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FPS answer parent’s questions about Virtual Academy

Published: Aug. 25, 2020 at 6:14 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) -

The first day of school is fast approaching, and some Fargo parents said the school district dropped the ball with Virtual Academy. They said school will start a week from Tuesday, and there’s no plan for teaching their kids online.

"Teachers have substitute teachers and stuff like that, but we don't have any substitutes here," said Fargo mother, Aida Gutierrez.

Gutierrez's three children will begin school behind a computer screen next week. She's one of the many parents that enrolled their kids in Fargo's Virtual Academy.

She said she feels she’s been left high and dry with no word from teachers.

"The trouble we had last year was nobody would get back with the emails and stuff, questions I had," said Gutierrez. "It really did a number on the kids. They needed a lot of help on some things and didn't know how to go about it you know to get the help."

Jodell Teiken, with Fargo Public Schools, said they have Virtual Academy plans in place, adding students can expect the same level of rigor as in-person learning.

Valley News Live asked when parents can expect an outline or plan for virtual learning.

"For sure they're going to hear from us at a district level about those expectations like this is what the academy is," Jodell Teiken, FPS Director of Standards Based Instruction. "They'll hear from their teacher by the end of the week."

We asked if teachers participating in Virtual Academy already work within the school district.

"Yeah, that's a great question," said Teiken. "The majority, I guess I would say over 90% for sure are teachers that have been teaching in the district."

Teiken said more families are signing up every day. Elementary school teachers will be meeting one on one with students, and middle school will have a virtual open house.

Fargo Public Schools said the deadline for Virtual Academy is September 2nd.

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