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Hall County Board of Education looking into virtual classes

POSTED: November 12, 2012 11:30 p.m.

More Hall County students could take classes completely online — on their schedule and from anywhere — as early as next semester.

At the Hall County Board of Education meeting on Monday night, Superintendent Will Schofield presented the idea of providing an in-house, 100 percent virtual school option for students in grades sixth through 10th.

“Moving to this virtual choice, I think, is the next logical step,” said Schofield.

A concrete proposal likely will be presented to the board later this year.

“We can sit on the sidelines and watch it happen and whine about it, or we can get in on the front end of it and we can create something better than anybody else can do,” said Schofield.

Hall County currently offers two online classes for high school students: Spanish I and health. The system, however, would like to expand the program to where students may not even have to step foot into a classroom.

The classes, starting with the four core classes and Spanish, could eventually be opened up to out-of-county students, but would require tuition.

“I’ve always felt very strongly about Hall County taxpayers not subsidizing out-of-county students,” said Nath Morris, board chairman.

That discussion, however, would likely not coincide with launching the larger virtual programming.

In order to keep students eligible for extracurricular activities, like sports, grades would likely be housed at the school in the student’s district.

But, Schofield cautioned, the virtual programming is not to allow schools to recruit athletes. In fact, athletes who would transfer would still have to oblige by the Georgia High School Association’s rules of transferring.

Curriculum would likely be developed by Hall County.

The system already uses HALLCOnnect, an online learning database, for its online courses.

“It’s what’s coming,” said Schofield. “I think we have to pull it off.”


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