NASHVILLE, Tenn.- More and
more students in Davidson County are getting their education without stepping
foot in the classroom. Online learning
is gaining momentum, mostly among students who want to take a class or two, but
more students are choosing to go to school virtually full time.
Robby Midgett hasn't been
in a traditional classroom since the 4th grade. Instead, he's been taking all
of his courses online. For various reasons public school just didn't work for
"I felt very bored. A lot
of the stuff they were trying to teach us, I already knew because I already studied
that for fun," said Robby Midgett, Metro Virtual School student.
Now the freshman is giving
public school another try, but this time he's enrolled in Metro's Virtual
"He was able to work more
at his own pace and actually branch out to other things that he wants to study
that have nothing to do with school," said Krys Midgett, Roby's mother.
"It's the next frontier of
education," said Executive Principal at Virtual School, James Witty.
The Metropolitan Nashville
School District is the first district in the state to provide an online
education to high school students. Last year, 40 were enrolled full time, with
about 100 enrolled part-time taking a class or two while attending a
traditional high school. This year, 91 students are full time, and 626 are
"It really benefits
students who are self-motivated who want the rigor and vigor of virtual learning and
want the flexibility," said Witty.
Students still have to
submit class work and will continue to have tests. Teachers discuss each unit
with students on the phone or via webcam to be sure they are understanding the
"He is independent;
however, I do go on daily and check and make sure he doesn't have any
questions," said Krys Midgett.
It's an option that's not
for everyone, but for Robby who's also pursuing an acting career, it's a
"I don't miss the social
events because I'm social on my own," said Virtual School student, Robby
School" is held to the same standards as traditional schools. Teachers are
certified and students have to sign an honor code that addresses cheating.
Currently, only high school classes are offered, but the goal is to expand from
kindergarten through the 12th grade.