HCPS Establishes Virtual Public School Taught by Local Teachers in District

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HENDERSONVILLE, N.C. (August 31, 2018) – New in the 2018-19 school year, Henderson County Public Schools is launching its first cohort of classes taught asynchronously by HCPS teachers to students across the district, effectively establishing the Henderson County Virtual Public School (HCVPS).

Utilizing Google Classrooms, an online educational tool already accessible to all HCPS teachers, HCVPS will provide flexibility and opportunities for students seeking to enrich or supplement their traditional educational program. And, all the courses are taught by teachers within the HCPS district.

“HCVPS utilizes local teachers to expand online learning opportunities for high school students,” said Dr. Jan King, Assistant Superintendent for Curriculum & Instruction. “Through this initiative, students at any high school can access courses such as coding, accounting, forensic science, and creative writing.”

Additional online HCVPS courses include Advanced Placement Psychology and Advanced Placement Spanish, for a total course offering of 20 sections of 16 courses.

“We use courses mapped to district, state and national standards that are developed and delivered by highly-qualified educators within Henderson County Public Schools,” said eLearning Advisor Scott Cowan. He added that HCVPS is promoting best practices for teaching and learning developed by North American Council for Online Learning (NACOL).

Cowan stressed how the online options will provide flexibility for students who want to enrich their educational program, want to take a course not offered at their high school, plan to graduate early, or have medical issues that prevent them from attending classes on high school campuses. The flexibility also allows HCPS to serve those students who have not been successful with previous interventions intended to help them be successful in face-to-face classes, as well as those behind in credits seeking to catch up.

“What is unique about this option compared to other online vendors is that the teachers are just across town – not in Wilmington or Raleigh – if students need onsite support or a parent conference is needed,” said King. “It is an asset to the program that students receive guidance, feedback, and instructional support from a local teacher,” added Cowan.

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