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Central Virginia regional spelling bee postponed

A spelling bee for Central Virginia students meant to take place Saturday morning has been postponed until March 23, after an outage on the Scripps National Spelling Bee testing platform.

The Region Four Regional Spelling Bee was originally set to take place at 9 a.m. Saturday via Zoom. However, the system local bee programs were using to administer competitions experienced technical problems.

“The Region 4 Bee was postponed while the Scripps National Spelling Bee created and rolled out an alternate application to help local programs administer their competitions,” Scripps National Spelling Bee spokeswoman Becca McCarter told The Daily Progress.

This is the first year the competition is to be held online, leaving it susceptible to technical issues. The bee’s transition to an online platform is due to a change in sponsorship for the region’s spelling competitions.

For the first time, Scripps National Spelling Bee has taken over as the full-time sponsor of the local school bees. Previously, The Daily Progress sponsored the event.

Twenty-one students won schoolwide bees in Albemarle County held throughout January. The next step was the Scripps online regional qualifier test that the students could take any time between Feb. 5 and Feb. 12. The “high performers” from the tests were invited to compete in the regional spelling bee.

Although so much has moved online, schools have still found ways to maintain some of the in-person traditions of the bee, including a divisionwide spelling bee for middle and elementary schools in Albemarle County, which was held on Jan. 30.

“All of our students have worked incredibly hard to prepare for the bee, so we wanted to still give them the chance to win the title of ACPS Spelling Champion,” said Monica Cabarcas, the lead coach for secondary English language arts for Albemarle County. “It’s also an opportunity for them to practice spelling in a bee for a larger audience.”


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