Department of Defense Education Activity

Virtual Option

DoDEA will offer a full-time virtual school option for any student in Grades K-12

virtual classHow will we do this?

DoDEA plans to offer a virtual option for families and students beginning in the first semester of school year (SY) 2020-21. We already have a fully accredited virtual high school high (9-12) that is being expanded to include elementary (K-5) and middle school (6-8) grades. Parents that choose to enroll their students in the Virtual School option must agree to one full semester with an option for the entire year.

When will the virtual school begin?

Students who are enrolled in the virtual option, regardless of location in the world, will follow the established calendar for the existing DoDEA Virtual High school. For students this year, the Virtual School will begin on 24 August. Students enrolled in the virtual option will follow the scheduled calendar for the Virtual School. This schedule may vary from the calendars for in-person instruction in our community schools.

Are there contingency plans in the event that the virus drives HPCON changes?

For students enrolled in the virtual option, there would be no impact or disruption due to HPCON changes or closures related to health concerns.

How do I select the virtual school option for the semester?

Parents will have to complete a request form for enrollment in the virtual school. It is very important that parents make an informed decision about choosing a virtual option. Below you will find details about how the virtual school will operate and the kind of support that parents will have to offer in order to ensure a child’s success.

Download Virtual School Fact Sheet

DoDEA Virtual School and Services for Students with Disabilities

Parent Responsibilities for the Virtual Option

Parents opting for a minimum of one semester of virtual school for the 2020-2021 school year need to be aware of the following requirements and agree to certain conditions.

Grade Level Parents must Parents should consider:
K-2
  • Parent must provide internet and computer access or request access from the school.
  • Parent must sit with students for most synchronous and asynchronous learning.
  • Parent must be available for a teacher conference weekly.
  • Attention span of younger students
  • This option may provide less social emotional learning and informal play.
  • Specials classes are limited.
  • One on One reading instruction may be less optimal in this setting
  • IEP, 504, and ESL plans may need to be reviewed and updated for the virtual setting.
3-5
  • Parent must provide internet and computer access or request access from the school.
  • Parent must sit with students for the beginning of any synchronous session.
  • Parent must check with students daily on their progress and monitor asynchronous learning sessions.
  • Parent must be available for a teacher conference as needed.
  • Attention span of younger students
  • This option may provide less social emotional learning and informal play.
  • Specials classes are limited.
  • IEP, 504, and ESL plans may need to be reviewed and updated for the virtual setting.
6-8
  • Parent must provide internet and computer access or request access from the school.
  • Parent may sit with students for the beginning of the first synchronous session.
  • Parent must check with students daily on their progress and monitor asynchronous learning sessions.
  • Parent must be available for a teacher conference as needed.
  • Parent must acknowledge that a maximum of 5 classes can be taken in this model.
  • Attention span of younger students
  • Course availability may be limited for electives.
  • IEP, 504, and ESL plans may need to be reviewed and updated for the virtual setting.
  • Extra-curricular activities will be available on a limited basis depending on ability to social distance and wear face coverings.
9-12
  • Parent must provide internet and computer access or request access from the school.
  • Parent should check with students on progress twice per week.
  • Parent must acknowledge that a maximum of 5 classes can be taken in this model.
  • Attention span of students
  • Summer school is likely required for an on-time graduation if this option is selected.
  • IEP, 504, and ESL plans may need to be reviewed and updated for the virtual setting.
  • Extra-curricular activities will be available on a limited basis depending on ability to social distance and wear face coverings.
Safe Return to School: Dr. Beth Schiavino-Narvaez


Making a choice
The descriptions and chart below outlines a comparison between in person instruction (normal school operations) versus the Virtual School Option.

Full-time In-Person School

student at desk with mask

DoDEA plans to fully reopen schools for SY 2020-21 if local health conditions allow for it. Students will attend school full-time with regular instruction from teachers. DoDEA has put in place numerous safety requirements and precautionary measures that follow The Center for Disease Control (CDC) and DoD guidance on a phased approach to reopening and to ensure employees and students are protected to the greatest extent possible. Lessons learned from end-of-year school events and risk analysis have led to developments in the areas of social distancing, the use of cloth face coverings, cleaning and disinfecting procedures for indoor and playground areas, and procurement of enhanced hygienic supplies and sanitizing products. Other lessons learned include the reconfiguration of some office, classroom and cafeteria spaces.

Procedures have also been developed to safely handle individuals who show symptoms of COVID-19, as well as local safety assessments that take into account community spread. DoDEA places a priority on safety and health and will continue to analyze and adjust plans to adhere to emerging CDC and DoD guidance.

Full-time Virtual Learning

mom helping daughters with homework

DoDEA will provide a full-time virtual learning option for students and families with health vulnerabilities related to COVID-19 or who are concerned about returning to school. Students will be enrolled in the DoDEA Virtual School (DVS) in five core classes. At the high school level, it is not recommended that students take any more than 5 classes per semester and that they enroll in summer school to complete their course requirements for the school year. For students in grades K-8, students will be enrolled in 5 classes: mathematics, language arts, social studies, science and one elective (music, art, or physical education). DoDEA is procuring licensed courseware in each of these subjects that will be delivered by existing DoDEA teachers who apply and are selected for this option. These will be full courses with all of the normal content expected in a regular DoDEA course, but that is designed specifically for the online environment. To the extent possible, elementary and middle school students will be served by dedicated online DoDEA teachers in a cohort model with other students from their school and/or the district and region.

How do the two options compare?

  Full-Time In-Person Instruction Full-Time Virtual Instruction
Schedule All grade levels, 5 days a week.  Students will follow the posted calendar for each school. 

All grade levels, 4-5 days a week.  Students will follow the DVS calendar. Time will be allotted for regular professional learning and collaborative planning for teachers.

A schedule will be established at a later date for students with synchronous and asynchronous learning.  Students will be able to complete assignments at any time and connect with teachers throughout the week for support, feedback and guidance. 

Courses

All courses required by DoDEA will be available.

Some electives and programs may not be available given potential risks.

1. Students in grades K-8 will be enrolled in math, language arts, social studies, science and one elective (music, art, or physical education).

2. Synchronous sessions in grades K-5 will be scheduled and likely be alternated by day (e.g. Mon/Wed language arts and social studies; Tues/Thurs math and science; and the elective two days a week).  Students in the earlier grades will need more intensive parental support throughout the day.

3. For students in DVHS (grades 6-12), students will be enrolled in DVHS courses.  Students will work with teachers and counselors to develop a schedule that fits their unique needs.

4. Specialized instruction will be provided, as appropriate, such as ESOL or special education services required by the Individualized Education Program (IEP) for students with disabilities.

Food Services Normal food services will be provided with modifications for social distancing and other pre-cautionary measures to ensure safety. Meal service options are under development and an announcement will follow.
Transportation Normal busing will occur and all students will be required to wear a mask. Not applicable
Health Protocols Staff will guide students on health and safety protocols, following Centers for Disease Control Department of Defense guidelines.  All staff and students must wear face coverings (as developmentally appropriate) in accordance with CDC and DoD guidelines. Schools will provide masks to students unable to provide their own.  Six feet of social distancing will be maintained whenever possible. Not applicable
Athletics and Extracurricular Activities Available on a limited basis depending on ability to social distance and wear face coverings. Available on a limited basis depending on ability to social distance and wear face coverings.

How do parents choose the virtual option for the 2020-21 SY?

Parents will complete the form and select the program option that works best for their child or children.  Parents may access the form online.  If a parent does not have access to the internet, they will need to call their child’s school. Directions for parents to select the appropriate option are below:

STEP 1: Login to Google with your child’s DoDEA Student Google username and password. 

STEP 2: Access the DoDEA Virtual School: Parent Form

STEP 3: Make your selection and fill out the required information and finish by clicking the “Submit Form” button at the bottom of the form.

STEP 4: If you need to complete a form for multiple students, click on "Submit Another Form" link.

STEP 5: Check your child's DoDEA Google email account for a receipt of your intent with additional information about the enrollment process and a link to change your selection if desired (by July 28).

The deadline to complete the form is July 28, 2020.

How do new families to DoDEA enroll in the virtual option?

Families will select either in-person instruction or full-time virtual education from home when they register students using DORS and then contact the registrar at their assigned DoDEA school to complete the registration process.

DoDEA Student Google Account Required

Why is DoDEA having existing DoDEA teachers and parents log onto their DoDEA Google Account (either teacher or student) to access the teacher interest form and parent enrollment form?

The purpose of requiring existing DoDEA teachers and parents to log into their DoDEA Google account is to ensure only DoDEA teachers and families can access these forms and to maintain security of the forms.  To access the forms, first log into your DoDEA Google account and then you will be able to access the forms.

If you are an existing DoDEA teacher or family and need DoDEA Google account log in support you can email a support specialist in your region.

Please include: 

  • Student Number (Full Name if Student Number is not known)
  • Sponsor Name
  • Google Account (@student.dodea.edu), if known

Americas: 

Europe: 

Pacific: 

Virtual Learning

Parents have the option of enrolling their child in the DoDEA Virtual School for the 2020-2021 school year. This can be done if there is a medical need for the student, a health need for someone in the household, or based on parent preference.

Students in grades K-8 will be enrolled in five courses: mathematics, English/language arts, science, social studies and one elective (art, music or physical education). The virtual program may also include larger class sizes to maximize student course selections and to maximize the number of students able to attend in-school instruction under social distancing guidelines.

To appropriately staff schools and create schedules for students, parents must make this election by July 30.

If a parent elects to have their child enrolled in full-time virtual learning, the experience for students will look different than it did during the spring of 2020. DoDEA will use full virtual courses with all of the normal content expected in a regular DoDEA course, but that is designed specifically for the online environment. Students will be required to follow the assignment schedule provided in the course.

Based on 10 years of experience, the virtual school has found that high school students who take more than 5 online courses struggle to be successful. However, if families want their high school student(s) to be enrolled in 6 virtual school courses we will allow them to do so. It will be a significant challenge for many students to successfully complete 6 online courses. Please be aware that the virtual school will have the same drop/add window per the DoDEA graduation policy.

If a high school student is taking 5 virtual courses, they may need to enroll in two summer school courses to stay on track to graduate.

All DoDEA parents who want the virtual learning option will be asked to submit an enrollment form to indicate their desire for their child to participate by July 28, 2020. Parents must login to Google using their student's DoDEA Google Student account before accessing the form. If the intent form is not returned, the student will be automatically be enrolled for in-person instruction for the year.

Yes, Families will select either in-person instruction or full-time virtual education from home when they register students using DoDEA's online registration system (DORS) and then contact the registrar at their assigned DoDEA school to complete the registration process.

Teachers and students are required to access Virtual School courses through the current DoDEA Learning Management System, Schoology.

No, DoDEA will not be offering a virtual learning option for PreK students. DoDEA’s in-person option is the best learning environment for young children. DoDEA PreK and Sure Start programs use The Creative Curriculum for Preschool. This curriculum provides hands-on, developmentally appropriate learning experiences through deep, guided investigations. The intentional teaching and learning addresses all developmental areas; social-emotional, cognitive, language and physical, as well as content areas. Daily interaction with others and the physical learning environment support best practice. In the event that remote learning is necessary, the teacher continues to lead investigations through synchronous sessions and supports for parents, that resemble in-person learning experiences, are provided via the Creative Curriculum digital family components.

Virtual preschool does not provide the social and relational interactions that are essential to children’s later development. While technology can be use enhance or scaffold learning, full time virtual preschool is not a best practice.

In addition, DoDEA does not provide a universal preschool option for all four year olds.

Students enrolled in the Virtual School will receive a DoDEA diploma upon successfully completing their course work. Virtual school seniors will not have to take more than the recommended 5 classes unless they need additional classes to graduate on schedule.

Curriculum and Courses

No. DoDEA will continue to use the same curriculum for in-person instruction and will use procured, licensed courseware for the DVS.

The virtual curriculum is specifically designed for an online course. The required assignments and assessments are aligned to the DoDEA College and Career Ready Standards for their curricular areas.

The virtual instruction option is available to all families. For parents of students who have an Individualized Education Program or 504 plan, the case study committee/504 team will convene to work with the family and the DVS to determine a free and appropriate public education for the student.

In grades K-5, students will continue to receive the appropriate level of services provided by the school-based AAPS-RT in collaboration with the Virtual School grade level teacher. Students in grades 6-12 may continue to receive the appropriate differentiated services and accelerated course options if those options are available in the virtual school.

Students will continue to receive equitable access to the appropriate level of ESOL program services (e.g. standards-based instruction with focus on WIDA standards, identification of students in need of ESOL services, assessment of the student's level and progress in English language proficiency (ELP) and in academics, differentiated instruction, programmatic classification, ELP and academics progress monitoring, reclassification, exit and monitoring) that are provided by the school-based ESOL Program.

The provision of these services will be achieved working in close collaboration with the DoDEA Virtual School, the student's home school and the DoDEA Assessment Division

Communication will be sent home for all parents/guardians via email, social media, and the DoDEA website. Parents will complete the form and select the program option that works best for their child or children. Parents may access the form online. If a parent does not have access to the internet, they will need to call their child’s school. Detailed instructions are on this website under the "Making a Choice" tab.

The deadline to complete the form is July 28, 2020.

No, JROTC will not be offered by the DoDEA Virtual School. JROTC will be offered for in-person instruction.

Yes, students taking 5 courses will considered to be enrolled full-time and eligible for valedictorian and salutatorian.

Technology for the Virtual Learning Option

If families and students do not have an adequate laptop or computer at home, students may request to check out a laptop from their local school.

Students will have to have access to a computer to use the DoDEA Learning Management System, Schoology. Students will not be able to use a phone or tablet to fully access the materials of the course.

As with laptops, families and students may request and check out a hotspot from their local school.

Schools play an integral role in protecting the health and safety of their staff, students, and families. Restoring teaching and learning to the familiar environments of our classrooms, provides students with stability and continuity. Face-to-face instruction and the routines of school add significantly to the success and growth for all students.  It is imperative that we get students back to school as soon as soon it is safe to do so.  DoDEA is preparing to fully open schools in person using the published academic calendars (including recent changes for the Southeast District) for the coming school year.

Virtual option for some

DoDEA plans to offer a virtual learning option for families and students beginning in the first semester of school year (SY) 2020-21 for students and families with health vulnerabilities for COVID-19 or who are concerned about returning to school. Parents selecting an all-virtual option will have to commit to a full semester. Students in the earlier grades will need more parental support throughout the day. 

The Virtual School

The DoDEA Virtual High School (DVHS) will be temporarily expanded from grades 9-12 to K-12, becoming the DoDEA Virtual School (DVS).  This expansion is focused solely on responding to current needs and there is no plan to permanently expand DVHS to grades K-12.

Calendar

The virtual option calendar will be aligned to the DVHS calendar, which begins for teachers on August 17 and for students on August 24.

Curriculum

DoDEA is procuring licensed courseware in each core subject area to be delivered by a teacher detailed to the virtual school.  These will be full semester-based courses aligned with DoDEA standards and designed specifically for the online environment. 

Implementation Procedures and Materials

For consistency and equity, DoDEA is procuring courseware in core content areas in grades K-8 using the same model DVHS has for their high school courses. Courses will be provided to all students using the current DoDEA Learning Management System, Schoology.

Synchronous sessions with students will be scheduled based on student and program needs.

The virtual instruction option is available to all families. For parents of students who have an Individualized Education Program or 504 plan, the case study committee/504 team will convene to work with the family to determine a free and appropriate public education for the student.

Staffing the Schools

Teachers will have from July 15-28 to submit the DoDEA Virtual School: Educator Detail Interest Form for a short term detail to the virtual school.

The qualifications currently used by DVHS for teachers will be used for the selection of those detailed to the virtual school. 

What skills are essential to work in the virtual school?

  • Online experience as an instructor or a student
  • Experience with an LMS such as Schoology or Blackboard
  • Synchronous and asynchronous technology experience
  • Experience with online collaboration
  • Experience using web-conferencing tools
  • Communication practices with all stakeholders
  • Experience with Google Apps for Education

Once the enrollment process closes, DoDEA will determine how many positions are required to staff DVS based on the requirements and in-person enrollment at each school.  A DoDEA management team will review applications to screen candidates based on qualifications. Qualified teachers may then be selected from the interest pool and notification will go out to those teachers who will be detailed to the DVS. 

Modified DVHS training is being prepared for teachers detailed to the DVS which includes teaching in the virtual environment and an orientation to Schoology. Training will be provided during the first week teachers are back to school.  Orientations for parents and students will also be provided.

Teachers detailed to the DVS will report to the Assistant Principal for DVS in each region. Teachers will enter into a new performance appraisal plan that matches the DVHS performance elements and accurately reflects the duties of the position.

Teachers’ duty location will normally be their school of record or district office, if convenient, and teachers may be able to work from an alternate location off site, as determined by the supervisor. Teachers will maintain and return to their position in the local DoDEA school to which they are assigned upon completion of the detail.

Teacher Detail Interest Form

Interested educators must submit an interest form between July 15th and 28th. Educators selected for virtual school details will be notified on or about 7 August.

Step 1:  Log in using your DoDEA Google Account

Step 2:  Access the Teacher Detail Interest Form.

Step 3:  Complete the form to include your name, current school, current teaching assignment, and recent teaching assignments over the past three years in which you are certified.

Step 4:  Complete the 5 short answer questions (150 characters or less).

Step 5:  Submit the form.

If you need DoDEA Google Account information, please email the appropriate address for each region:

Americas: 

Europe: 

Pacific: 

How will an average day compare to in-person instruction?

See the side-by-side comparison between in person school and virtual school under the Making a Choice tab on this webpage.

DVS Teacher Day Snapshot

Schedule:
  • Non-traditional day, non-traditional hours, no bell schedule
  • Teacher schedule approved by DVS Principal
  • Schedule based on student and DVS program needs
Communication:
  • Proactively contacts and responds to students, parents, and colleagues.
  • Makes regular course announcements
  • Regularly communicates with individual students especially those who may be struggling with content or pacing
Instruction:
  • Uses approved courseware within the Schoology Learning Management System.
  • Creates and maintains a strong teacher presence with an emphasis on student engagement and providing students feedback
  • Provides asynchronous and synchronous small group or individual instruction dependent upon student need
Grading:
  • Provides clear, specific, timely feedback (within 24 hours) using a variety of synchronous and asynchronous tools.
  • Utilizes DoDEA official gradebook
  • Sends weekly updates to sponsor (Best Practice)
Collaboration:
  • Frequently works with IDs, ETs, and PPS Department
  • Responsible for checking in daily with DVHS admin.
  • Attends required DVS faculty, department, and collaboration meetings

Timeline

July 15, 2020

Initial notification to teachers and parents of the option for full-time virtual learning

July 15-28

Teacher interest window is open

July 15-28

Parent enrollment window is open

July 29-Aug 6

Teacher interest forms reviewed by DVS along with reasonable accommodation requests, and matching to existing positions in schools

Aug 6-7

Teachers are notified of whether or not they will be detailed to the virtual school

Aug 17-21

Teachers plan and are trained for virtual learning

Aug 24

School calendar and instruction begins