LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Greater Clark County Schools is launching an expanded virtual academy next year that could allow K-12 students to keep learning at-home beyond the pandemic.

"We are dramatically increasing the amount of face time or interaction time that students will have with their online teachers," said Karen Wesley, the district's director of elementary education.

After more than a year of offering online classes during the pandemic, GCCS is expanding its existing virtual academy.

"For students in grades K-5, they will have two live sessions a day with their teacher: one each for language arts/reading and one for math," Wesley explained.

Elementary students will also work in small groups throughout the day, giving teachers more personal time with kids.

"For grades 6-8, they will have a live class period every day with their language arts teacher, math teacher, science teacher and social studies teacher," said Wesley. "The four core subjects will be live with their teachers every day."

High school will be more independent, fully virtual with specialized learning software, plus required office hours to check in with teachers.

"We're going to mandate those office hours, because we know that interaction with their teacher is so important," said Wesley. "They can have a tutoring session, coaching session, or receive feedback on a writing piece."

Students will be taught by a teacher within the Greater Clark County Schools district, but it may not be one from their neighborhood school.

Parkview Middle School counselor Tara Spiehs said virtual schooling will give families more flexibility if they need it, as some students excel in the online learning format.

"For the circumstances that they're in, it's important for us to provide that for those specific students that need that different type of learning environment," said Spiehs.

School registration opens on Monday, April 5. Families must choose between virtual and in-person learning by mid-June. Virtual students can switch back to in-person learning, but only at the beginning of the semester.

For more information on the GCCS virtual academy, click here.

Copyright 2021 WDRB Media. All Rights Reserved.