Springfield Public Schools sees new trend; decreased interest in homeschooling and increased interest in virtual learning

Published: Aug. 7, 2020 at 5:55 PM CDT
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The upcoming school year is looking different for everyone, whether parents choose homeschooling, virtual learning or seated classes. Springfield Public Schools is seeing a surprising trend this year as more families who would have done homeschooling, choose virtual learning instead.

“Parents who are inquiring about whether or not, you know, they can still educate their child at home but use our curriculum,” SPS’s Director of Counseling Services, Rhonda Mammen, says.

Springfield Public Schools is seeing less parents choose to home school their kids this year because they can educate at home but with the district’s virtual lesson plans.

“They’re not officially homeschooling,” Mammen says. “They’re still enrolled with our district.”

The Launch program was initially designed for high school students to learn virtually. This semester’s program is now being offered for grades K-12 for the first time.

“Because of the offering of elementary courses, some of our families who had been homeschooling may have chosen to go with the full virtual curriculum because we’re able to offer that now,” Mammen says.

The Launch program is being offered throughout dozens of districts across the state. Students can enroll for that virtual learning program through their own school district.

Families may still be deciding what they want to do for the upcoming school year but the district says there has been more interest in SPS’s online learning now, compared to years past.

“For parents who really would like to have more hands on experience with their child’s education, they can still be heavily involved in it that way,” she says.

The district will have a better sense of just how many families made that change when the school year officially starts.

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