Cobb cancels virtual school option for elementary students next year

The Cobb County School District is discontinuing its virtual school option for elementary students at the end of this academic year.

The 185 students enrolled in its Elementary Virtual Program were notified of the change on Friday.

Cobb officials launched the program during the COVID-19 pandemic to provide full-time remote options for students. Cobb, the state’s second-largest school district, reopened its schools in the 2020-21 school year.

“We are proud to have offered our elementary families an additional learning choice,” a district spokesperson said in an emailed statement in response to questions about the change for elementary school students.

The spokesperson did not provide additional details about its decision.

Cobb has offered some form of online learning for more than two decades through the Cobb Virtual Academy, which is a supplemental program rather than its own school. Students can enroll in high school courses during the fall and spring to complete as part of their regular school schedule for free. Students must pay tuition for any courses taken in addition to their regular school schedules or in the summer.

Cobb also started a full-time virtual school for middle and high schoolers during the pandemic called the Cobb Online Learning Academy. The academy for older students will continue next year, the district said.