Virtual charter schools are another option for Idaho families

Posted at 4:05 PM, Aug 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-07 18:09:26-04

BOISE — Parents weigh their choices on where to enroll their kids for school, and they have another option to add to the list. The Coalition of Idaho Charter School Families says they see growth and interest in their virtual charter schools.

"People are so concerned, do I home-school, do I send them back," said former president of Idaho State Board of Education Karen McGee.

Virtual charter schools offer an additional solution for parents who are unsure how they want to participate in the upcoming school year.

"I think it's great especially during a pandemic parents can say I might not want a virtual charter school forever, but at least for a year so I can have teachers online teaching my child, so I don't have that pressure, and they're following Idaho [education] standards," said McGee.

Virtual charter schools in Idaho were up and running without having to make serious adjustments last spring during the lockdown.
Mcgee says their history in teaching virtually can offer peace of mind to parents stressed about the quality of virtual education.

"All these charter schools are based on Idaho standards. They don't base it on any other state's standard or anybody else's standards, they're all based on Idaho standards," said McGee.

McGee is a former member of the Idaho State Board of Education. She helped write the charter school legislation that allowed for the virtual schools to start up.

"I think what this has done is given parents options students options to see what's out there before they make a decision," said McGee,

"Are they going to go back to brick and mortar, is their brick and mortar even going to be open five days a week; they can look at the curriculum they can talk to the teacher and the admin at the virtual charter schools, so I think it's a great option for parents."

The coalition offers multiple Q&A events and has resources on its website to help parents transition to virtual education. You can find their website here.