DEARBORN — With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing thousands of students to try virtual schooling, the district is launching a Dearborn Public Schools Virtual K-12 School.
The new school will not have its own physical building, but will operate like a distinct school in the Dearborn Public family of schools.
Children in grades K-12 will be taught by Dearborn Public School teachers following the district’s curriculum, calendar and schedule.
Parents interested in the program must transfer or enroll their children by June 8.
Students who sign up to transfer or enroll after that date will be placed on a waiting list and will only be moved into the program if staffing is available and the program is open to any students who live in the district.
The district plans to start the new school year on Aug. 30, with classes face-to-face all day, every day for students not enrolled in the new virtual school.
The new Virtual School will have its own teachers and students at all grade levels will attend classes dedicated to online students only. Students will have a full day of live lessons every day and elective class options may be limited at the middle and high school level.
“For most students, face-to-face learning is the best option for the greatest student success,” Superintendent Glenn Maleyko said. “But Dearborn Public Schools has long prided itself on providing a variety of options so students and families can create a unique learning plan to suit their child’s needs. The new Virtual K-12 School is another way we can do that.”
The new Virtual K-12 School will require students to come in to pick up materials periodically and possibly for state-required testing, and high school students will also be required to take finals in a school building.
Students currently enrolled in the district’s Virtual Learning Program will need to transfer to the new Virtual K-12 School if they want to continue to learn online next school year.
Virtual K-12 students will need to have their cameras on during classes and students who transfer are committing to attending Virtual K-12 for the entire school year.
Middle and high school students would still be allowed to participate in sports and other extracurricular activities at what would have been their home school in the district.
Students who go on to graduate from Virtual K-12 will still have their own special celebrations including prom, seniors honors night and graduation.
Parents interested in transferring their children into Virtual K-12 should visit the school’s website at www.vk12.dearbornschools.org to learn more. Parents are also asked to attend a virtual Zoom meeting about the program before committing to transferring their child.
“Barring any unforeseen changes, we plan to reopen next school year with full-time, face-to-face instruction for our students, which is aligned with the current state law,” Maleyko said. “For parents who want their child to remain online, we encourage them to transfer to this new Dearborn Public Schools Virtual K-12 before the June 8 deadline. Because of staffing, we cannot promise to admit those who ask to transfer after the deadline.”