Enrollment for the first online-only school in Washington County public schools as of Thursday was 327 students.
That includes 110 elementary school students, 93 middle school students and 124 high school students, Erin Anderson, communications manager for WCPS, said in an email.
The new Academy of Blended Learning Education, or ABLE, which opens this fall, will be based in the old Funkstown Primary School and is open to all K-12 students who have thrived, enjoyed and succeeded l online education during the COVID-19 pandemic, school system officials said.
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Applications from interested families have been accepted until June 17, although it is possible that other students may join the program during the school year. However, there are provisions that could prevent this.
âEnrollment of students at ABLE during the school year will need to be reviewed on a case-by-case basis,â said Anderson. “Factors such as class capacity and an individual’s academic calendar can prevent a student from moving on to the program.”
Students will receive their education online with live teachers. It will be a mix of live and assigned work.
This is for students who are not ready to resume live learning in the classroom, or who are more independent students who are more comfortable learning at home. They may have health problems and feel more comfortable staying at home.
The academy will include a principal – Robert Stike, the former deputy principal of Smithsburg High School – 18 teachers and a counselor.
There is one teacher for every grade from kindergarten to grade five, Anderson said. There are two high school teachers in each subject, including math, social studies, English, and science.
In addition, the school employs a technology teacher, an art teacher, a world languages ââteacher, and a physical / health education teacher.
âThe school is currently equipped with cutting-edge technology to assist teachers and students in teaching and learning online,â Anderson said. “All students will receive a WCPS Chromebook to use for the year. This will be new for elementary students, who use iPads in other schools.”
The email will be sent out next week to let families know their child has been accepted, and they will receive more information on orientation, student devices, schedules and more in August, he said. she declared.
Meanwhile, the program is open not only to WCPS students, but also home-schooled students and those currently attending private schools who live in Washington County.
When it comes to sports, balls and other school activities, ABLE students can still participate in what would be their home school, as these activities will not be offered at the academy.
Anderson said there is no additional charge for students to attend the ABLE program. The cost of running the program is covered by Federal Emergency Relief Fund for Elementary and Secondary Schools (ESSER).
For more information, visit https://www.wcpsmd.com/able.
Sherry Greenfield is the education reporter, covering Washington County Public Schools and the Washington County Board of Education. Follow Sherry on Twitter at Sheina2018 or Instagram at beckmangreenfield.