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More students enrolling in Escambia Virtual Academy

More students enrolling in Escambia Virtual Academy

This year, the Escambia County school district is expecting a 50 percent increase in students that are enrolled full time in their Virtual Academy. It's getting so popular, the school district is adding 10 new courses and hiring more instructors.

It's taught by district teachers certified in that subject. It's free for students from kindergarten to 12th grade.

The school district expects 4,500 to enroll this year.

Jeremy Lowery is the administrator of the Virtual Academy. He said there are several groups where virtual school is a better option.

He said, "We have a high number of students that were traditionally homeschooled.... We have students that can't attend regular brick and mortar schools. Maybe it's health, maybe the family has fallen on hard times. Virtual gives them the option of working at night or their own pace during the week. "

Children can still play on school sports teams and be involved in extracurricular activities. There are virtual field trips.

They still have the option of taking traditional classes in school if they want to.

Joanne Megginson has homeschooled her three children. She has been the primary educator up until high school, but at that point, the courses became more difficult.

"A lot of homeschool parents stress out over certain classes," Joanne said.

She said the Virtual Academy makes home schooling a little less intimidating for parents and it allows homeschooled children to get a high school diploma.

Lowery told Channel 3 News the Virtual Academy is great for many students, but it's not for everyone. The student has to be self-motivated.

Any student can enroll, even if you can't afford a computer. The school district will provide a computer free of charge to any student that is on free and reduced lunch.

There is also the option of reduced internet service for $9.99 a month.

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