Webb City School Leaders are hoping that the number of online students is less than last year

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WEBB CITY, MO – A Southwest Missouri school district is planning ahead for the fall.

Not for classrooms and pandemic protocol, but how many students will connect with teachers online.

Webb City school leaders are hoping to zero in on enrollment for their virtual schooling.

That was something that exploded in popularity last year, and they’re hoping will shrink this year.

“Right now we think it’s going to be significantly lower. You know, obviously, we don’t know with the things that are going on in southwest Missouri right now, if that will stay or not stay.” Says Brenten Byrd, WC R-7 Asst. Supt.

As it stands, a big difference from a year ago when kindergarten through 5th grade had about 25 to 30 online students per grade level.

“Our elementary will have less than 30 kids probably at this point, who have said they’re going to go online.” Says Byrd.

High school enrollment so far is about 115, totaling overall enrollment around 150, a stark contrast from 2020.

“We got up to about 485 students, which for us is about 11% of our population. A big majority of those students were high school students obviously.” Says Byrd.

School leaders are happy to see more kids expecting to come back on campus.

“Now, that can change. We’ll see, it’s enrollment time right now. So, we try to meet with every family and make the best decision for them. because we know it’s important for kids to be in front of teachers to make that contact with their peers in the classroom.” Says Byrd.

2021 was a steep learning curve for the school district, since it was the first time they had hosted virtual classes.

Enrollment lasts until school begins, that’s on August 23rd.

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