Decatur Virtual Academy Update
Academy Details, Intent Form, and Information Session
Decatur Virtual Academy Information
We are excited to provide this option for students who have thrived in the virtual environment during the COVID-19 pandemic. At this time, we can provide you with some basic information about the school and the offerings.
Decatur Virtual Academy will serve families beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we understand that in August, there may still be some families that want a temporary virtual option until they feel it is safe for their children to return in person. We are committed to serving these families as well. For staffing and continuity purposes, we ask that all families that continue virtual learning commit through the first 12 week grading period, which will end on October 29, 2021.
About the Academy
Much like in Fall 2020, instruction will include a blend of live, online lessons (synchronous) and self-directed lessons (asynchronous) from City Schools of Decatur teachers. Teachers and students will work remotely, although there will be options for in-person learning and social interaction. We are collaborating with other local school districts and the Georgia Virtual School to bring City Schools of Decatur students a rich, robust virtual classroom experience. At this time, Georgia Pre-K is not approved to provide virtual learning beyond the current school year.
Students in grades K-5 will be assigned a virtual teacher and will receive a blend of synchronous (live) instruction and asynchronous instruction throughout the school day. Parents and caregivers of elementary students will need to be active in helping their students develop the autonomy and skills for self-guided learning.
Students in grades 6-8 will receive a blend of synchronous (live) instruction and asynchronous instruction throughout the school day. Parents and caregivers will need to be active in monitoring their students’ learning. Some in-person connection classes will not be offered through DVA. See course offerings for more information.
The initial courses provided will meet graduation requirements and, over time, the class offerings will grow and evolve. At this time, Decatur Virtual Academy will not be able to offer the IB Diploma Program or Career Program as the International Baccalaureate Organization has not determined if schools will be permitted to offer courses virtually beyond the COVID-19 pandemic. In addition, some electives and CTAE (Career, Technical, and Agricultural Education) courses will not be available through DVA. Most general education and AP (Advanced Placement) courses will be available. See our course offerings for specific information. Students will experience a blend of synchronous and asynchronous classes. The balance between synchronous and asynchronous classes will depend entirely on each student’s personal schedule.
If your student currently receives services through an Individualized Education Program (IEP), the Georgia Department of Education has issued guidance calling for an IEP Team meeting “to discuss and consider a student’s educational placement, which includes discussion and consideration of the location of those services and any potential harmful effect on the student or on the quality of services that the student needs, in accordance with IDEA.” For this reason, should a family select the Decatur Virtual Academy for their child for the 2021-2022 school year, the student’s case manager will contact the family to schedule an IEP meeting to discuss IEP services in the virtual instructional model. It is important to note that because the virtual instructional delivery model differs from traditional in-person instruction, teams will have to take those differences into consideration.
Students at Decatur Virtual Academy will be able to participate in CSD clubs and sports. As families have learned, students need a specific skill set for managing their time and schoolwork in the virtual environment. It is not recommended that students who have difficulty with self-management continue in virtual learning. All support services that are a part of a student’s educational program, such as special education (IEP), gifted, EIP, 504, ESOL, Title, and/or counseling, will be provided. Parents and/or caregivers will continue to be an integral part of student learning, will be essential school partners, and are expected to act as a learning coach for the student providing support in areas such as technology, following instructions, and monitoring independent work.
Actions your family should take now if you are interested in the Decatur Virtual Academy
NOW through April 13: After digesting this information, submit your questions about the Decatur Virtual Academy using this form.
April 14 at 5:30 p.m.: We will hold an information session to share more details and address your questions. Please join the meeting using this link.
By April 25: The deadline to register your student for Decatur Virtual Academy by using this intent form. For staffing and continuity purposes, we ask that all families who continue virtual learning commit through October 29, 2021. Please complete one intent form for each child.
We ask that you declare your intent as soon as possible so that we can have accurate information to develop classes and hire teachers. Once families register, we will develop an advisory team, like an initial School Leadership Team (SLT), that will include parents, teachers, students, and administrators to provide input on what learning looks like. Just like with any new school, the community itself will determine the vision for the culture of the school and the details that will make it a perfect alternative to traditional for families seeking that option.
We are excited to embark on this new adventure as a community as one step in reimagining the future of education in City Schools of Decatur.