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Parents look to alternative options for pandemic schooling

With uncertainty surrounding the upcoming school year and the pandemic, some parents are looking at schooling options outside of the classroom.
Published: Jul. 22, 2020 at 5:27 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - With uncertainty surrounding the upcoming school year and the pandemic, some parents are looking at schooling options outside of the classroom.

With the 2020/2021 school year coming up fast, Technology & Innovation in Education is working with administrators and school districts across the state to provide an online option. Black Hills Online Learning has been offered there in years past.

"We simply provide a service that provides one more option for learners to do their learning online. In the past, our audience has been students who traditionally were homeschooled but are now public students and are doing their school from home," said Dr. Julie Mathiesen, Black Hills Special Services Cooperative.

The online learning keeps students enrolled in public school while offering the option to stay home.

"And students access that through their computer. Behind the content is a fully certified South Dakota teacher that helps them through that learning, grades projects," said Mathiesen. "So, it's definitely not the same experience as face to face but it's kind of the next best alternative if students for whatever reason can not be in the face to face environment."

A Black Hills homeschooling Facebook group has noticed an increase in followers as the new school year draws closer.

"In the last month, I would say our group, our local group, has grown by about four or five hundred members and most of them seem fairly set on doing school at home whether it's through the public school's virtual option most are offering or striking out on their own and picking their own curriculum," said Jennifer Beving, Black Hills Home Educators founder.

Mathiesen said schools across the state are finding ways to manage students who may be in the classroom and those who may choose to learn from home.

Copyright 2020 KEVN. All rights reserved.

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