The Lawrence Virtual School extended its enrollment period to Aug. 21, and it paid off. The school will have 1,125 students, kindergarten through eighth grade, for the 2009-2010 school year.
While the numbers are still preliminary until the school goes through its yearly state audit, it’s a jump from the 800 students the school had last year. The school also had a high school program last school year, but it was discontinued for this year because not a lot of students were enrolled.
“It is an increase for us again this year. We were looking anywhere between 1,000 and 1,300 students,” said Principal Gary Lewis. “It’s right in the ballpark.”
The school enrolled 13 students on the night before registration ended. Out of the 1,125 students, more than 580 of them are new this year.
“We offer flexibility. Being able to package that into an excellent educational opportunity that’s working draws families,” Lewis said. “Word of mouth has spread throughout the state.”
Most Lawrence Virtual School students live in other parts of the state. Only 90 students live in Douglas County and only 13 of those are in the city of Lawrence. Every grade but kindergarten has more than 100 students enrolled. Lewis said the number of students in each grade is pretty consistent and there isn’t one level that’s a lot bigger than the others.
The LVS gets state aid based on its enrollment.
The school also renewed its charter with the state for another five years. Charter schools in Kansas are audited and evaluated each year.
“A lot of schools will start a charter, keep it for three years and then no longer have a charter. The districts will just drop the charter,” Lewis said. “We’re proud of what we offer, and we’re proud of the service that we provide.”