GCS to expand Virtual Program
Students and families in Greenville County Schools will have an additional choice option beginning this fall (2020-21) with the expansion of the GCS Virtual Program. Previously available only to secondary students, the GCS Virtual Program will now offer full-time online instruction for students in 5K through 12th grade using devices and software provided by the school district.
Teachers in the Virtual Program will provide face-to-face instruction via live-streaming and coursework through Google Classroom and other platforms. Unlike eLearning, which was implemented during the emergency shutdown last spring, students in the virtual program will follow a daily schedule just as they would in a brick and mortar school. Thanks to technology, they will be able to see and hear dedicated GCS teachers deliver standards-based content, ask questions, participate in classroom discussions and small group work, and turn in class work and tests, all from the safety and comfort of their homes. Students will be taught by local certified teachers who are focused on 100% virtual instruction throughout the day. At the secondary level, instructors will be certified subject specialists.
“GCS is committed to providing school choice options that meet the needs of our students and families,” said Superintendent Burke Royster. “A virtual program is not only a good fit for families who remain concerned about the COVID-19 pandemic, but also for those who simply enjoy the benefits of learning from home, while still having access to professional instructors and challenging curriculum.” Though the GCS Parent Survey on the Re-Opening of Schools does not close until 5 p.m. today, 12% of parents surveyed so far indicate they will not send their child back to in-person instruction this fall, and 43% responded they are unsure about their child’s return due to COVID-19.
More information on the Greenville Virtual Program, including enrollment procedures and answers to frequently asked questions, will be available July 6. Additional questions can be submitted to GCSvirtual@greenville.k12.sc.us. The deadline for fall enrollment is July 27. Families interested in participating due to concerns over COVID-19 or in response to a temporary family situation will appreciate knowing they can choose to return to traditional school at the conclusion of the fall semester. Students will remain on the roll of their regular school and are eligible to participate in extracurricular activities. High school students are eligible to earn a diploma from their home-based school.