New York City Introduces Two New Virtual Learning Programs
New York City is introducing new virtual learning programs that will be implemented in high schools. These learning programs will either be fully virtual or hybrid, with the aim of making them permanent and fully remote schools by 2023. From this fall, the “A School Without Walls” initiative will enroll more than 200 ninth graders.
In regards to the program, Mayor Eric Adams said, “As we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic, it is abundantly clear that our education system needs to work for our young people in a way that it never has before.
“This virtual academy is about giving our students the freedom in their learning to explore their interests, learn outside of the box, lean into their talents, and use our city’s incredible resources as their classroom.”
Both the hybrid and fully virtual programs will be given a platform through existing school facilities. Lessons will be provided by educators through live and pre-recorded video, using equipment, and classrooms provided by the Department of Education.
Students will be provided with laptops and have an opportunity to physically enter schools if they are in need of tech support. Though online, students will still have the ability and access to participate in electives, counseling, sports, and clubs.
Students who enroll in the hybrid classes will attend in-person school for half a day in Downtown Brooklyn, then complete the rest of their day online.
The full-time virtual students will sit for real-time learning and advisory sessions. They will virtually participate in math, science, and humanities classes.
Still on the new virtual learning program…
The end goal of the program will be to turn the virtual classes into full-time learning facilities and allow students to graduate with diplomas. Students will be given more freedom and flexibility to earn their diplomas while pursuing other interests.
“The pandemic underscored the importance of reimagining the student experience for our children, giving them the opportunity to freely pursue their interests and passions as part of their high school journey,” said Schools Chancellor David Banks.
“It is up to us as educators to meet students where they are with opportunities that empower them in their learning,” he added.
Chancellor Banks has been an advocate for remote learning, seeing it as an innovative educational tool with great potential.
“I see it as a place of real innovation,” Banks said in an interview with News 12. “We can really test out lots of different theories around technology and education.
For example, if someone is a great physics teacher, and your school does not have a physics teacher, why couldn’t we provide access to a physics teacher who’s on the other side of town for those students virtually?”
“There are people around the world who could be teachers in our schools virtually.”
Banks indicated that the program would be expanded if more families expressed an interest in it.