Virtual Academy takes trip to Emerald Village

Buncombe County Virtual Academy (BCSVA) enjoyed an in-person field trip to Emerald Village, a gem-mining site and mining museum located in Little Switzerland, NC. The students had a fun-filled day despite the rain, panning for gemstones, learning about local history, and even visiting an old mine!

Students were joined by their parents and BCSVA second and third grade teacher Kim Ransom. Grades K-5 were even joined by some older siblings for the fun as they uncovered shiny stones, saw rocks in the mines glow under blacklight, played some vintage instruments, and enjoyed the natural beauty of the area.

“It fits in with what we teach in each grade well,” said Ms. Ransom. “The younger grades learn about the physical properties of rocks and minerals, while older grades are learning about the history of industry in our local areas and how it impacted people.”

Virtual Academy takes field trips monthly, which Ms. Ransom says is important for their growth.

“The social emotional learning piece is vital,” she said. “Through these trips, we offer experiences to guide the students in self awareness, self management, social awareness, relationship skills, and responsible decision making. Also we want the kids to have fun and enjoy their learning. I think we are making great memories.”

BCSVA is a versatile, online educational program designed to respond to the needs of students and families who are looking for opportunities beyond traditional school schedules. Learn more at: