Virtual School or back on campus? Hear from two Baldwin families about their choices


DAPHNE, Ala. (WKRG) — We’ve been hearing strong opinions from both sides of this decision for months.

While it may seem cut-and-dry to many, a variety of different factors go into each individual family’s choice.

As many are scrambling to enroll in Baldwin Virtual School – which is seeing record-high numbers, and now a wait list, this year amid the pandemic, we spoke with two Daphne families: one switching to virtual school and the other staying course with traditional.

“We really decided virtual school when we heard they were gonna be requiring masks. It’s just uncomfortable for the girls even when we’re grocery shopping at Walmart so that was the major kind of deciding factor for us was that they were gonna have to wear masks,” said Emily Smith. “And of course the girls want to go back to school and see their friends, but we’re anxious to see how the schools are going to handle…when, I mean it’s bound to happen. Kids are going to catch the virus and they’re going to get sick – and how the schools are gonna handle that.”

The Ollingers made a different decision.

“This is our first big experience with school,” said Jessie Ollinger. “With everything going on it’s definitely been kind of crazy.. we’ll just see how everything goes, we’re just trying to be open-minded about it. He really needs help with the social aspect, so… homeschooling was just never an option I wanted to explore.”

Baldwin Virtual School isn’t to be confused with “at-home learning” or “distance learning,” which is language other districts use. Baldwin Virtual Schools was already established, it just hit record high enrollment this year due to the pandemic.


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