Tuesday, Aug. 4 for the upcoming school year. VIP stands for Virtual Instruction Program and it allows students to receive online instruction instead of attending class in a physical school building.
“Anyone who is interested in learning remotely from home is eligible, provided they have internet access and a device such as a laptop computer,” said director of adult education Dr. Courtney Bennett. “It is open to any student grades K-12 who is currently registered in the Warren County School System.”
Different students have different reasons for pursuing their education through the VIP program, but applications are clearly on the rise since the pandemic.
As of Tuesday, Dr. Bennett reports 867 students have enrolled in VIP. For a school system with an estimated enrollment of around 6,500, that represents about 13% of the school population.
“Since COVID-19 is still impacting our day-to-day lives, many parents are looking for an option to allow their child to learn from home,” Dr. Bennett said.
“Prior to COVID-19, some students needed a personalized learning option which would allow them to learn from home,” said Dr. Bennett. “Some students do not excel in the traditional classroom setting so we wanted to structure a program that would be helpful for that particular set of students.”
Students who choose the VIP method are required to prove daily they’re fulfilling their requirements through artifacts of learning.
“Artifacts of learning have to do with our district Continuous Learning Plan which is required by the Tennessee Department of Education,” Dr. Bennett said. “Students who work online will be expected to make adequate daily progress in their online courses. Student progress data will be monitored, tracked, and reported at both the local and state level as artifacts of student learning.”
Registration takes place online at www.warrenschools.com. A link to the application is in the pop-up menu on the system website.
There is no cost to enroll a child in VIP@Home, but it’s worth repeating that applicants must provide their own laptop or computer and have internet access.
The VIP@Home program became a reality in Warren County in December 2019 when it was approved by the Warren County Board of Education to begin a pilot phase in January 2020.
“We had been progressively planning for a homeschool/ remote learning option for our students since March of 2019,” said Bennett.