KEYSER - The Mineral County Board of Education Tuesday will be holding the second reading of a new policy which will enable students to complete online coursework through the Mineral County Cyber School.

By Liz Beavers
lbeavers@newstribune.info
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - The Mineral County Board of Education Tuesday will be holding the second reading of a new policy which will enable students to complete online coursework through the Mineral County Cyber School.
Superintendent of schools Shawn Dilly introduced the policy during the board’s July 2 meeting, saying the program could be used to help serve home-school students and the county could subsequently count those students toward attendance totals which are used to determine state funding.
Currently, home-school students cannot be counted among the county’s student population.
According to the policy, students enrolled in the Mineral County Cyber School would be eligible for all things that a regular student is eligible for, including participation in sports, graduation ceremonies and extra-curricular activities.
Students enrolled in Cyber School could also take “a blended approach” to their education, and attend classes at the Mineral County Technical School along with taking the online courses, Dilly said.
“We have about 260 kids who are home-schooled. I’d love to capture at least 100 of them back,” he said.
“We’re really excited about the potential.”
Board president Lara Courrier noted that the Burlington United Methodist Family Services School, where she works, uses the virtual school concept and has been successful with it.
Board member Rob Woy asked if the online program could be used for those students who have been expelled, explaining that when a student is expelled, he or she cannot be on school property, but the Cyber School would allow them to continue their studies at home.
Dilly agreed that the program could be utilized in that manner, as well as for other students who are in need of homebound instruction.
Woy said he likes the idea, but emphasized his long-held opinion that students need to be kept in the classroom as much as possible.
“This has a lot of opportunities for kids who need it, but I still think the best place we can have students is in the class with a teacher in front of them,” he said.
Board member Mary Jane Baniak asked if the students would be submitted to the county’s random drug-testing policy - just like their counterparts in the classroom - and Dilly answered that they would.
A second reading of the policy will be held when the board meets Tuesday at 6 p.m.