Fulton County Schools to expand enrollment in new virtual academy

Fulton County Schools Superintendent Mike Looney announced an expansion to the district's new virtual academy.  (ALYSSA POINTER/AJC FILE PHOTO)

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Fulton County Schools Superintendent Mike Looney announced an expansion to the district's new virtual academy. (ALYSSA POINTER/AJC FILE PHOTO)

Fulton County Schools will expand its new virtual school so more students seeking an alternative from in-person learning can enroll in August.

Superintendent Mike Looney told the board last week that the district would open up enrollment at Fulton Virtual Academy of Excellence to 500 additional students. That will increase the academy’s student count up to 1,500.

“We recognize that we may need to expand the availability of seats at the virtual school,” Looney told the board.

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The announcement comes as Fulton County, the state’s fourth largest school system, prepares for school to resume Aug. 9. The district is no longer requiring students and employees to wear masks inside buildings, but face coverings are required on buses.

Looney said administrators received “a lot of feedback” from parents about the district’s safety measures for next year. In response, the district reopened the virtual school’s application window, which initially closed in February, to give more students the option to continue learning virtually.

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The district announced the creation of the full-time, online school in December in response to interest that emerged amid the coronavirus pandemic. It will enroll students in grades 3-11 during its first year.

The school system wants families who enroll children in the virtual school to make a year-long commitment to the academy.