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GUILFORD COUNTY, N.C. — Guilford County Schools is moving forward with plans for two new virtual schools, according to the school district’s spokesperson.

GCS sent in an application to the state, looking for permission to take the innovative step.

North Carolina approved the school district’s application, paving the way for two online alternatives for learning while the state and nation continues to grapple with the coronavirus pandemic.

These online schools could remain as options even if schools are open in the fall. The state is still working towards the goal of having schools open.

Some Guilford County parents tell FOX8 they’re relieved.

Governor Roy Cooper has yet to make a decision on whether schools will reopen and in what capacity in August, so this gives them a little piece of mind for the safety and health of their children.

“I’ve lost two family members to it. I’ve had three recover from it, and now they’re at high risk. But I think about all of the other people and their safety,” Shandalyn Elian said.

Elian has three children in Guilford County Schools, including her 12-year-old twins who have health problems.

She’s been worried about keeping them healthy during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Elian goes to GTCC. She’s had a hard time balancing being a student, while managing her children’s’ education. 

She said it’s difficult but completely worth it.

“They were safe. That was the main concern,” Elian said. “I feel like we need to do all of this online until we get the curve down. Not only are we thinking about the kids, but also the teachers. 

There’s a lot of unanswered questions on what the academies will look like.

FOX8 reached out to representatives with GCS to learn more on where parents can sign up, what enrollment will look like and who is an ideal student for the program.

FOX8 has not gotten a response yet.

There will be a work session Thursday, July 9 with GCS Board Members.

More is expected to be revealed at that meeting.