SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - The application process is now open for a new online learning option in Savannah.
The new Savannah-Chatham E-Learning Academy was created for the 2020-21 school year. According to the Savannah-Chatham County Public School System, the E-Learning Academy “is a tuition-free, stand-alone school that uses an online instructional model as its major approach; thereby providing families with flexibility and choice regarding their learning experiences.”
The E-Learning Academy will is expected to serve 900 students in grades 3-12 this school year. Courses will be accessible 24 hours a day, seven days a week, according to the school district.
“Everyone is making a team effort to ensure that we have a stellar program for our families. So, they will have a strong support structure as we move forward to make sure that anyone that attends SCELA has everything they need to be successful,” SCCPSS Assistant Superintendent of Secondary Schools, Bernadette Ball-Oliver said.
The application process for the Savannah-Chatham E-Learning Academy is open now and can be accessed through the school’s website. Please click here. The enrollment process will end on July 17.
In less than 24 hours, the school district received over 1,400 applications.
Those eligible to study through the SCCPSS E-Learning Academy are both current SCCPSS students and non-SCCPSS students (fees apply for non SCCPSS, out-of-county students).
James Heater is the school’s principal. He says applications are open until Mid-July and then district leaders will decide how many students can attend the new school. While they are currently working on hiring teachers, he says they will be specially trained for online learning. Students will be assigned a device for online classes, projects and more, but will also have some in-person experiences.
“We want to build those relationships with our students, that’s the important aspect of making sure that the parents, the responsible adult and that the teachers who are connecting with our children are building those relationships that’s what’s going to make the success of the e-learning academy,” Heater said.
Leaders say this option is best for students who are organized and focused. Students who enroll in the E-learning academy must have a responsible adult to assist and access to the internet. The E- Learning academy does offer specific programing with the ability to remain in extra-curriculars, but it would mean a student relinquishes their spot at the current building.
Students enrolled in the district’s E-Learning Academy will be able to participate in sports, may engage in CTAE Pathways and Lab Experiences, and will have access to school meals.
“If the student is enrolled and they realize this is not the school for me. I really need that socialization, I really want to go back and see my friends every single day, they can ask to be transferred at the end of the semester and start school the beginning of the next semester,” said Dr. Angie Lewis, senior director for the Office of College and Career Readiness.
Please click here for a Frequently Asked Questions guide provided by the school system.