Sheridan school district to explore virtual learning program

Assistant Scjhool Superintendent Mitch Craft says the Sheridan School District is considering implementing a virtual learning program. (Photo from Sheridan Media files)

Sheridan County School District 2 wants to explore the possibility of a high school virtual learning program that could potentially start next fall.

Assistant School Superintendent Mitch Craft presented the proposal to the school’s board of trustees at their meeting earlier this week.

Craft said in most virtual programs, including statewide programs in Wyoming, students are enrolled in a third-party school, with curriculum set up by companies that contract with school districts. He said the companies use their curriculums, their assessments and, often times, their teachers.

Craft said School District 2 wants to explore something fundamentally different, in which School District 2 teachers would teach School District 2’s curriculum to students online.

He said there are a lot of questions that need to be answered, and the district will have to look at Wyoming’s state rules that govern virtual learning. He said the District 2 virtual program would have to be approved by Wyoming’s Department of Education.

Also, he said, the district will look at successful virtual learning programs in other states. He said the district also wants input from students and parents who opted for virtual learning this year, as well as the level of interest from students at Sheridan High School and possibly the Schiffer school.

Craft said the virtual school topic will be presented to trustees at three consecutive board meetings – the one this week, the trustees’ March 1 meeting and their board retreat later in March. He said if the district is going to introduce the online school next fall, a decision would need to be made by the time of the trustees’ board retreat.

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