BLOUNT COUNTY — Starting this fall, 30 K-5th grade students will have the chance to try a new type of schooling.
Preferred Flex Academy offers a homeschool structure with a public school curriculum.
“We felt there was a need for it because so many families are coming to the district looking for support resources and ideas on how to teach their children from home," said Tom Loud, program designer and lead teacher for the experimental program.
Loud says the program is not targeted towards any particular type of student or learning level, just families seeking more flexibility.
The program involves four days of home schooling through a virtual campus and one day in the classroom at Everett Alternative School.
The course will offer the same curriculum as in-class schools.
“The reason it’s a public school is because it is free, there is no tuition cost. Also, all the curriculum materials and resources families need are provided," said Loud.
Mike Crabtree, assistant director of curriculum and instruction for Blount County Schools says a similar program will be offered to high school students.
Both programs will accept 30 applicants. So far, the K-5th grade program has received nearly 15.
"We want people to apply," said Loud. “I hope our families would get an individualized education that they are deserving of.”