Addressing Teacher Shortages: Benefits of Virtual Schools

Jul 08, 2024
Partnering with a virtual school Edmentum article

Teachers are at the heart of the learning process. They’re the ones walking beside students for every 'aha' moment, inspiring a lifelong love of learning, and building those critical relationships that lead to student success.

But, in all too many districts, administrators are finding themselves without enough teachers to meet their students’ needs. Especially in certain high-need subjects like math, science, foreign languages, and special education, teacher shortage is a consistent concern.

When administrators consider how to address these staffing challenges, virtual school partnerships may not be the first solution that comes to mind. Perhaps there are uncertainties about implementation within their district or how it will impact the budget. However, virtual schools allow districts to achieve the following:

1. Expand Course Offerings Without Burdening Staff

Students want lots of options in the courses available to them, but when just one or two students are interested in a specific course, you may not have the staff or instructional resources to meet their request. Virtual schools can step in to cover these low-demand courses, including courses for use with Advanced Placement® exams, World Languages, and career and technical education offerings.

2. Solve Short- and Long-term Staffing Needs

Short-term staffing needs, such as covering for sick leave or unexpected teacher absences, can disrupt the learning process in traditional brick-and-mortar schools. Virtual schools, however, can swiftly mitigate these challenges by tapping into a pool of qualified educators who are readily available to step in and maintain the continuity of learning. With the power of remote connectivity, these educators can seamlessly step into virtual classrooms, ensuring that students have access to high-quality education regardless of the circumstances.

On the other hand, the long-term staffing challenges faced by traditional schools, such as a shortage of specialized teachers or difficulty in retaining qualified educators, can find a sustainable solution in virtual schools. These platforms have the capability to bring together a diverse array of educators, regardless of geographical limitations, enabling schools to offer a wider range of subjects and courses. As virtual schools attract both full-time and part-time educators, they can tap into a global talent pool, matching specialized teachers with students who seek niche subjects.

3. Offer a Cost-effective Solution for Your District

It is a fact of life for all administrators—budgets are tight. The intricate balancing act of managing resources while delivering quality education can be a formidable challenge. When confronted with the pressing issue of a teacher shortage, a pragmatic solution emerges – one that aligns with the leanest of budgets yet holds the promise of enriching student experiences.

By enrolling students in thoughtfully curated virtual courses, districts can tactfully address staffing gaps without straining their financial seams. This strategy embraces a tailored approach, directing resources toward the specific needs of students.

But this approach isn't solely about minimizing expenditures; it's a visionary shift that amplifies educational impact. Virtual education, designed to maintain the rigor of traditional classroom settings, carries the potential to propel students' learning journeys while respecting budget constraints. By allocating resources astutely, districts can achieve a dual purpose – addressing staffing shortages and enhancing the educational landscape with a sustainable financial outlook.

4. Access Certified Educators With Proven Expertise

Engaging with a virtual educational ecosystem brings forth a pool of dedicated instructors with many years of classroom experience. These educators undergo specialized training in the realm of online instruction, equipping them to seamlessly transition into the digital realm of learning. Through such a partnership, these skilled educators integrate seamlessly into your school's faculty, eliminating the need for emergency teacher certification.

5. Meet State Graduation Requirements Online

 Partnering with a virtual school can be a strategic solution to address the challenges posed by teacher shortages while ensuring students meet state graduation requirements. Virtual schools offer a versatile online curriculum that aligns with these requirements, providing students access to a wide array of courses, from core subjects to specialized electives.

This approach allows schools to offer a diverse range of subjects even when local teacher shortages might otherwise limit course offerings. Through virtual schools, students can maintain their educational progress and graduate with the necessary skills and knowledge, setting them up for success in their academic and professional futures.

6. Offer Flexible, Personalized Learning

Facilitate supervised study periods within school premises or grant students the flexibility to study from home. Irrespective of the chosen method, the utilization of online assessments and curricula allows for customization based on individual student preferences. This approach enables students to revisit challenging concepts and topics. Virtual teachers offer prompt feedback, create weekly progress summaries, and guarantee the provision of necessary assistance to students.

7. Avoid Losing Students

In today’s education landscape, students have options when it comes to their academic careers. With open enrollment, charter schools, and independent virtual academies, students will often simply leave when their current school isn’t offering the courses or rigor they want.

Collaborating with alternative educational avenues allows you to diversify the educational options for your students. This approach aids in maintaining consistent enrollment figures for your school or district, even when confronted with obstacles such as teacher shortages.

Address Teacher Shortages with Edmentum 

EdOptions Academy partners directly with districts and schools across the country to step in with state-certified, extensively trained teachers and proven digital curricula for in-demand subjects when faced with the challenge of teacher shortage. At EdOptions Academy, it’s our priority to be more than a virtual school vendor—we’re dedicated to creating a true partnership with each school and district that we work with.

Check out this on-demand webinar to learn more about how your school or district can address teacher shortage with our fully accredited virtual courses.

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