TULSA, Okla. — A tough decision for Tulsa Public Schools parents. Distance learning or the Tulsa Virtual Academy?
Carla and Phil Poitras chose to go with the Tulsa Virtual Academy for their children in pre-K and third grade.
"It’s not so much that we don’t want to go hybrid or we don’t want her to go to school," Carla said. "It’s so much like, how many more cases are we going to get in a day or a week?"
Both options are online and will use district and state curriculum; however, virtual academy students won’t be able to participate in OSSAA sports or activities.
The students most likely won’t be paired with teachers or classmates from their normal school.
Once a student starts the semester in the virtual academy, they can’t switch out until the end of the semester.
A possible deciding factor for parents on the fence like Emily Wade.
“I almost feel like a week-long commitment is too long of a commitment during this pandemic," Wade said. "And you have to commit until January.”
With the Tulsa Virtual Academy, students have flexibility with when work is done and assignments are due.
When it comes to distance learning, students have some flexibility with their work during the day; however, the overall schedule is more structured.
“Students do need to stay sort of on their daily schedules so that tomorrow when it’s time for the next assignment when it’s time for the next lesson, they’re on pace with their class and their teacher," said Danielle Neves, deputy chief of academics for TPS.
Wade said, no matter their choice, they’re going to form a school pod with friends and plan to hire a tutor to help out. But, since all of the parents will be working, the flexibility of the virtual academy could be better.
“I just hope that there’s a way to make it more flexible for families that are working from home and that are working outside of the home," Wade said.
Carla and Phil said they’re both fortunate to be able to stay home during the day. And they, along with Wade, just want the safest option for them and their children.
“We’re trying to stay positive and we’re trying to do, look on the bright side of this situation," Carla said. "If we have to do online for our safety we’re going to do online because that’s the best option for us.”
The deadline to sign up for the virtual academy is Monday at 5 p.m. However, if you do sign up for it then change your mind, you can switch out until the first day of school. After that, your child must stay in the Virtual Academy for the entire semester.
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