Welcome Back....September 2020

Parents and Guardians

Tell Me More About Wisconsin Virtual School

The Wisconsin Virtual School (WVS) team is excited to help you support your online students for the 2020-21 school year. WVS is celebrating 20 years as the state-led supplemental program!

Let us introduce ourselves to you. Wisconsin Virtual School (WVS) is a state-led supplemental program that operates out of Cooperative Educational Service Agency #9 (CESA 9) in Tomahawk. We are designated by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction (DPI) to support local public, private, and charter schools with online courses and support.

The top reasons why a student takes a WVS course are:

  1. Course not offered locally
  2. Schedule conflict
  3. Wanted to try online learning
  4. Making up credits
  5. Home bound/medical/health issues

We are a program not a school nor a virtual charter school. Students remain in their school district and their local school is responsible for enrolling a student in a WVS course with a WVS Wisconsin licensed teacher. Each school is required to have a local coach/mentor/liaison that assists in registering, monitoring, and supporting their local student in addition to the WVS licensed teacher who facilitates the online course.

WVS is an "asynchronous" online state program. This means:

  • WVS teachers are not online 24/7 and do not hold daily live Instructional lessons at designated times. Students work independently in the courses and the teacher monitors progress, grades, and respond to questions the student may have about the course.
  • WVS teachers are to respond to email questions from students/coaches/parents/guardians within 24-48 hours unless otherwise posted in their course when they are out of office.
  • WVS teachers offer a weekly Connect Time where a student/parent/guardian may "drop in" for a real time support session. The "Connect Time" varies based on the teacher's availability from course to course. Students can find the Connect Time's day/time in their course. They can also email their teacher for the information.
  • WVS teachers are expected to grade and/or provide feedback to the student on assessments and assignments within 72 hours. This allows for re-takes, larger projects, and quality feedback. Students are encouraged to stay on pace. Getting behind will result in last minute bulk submissions and will delay the quality feedback and grading time.
  • WVS offers a "just in time" Homework Help line for most subjects within the student's course for quick questions about content. This is not be be used as a replacement for face to face instruction. Students are always encouraged to contact their WVS teacher first via email.

This is an unprecedented year for WVS. With more schools offering more extensive offerings for online courses, it has been critical that schools meet with students and parents and guardians for an orientation regarding how WVS works and the role of the student, teacher, parent, and local school. The Parent Guide to Online Learning is an excellent resource for parents when choosing an online option.

Student Readiness for WVS

Students choosing to participate in online courses through Wisconsin Virtual School need to examine their personal skills and aptitudes for taking a class online. The following attributes will contribute greatly to a student's success:

  • Self-motivation
  • Independent learner
  • Computer literate and technology ready
  • Time management
  • Effective written communication skills
  • Personal commitment

Meeting the needs of our individual students is WVS’s goal. The Wisconsin Virtual School teachers and Coaches in the districts believe that every individual who has motivation and self-direction can take our courses and achieve success in the Wisconsin Virtual School program.

Parents whose students have a 504 Plan, IEP, or other learning needs must have a discussion with their individual planning teams on what can be accommodated in an asynchronous online course and what student needs the local school or parent will support.

For example, students must be at grade level reading ability or at the very least the school needs to ensure the same supports as if the student was in the traditional school setting. Check with your local district who will work with the WVS program, teacher, and the student's learning team to ensure that a WVS online course can be a successful environment for your student.

For more information, check out Online Student Readiness Packet for some very helpful guidance. The Student Guide for Online Learning is also a helpful resource.

Student Orientation Sessions

Drop into one of our optional Orientation and Online networking sessions for learners in grades 6-12.

Parents/Guardians welcome to join these sessions with their students!

Wisconsin Virtual School (WVS) invites you to join us for an Online Orientation to your environment and an opportunity to meet other online students from across the state. WVS students will connect using ZOOM from their computer or mobile device. This is the same tool that WVS teachers use to hold "Connect Time" hours each week to provide students real-time support and connect them with their peers in their online course. This session will:

  • Provide you with an overview of how to use ZOOM and other online resources
  • Provide you with the opportunity to meet others taking online courses and perhaps the same course as you from around the state
  • Review online course expectations and provide students with tools to evaluate their readiness and the technology they are using
  • Present useful tips and helpful hints (students we need your voice here)

Develop a Connection With Other Online Students to:

  • Socialize with your new online classmates
  • Ask others about their online learning experience, tips for being successful in this environment, and more
  • Get tutoring help & support
  • Practice world languages or other course skills in an ungraded environment
  • Work collaboratively on class projects
  • Hear from a guest speaker or expert in the field

THREE SESSIONS TO CHOOSE FROM: It is okay if you can only attend part of a session or a couple

  • Wednesday, September 9th - 11:30 - 12:30pm
  • Tuesday, September 15th - 11:30 - 12:30pm
  • Thursday, September 24th - 11:30 - 12:30pm

For more details see our announcement newsletter at: https://www.smore.com/de38g

Computer Technology and Readiness: Ready?

Make sure your device and technology is ready! Check with your school's IT department and coach. Review the Wisconsin Virtual School Computer Technology and Readiness information.

Submitting Google Documents in your online course? Please review this document for help with submitting Google Documents.

Successful Tips for Successful Completion for Online Course

Here's a few items to help early on with WVS courses. There are many communications initially and during the course to ensure everyone is involved in the student's success.

1) Students receive an enrollment email, as does the parent/guardian in the system for each course in which they are enrolled which includes: an enrollment or drop has been made, the start/end date of the course, and teacher name. The student doesn't have access to their course until their start date. These enrollment emails should be saved for the start date.

2) Parents/guardians and students also receive welcome letters from each online teacher.

3) Parents/guardians and students receive weekly progress reports for each student in which the parent/guardian is connected to.

4) Students and parents need to know how to access their school email account for these important communications.

Here are more Student Tips for Successful Completion of Online Courses.

Questions or More Information

Please contact WVS at wvshelpdesk@cesa9.org or 715-453-1953 with any questions or if you need more information! We hope that the 2020-21 school year is an AWESOME one!!

~ Thank you