Henrico school board gets glimpse into ‘Henrico Virtual Academy’ in Thursday’s meeting

Henrico County

HENRICO, Va. (WRIC) – Henrico County school board leaders learned more about virtual learning plans for the upcoming school year at Thursday’s work session.

In a letter to families, Superintendent Amy Cashwell said the school system is planning for full in-person learning when school begins Wednesday, September 8.

Related coverage: Henrico schools planning for students to attend in-person full-time this fall

Employees and students will attend school in-person five days a week, and bell schedules will return to their normal length times.

School leaders say hybrid teaching will no longer be an option. Instead, a new option will be on the table for families still interested in virtual learning.

A new ‘Henrico Virtual Academy’ will be soon be announced as an option for K-12 students who wish to remain completely virtual for the 2021-2022 school year.

“Staff has received feedback from stakeholders that shared both ongoing challenges and areas of success in the virtual learning space,” a background description on the school board’s agenda reads. “While virtual learning is not the optimal environment for every student, it is an environment where some learners are thriving.”

Details are limited but a presentation posted to the agenda ahead of this afternoon’s meeting shows the academy would be a one-year commitment and would offer several classes at the elementary, and secondary levels including reading, math, science and the fine arts.

The presentation described the structure of HVA as a combination of both synchronous and asynchronous learning strategies.

Synchronous versus asynchronous learning (Image via Henrico Schools)

Any Henrico resident is able to enroll their student in the program. After an application process and family self-reflection tool, the school system will help determine if the Henrico Virtual Academy is the right fit for the student trying to enroll.

September 8 is the first day of school for the county and the ‘learner-centered’ curriculum of HVA is set to be in place.

Other items on the agenda regarding the HVA were nutrition, VHSL inclusion and special education through the program. Those will be explained in-full at a later date.

VHSL opportunities described in a presentation about HVA (Image via Henrico Schools)

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