DES MOINES — Starting Wednesday, Des Moines Public Schools will be offering virtual classes to students who need them.
Nearly 200 students will be trading in a classroom setting for virtual education. One of those students is Haylee Hoopes, a junior who was diagnosed with leukemia the summer after her freshman year.
“I was in the hospital a lot, and there’s just no way I could get caught up in school with everything I had going on,” Hoopes said. “Without [Virtual Campus], there’s no way I could have stayed caught up and finished all my classes on time. It’s the reason I’m still doing school right now.”
Damaris Nelson is another student enrolled in Virtual Campus, and she says it’s been a great way to catch up after falling behind.
“This allows you to achieve a lot, and also catch up. You can catch up and possibly even get ahead,” Nelson said. “It’s going to allow me to get the stuff I need to get, like economics and 21st century skills that I wasn’t able to get my freshman year.”
Virtual Campus makes studying easier for students by letting them log in to a dashboard with all of their courses ready to go for the year. Staff say communication between students and teachers will also become an easier process.
“We have the ability for all students and parents to chat, text, call, video call, screen share with their teachers all day, every day,” Virtual Campus director Jon Mendoza said.
Mendoza also says DMPS will provide a laptop with a charger, a bag and a WiFi device to enrolled students.
Virtual classes start Wednesday, but Des Moines Public Schools say they realize things can happen at any time, so the option of open enrollment will be available year-round.