Area schools are attempting to provide more educational options and recapture some of the students - and money - they've lost to online community schools in recent years by offering their own virtual classrooms.
All six traditional public school districts in Washington County have purchased "seats" in the A+ program through the Ohio Valley Educational Service Center at a discounted rate that averages about $500 a seat, according to ESC Superintendent Chris Keylor. Students can engage in credit recovery to make up for classes they missed or didn't pass, and in some districts, attend school partially or completely online while remaining a student of the district.
That keeps the $5,745-per-pupil funding amount that follows a student who enrolls in an online school in the district coffers, but local superintendents said that isn't the only motivation for the move.
"The A+ lets us get to those kids who don't do traditional school very well, and it lets us provide them another avenue," said Tony Dunn, superintendent of Belpre City Schools. "It also lets kids participate in the other things public schools provide," like sports and various extracurricular activities.