Dearborn Public Schools has launched its system for parents who want to opt-in for online only learning for this school year through the Virtual Learning Program (VLP).
Every school building has a time this week when parents interested in the program can stop in and talk to the principal or other staff to get more information about the Virtual Learning Program and to see if online schooling is a good fit for their child. That meeting schedule along with other information about the program is available on the program website: vlp.dearbornschools.org.
The hope is that every family intending to use the program will speak with a school official to ensure they understand what is needed for their child to be successful with online learning. After that, parents will be able to sign a commitment form to officially switch their child or children to the online only program.
Those who cannot attend a school meeting can visit the website and start the opt-in process by filling out an online form, available in English and Arabic. A district staff member may contact the family to talk about the Virtual Program and to ask them to sign a printed commitment form.
The Virtual Learning Program will require students to attend virtual classes and have live interactions with their teachers at scheduled times during the school day. Learning will be personal and individualized, but the program is best suited for students who are able to work more independently, can manage their own schedules, and will reach out to their teacher when they need help. Parents need to be willing to help their students stay on schedule and ensure their work is being completed on time.
For students who do not select the 100% on-line option, they will follow the district’s Back to School plan approved by the Board of Education on August 10. Students following the plan will begin the school year on-line at least through Oct. 1. The school board will reevaluate each month whether the district is ready to move back to more in-school learning. The district’s hope is to return most students to in-building learning this school year.
The difference between following the district’s Back to School plan vs opting into the Virtual Learning Program is that students in the VLP are committing to on-line learning only for this school year, or at least for the first semester, which runs into January. That commitment allows the district to place students both for online and possible in-school learning with the appropriate teachers now and avoid more disruptions later.