BY MELANIE WADE –
Applications for the county’s first virtual academy are now being accepting and the deadline is quickly approaching. In today’s technology filled world, the education experience is rapidly changing. Mena School District Superintendent Benny Weston explained, “In order to reach all learners, we have to do something to benefit them,” said Weston. “We are entering an ‘any time, any pace, any place’ educational experience,” which are exactly the benefits a virtual school provides and works much like a charter school.
A virtual school consists of online classes that can be completed anywhere, as long as the student has internet access and a device to log on with. Lessons can be watched through videos, homework can be completed and submitted online, and students can work at their own pace. The Mena District will bring the county’s first school of the kind, which will be called the Polk County Virtual Academy, or PCVA.
Enrollment for PCVA is open to any K-12 aged student in the Mena School area for the fall semester of the 2018-19 school year. There is an enrollment cap of 25 students for the first year. The district hopes to increase the cap to 200 students by the 2022-2023 school year.
Enrollment information is available to parents and students via the district’s social media and website. Applications are now available on the Mena School District Facebook page and school websites. Printed forms are available at any of Mena’s four school campuses or at the Mena Public Schools Central Office, 501 Hickory Street in Mena.
All completed applications must be returned to the Central Office by February 16, 2018. For additional information or questions on the Polk County Virtual Academy, call the Central Office at 479-394-1710, or e-mail Assistant Superintendent Jeanne Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.