Virtual Learning Benefited Some Students

Virtual Learning was a good fit for some students and some counties are considering offering it as a full time option.

Video Transcript

- If you were among the several parents in Baltimore County struggling to register your child for virtual learning this fall, do not worry, you do have more time. Baltimore County Schools says they are extending the enrollment window for the 2021-2022 school year. The official deadline was Monday. It is not clear how long this extension will last.

The county school is now asking parents to complete that enrollment as soon as possible to support planning and scheduling. Also offering virtual learning this fall, Harford County Public schools. And WJZ is live in Aberdeen tonight, Stetson Miller tells us more about why the program is so beneficial for some, Stetson.

STETSON MILLER: Hey [INAUDIBLE]. We know that so many struggled with virtual learning over the last year, but some actually did really well with it. And that's why Harford County will now be offering it in the future.

An unexpected benefit of the coronavirus pandemic for eighth grader Tristan Baughn. He started to thrive in school, and in fact, now enjoys it.

TRISTAN BAUGHN: Before like, COVID and all that, I didn't really like school, and now like, I'm beginning to like school more and more.

STETSON MILLER: It turns out virtual learning was a good fit for Tristan. His grades improved while learning from home, and he was able to focus more on his classwork.

TRISTAN BAUGHN: When I was in the classroom I had like, a lot of stress-- like answering the wrong question in front of people. And over virtual it's like, I don't have that amount of pressure on me and I can just go--

STETSON MILLER: And he's not alone. Tristan is one of about 750 K through 12 students in Harford County Public schools that are enrolled in the district's new e-learning virtual program.

REBECCA PENSERO: We were exploring different ways to meet the needs of students around the County, those who may have suffered from school anxiety, students that needed a more flexible schedule, so-- and then the pandemic hit and we learned so much more about what our students really needed.

STETSON MILLER: In the fall the program will begin, and is based out of the new Swan Creek School located at the former Center For Educational Opportunity. Any student in the County is eligible for the program, and can choose to take classes virtually either full time or part time. The county had already been planning to offer this program, but it got a lot more popular over the last year.

ROB DELEVA: Everybody had to do virtual learning at some point this year, and I think, you know, more and more people realized it was something that-- it-- it could work for them.

STETSON MILLER: And as-- as we mentioned a moment ago, other school districts in the area are doing virtual programs. In fact, Anne Arundel County Schools just approved one earlier this week. Now, registration for this program here in Harford County is closed for the upcoming year, but they are still planning to offer it in the future. We're live in Aberdeen, Stetson Miller for WJZ.