PULASKI COUNTY, Ark. — Pulaski County Special School District announces an all-new school opening in 2021.

It's an all virtual district conversion charter school is coming at a convenient time, but this school has been in the works for 5 years.

It will work much differently than virtual learning happening now.

"We are so excited to open Driven Virtual Academy next school year,” said Rachel Blackwell, PCSSD’s digital learning facilitator.

Though Driven Virtual Academy is a designed stand alone virtual school, it will be a part of PCSSD. The virtual school within an existing school district is one of very few in Arkansas.  Students K-12 will work remotely on a daily basis, not reporting to an existing school within the district. They'll have their own dedicated teachers, counselors, principal and staff.

"The district really wanted an opportunity to serve our students who are thinking of the homeschool option, or need it for social/emotional reasons, health reasons, or for parents who travel,” said Blackwell.

Driven Virtual Academy students can choose their educational schedule. PCSSD suggests three options, which are block scheduling, a two course day, or a multi-course day. However, students will be able to adjust to a schedule that works best for their learning style.

"Also, we will have school choice open so anyone around in our area who would like to use school choice to come to the virtual academy, they'll have that option as well,” said Blackwell.

The application process is simple and will open during the district's registration beginning in January.

As of now there's room for 500 students, but that could change considering more parents who may choose virtual learning for their children if the COVID-19 pandemic continues to impact learning.

"This is just another piece on our pathway to making sure we have every opportunity for our students in our district,” said Blackwell.

Students who choose to attend the virtual academy will still have the opportunity to participate in school activities and sports.