WEBB CITY, Mo. – An online learning option fueled by the pandemic is now evolving for the future. The program predates the COVID-19 pandemic, but is significantly different from early 2020.
“We’re looking at opportunities that we haven’t really thought about before,” said Tony Rossetti, WC R-7 Superintendent.
New options for Webb City students taking online courses.
“We are building this robust Cardinal Academy – this virtual Cardinal Academy for the future. We want to provide a series of opportunities for children to get not only credit. They can also earn badges, they can also earn certifications, ”Rossetti said.
The virtual school is radically different from what it was just a few years ago. It had just taken off when the pandemic hit, multiplying enrollments to 600 students in the fall of 2020.
Now that number is closer to 200, and only 80 of them are full-time. The rest mix virtual lessons with on-campus instruction, which school leaders say could benefit all students.
“When they leave here, they’ll need to have some sort of experience when they go to college. If they sign up for 15 credits online and full-time students and find that’s not the best way to learn. Well, why not do it first in high school and get a better idea? Rossetti said.
And the growing attention online is also helping students taking classes on campus. On-campus education is added to the online options, which helps when a student misses a day of school.
“They can actually go online and see what lesson they missed, and really not fall behind if they are able to do it,” Rossetti said.
The current system requires students to register for one semester at a time – and registration is underway for the spring. It is for any child from Kindergarten to Grade 12. Parents can register their children until December 8.