Dear VLP Families,
I am writing to share an update on proposed changes to the Virtual Learning Program (VLP) and steps to foster the continued success and well-being of all students.
At tomorrow’s School Board meeting, the Board will receive the Superintendent’s recommendations for proposed changes to the VLP for SY 2022-23. The recommendation is to pause the program for next school year, as we take the time necessary to build a comprehensive virtual option program that will be sustainable and serve the needs of students who thrive in the virtual setting, for the long term.
The current VLP was developed with pandemic relief funds to provide students and families with an alternative option for the SY 2021-22, in response to family feedback regarding health and safety concerns, and to a lesser extent, vaccine availability and preferred learning experience. While there was no requirement for school divisions to offer a fully virtual program, Arlington Public Schools committed to make this option widely available to all families for the 2021-22 school year.
For the 2022-23 School Year, the recommendation is for virtual instruction to be offered on a limited basis to students who are eligible due to medical conditions and meet specific criteria, such as health impairments whose conditions interfere with continuous daily school attendance. Students who are unable to return to in-person instruction due to the medical condition of a family member who resides in the household will be able to apply for exemption to returning to in-person instruction.
Students found eligible and/or who meet the criteria for exemption due to a family member’s medical condition will be offered enrollment in K-12 Virtual VA courses and provided with instructional support from a teacher and/or mentor. Virtual VA provides core instructional courses except for elementary Art, Music and PE which would be supplemented by specifically hired APS staff. Additional details about Homebound Instruction including the application, is available online. Application for families to apply for exemption due to a family member’s medical condition will be made available.
The proposal is scheduled to be voted on at the Feb. 17 School Board meeting.
Support for VLP Students and Families
The success and well-being of your student(s) through the remainder of this school year, and throughout the transition back to in-person school at their school of record for the 2022-23 school year, are our priority and are the priority of our administrators and staff. To support VLP students, APS will provide:
- A virtual Town Hall Meeting will be scheduled in February to address questions and concerns from VLP families related to the recommendations for VLP for next year. Additional details to come.
- Academic planning, course selection and instructional plans to support students’ learning and transition back to home schools for upcoming school year. Student Intent to Return Surveys/Course Selection Forms will take place/are due March 7.
- Limited virtual course options for students to access via Virtual@APS and other external third-party vendors in alignment with practices currently available to students in middle and high school.
- Access to members of the School Support Team to support students with transition.
- A continued commitment to providing safe, healthy learning environments and following the measures recommended for K-12 schools.
Future Virtual Learning Option Program Planning
Following the Board’s vote on the proposed changes to the VLP, there will be opportunities to engage in developing a comprehensive framework for future Virtual Learning Option Program by participating in a Task Force/Committee led by current VLP Principal Danielle Harrell.If you have any additional questions, please reach out to Ms. Harrell.
Chief of School Support