AUSTIN, Texas - As preparations for the new school year continue, local private and charter schools say they're seeing an increase in applications.
“We’ve had an influx of students from public schools and other schools in our area interested in our school because they feel like we can provide them with a richer education than they could get at another school,” said John Brinson, Head of School for the Odyssey School.
Brinson says Odyssey will start classes remotely and not all at once. They’ll begin with the students simply getting used to using the technology again and submitting assignments online. Then, they’ll start classwork and teaching.
He added that it could be September or October until students may be in the classroom. Brinson said their typical class size is 8 or so students, so size isn’t the problem. He says now it’s going to be about making students feel comfortable with these new learning changes.
“They are really ready for it,” Brinson said. “The students are working for it because they want to be in school.”
The same goes for Brentwood Christian School. President Jay Burcham said he’s seen an increase in applications even in just the last few weeks - but said he and his staff have been working since May on how to plan for the upcoming school year.
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“We’re actually starting this next year bringing our kids in and doing and end of school for last year so they can have closure with their teachers,” Burcham said.
School at Brentwood Christian will start on September 8th and resume not just remotely, but in-person as well. Students on campus will be in cohorts, groups of no more than 20 students.
Burcham says this gives students back the social part of learning they were missing in the spring, but also allows there to be minimal contact. “They will still have their computer labs, they will have their choir and band, but within the integrity of that cohort,” he said.
Burcham also said it gives peace of mind to parents, especially those who may not have the option to stay home during this time.
“We are actually giving our parents the freedom to at any point if there is a spike in the community, they can pull their kid out and put them into home-based online learning,” he said.
Having the dual-option system gives students the option to switch back and forth from at-home and on-campus, depending on their comfort level.
Brinson and Burcham both say while they have seen applicants from public schools increase, they have also seen students pull out due to COVID-19 reasons.
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