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Topeka Public Schools sees increase enrollment for online programs

Published: Jul. 28, 2020 at 6:31 PM CDT
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TOPEKA, Kan. (WIBW) - Topeka Public Schools is seeing an increase in students enrolling for their online school programs.

They’re seeing fifteen times the number of students wanting to continue school online for the rest of the year due to COVID-19.

Topeka Public Schools Dr. Aaron Kipp says enrollment in online programs is soaring.

“I think it’s important to have options for parents,” Dr. Kipp explained.”Once we opened that up as an option, remote learning or virtual, the numbers started growing incredibly. As of today we have 1500 kids that are committed -and last year we had less than 50 kids.”

Students may choose a remote or virtual model learning.

“Remote learning occurs in the classroom at a remote site, so the students are still tied in their home school. Remote learning they are connecting with their teacher,” Dr. Kipp explained. “The virtual school is our Avondale Academy and that particular program is just from 4th grade through 12th grade -and is more of a self-pace kind of a approach.”

Dr. Kipp says more parents appear comfortable with their kids working remotely.

“The majority preferring remote, simply because they still want to be associated with their home school teacher and all their friends and things like that. Some of the survey feedback we have heard, my child has a medical condition, I’m nervous about bringing him or her back into the classroom, my student has asthma.”

He says the online programs has benefits, “kids can do credit recovery and make up some of those credits, maybe they fell behind their freshman year. Avondale Academy may offer opportunities to pick those credits up and get back on track.”

Dr. Kipp says students will still be held up to certain requirements.

“We are being very scrupulous with attendance, we are mandating a certain period of time. Kids are not going to be on the computer for a 6,7 hours a day, but there are a lot more requirements in terms of whats learning is going to look like at home.”

Dr. Kipp says the district worked with cox to help families with internet access.

Topeka Public Schools encourage students to enroll by August 18th and you can consult with Dr. Aaron Kipp for more information.

You can find more USD 501′s enrollment information here.

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