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Digital learning program gets approval from school board

by I.C. Murrell | April 30, 2021 at 2:43 a.m.

A digital learning program received the green light from White Hall school board members during a special meeting Wednesday night.

Virtual Arkansas serves kindergarten through 12th-grade students and allows school districts to choose from a number of courses to meet students' needs, including courses with a licensed teacher in Arkansas, content-only classes in which the teacher is provided by the school district and flexible and traditional-paced learning. The White Hall School District board voted to go into a partnership with the Arkansas River Education Service Cooperative to provide the program for students starting in the 2021-22 school year.

White Hall schools Superintendent Doug Dorris said students who intend to apply for Virtual Arkansas will have to register by Monday through their respective campuses.

"We mailed a letter to all the students through their respective schools about the program," Dorris said. "We're trying to get our [enrollment] numbers nailed down because we have the school choice deadline coming up."

The deadline to apply for a transfer through the Arkansas Public School Choice Act or Opportunity School Choice Act is May 1.

In grades kindergarten through grade six, if a student elects to study virtually, he or she must stick with that format for the entire school year. Students in grades seven through 12 are asked to commit to Virtual Arkansas through a semester.

"If at any time kids' grades do drop, we do have the right to ask the student to come back to campus," Dorris said.

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