Virtual School Development

Purpose Statement and General Expectations

The purpose of Albemarle County Public School’s Virtual School is to provide a full day alternative learning environment for our families who have students who do not wish to return to face to face learning due to concerns related to the pandemic.  The virtual school will serve students enrolled in Albemarle County elementary, middle and high schools. 

Virtual School Information Session Slide Decks


Visual representation of timeline information presented below.

May 6: Share virtual school purpose and program with the School Board

May 13: School Board makes decision on 2021-22 School Year

May 14: Schools announce their own virtual community information sessions to talk about 2021-22 school year and virtual opportunity

May 17 - May 24: Schools hold school based information sessions and the division will provide information for Virtual School

May 26 & June 1: 2021-22 Virtual School Information Sessions

June 1 - June 11: Families make commitment to Virtual School for 2021-22 School Year

June 30: Students who have registered for Virtual School will be locked into decision


Students enrolled in the virtual school will receive instruction led by ACPS teachers aligned to the same standards and at the same level of rigor as traditional classroom offerings. There may be times when high school students will be enrolled in Virtual Virginia Courses to meet their needs and graduation requirements. 


All students will:

  • receive five days of instruction Monday through Friday.
  • be required to keep their camera on during the instructional period. 
  • be expected to remain connected to the Zoom session for the entire class period.  However, there may be instances where teachers assign independent work and will not require students to be logged into Zoom for the entire class period.
  • receive instruction from a certified teacher contracted with ACPS.
  • will use Schoology as their primary tool for accessing classroom content. However, dual enrollment students may be expected to use the preferred platform of PVCC. 

Students will be provided with both synchronous and asynchronous learning experiences. Synchronous learning refers to all types of learning in which student(s) and teacher(s) are in the same place, at the same time, in order for learning to take place. This includes live online meetings when the whole class or smaller groups get together. In synchronous learning, students usually go through the learning path together, accompanied by their teacher who is able to provide support while students are completing tasks and activities. Asynchronous means that learning occurs in different times and spaces particular to each learner. In asynchronous learning, teachers usually set up a learning path, which students engage with at their own pace. 

The ACPS virtual school will follow the division’s homework policy:

  • Elementary students homework assignments should not exceed 10 minutes per grade level per night for all subjects combined.
  • Middle School students will not be assigned additional homework beyond the independent work in the synchronous class time.  If a middle school student is enrolled in a high school course, the homework assignments will follow the high school policy.
  • High School students will be assigned homework according to the high school homework policy.

Average Homework Time Per Week Per Subject

English 2 Hours Per Week
Math 2 Hours Per Week
Science 2 Hours Per Week
Social Studies 2 Hours Per Week
Health & Physical
1 Hour Per Week
World Languages 2 Hours Per Week
Electives 1.5 Hours Per Week
AP & DE Courses 3 Hours Per Week


Teachers will design learning experiences clearly articulated and aligned to both division and state standards. These learning experiences could be presented in a variety of ways. Below are few Sample Frameworks to Plan Instruction:

These sample models are intended to provide students a variety of learning experiences that are designed to best support the learning target or goals. They may be modified and adjusted as needed to meet the needs of their learners and achieve the intended learning goals. They are meant to be used flexibly by teachers and it is not expected that teachers would use the same format each day.

Traditional Classroom Model
Opening Activity & Check-in Whole class activity in which students participate through Zoom
Direct Instruction Whole class instruction with students participating through Zoom
Partner or Small Group Work Break out rooms used to group or partner students
Independent Work Time All students work on their own but remain on Zoom to get
individual support
Closing Activity Whole class activity with students participating through Zoom


  • Direct instruction, partner work, and independent work time blocks could be combined to allow for labs and projects
  • Direct instruction, partner work, and independent work time blocks can be in a different order
  • Flip flop direct instruction and independent work between virtual and in-person


Flipped Model
Opening Activity & Check-in Whole class activity in which students participate through Zoom
Independent Work Time All students are completing learning activity (notes, video,
nearpod, discussion boards, building background knowledge
through simulations, websites), pre-assessments but remain on
Zoom for individual support
Whole-Group Learning Whole class activity with students participating through Zoom
(practice, check-in, breakout groups, feedback)
Closing Activity Whole class activity with students participating through Zoom
  • Independent work time can be used to meet with students individually through Zoom


Station Model
Warm Up & Check-in Do Now or Development Deign Activity with students participating through Zoom
Mini-Lesson Whole-group lesson
Student Rotation

Group 1 - Activity led by teacher
Group 2 - Activity in a group
Group 3 - Independent activity
Note: Groups switch tasks every 15-20 minutes

Closing Activity Exit slip or whole-group discussion with students participating through Zoom


  • Station Ideas - online activities, media, hands-on manipulatives, games
  • Stations can be independent or group-activities
  • Skip mini-lesson and make one of the stations the mini-lesson
  • Could be used to support all virtual students in a combination hybrid/virtual classroom

Ways to group students:

  • Readiness based on some type of formative assessment
  • Interest/Self-Selected 
  • Learning Profile