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TPS Virtual Academy enrollment numbers increase for second semester

Leaders at TPS say they have seen an increase in enrollment for the Virtual Academy this semester compared to last. This as COVID-19 cases rise in Lucas County.

TOLEDO, Ohio — The TPS Virtual Academy is a way for parents to ensure their kids remain learning from home if the district were to return to some form of in-person learning.

Toledo Public Schools leaders said they've seen a significant increase in the number of people enrolled in this semester of Virtual Academy

"We are servicing around 4 thousand students in the district in that virtual academy," TPS Executive Transformational Leader of Curriculum Jim Gault said.

In late July, TPS leaders said they had nearly 3,000 students enrolled in the virtual academy.  This January, enrollment numbers are 1,000 more than the previous semester.

Gault said the surge in enrollment was quite an adjustment for the district.

"You have to reposition staff, train new staff, and in this latest case bring in 20 new teachers to service the extra thousand kids," he said.

As COVID-19 cases continue to increase in Lucas County, Gault said the district is operating a school, completely online with the largest student population.

"Which, to put it into perspective, four thousand students is double the size, over double the size of our largest school which is Start High School," Gault said.

He says this increase tells leaders that more people wanted to keep their kids at home to ensure their safety for the rest of the school year.

For families not in Virtual Academy, the district will be announced in mid-January on the possibility of returning to in-person learning.

RELATED: Toledo Public Schools to stick with 100% remote instruction through at least the end of January

RELATED: TPS Virtual Academy enrolling now through Dec. 4 for second semester