MACON, Ga. — Bibb Schools has launched a new, free virtual school in the hopes of attracting private and home-schooled students.
Joyce Marcus doesn't want to risk exposing her son to COVID-19 by returning to in-person instruction.
"Chaz has an underlying condition, he has asthma, and probably a couple of years ago I had to get him hospitalized because he had a collapsed lung," Marcus said.
She's decided to keep him at home.
"Biggest thing was do I have to home school him myself? Or are the schools going to come up with some type of program for the kids, so when Bibb County came aboard and they had the VIP program with online schooling...perfect," Marcus said.
Bibb Schools' director of personalized learning, Julia Daniely, heads the new Virtual Instructional Program (VIP) Academy through a company called Ingenuity
"They will have certified instructors. Ingenuity, the program, is advanced ed certified," Daniely said.
The district wants to attract the county's home-schooled students and families enrolled in private school looking for free education.
"We have advanced placement courses, AP courses, a gifted child can be a part of VIP Academy. We have all the languages. A child could take German, they could take Latin, they could take all of those languages. The course offerings are astronomical," Daniely said.
They're providing technology devices, books, and an on-site tutor for students enrolled. Daniely says they have only a few spots left.
"Oh my God, you can't believe the response. We're starting with 100, but we are looking by next semester, this should be growing," Daniely said.
VIP Academy is offered for students grades 6-12.
They will be able to participate in extracurricular activities at their zoned middle or high school. They can also choose a career pathway at Hutchings College and Career Academy.
Daniely says the deadline to apply for VIP Academy is July 15. They will have an orientation and registration for parents and students to get familiar with the software before August 3.