Wake County Public School System's virtual academy registration opens

RALEIGH (WTVD) -- Registration opened Friday for the Wake County Public School System's virtual academy and goes until the 20th.

It's an online instructional program for parents with concerns about sending their children back to school during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Those who apply must commit to at least one semester with one year recommended.

"I'm not sending them back, period," said mother Kira Kroboth, who plans to enroll her two oldest boys in the virtual academy.

Kroboth and her husband have three boys with the two oldest attending Partnership Magnet Elementary School in Raleigh.

Kira Kroboth and her three sons.



"I don't feel completely comfortable with where we're at with our numbers in the state to make a decision to send them back into schools," Kroboth said. "It's a hard thing as a parent because you're thinking, 'Oh gosh, what if I send them and they get sick or they get a loved one sick? What if a teacher gets sick.'"

District officials answered questions about the virtual academy in a news conference Friday.

One important thing for all parents to know is there's no limit on how many students can sign up. However, Superintendent Cathy Moore said virtual academy isn't necessarily right for every student.

"We do have some language that we want to encourage our parents to read around the expectations, almost like a profile for a student who is successful in a virtual academy. It is not for every student. And so we want to make sure that our families are thoughtfully considering that option."

Watch the full Wake County Public School System news conference here
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Moore said recent surveys showed district leaders that about 30 percent of families were interested in an option that did not require their children to physically go to a classroom.

It's still unclear exactly what classes will look like this coming semester. Gov. Roy Cooper said he would make an announcement next week about what schools are allowed to do with classes. Individual districts will then likely be able to make some changes as necessary for their students.

While Kroboth said juggling work from home with overseeing her children's remote learning is a challenge, she says their safety is the most important thing.

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Kroboth is vice president of her school's PTA. She said parents she's talked to are teetering back and forth on whether to send their kids back to school.

"Two thirds of the time we're remote learning anyway so if I'm going to have to figure out how to be home two thirds of the time to help my kids remote learn, why don't I just do the whole thing?" Kroboth said.

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