Virtual Learning Option

Summary: The Virtual Option Pilot Program 2021-22 will be offered to elementary (kindergarten - 5th grade) students

Online Learning Options for the 2021-22 School Year

As students return this fall, Seattle Public Schools will be offering five full days of in-person instruction at all 104 schools for all students. We are committed to working with our community and staff to open schools and welcome back all students who wish to return to in-person learning.

Our staff, school leaders, and school teams continue to work on what matters most to our students and families for the 2021-22 school year: welcoming and identity-safe schools, safe and healthy learning environments, and high-quality instruction and learning environments.

For Fall 2021, there will be a limited number of students in grades K-5 who can enroll in the virtual learning pilot. SPS will encourage K-5 grade families to consider this option if their student has thrived or could thrive in a fully remote learning setting.

Kindergarten – 5th Grade Students

For Fall 2021, there will be a limited number of students in grades K-5 who can enroll in the virtual learning pilot. SPS will encourage K-5 grade families to consider this option if their student has thrived or could thrive in a fully remote learning setting. K-5 students with existing, documented health issues or concerns, including mental and emotional health concerns, will be prioritized for this virtual pilot.

Application

Thank you for your interest in the 2021-22 K-5 Virtual Option Pilot Program. The application for the 2021-22 school year is now closed. Interested families can complete the waitlist application to be considered for enrollment. If space is available, a Seattle Public Schools staff member will contact you with details about the next steps for enrollment.

Virtual Learning Waitlist Application for K-5 Students


Virtual Learning Options and Appeals Process

Seattle Public Schools is offering a Virtual Option Pilot Program (VOPP) for elementary (K-5) students. While the application for K-5 VOPP closed Friday, August 13, families can apply to be on the waitlist. Waitlist applicants will be placed in priority order based on their date of application and the following criteria:  

  • Students with an underlying condition that increases their risk for severe illness from COVID-19.  
  • Students who live in a household where someone in the household is at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19.  
  • Students who have a mental health issue or other condition.  
  • Students who experienced an increased sense of safety during remote learning. 

If your student is not initially placed in VOPP, families can use our typical transfer appeals process. Please note we are continuing to review applicant information. If we have an update, we will notify families as soon as possible.   

For students who are unable to enroll in VOPP, we have identified several alternative online learning options that are state approved and available at no cost to our students. The state-approved online programs are available to any student in SPS. If a student disenrolls from SPS, students will not be guaranteed a space at their option school next school year. State-approved options include:

For families interested in homeschooling with district resources, please view our Cascade Parent Partnership website.     

Students without an Individualized Education Program (IEP) with a medical, social-emotional, or mental health condition and/or are not able to get vaccinated due to medical conditions are encouraged to apply for a 504 evaluation, if one is not already in place. Please reach out to 504coordinator@seattleschools.org to connect with your school 504 team, who can provide guidance. 

SPS will be dedicating district resources to provide the best possible online learning experience and to meet our students’ needs. We intend to learn from the year and evaluate if a virtual option can be expanded in the future.  


Virtual Option Pilot Program Leadership

Superintendent Brent Jones has appointed Janine Roy as the Virtual Option Pilot Program (VOPP) principal for students in grades K-5.

Janine Roy: Principal Grades K-5th

After being a teacher, school principal, and district leader in Canada for 30 years, Janine Roy moved to Seattle in June 2016 to become principal of Queen Anne Elementary. Prior to joining the Queen Anne Elementary community, she was awarded Canada’s Outstanding Principal award in 2006 and started the first global school in Canada in 2008. “With our Creative Approach focus on our Five Pillars, social emotional learning through Positive Discipline, Project Based Learning, and Digital Leadership, Queen Anne Elementary is truly my dream school,” said Janine. “I am so fortunate to be part of this dynamic, enthusiastic community dedicated to empowering students to make a difference in the world and I’m excited to expand our offerings to include the Virtual Option Pilot Program next school year.”

School Building Assignments

K-5 grade students will be enrolled in Queen Anne Elementary.

Students will pick up resources including library books, textbooks, their school issued laptop, and technology supports from the assigned school building.

School Start and End Times

Queen Anne Elementary Start time: 7:55 a.m. End Time: 2:25 p.m. Wednesday Early Release: 1:10 p.m.


Frequently Asked Questions for K-5

Will meals be offered to remote students?

Yes. More information about meals for students in the virtual program will be available soon.

Will English Learner (EL) services be provided through the Virtual Option Pilot?

Yes. If a student needs EL services, those services will either be provided through their neighborhood school or the VOPP.

Will transportation be provided to physical school buildings?

Virtual learning students that have transportation written into their Individualized Education Plan (IEP) will receive it. Services may include transportation to the student’s neighborhood school or assigned VOPP school building if/when it is needed. No other students will receive transportation.

How will special education services be provided?

Students that have specialized services written into their IEPs (e.g., Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Speech) will receive them in-person at their designated school or remotely, if requested.

Will the virtual option include instruction for Highly Capable (HC) students?

Yes. Students will receive all services to which they are legally entitled through a differentiated approach.Will students be able to enroll in courses at their neighborhood school?

No. If students enroll in the VOPP they must attend 100% virtually except to receive special education or English learner services.

Can my student transfer back to in-person school during the same school year or once vaccines are available for all ages?

Students who wish to transfer back to in-person learning after enrolling in the virtual option will need to follow the transfer appeal process to return to their neighborhood school. A transfer back to their neighborhood school is not guaranteed.

Can my student return to their option school in 2022-23 (next school year) after being enrolled in VOPP in the 2021-22 school year?

Staff is bringing a proposal to the Seattle School Board that would allow VOPP students to return to their option school next school year. We will keep families informed about the Board vote.

Is there an option for my student to do a hybrid schedule, attending a few days per week in-person and a few days per week online?

No. This is a 100% virtual learning option, 5 days a week, except for students who receive special education or English learner services who may have in-person services written into their IEPs.

How is the Virtual Option Pilot Program being staffed?

The district asked educators to submit an interest form. Over 150 educators expressed interest to support this new program. The jobs will be posted online on Monday, July 12 and closed Sunday, July 18. The appointed school leaders will be hiring for each virtual school.

When will students receive their laptop and other supporting technology?

Late August. Students will pick up their assigned laptop from Queen Anne Elementary or at the John Stanford Center for Educational Excellence. School principals will contact enrolled students directly with information about picking up resources and technology.

Have additional questions? Please send them to virtualsps@seattleschools.org.


Students in 6th – 12th grade

Online Learning Options for the 2021-22 School Year

SPS is committed to providing 180 Days of Excellence to 100% of our students next year. This commitment includes delivering high-quality instruction and the necessary supports to ensure the health and well-being of our most vulnerable students in 2021-22.

We are excited to offer the Virtual Option Pilot Program (VOPP) for elementary (K-5) students and continue to build on the virtual innovations from the previous school year. We recognize that students under the age of 12 are unable to receive the vaccine and we are focusing our online, high-quality learning services on our youngest learners. We intend to learn from VOPP this school year and evaluate if a virtual option can be expanded in the future.

After much consideration, SPS will not offer the VOPP for middle and high school students in the 2021-22 school year due to low enrollment.

While we can’t offer the 6-12 grade SPS Virtual Option Pilot Program to families that applied, staff are committed to working with those families to identify and enroll students in other online learning options for the school year 2021-22. We have identified several alternative online learning options that are state approved and available at no cost to our students, including:

Seattle Public Schools is committed to supporting all our students in the coming school year and creating the conditions necessary for students to thrive.