FIVE years ago, New Hanover County Schools (NHCS) recognized
Virtual Learning on the Rise
Local students choosing in-home learning have plenty of support
BY KRISTIN REESER
a need to provide tools for students being educated at home.
The board decided that home-schoolers should have access
to the same curricula as public-school students, and NHCS
developed the e-Academy — an entirely virtual learning
program that is available to students at no cost.
The e-Academy is facilitated under the Career Readiness Academy at
Mosley, a public, alternative school in Wilmington, and is open to middle
and high school students.
The program began small with only three attendees. It has since
expanded far beyond the home-school audience. Sarah Gubitz, the
NHCS supervisor of online learning, says 70 students are currently
enrolled and applications are still coming
in this school year.
The COVID-19 pandemic certainly
increased interest in the program over the
past year and the e-Academy was ready
to offer its online solution to concerned
The Owings family says they are
incredibly thankful to have found this
virtual learning program. Their son,
Luke, has an immune deficiency and
the e-Academy has allowed the family
to focus on school instead of worrying
about getting sick.
While the pandemic may have led
a greater number of students to the
e-Academy, it’s not the only reason
why some families are choosing to
Students and parents alike enjoy
the flexibility of the schedule and the
more relaxed learning environment.
Gubitz says remote learning while
schools were closed allowed some
parents to realize their children pre-ferred
the online environment over
traditional in-person classes.
That was the case for Amie Siebold.
Amid ongoing uncertainty last year, she
enrolled her son, Joseph, in the e-Academy
for ninth grade. She says the program
provided a consistent, rigorous, and
Joseph liked the e-Academy so much
he decided to return for 10th grade.
“I like the added time in my schedule
and the ability to work at my own pace,”
says Joseph, a motivated, independent
learner who is enrolled in college-bound
courses this year.
Joseph Siebold chose New Hanover County Schools’ virtual learning program, e-Academy,
over traditional in-person classes for his freshman and sophomore years.
18 december 2021