Lynchburg, VA - A Lynchburg private school joined the world of online teaching this year. They now have interactive classrooms taught in real time. The Desmond T. Doss Junior Academy is now in their second week using the program, and we got a sneak peak Wednesday.
Adding the virtual classroom is a big deal for the school. Before this program, the school only taught through 10th grade, then students had to transfer. These interactive classes now lets students actually graduate from Desmond T. Doss. Teachers and students couldn't be more excited.
Desmond T. Doss Junior Academy is a small Christian school, having four high-schoolers in total this year. That is until they connected with Richmond Academy.
"It's really exciting," said Nina McCann, a sophomore.
"I love it actually," said Chase Blanchard, freshman.
The added teachers and students are two hours away in Richmond, but McCann says they don't feel that far.
"It's just as if the teacher was right here and our classmates are right in front of us. It's really no change, except for the TV screen," she said.
A microphone picks up the voice of whoever is talking and cancels out background noise to let all of them communicate back and forth with the folks in Richmond.
Dr. Mick Hutchinson is the principal of Richmond Academy. He approached Desmond T. Doss about starting the connected school.
"Now, school is anywhere you don't need a building. It's a school without walls and a school without limits," said Hutchinson.
This is the first school virtually connected to Richmond academy, and Desmond T. Doss's principal is thrilled to get on board.
"We've had numerous families that have worked for years to get this through 12th grade, because they didn't want to go somewhere else. So now to have that ability is exciting, very exciting," said Stephen Doss.
These young adults will be the first to graduate on Doss's campus. The students say the best part is the new friends they've made.
"New friends is always fun," said McCann.
"Yeah, friendship is the best thing that you could ever have," said Blanchard.
Once a month, the students will take a field trip to Richmond and visit their fellow classmates. In the mean time, they communicate through text, phone or Facebook.