This evening the Board of Education approved a plan to open the WCPSS Virtual Academy to serve grades K-12 for the 2021-22 school year. There also will be a separate virtual learning option for Pre-K students. More information regarding the Virtual Academy, along with a link to the registration form and pre-K virtual option and registration information, can be found at www.wcpss.net/VirtualAcademy. The site also includes information regarding the level of commitment we seek, student and family responsibilities, course offerings and FAQs. Following are a few important facts that families should know as they consider learning options for 2021-22:
Registration Window Opens April 22 The registration window for the WCPSS Virtual Academy will open Thursday, April 22 at 12:01 a.m. and close Sunday, May 2 at 5 p.m.Anyone wishing to register outside this window will not be guaranteed a seat in the Virtual Academy, due to staffing and scheduling issues.
Course Offerings in 2021-22 The Virtual Academy will provide core curriculum classes, along with select elective courses. The focus, as with in-person learning, will be on providing students with the learning tools and attention they need to succeed. For families who were registered in Virtual Academy this year, it is important to keep in mind that next year’s Academy will be different. Namely, while the core curriculum will be in place, an anticipated lower number of registered students will most likely result in fewer elective classes being offered. Due to the uniqueness of each individual magnet program/theme, students who elect to participate in the Virtual Academy in the 2021-22 school year may not be guaranteed the full magnet program offered for the theme of their assigned magnet school.
Teacher Assignments To the degree possible, students will be assigned teachers from their assigned school. However, students may be assigned to teachers from different schools within the district in order to adequately populate classes or courses.
Co- and Extracurricular Activities Virtual Academy students will be allowed to participate in co- and extracurricular activities, such as athletics and band at their assigned schools. We will not have enough bus drivers to provide transportation for these students.
Calendar Information The WCPSS Virtual Academy calendar will align with each school’s calendar:
For traditional calendar schools, the WCPSS Virtual Academy program students will follow the traditional calendar.
For modified calendar schools, the WCPSS Virtual Academy program students will follow the modified calendar.
For single track year-round calendar schools, the WCPSS Virtual Academy program students will follow the single-track year-round calendar.
For multi-track year-round calendar schools, the WCPSS Virtual Academy program students will follow the Track 4 calendar.
Family and Student Responsibilities Families will be asked to commit to remaining in the Virtual Academy for one year unless vaccines for students become widely available. If that occurs, the commitment will be reduced to one semester, and any requested movements could occur between first and second semester. This is because even a small amount of movement within a semester could result in the reassigning of teachers, even for those students who aren’t moving. Families must also agree to a Statement of Understanding to this effect. The virtual learning environment presents unique opportunities that require the student, teacher, and family to work together to promote a positive learning experience. We have developed a list of responsibilities that students and families, along with teachers, must work together to uphold.
Early Grades and Virtual Learning Options A virtual option is not the ideal learning environment for our younger students in grades PreK-3. The development of academic, social and emotional learning skills needed for this age group is best taught in person. But we do know that some parents will desire this option depending on the evolution of the pandemic.
We encourage families to consider this information, and to thoroughly review the information covered on the Virtual Academy website, as they make decisions for the 2021-22 school year. Please reach out to your child’s school with questions.
5625 Dillard Drive
Cary, NC 27518
tel: (919) 431-7400