Greenville, N.C. (WNCT) – Virtual schools are on the rise and the trend is impacting Eastern North Carolina.
The Pitt County Virtual Academy continues to see rising enrollment numbers.
In the past 2 school years, they’ve seen a 20 and 30 percent increase.
The program is unique because it can be personalized for each individual student.
Students can pick their schedule and classes in the academy which may not be offered at their school.
For example, a student at D-H Conley could take a class only taught at J-H Rose.
The goal is to prepare the students for higher education and one of the biggest benefits is the academy is locally taught, managed and funded in Pitt County.
Director of Virtual Learning, Tim DeCresie said, “2-3 hundred thousand dollars with NCPVS and the money is going outside of our community, but we are paying our own teachers within Pitt County. To offer that same online education that NCPVS was doing, is keeping the money within Pitt County”
Officials also said they have a rigorous selection process when picking the teachers in Pitt County.
Eventually, they want to expand the school and make it to where if a student can learn and pass a course in six weeks, they would have the ability to do so and even take more classes if they choose.
The school said this could be achievable, but the state still has regulations on all public institutions.
“One of the biggest hindrances to that is the state still says you have to run a semester, you still have to do end of course testing, so the kid can get it done in seven weeks but have to wait to the end of the semester to take the exam,” said DeCresie.
Next year, the school says growth will continue with the start of occupational course of study classes that are currently only provided by the state, which they say will save the county money.