Cumberland County Schools consider 'virtual school' for K-12 as an option for the fall

FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (WTVD) -- With so much up in the air because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cumberland County Schools is already looking to its fall semester.

During a Tuesday virtual board meeting, members approved the establishment of K-12 Virtual School that could be an option for parents and students, if approved by the N.C. Department of Public Instruction.

This option would provide private school, home-school, and charter school families an alternate learning option within the school district, especially for those wary of returning to the classroom because of the virus.

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For Dee Bowie, a Fayetteville mother of three, she knows the virtual class will benefit plenty of families.

"I know a friend of mine who didn't home-school last year, but because her son has sickle cell, she's not willing to send him to school this year," Bowie said.

However, for Dee and her husband, they're glad to hopefully be welcoming back the in-class option for their kids.

"It was very difficult. We made it, but it was very difficult," Bowie added.

The couple are essential workers and had to juggle working and making sure their kids were learning from home.

"Everybody needs the laptop, everybody needs the internet. The internet is not able to hold all the juice, so yeah, it was a little complicated," Bowie said.

In a press release, Superintendent Dr. Marvin Connelly said they plan to open the virtual school on August 17, which is also supposed to be the opening date for the physical school.

In addition, the school district has created a task force that's looking at ways to ensure the safety of students, faculty, and the community within the walls of each school.

The group will follow the guidance of the NCDPI and North Carolina Department of Health and Humans Services.

Connelly says parents and students can expect more details on the virtual school applications and timeline in the near future.
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