The Greenville County Schools system will be continuing their Virtual Program into next year and registration is open.
During the 2021-21 school year, Greenville County Schools had about one-third of their students, more than 23,000, in the Virtual Program, where all instruction and schoolwork is done online. GCS will continue to offer this option for next year, the 2021-22 school year.
Registration closes April 23, 2021
Registration is now open to enroll full-time in the GCS Virtual Program and will continue through Friday, April 23, 2021.
The Virtual Program is staffed based upon early signup so if you want your child(ren) to do this program next year, be sure to register. There will be a waitlist if need be.
In an email to media, the GCS press office said that the current registration schedule is “based on an assumption the pandemic will no longer be a serious concern. If during the summer it is apparent school will open in the fall on an altered schedule or with pandemic protocols in place, and/or if vaccines are not widely available for all age groups, additional windows will be made available for parents to select the Virtual Program.”
To register for the Virtual Program, parents must have a BackPack account, which is where parents must fill out the registration information.
Changes to the 2021-22 Virtual Program
Greenville County Schools has instituted the following changes in the Virtual Program for the new school year:
- An increased emphasis on attendance in live sessions. Students will be expected to participate in live sessions at scheduled times. Exceptions based on extenuating circumstances must be approved, in advance, by the virtual administrator.
- Parents who wish for students to return to brick and mortar instruction will be allowed to make requests. They are encouraged to make an approved transition at the end of a nine-week grading period.
- Students in the Virtual Program will be scheduled based on grade level and academic record, not by school. This is a significant change for high school students, who will not be scheduled with teachers from their high schools next year.
The Virtual Program will not be offered at Specialized/Magnet programs such as Charles Townes Center, Language Immersion and preschool/self-contained disabilities.
Virtual Program Challenges
In the first quarter of the 2021 school year, GCS announced that grades were seriously slipping, especially among the students in the virtual program.
Out of the 72,832 students enrolled in Greenville County Schools, 16,047 have one or more F’s, which is equal to about 22% of all students enrolled in the county.
Double the number of virtual program students have more F’s than in-person students. But even comparing numbers from last year between in-person students, this year’s hybrid eLearning and in-person students are having a lot harder time with their studies. Last school year, 5,327 students in in-person learning had one or more F’s and this year, that number is 8,566, a 10% increase.
GCS announced several measures to try to remedy the causes. Progress reports have not been publicly issued yet.
GCS has answered several questions about the Virtual Program in this document. And we interviewed Jeff McCoy of Greenville County Schools last summer specifically about the Virtual Program: