Joplin Schools announces spring enrollment for virtual learning

JOPLIN, Mo. – The Joplin School District announces it’s opening spring enrollment for online and in person classes. We spoke with district officials about what you need to know and with one parent on why he’s changing direction for his kids.

Sarah Mwangi with Joplin Schools says enrollment started Monday for virtual learning and so far, 300 kids have been signed back up, out of the 1,400 currently on the virtual option. “So the numbers are very preliminary but what I’m noticing is a lot of current virtual students who are electing to stay virtual second semester, so I am seeing a lot of that.”

With recent rises in local COVID cases the district says having this enrollment window is vital to ensuring they have everyone in place in January. “So really we have to wait and see what those enrollment numbers do, if our virtual enrollment spikes, we’re going to have to make sure we support that appropriately, if we have a lot of students that want to come back, we’re going to have to make sure that we support the classroom appropriately too.”

Joshua Shackles has two high school age students at home. “My youngest child is doing fantastic with the home school portion, but really misses the interaction from other students and teachers.”

He says the virtual learning has it’s advantages and challenges. “So it’s nice that it’s self-paced, they can work at their own progress speed and that’s fantastic, but it does require a lot of extra supervision on the part of us as parents to make sure that they’re accomplishing those goals in a timely manner.”

So when the enrollment period opened up, he sat down with his boys and asked them what they wanted to do. “For each child it was their decision, they really miss that in-person aspect, the ability to walk up to the front of the room and ask the teacher ‘hey what do I do about this, how do I handle this?'”

The enrollment period is open from now until November 30th. Mwangi says if you’re enrolled in virtual learning and want to continue virtual learning, you must re-enroll online.

Mwangi says virtual learning is something the district will continue to offer even after COVID.

You can click here for the enrollment link.