Online alternatives available for upcoming school year
IDAHO FALLS, Idaho (KIFI/KIDK) - As brick and mortar schools work to create online education options for students, pressure mounts on parents to choose the best public school option in light of COVID-19’s impact on Idaho schools.
Having educated thousands of Idaho students for over 15 years, Idaho’s Virtual Charter Schools say they are in a unique position to assist parents during the pandemic. Teachers are accredited by the state of Idaho and all of the curriculum is based on Idaho standards.
Karen McGee is a board member of the Coalition of Idaho Charter School Families and a former president of the state Board of Education. She wrote the bill to establish charter schools in Idaho.
“This is just another choice for those people who say, ‘gosh, I don’t know if I’m comfortable yet, having my children go back to school and being with other children in a classroom,’” McGee said.
The Coalition of Idaho Charter School Families (CSF) announced a new website to highlight additional tuition-free, public school options for parents-- Idaho’s Virtual Charter Schools. You can view its website HERE.
“I think this is a great opportunity for parents and online charter schools to connect because parents are going around and saying well we can do homeschooling. Should we get a group of us together? Should we try to find somebody to help coordinate it? Well, it’s already there,” McGee said.
The website is the latest rollout of the public outreach campaign hosted by CSF, and aims to be a tool for parents searching for virtual curriculum due to the impacts of COVID-19 on our public schools.
“All parents have to do is connect with one of the virtual charter schools and see their curriculum, see which ones they feel comfortable with, and they can go on and have their children learn that way,” McGee said. “They provide the textbooks, they provide the teachers, they provide the computers. And so, that’s exactly what we want. We want parents out there to know that there’s other choices.”
As we weigh the options for our kids’ education this year, virtual learning may come with many questions. One concern may be how children can gain social health without sacrificing their own safety. Idaho’s Virtual Charter Schools offer online classrooms where children can connect with one another without the in-person setting.
The Coalition of Idaho Charter School Families is offering various resources and hosting multiple events to raise awareness of existing resources to help ease the stress of returning to school this fall.
The public awareness campaign includes virtual presentations to lawmakers, members of COVID task forces, State Board of Education, State Department of Education, Idaho Digital Learning Alliance, and opinion leaders.
In addition to the presentations, a public outreach campaign is in progress to assist parents with information about public school options.
The campaign includes:
- Virtual events for the public
- Virtual meetings and presentations for COVID task force members and lawmakers
- Live radio interviews
- New informational website for parents considering online education options for the student grades K-12. (idahovirtualschools.org)
- Radio Ads