For the 2021-2022 school year, Carroll County Public Schools (CCPS) is offering full-time virtual program options for students from kindergarten to grade 12. The full-time program is designed to address continuing COVID-19 concerns. While the elementary (grades K-5) program and the secondary program (grades 6-12) will differ in approach, each will provide an opportunity for students to engage in a curriculum that meets CCPS expectations, while providing families an alternative educational option to traditional in-person learning.
The CCPS elementary virtual program is a blended virtual program. The elementary program will use current CCPS curriculum and be taught by virtual teachers who are employees of CCPS. Teachers will be assigned to teaching stations in CCPS buildings. Because the elementary program is only expected to be available for the 2021-2022 school year, the use of CCPS curriculum and teachers is intended to help facilitate the transitions of students back to in-person instruction.
The CCPS secondary virtual program is an expansion of the current virtual learning program. By providing a more comprehensive selection of course options, students will be able to meet the minimum enrollment and graduation requirements to be a full-time virtual student. The CCPS 3-year Virtual Learning Plan, developed prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, calls for the expansion of vendor-provided secondary school courses during the 2021-2022 school year. While the number of courses proposed for the 2021-2022 school year is beyond what was originally intended in the 3-year plan, it will enable CCPS to address continuing COVID-19 concerns and continue with plans to move to a blended virtual program staffed by CCPS teachers.
CCPS will continue to offer options for high school students to take in-school virtual courses. Generally, students are able to register for in-school virtual courses only under exceptional circumstances that prevent enrollment in a traditional face-to-face classroom setting. CCPS will use the following criteria to guide decision-making in determining whether a student is eligible to enroll in a virtual course:
• the school or program does not offer the course
• the student has a schedule conflict that prevents taking a course when it is offered at the school or program;
• teacher recommendations;
• principal approval.
In all cases, student enrollment will be maintained at the student’s home school while participating in the virtual learning program.
Each school has a support system for students taking virtual courses. Credit-bearing courses offered through a virtual option have been reviewed and accepted by MSDE and CCPS for approved credit and are taught by highly qualified teachers.
To be successful in a virtual course, learners must demonstrate a variety of attributes. These include:
- Self-motivation to direct their own learning
- Self-discipline to maintain course engagement
- Confidence to ask for help or clarification when needed
- Ability to work independently
- Strong time management skills.
For additional information, contact:
Gregory J. Bricca
Director of Virtual Learning