Virtual Learning Academy Staff

Brian Seymour
Brian Seymour
Executive Director of Instructional Technology & Innovation
614.920.6140

Virtual Learning Academy Overview

Pickerington Local School District is proud to continue to offer the Virtual Learning Academy as an entirely virtual option to our families.  

Younger students will likely need a parent or other adult for daily facilitation.  This adult is responsible for supporting and helping the student complete online activities and assessments.  We encourage a daily routine to support student learning.  The classes will be structured to help establish routines, but creating a schedule at home will help optimize a student’s success.  If you need support to help your child, the PLSD VLA will have an administrator to lead the virtual school.  A partnership between the school and family is important.  

As students move into middle school and junior high, they may need some support transitioning to a learning environment that allows for more flexibility than a structured elementary schedule.   Adult support may include monitoring the completion of learning activities, monitoring comprehension of content, and turning in assignments.

High school students can expect to work more independently and/or self-paced.  

For the 2021-2022 school year, Pickerington Schools will offer the Virtual Learning Academy to grades 1 -12. As we worked through the creation of the PLSD Virtual Learning Academy during the 2020-2021 school year we have learned a great deal about virtual and online learning.  

 

 

VLA Update for July 2021

  1. We are still not able to offer the VLA to kindergarten or preschool students.

  2. Due to growing enrollment in our traditional school setting and diminishing enrollment in the VLA, we have to make a change to the elementary and middle school model for the VLA.

    1. Grades 1-5 Update

      1. We will be using a program called Edmentum (Calvert Learning) for online core and specials courses for students in grades 1-5.

      2. All of these courses are aligned to the Ohio standards and will be somewhat self-paced.

      3. Students will also have two “specials” classes

        1. Grade 1 – Physical Education and Health

        2. Grades 2 – 5 – Physical Education and Art

      4. We will also be contracting with Edmentum to hire their teachers as the main teacher. So, there will not be a PLSD teacher teaching these courses.

      5. We will have a PLSD teacher that will be the teacher of record and will help to facilitate the learning through Edmentum. This PLSD teacher will have regular office hours to support students and parents in grades 1-5.

      6. Edmentum teachers will have live Zoom class meetings Monday – Thursday.

      7. Edmentum teachers will schedule bi-weekly meetings with parents to keep parents updated on their student’s progress.

    2. Grades 6 – 12 Update

      1. We will be using a program called APEX for online self-paced core courses for students in grades 6-12.

        1. Students can complete the courses on their own timeline as long as the course is completed by the end of the school year/semester based on the length of the course.

      2. All of these courses are aligned to the Ohio standards and will be self-paced.

      3. We will also be contracting with APEX to hire their teachers as the main teacher. So, there will not be a PLSD teacher teaching these courses.

      4. There will be no direct instruction from the APEX teachers.

      5. We will have PLSD teachers that will be the teacher of record and will help to facilitate the learning through APEX. These PLSD teachers will have regular office hours to help support students and parents through the APEX curriculum.

      6. Students in grade 6 will have the four core courses and a semester elective of physical education and a semester of art.

      7. Students in JH will have one elective per trimester that will be taught by a PLSD teacher during the first period of the day.  This elective will be virtual with instruction through Google Meet and Google Classroom.

      8. Students in HS will still have the opportunity to have up to three electives that will be face-to-face in their home high school during the last three periods of the day. All high school students must take a minimum of five classes.

 

 

How to enroll into the 2021-2022 PLSD Virtual Learning Academy
Contact Brian Seymour at VLA@plsd.us - NOTE: VLA enrollment is currently at capacity and we are placing newly enrolled students on a waitlist.

VLA Registration FAQ

How do I register my student(s) for the PLSD Virtual Learning Academy?

Contact Brian Seymour at VLA@plsd.us – NOTE: VLA enrollment is currently at capacity and we are placing newly enrolled students on a waitlist.

My student(s) are currently enrolled in the VLA, do I still need to do this registration process for 21-22?

YES, every student that wants to be enrolled in the VLA for the 21-22 school needs to go through the registration process.

My student is enrolled in the VLA for the 20-21 school year, but I want them back in the building for 21-22. What do I need to do?

There is nothing you need to do if you want your student(s) to return back to the “traditional” school environment.  All students that do not sign up for the VLA option will be placed back in their home buildings for the 2021-2022 school year.

We live in Pickerington, but our student(s) do not currently attend Pickerington Schools. We would like to enroll our student(s) into the PLSD VLA. What is the process?

The first step is to enroll your student(s) into Pickerington Schools.  Please contact the PLSD Welcome Center to start the enrollment process and let the Welcome Center know that you would like your student(s) to be enrolled into the Virtual Learning Academy.

VLA 2021-22 Timeline image

Five Questions for Parents to Think About Before Enrolling into the Pickerington Schools’ Virtual Learning Academy

  1. Why are you seeking a virtual learning educational environment?  – Clearly defining your family’s overall educational goals will help you better understand if the virtual learning academy will work for you and your children. Are you looking for a more challenging curriculum? Greater control of your child’s education? Increased scheduling flexibility? Acceptance into a four-year college?
  2. Will the virtual learning academy meet your children’s individual needs?Every child has his or her own unique learning style. Does your elementary-age child perform better with hands-on lessons? Is your son an auditory learner who needs extra time to complete reading assignments? Perhaps your daughter requires an accelerated pace for some subjects, but not for others. When evaluating enrolling into the PLSD Virtual Learning Academy, consider what options are available to personalize your child’s learning experience to help your child thrive. Please continue to read below.
  3. Does the PLSD Virtual Learning Academy offer a high-quality curriculum?  – Virtual public schools are required to meet state and national education standards. Beyond these benchmarks, most parents also want a curriculum to challenge and prepare their children for success in life. The PLSD Virtual Learning Academy will follow the same courses of study as are used in our traditional classrooms. The PLSD VLA will use the same curriculum frameworks and digital resources that are available in traditional classrooms. Some small changes will be made to pacing guides and lessons to account for the virtual learning aspect.
  4. Will the school provide opportunities to succeed and grow offline?Research proves that kids need a well-rounded learning experience with opportunities to experience success and a sense of accomplishment. The PLSD VLA will offer engaging educational opportunities during the school day. We are working to build ways for classmates and families to be able to connect socially and to create additional learning experiences that can occur offline.  Students in grades 7-12 will also be able to participate in sports, clubs and activities with their home buildings.
  5. Are you prepared for direct involvement in your child’s education?  – Before deciding on enrolling in the PLSD VLA, parents should give serious thought to the level of involvement required. Take into account how much time you are able to spend monitoring and coaching your child’s online education. You may want to talk to other parents about their experiences with online learning.

Guiding Principles and Commitments

VLA Guiding Principles
  • All students and families will have access to high-quality, research-based educational materials and to the supports needed to successfully access those materials.
  • Students will have access to meaningful/high-quality educational materials that align with Ohio’s standards.
  • The structure of the Virtual Learning Academy will consist of both synchronous and asynchronous learning.
  • Students and teachers will maintain a personal connection that supports necessary, rigorous academic work in a manner that is respectful of students’ contexts (their mindset, feelings, responsibilities, home considerations, etc.).
  • Simplicity is best during this time—the simplicity of the framework, communication structures, and expectations.
  • Support the whole child—their mental health, nutritional needs, and safety needs.
  • Parents and other caregivers need access to clear information and ample resources.
  • Teachers may need support, encouragement, and compassion to ensure their success and resilience.
  • Virtual Learning Academy will utilize curriculum and teachers from Edmentum (grades 1-5) and APEX (grades 6-12) with PLSD Teachers serving as the teacher of record and available to support the VLA students.
Educator Commitments

Pickerington School Virtual Learning Educators will commit to:

  • Provide both synchronous and asynchronous instructional opportunities for students
  • Provide a range of meaningful learning opportunities and resources that engage and meet the needs of all learners.
  • Be available to students and families via phone (3CX on phones or Chrome app), text (through Talking Points), email, Google Meet, LMS
    • Electronic communication platforms will be used in accordance with District guidelines.
  • Provide feedback to students in a timely manner.
  • Collaborate with colleagues (Teachers, Instructional Coaches, Counselors, Social Workers, Psychologists, Librarians, etc) to address needs that arise along the way.
  • Communicate with the PLSD Virtual Learning Academy Principal.
  • Connect families with educational resources that support English Language Learners (including necessary language supports) and students with IEPs/504s.
  • Complete all required tasks, including verifying attendance, providing instruction via the learning management system for the VLA and through instructional videos and/or live instruction/office hours on Google Meet, checking on students’ emotional wellbeing, and offering feedback on student learning.
Student and Family Commitments

As students and families are enrolling in the PLSD Virtual Learning Academy, are agreeing to the following commitments:

  • One year enrollment into the PLSD Virtual Learning Academy
  • Having students establish and follow regular daily routines to the greatest extent possible.
  • Ensuring students get enough sleep.
  • Designating a specific space to work on virtual learning academy activities.
  • Follow the syllabus and monitor the progress of your child.
  • Setting sensible time limits for students’ technology use.
  • Reviewing communication from the District and buildings as frequently as possible, but at least weekly.
  • Completing assigned activities to the greatest extent possible.
  • Discussing remote learning experiences and needs and communicating these with our staff. 
  • Bring students into the physical building for assessment purposes (local, state and national testing) when there is not a virtual option.
Virtual Learning Academy Student and Parent/Guardian Agreement

This agreement is to inform families of the expectations associated with the Virtual Learning Academy (VLA).

Student Agreement

I will follow the expectations outlined in the Pickerington School Virtual Learning Academy Plan, including:

  • One year commitment into the PLSD Virtual Learning Academy
  • Record attendance each day or period, as appropriate.
  • Participate in structured learning activities – including asynchronous activities as well as whole group, small group, and individualized synchronous virtual sessions.
  • Attend all required Google Meets, including large group, whole class, small group, and targeted intervention and enrichment
  • Be accountable for completing and submitting lessons, activities, assessments in a timely fashion in alignment with the classroom syllabus
  • Attend all synchronous class meetings and instructional activities.
  • Communicate with teachers via shared communication methods, including office hours to seek help or support.
  • Participate in district and state assessments; schedule in-person appointments as appropriate.
  • I understand that I must follow the expectations of the PLSD Acceptable Use Policy (AUP).
  • Maintain a working Chromebook or request that it be repaired through the PLSD Technology Department.
  • Maintain working WIFI or request a hotspot through the PLSD Technology Department

Parent/Guardian Agreement

I will follow the expectations outlined in the Pickerington School Virtual Learning Academy Plan, including:

  • One year commitment into the PLSD Virtual Learning Academy
  • Support my child to record attendance each day or period, as appropriate.
  • Support my child to participate in structured learning activities – including asynchronous activities as well as whole group, small group, and individualized synchronous virtual sessions.
  • Support my child to communicate with the teacher via shared communication methods to seek help or support as needed.
  • Support my child to establish and follow regular daily routines to the greatest extent possible.
  • Designate a specific space to work on virtual learning academy activities.
  • Follow the syllabus and monitor the progress of your child.
  • I understand the 100% remote learning environment may impact service options available through an IEP or 504 as well as services for EL and gifted students, among others.
  • Review communication from the District and buildings as frequently as possible, but at least weekly.
  • Discuss remote learning experiences and needs and communicating these with PLSD staff. 
  • I acknowledge that my student and I are to follow the expectations in the PLSD Acceptable Use Policy (AUP) and that a violation of these guidelines could result in the student facing disciplinary action.

Classes Being Offered in the PLSD Virtual Learning Academy

Elementary Classes Offered
Grade Language Arts Math Science  Social Studies  Electives
Kindergarten None None None None None
1st Grade ELA – 1 Math – 1 Science – 1 Social Studies – 1 Physical Education & Health
2nd Grade ELA – 2 Math – 2 Science – 2 Social Studies – 2 Physical Education & Art
3rd Grade ELA – 3 Math – 3 Science – 3 Social Studies – 3 Physical Education & Art
4th Grade ELA – 4 Math – 4 Science – 4 Social Studies – 4 Physical Education & Art
Middle School Classes Offered
Grade Language Arts Math Science Social Studies Electives
5th grade ELA – 5 Math – 5 Science – 5 Social Studies – 5 Physical Education & Art
6th Grade ELA – 6 Math – 6 Science – 6 Social Studies – 6 Physical Education & Art
Junior High School Courses Offered
Grade Language Arts Math Science Social Studies Electives for 7th & 8th Grade
7th Grade ELA 7

 

Math 7

 

Algebra 1*

Science 7

 

Social Studies 7 Physical Education

 

 

 

FLEX

Social Justice

Music Appreciation

 

Band**

Orchestra**

8th Grade ELA 8

 

Math 8

Algebra 1*

Honors Geometry*

Science 8

Integrated Science*

Social Studies 8

NOTES:

*For enrollment into Advanced, Honors, and Gifted courses students must qualify for the specific course and have the required prerequistes to take the course

** Band and Orchestra will be available to VLA students, but only in a face-to-face environment.  Students that wish to take band will have band scheduled during first period. Students that wish to take orchestra will have orchestra scheduled the last period of the day. Parents/guardians will need to provide transportation for the student for band and orchestra. Student’s schedules will be reduced by one elective as that time will serve as travel time.

High School Courses Offered
Grade  English Language Arts Mathematics Science Social Studies Virtual Electives
High School ELA 9

ELA 10

ELA 11

ELA 12

Algebra 1

Geometry

Algebra 2

Statistics

Integrated Science

Biology

Chemistry

Physics

World History

American History

Principles of Democracy

Economics

Psychology

Online CCP Courses**

Early IT Program

Graduation Alliance

see note about electives*

There are no honors or advance placement (AP) courses available in the VLA for the 2021-2022 school year.

NOTE ABOUT ELECTIVES:

High School VLA Becomes Daily Hybrid Model to offer Numerous electives to VLA students

The High School version of the PLSD Virtual Learning Academy will look a bit different than the K-8 VLA model. PLSD wants to make sure that all VLA students have the same elective opportunities as our traditional students. To provide those electives, the High School VLA will be modified into a daily hybrid model. High School students will take their core course virtually in the morning and then come into the buildings in the afternoons for electives.

High School students would choose from the below core courses to be taken in periods 1-4 in the morning virtually.

  • English – English, 9, 10, 11 or 12
  • Math – Algebra 1, Geometry, Algebra 2, or Statistics
  • Science – Integrated Science, Biology, Chemistry, Physics
  • Social Studies – World History, American History, Principles of Democracy, Economics or Psychology

Period 6 would then be a lunch/travel period to the high school.

  • Students/families would need to provide this transportation.

Periods 7-9 would be electives for all VLA students.

** Online CCP courses are taught directly through the college provider and not by a PLSD staff member.

 

Exceptional Student Services

Gifted Services

This is being updated for the new instructional model for VLA.

Special Education Services

IEP and 504 services will be offered and provided to students in VLA. The services and accommodations will be provided as indicated on their IEPs or 504s.  Team meetings will continue to  be conducted to determine needed services. 

Some IEPs and 504s may need to be amended and other options considered due to the environmental change.  Accommodations will be delivered in a variety of ways. Because all elementary VLA students will be assigned an electronic device,  technology accommodations will be used more at the elementary levels than in the past. 

Each student’s individual needs will be considered and the team should make adjustments to the IEP or 504 when necessary.

English Learner Services

The EL Department will provide asynchronous and synchronous lessons once a week and virtual assignments based on the needs and proficiency levels of the students in each domain, as determined by the EL Service plans. 

Meetings will include google meet lessons with small groups and weekly virtual assignments focusing on the four language domains. The EL teacher will also provide inclusion services by joining different google meets to work in break-out rooms with EL students. The EL teacher will also work with the classroom teacher(s) to modify lessons and will be available for instructional consultation.

FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

Will VLA students’ fees be reduced?

At this time, student fees for VLA will be substantially the same as those in-person. However, the district is examining fees associated with specific courses that may need adjustments. Fees may also be repurposed to provide for digital tools and resources needed in an entirely remote learning environment.

Will there be a VLA school supplies list?

No, there will not be a VLA separate school supplies list.  The VLA is using the same district curriculum and resources, so it is likely that supplies will be needed.  Should adjustments be needed based on an entirely remote learning environment, students will be informed by their individual teachers.

Will the district be posting a comparison of PLSD courses and VLA courses?

PLSD will be offering the standard courses for students in grades K-6. There are some changes to course offerings in grades 7-12 between the VLA and traditional buildings.  The VLA will not be able to offer courses that are heavily project-based or heavily lab-based courses. Please see the list above that shows which junior high school and which high school courses are offered in the VLA. Additionally, offering a course is always contingent on enrollment and available staffing.

When will I find out who my child’s teacher(s) is?

The district plans to release traditional and VLA students’ schedules through Infinite Campus prior to school in August through Infinite Campus.

When will we receive schedules?

We know that parents are curious to see their child’s daily schedule.  Individual teachers and teacher teams will share specific schedules with students upon the start of school.  Families should expect for the instructional day to be similar to that of a “regular” day, but there is likely variability among grade levels and subject areas – in part because of the unique staffing and enrollment adjustments. 

VLA teachers are working their regular contractual day.  Therefore, the VLA school schedule will parallel the “regular” schedule.  Although our intention is to allow for fluidity and flexibility to complete learning tasks and course assignments, students should still plan to follow a typical school schedule – which will include synchronous whole group, small group, and one-on-one virtual conferences.  The exact schedule will be provided by the classroom teacher or teacher team.  Classroom teachers in grades K-8 (with the exception of grades 7 / 8 electives) are working in the VLA 100%.  At the high school level, the core teachers are working in the VLA 100%, with high school elective teachers picking up VLA periods during the school day, so students will be able to determine exactly when they will receive teacher guidance and support.

Teacher Contractual Day

High School: 7:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Junior High: 7:00 AM – 3:00 PM

Middle School:  7:40 AM – 3:40 PM

Elementary: 8:15 AM – 4:15 PM

Does my child have to complete district and/or state assessments?

Yes.  Additionally, where assessments cannot be administered virtually, families will need to make an appointment to come into the building to complete the test.

My student is enrolled in the VLA for the 20-21 school year, but I want them back in the building for 21-22. What do I do?

There is nothing you need to do if you want your student(s) to return back to the “traditional” school environment.  All students that do not sign up for the VLA option will be placed back in their home buildings for the 2021-2022 school year.

We live in Pickerington, but our students do not currently attend Pickerington Schools and we would like to enroll our students into the PLSD VLA. What is the process?

The first step is to enroll your student(s) into Pickerington Schools.  Please contact the PLSD Welcome Center to start the enrollment process and let the Welcome Center know that you would like your student(s) to be enrolled into the Virtual Learning Academy.