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With planned return to in-person learning, Seattle Public Schools adds ‘Virtual Option Pilot Program’

(Image: Seattle Public Schools)

Seattle Public Schools will keep the online instruction muscle it struggled to build during COVID-19 restrictions with a Virtual Learning Option pilot program for the 2021-2022 school year.

The district announced details and leaders for the pilot program earlier this month in preparation for the start of the new school year in September:

While we are taking all the necessary steps to ensure in-person learning is safe and welcoming for all students, we will also a pilot virtual option for a small population of K-12 students. A virtual option for preschool students will not be offered. Starting with a small virtual option pilot will best promote the district’s goals for racial equity and will provide important data and feedback should the district decide to develop larger scale virtual learning options in the future.

Starting this fall, SPS says there will be “a limited number of students in grades K-12” who can enroll in the virtual learning pilot.

“SPS will encourage families to consider this option if their student has thrived or could thrive in a fully remote learning setting. In addition, since the pilot will be small, the district will need to determine a way to prioritize interested students,” the district announcement reads. “As a result, students with existing, documented health issues or concerns, including mental and emotional health concerns, will be prioritized for this virtual pilot.”

After resuming in-person instruction on a limited basis to end last school year, SPS plans to begin this fall with five full days of in-person instruction at all of its 104 schools. “We are committed to working with our community and staff to open schools and welcome back all students who wish to return to in-person learning,” SPS says.

Superintendent Brent Jones appointed Janine Roy as the Virtual Option Pilot Program principal for students in grades K-5 and Laura Davis-Brown as the VOPP principal for students in grades 6-12.

The district’s virtual student will be enrolled in a school with K-5 students on the roster at Queen Anne Elementary and 6-12 grade students at Alan T. Sugiyama High School but will participate via online sessions.

To learn more and register, visit seattleschools.org.

 

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