STREAMING NOW: Watch Now
CLOSINGS: View Closings

SJSD's Virtual Academy returns with decreased enrollment

Parents have until August 27th to enroll their students for the Virtual Academy.

Posted: Aug 18, 2021 4:10 PM
Updated: Aug 19, 2021 8:11 AM

(ST. JOSEPH, Mo.) The St. Joseph School District's Virtual Academy returns this year with decreased enrollment. 

Monday, the SJSD will welcome 700 students into the second year of its Virtual Academy. Enrollment for the 2021-22 online school year dropped about 50% from last semester which had 1,500 students. 

There was no available data for the number of returning versus first-time students to the online learning platform. 

Dr. Marlie Williams, Assistant Superintendent for Academic Services for SJSD, said they're logging into this hoping to have cracked the code and fixed the bugs from last year, the launch of the Virtual Academy.

“I do think we learned a lot which will help us as we move forward and kinda grow in those places where we did realize those gaps,” said Dr. Williams. 

One of those growing pains better understood this time around is online students need strong, stable support systems at home in order to succeed in the virtual setting. 

“Some families had already thought through the support systems that they would need to wrap around their students and what they would need to provide in terms of academics. Some families struggled with providing those supports in terms of time and monitoring and helping with technology,” said Dr. Williams.

A change to the Virtual Academy this year will be more face-to-face opportunities from enrolled students.

In-person activities were limited for online students last year due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This year, the district is looking to ramp up those face-to-face interactions and give children a chance to get to know their class while engaging in STEAM activities and interest clubs. 

“I really do think that will be the additional layer that will make learning more meaningful for kids who need more than just interaction through a computer screen,” said Dr. Williams. 

Administrators said the SJSD's Virtual Academy gained it's MoCAP certification this summer which put the program in the statewide catalog and allowed students from across the state to enroll. Dr. Williams said some students from different parts of the state have already enrolled. 

As for teachers, 40 will return to the Virtual Academy this year opposed to the 100 teachers last year. 

While teachers prep for their new students, Dr. Williams said they're excited to start the school year with lessons learned and a sense of optimism. 

“There’s been a lot of talk about how pleased everyone was to be back together just because of how much everyone learned and ready to press the restart button and apply all of that learning in a new year,” said Dr. Williams. 

Parents have until August 27th to enroll their students for the Virtual Academy. 

St. Joseph
Partly Cloudy
57° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 57°
Maryville
Clear
57° wxIcon
Hi: 58° Lo: 33°
Feels Like: 57°
Savannah
Partly Cloudy
57° wxIcon
Hi: 61° Lo: 34°
Feels Like: 57°
Cameron
Partly Cloudy
56° wxIcon
Hi: 60° Lo: 35°
Feels Like: 56°
Atchison
Partly Cloudy
60° wxIcon
Hi: 62° Lo: 32°
Feels Like: 60°
Temperatures are on the cool side this morning with lows in the 30s. A few areas of patchy frost will be possible in extreme NW Missouri this morning. Sunshine and mild temperatures will take over this afternoon with highs in the mid 60s. Saturday will start off dry and sunny with temperatures warming back into the mid 60s. Late Saturday into Sunday shower and thunderstorm chances return. A few thunderstorms could be on the strong to severe side. Several fronts will move through the area next week giving us roller coaster temperatures. Next week looks to start off dry but rain chances will return by mid week.
KQTV Radar
KQTV Temperatures
KQTV Alerts

Community Events