Right now, the Alabama State School Board is taking bids for an at-home virtual learning option. It would be for parents who may not want their kids to return to a traditional classroom this fall.
DeKalb County Schools Superintendent Jason Barnett said his district has had a virtual learning academy in place for four years.
However, he is strongly considering taking part in the state-wide program to save money.
"By the state providing that, that's one less local expenditure that we can have that we can pour into our students and support them in different ways," Barnett said.
DeKalb County Schools currently funds its own virtual program. It cost around $30,000 for 100 to 120 students.
Due to the coronavirus, the district is expecting more applicants this upcoming school year.
"We want to put that application out there early and we're going to see what interest is there," Barnett said. "We're going to see how many students enroll, and from there once we get that application then we'll start making decisions on staffing and how we need to support it."
Barnett said the district would use the money saved to invest in staffing and resources for students who choose to learn virtually.
Barnett adds there will be a period where if a student finds the program is not working for them, they can return to a classroom setting.
The most important difference in a child's education is the teacher in that classroom," Barnett said. "When you do it virtual, we have teachers that support you, you're still having to a teacher and you're still working, but its not that one to one interaction."
Barnett thinks it is good for the entire state to be on one program. As for the changes expected to classroom instruction, he said the district is still working out those details.
"There are going to be some changes, but we still want to keep the core tenets of schooling because that is important to our students," Barnett siad.
He said the state board will begin reviewing bids next week and should have a decision within the next few weeks.
The application for DeKalb County Schools virtual academy will be available online within the next few days.