- Virtual Loudoun Distance Learning
- Frequently Asked Questions
What is Virtual Loudoun Distance Learning Program?
Please see the "About the Program" page.
Connection to the LCPS “Home School”
Where will my child be enrolled?
Students that attend the Virtual Loudoun Distance Learning Program will be enrolled at their home school, and receive their instruction through the Virtual Loudoun Distance Learning Program. They have access to and the support of their home school administration, school counselor and Unified Mental Health Team, case manager (for students with IEPs), and will receive additional support from the Virtual Loudoun Distance Learning team.
How can my child connect to their home school?
Students participating in the Virtual Loudoun Distance Learning Program will have access to all the extracurricular activities offered at their home school, such as clubs, sports, theater and performing arts. There will be no transportation service available from home to school for Distance Learning students to attend after school programming at their home school, as buses are transporting students from school to home at that time of day. Distance Learning students are welcome to take an activity bus home from the school when available at the conclusion of after school activities.
Family Obligations: Attendance and Supervision
Do I need to be home full time to supervise my Distance Learning student?
According to the Loudoun County Child Supervision guidelines, this decision is to be made as a family, depending on the child’s skills and maturity level. Families of Elementary Distance Learning students should plan to be home full time to supervise. The Loudoun County Child Supervision guidelines indicate that students aged 9 and 10 years may be ready to be left unsupervised up to 1.5 hours, students aged 11 to 12 years may be ready to be left unsupervised up to 3 hours. The time frame of unsupervised time increases with age, skill and maturity. Review the “Is My Child Ready” and the “Is My Family Ready” segments, as well as the responsibilities and availability of all caregivers when making the decision if the Virtual Loudoun Distance Learning Program would be appropriate for your student.
What are the attendance requirements?
Students that attend Virtual Loudoun Distance Learning Program are expected to participate daily in synchronous, distance learning and complete coursework according to class deadlines. Students should have reliable internet access (supported as needed by a LCPS Wi-Fi Hotspot). Students should plan to attend all of their classes via their LCPS Chromebook, for the entire instructional day.
In accordance with the Code of Virginia, 22.1-254, attendance is compulsory for students enrolled in LCPS and all students are required to attend school regularly, whether scheduled for Virtual Loudoun Distance Learning, or attending school in person. LCPS Policy 8120. pdf
Commitment to Virtual Loudoun Distance Learning Program
Will there be an opportunity to switch learning programs?
Students that select the Virtual Loudoun Distance Learning Program are making the decision to commit to distance learning classes for the entire school year. Students are not able to join into the Virtual Loudoun Distance Learning Program after the start of the school year, or transfer back to the home school to attend in-person. Participation in Distance Learning is a full year commitment. Please review other FAQs featured on this document to determine if this program would be the best fit for your student. Begin the enrollment process as soon as you decide that Virtual Loudoun Distance Learning Program is best for your student, as the space in this program is limited.
What courses will be offered?
Our secondary program offerings are guided by the LCPS Program of Studies but will be less robust than the courses available in each LCPS Middle and High School. Students will have access to all courses that are required for graduation, including enough electives to take a full course load. There will be limited AP courses, electives, specialty and advanced courses offered. The Virtual Loudoun Distance Learning Program is unable to offer any dual enrollment courses. Prior to requesting Distance Learning, each student should talk with their School Counselor or School administration regarding the course offerings in Distance Learning to ensure a good fit.
Elementary students will have music, art and health and physical education classes in addition to their grade level learning.
If a course is not offered in Distance Learning, what other options do I have?
We will work with our Distance Learning Program students to offer a schedule that meets students’ academic goals. In addition to the Virtual Loudoun Distance Learning Program, we will explore the options for High School students to take one elective via Virtual Loudoun Online Learning, which offers fully asynchronous coursework. Click here for additional detail about the Virtual Loudoun Online Learning Program. We will also explore the availability of enrolling students in Virtual Virginia courses, which includes synchronous and asynchronous instruction. The Virtual Loudoun Distance Learning Program Director of School Counseling/School Counselor will collaborate with the student and the home school counselor to support each student in determining their schedule.
Will there be an opportunity for my student to take some classes in person?
No. When you opt for distance learning for the 2021-22 school year, your student will not be offered any in person, hybrid or concurrent instruction. Students that opt into the Virtual Loudoun Distance Learning Program will be committed to one full school year of distance learning, with limited classes offered synchronously via Schoology and virtual Google Meets as part of the Virtual Loudoun Distance Learning Program. Students are not able to take courses at their brick and mortar school. Students may need to modify their course requests to select courses among the courses and electives that Virtual Loudoun Distance Learning can offer.
Expectations of Students
What are the student engagement and camera requirements?
Students are expected to be logged on and participate synchronously in class in many ways, such as interacting with slides, completing assignments, working in groups, using the unmute feature to have voice-based discussions and responding to verbal and text-based prompts. Students are expected to be actively engaged in their learning in real time, for each of their classes, each school day.
Instructional staff will allow students and/or parents/guardians the flexibility of having cameras on or off for the entirety of the session. It is recommended that students use the “Background Blur” feature in Google Meet. There may be limited instructional experiences that will require students to use their camera (e.g. certain visual arts activities, etc.). Teachers may offer opportunities to respond with response cards, showing their written work, or other camera-on methods, without requiring students to be on camera themselves.
Can my Academies of Loudoun or a North Star student participate in Distance Learning?
No, we are not able to support any of the specialized courses or programs offered by the Academies of Loudoun or the North Star program. If your child prefers Distance Learning, they would need to unenroll from their AOL program and begin the request for Distance Learning.
What if my child’s health conditions prevent them from being able to attend school?
If your student’s health and related care plan create interruptions that make them unable to attend school on a regular basis, contact your child’s school counselor or school social worker to discuss options and potential accommodations. If your child is not able to log on and attend synchronous distance learning classes each day, the Virtual Loudoun Distance Learning Program would not be a good fit for your student.
How is Distance Learning different from Homebound Instruction?
Distance learning is different from homebound or home based instruction. Homebound Instruction Services are provided to students who are unable to attend school on a regular basis, as determined by a physician’s certification of need. Homebound Instruction is a temporary learning arrangement with the goal of returning students to in person instruction at school as soon as physically and/or emotionally possible, upon the recommendation of a licensed medical or mental health provider. Should your student experience a situation that would warrant a switch to temporary homebound instruction, please discuss this option with your school counselor and principal and see Policy 5360.
Is Distance Learning a good option for students with anxiety or school refusal behaviors?
Distance Learning may not be appropriate for students with anxiety related to school or school refusal behaviors. Targeted school-based interventions such as individual and group counseling, and specialized parent training are often necessary to effectively support students who are experiencing these issues. Continued avoidance of school as a means of coping with anxiety will usually worsen the anxiety and prolong the avoidant behaviors, leading to highly problematic outcomes for the student (view the presentations, listed below, for more information).
Before applying for Distance Learning, students and parents should discuss alternative options with their counselor and/or unified mental health team member at their home school. Parents and students should also consult with their physician or mental health professional about the risks and benefits before committing to Distance Learning or any other instructional setting that reinforces avoidance as a coping strategy.
Parents can view this recorded presentation from Dr. Jonathan Dalton, Director of the Center for Anxiety and Behavioral Change - How to Help Your Child Cope with Anxiety or reference his presentation slides - Managing Anxiety for Children and Teens for additional information.
Program Capacity and Selection
What if there is not enough space for every student who is interested in Distance Learning?
Students whose selection of Virtual Loudoun Distance Learning Program is endorsed by a medical professional will be prioritized.
How do I sign up for Virtual Loudoun Distance Learning Program?
Families requesting Distance Learning should first contact their student’s school counselor or school administrator to discuss if their educational needs will be met by the Virtual Loudoun Distance Learning Program. After a chance to discuss the program, families can log on to the web-based application. If applicable, there will be a space to securely upload documentation from your child’s health care provider or provide details about how distance learning will academically support your student. A committee will review all Distance Learning applications and determine a child’s ability to participate in the Distance Learning Program. The decisions will be made on a rolling basis and families will be notified as soon as possible.
Review the Distance Learning registration page to access the needed form and information.