Aug 4, 2020

VLA Curriculum and Proposed First Day of School Date Change

VLA Curriculum Change image

Dear Pickerington parents,

After careful consideration, PLSD has decided to shift the Virtual Learning Academy (VLA) instructional delivery framework for grades 6-12. Originally, the VLA was going to use Apex Learning as the digital curriculum. In order to better serve our students with the highest quality of education, we have decided to align the VLA courses with the district curriculum and resources offered in the buildings. This will not only provide for an improved educational experience, it will provide consistency across the district. However, please note that because of the entirely remote experience of the VLA, some course offerings may be unavailable. The waitlist is now closed for the VLA.

To better prepare for the school year and due, in part, to the changes in the VLA curriculum, PLSD’s Calendar Committee recommended delaying the start of school until August 31. The Board of Education is expected to approve this new start date at their next regular meeting on August 10. Meantime, the release of cohort assignments will also be pushed back at least one week as we continue to work out the logistics of placing multiple kids in the household in the same cohort. Some other districts are not taking this into account, so we ask for your continued patience as staff work hard to meet your needs. Some school districts are also having to assign cohorts by hand, so we really are fortunate to have a system that will allow us to assign cohorts in an expedited manner.

Here’s a few other items we would like to bring to your attention regarding the new school year:

  • To protect students and staff, there will be no visitors, volunteers or parents allowed inside PLSD buildings, unless it is an emergency.
  • Fees will remain as previously publicized with both the hybrid model and VLA.
  • Many of the supply lists may be found on each PLSD building’s website, or by visiting our one-stop back-to-school information webpage. You may also find this page by clicking the big blue “Back-To-School Plan, Info & Forms” button at the top of the district website’s homepage.

We know that dealing with the many changes in back-to-school plans are difficult and are affecting individual students and families differently. Please know that we are weighing every decision heavily with the realization that our actions may dramatically affect your work, daily schedules and childcare needs. During this challenging time, we must also balance those considerations with our duty to protect the health and safety of you and your family, our staff and the community.

We’ve provided the 100% online option of the VLA for those who do not feel safe sending their student(s) back-to-school in-person. And, to accommodate the majority of Pickerington parents who have told us that they want students back in the buildings if possible, we are working to implement the hybrid model as quickly and efficiently as possible. But, we can’t execute any of these vital plans without you, your support, understanding, and most of all your patience, as we work to provide you with the best options during this difficult time. We are all in this together and #PLSDProud.