KEYSER - Mineral County will initially be targeting approximately 25 students as the county launches its first Cyber School in the coming year.

By Liz Beavers
lbeavers@newstribune.info
Tribune Managing Editor
KEYSER - Mineral County will initially be targeting approximately 25 students as the county launches its first Cyber School in the coming year.
The  Board of Education Tuesday held the second reading of the 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’re really excited about the potential,” he said.
During the board meeting this week, Dilly also noted that the cyber students would be required to take all the state-mandated benchmark tests just like the regular students.
Board president Lara Courrier had previously noted that the Burlington United Methodist Family Services School, where she works, uses the virtual school concept and has been successful with it.
Dilly admitted that the idea is new, and “there hasn’t been a whole lot of guidance out there” in regard to setting up a cyber school program.
Board member Rob 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.