After a regular school morning at Middle Creek High School in Cary, senior Connor Yungbluth, 16, takes his online Mandarin Chinese course at home through the North Carolina Virtual Public School (NCVPS).
When Yungbluth moved from New York, he wanted to continue the language studies he had begun there, but the local school in Wake County didn’t have a Chinese teacher. His curriculum is part of the blended, individualized instruction that virtual school in North Carolina can provide.
In the afternoon, Connor takes two online courses through Wake Technical College to prepare for his future in engineering or medicine.
Other students who have benefited from NCVPS include special needs populations, students who would like to attend the N.C. School of Math and Science but are not offered advanced courses at their school, students in rural areas, and a gymnast.
While the NCVPS may be unfamiliar to many North Carolina residents and not every school system cooperates with its program, the state has the second-largest virtual public school system in the country, with enrollment climbing from 17,000 at inception in 2007 to 58,000 students across the state today. Only Florida has higher enrollment in its comparable program.
North Carolina teachers developed the 150-course curriculum, which is aligned to state high school graduation requirements.