County News

Autauga County Board of Education to Launch K-12 Virtual School for Students in District and Across the State

Autauga County, AL- Autauga County Schoolsis expanding its virtual program to a soon-to-be K-12 virtual school for localstudents desiring an alternative educational setting. The district has offeredan online format for secondary students for several years but is now launchinga virtual public school that services all grade levels. This tuition-freeremote instruction model can enroll students from anywhere in the state. Schoolis no longer a place to be physically but a goal to achieve, whether it’s fromthe comfort of home, the dance studio, a sports field, or while travelingacross the globe due to a parent’s job. 

 “We’ve seen the interestin our virtual program growing for several years now,” said Lyman Woodfin,Superintendent of Autauga County Schools. “While we believe there is tremendousvalue in the traditional, on-campus learning model, we also recognize the onlineshift in education that seems to work better for particular studentpopulations. Families are seeking flexible and personalized educational models,and we are proud to support these families by providing innovative approachesto help students discover their passions while mastering the curriculum andskills necessary for success beyond high school.” 

The district is makingwise use of ESSR funds to open the school as the system must pay all start-upcosts, including personnel costs for the first year, as state and federaleducational funding is paid in arrears. “We’re trying to use the funds we have,that are not very plentiful, in the best possible way,” Woodfin added duringhis Superintendent’s report at the monthly board meeting.  

Autauga County Schoolsis partnering with Edgenuity, which is an online learning resource that teacheskindergarten through 12th grade in core, elective, credit recovery, technical,and career subjects. All teachers will be employed by Edgenuity initially withthe goal of hiring additional district employees in future school years. GloriaJerkins, a 20-year educational veteran of the district and the virtual school’snewly named principal, will be one of only two employees of the new schooluntil it’s fully established. The district is also hiring a Special Educationteacher to service virtual school students. Once the school reaches anenrollment of 250 students, ACS will receive state funding for all schoolpositions the following fiscal year. “I’m excited,” said Gloria Jerkins, schoolprincipal. “It’s new, but I’m excited for it. I’m a teacher at heart, so Ican’t wait to see where this takes the students of Autauga County.” 

The virtual school willmaintain the same curriculum standards outlined by the Alabama State Departmentof Education as the district’s brick-and-mortar campuses. Students will work inthe self-paced program meeting course benchmarks, only coming to campus - thecurrent Prattville Kindergarten School - for standardized testing as requiredby the Alabama State Department of Education. While virtual school processesare forthcoming, attendance will be based on platform logins. As the schoolgrows, so will extracurricular and athletic opportunities. For now, schoolathletics will follow the Tim Tebow Rule, allowing virtual school students toplay sports in the school district or zone they live in. “Academics is priorityone for us,” mentioned Woodfin. “Long term I do see it being its own school,graduating its own students, and having its own socialization andextracurricular activity opportunities.” 

Enrollment applicationsare now open for families interested in virtual schooling. Students who’vealready applied for virtual status for the 2024-2025 school year are notrequired to apply again, but the district is making it available again foranyone who may not have applied previously, especially rising students ingrades K-5.  

To learn more about orapply to attend the district’s virtual school, 

About Autauga CountySchools

Autauga County Schools(ACS) is a 15-campus public school system in Autauga County, Alabama, dedicatedto fostering the whole student in an academically rigorous environment whereeveryone is known and valued by creating pathways designed for success. Learnmore at


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