The Virtual Community School of Ohio, an online charter school sponsored by the Reynoldsburg school district, will be on probation for a year following a unanimous vote by the Reynoldsburg Board of Education.

The Virtual Community School of Ohio, an online charter school sponsored by the Reynoldsburg school district, will be on probation for a year following a unanimous vote by the Reynoldsburg Board of Education.

Board members had discussed suspending the Virtual Community School last month and had sent a letter of intent to suspend operations to Cooke Metzger, president of the Virtual School's board of education, on June 20.

The vote for probation occurred at the Reynoldsburg board's July 17 meeting.

The Virtual School serves 1,300 students from kindergarten through 12th grade.

The letter gave specific grounds for the suspension, based on a state audit in January that revealed the school was facing an $800,000 budget deficit this year and had failed to satisfy its debts or pay bills on time.

The audit also stated the Virtual School had hired the wife, brother and son of Superintendent James McCord, a possible violation of Ohio's ethics laws.

Reynoldsburg schools Superintendent Steve Dackin said Virtual School officials responded to the June 20 letter with a proposal to remedy their financial problems and provide assurances to the Reynoldsburg school board.

"We had great concerns about the financial audit of VCS," Dackin said. "We created a list of assurances for the school to respond to and they have agreed to those assurances. I am prepared to trust, but verify, that they will follow the plan during the probation period."

Board members accepted the assurances at the July 17 meeting, but placed the Virtual School on probation for the next school year to ensure that all assurances are implemented, said Tricia Moore, the district's director of partnerships and shared services.

"If the assurances are implemented, the school could once again be in good standing," she said. "If not, the Reynoldsburg board could suspend the school."