Fall enrollment climbs at virtual schools

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — As schools across the state continue to grapple with what next fall will look like, one type of school says they have an advantage over traditional brick-and-mortar schools, virtual schools. 

They existed before the COVID-19 pandemic, and they say they’re able to offer your child something others can’t right now — structure. 

Virtual schools say they’ve already noticed positive signs looking ahead at the fall semester as enrollment numbers have risen significantly. 

News 8’s media partners, 9&10 News in northern Michigan, spoke to the head of Michigan Great Lakes Virtual Academy, Kendall Schroeder who says the pandemic has led to their boost as parents are now seeking schools with more online experience. 

“We are a real school and I think a lot of people didn’t realize that,” Schroeder told 9&10 News. “I think for those families that are looking for a little more structure and looking for opportunity like this, maybe they’re seeing success and enjoying having their children home and being more a part of that learning process.”

MGLVA is a full K through 12 online charter school overseen by Manistee Area Public Schools. They’ve adapted for learning at home or wherever an Internet connection can be found for nearly a decade while other schools were left to quickly scramble in recent weeks. 

Enrollment for the 2020-21 school year is still open. There are three ways to enroll: online, by phone, or through a chat room.