Beginning with the 2021-2022 school year, students have two options to take online courses:
1) Students may choose to take their entire course load online through the BCPS Region VII Virtual Academy, including WCC Dual Enrollment courses, if applicable.
2) Traditional, in-seat students, may choose to supplement their in-seat courses with online courses through:
- The Region VII Virtual Academy
- Wytheville Community College dual enrollment approved courses
- Governor’s School courses
Courses students take through any other program will be at the parents’ expense.
Traditional students will not be permitted to take a course online if the same course is offered at BCHS or BCES except in the rare circumstance that a schedule conflict prevents the student from taking a course that is considered essential for that student during the specified school year, as authorized by the building principal and approved by the Director of Online Instruction.
Applicants for the Region VII Virtual Academy must meet and maintain the following:
- Kindergarten applicants must be five years old by September 30th of the upcoming school year to enroll.
- Students must be on track for respective grade level and in good academic standing, as determined by home school division. Data from the 2020-2021 school year will be taken into consideration when making a determination on eligibility for the Virtual Academy.
- Students in grades 9-12 must have a minimum GPA OF 2.0.
- Students in elementary and middle school grades must have at least a C average in Reading and Math.
- All students must maintain at least a C average throughout the duration of the school year.
- Students who have previously taken SOL test(s) must have passed test(s) in order to participate in the Region VII Virtual Academy.
- Students in SOL tested grades must pass all SOLs in order to participate in the Region VII Virtual Academy the following year.
The code of Virginia’s policy on educational attendance applies to virtual schooling and compulsory school attendance is required by law. In the virtual learning environment, attendance is defined as:
- Meeting the attendance expectations set forth by the virtual provider
- Completing all online assignments for each class in a timely manner
- Reaching out to teachers as necessary regarding questions or concerns with classwork
Any student who misses 5 or more unexcused days will be asked to provide the Executive Director written notification for absences. Any student who misses 8 or more unexcused days will be asked to return to in-person learning.
All students must have access to reliable internet.
In order for a traditional student to be enrolled in online courses, he/she must meet the following criteria:
- Have an overall grade point average of 90% or higher or have a 93% average in the course subject area in which he/she wishes to enroll.
- Not have received any incompletes for excessive unexcused absences during the preceding school year.
- Not have been placed in an alternative school setting or received a long term suspension or expulsion during the preceding school year.
- Pass the dual enrollment placement test through WCC.
Traditional students who do not meet the four eligibility requirements and desire to take online classes may appeal using the following process:
- Submit an appeals request in writing to the building principal prior to the first day of school/semester. In this request, the student will identify one of his/her teachers from the previous year to serve on the appeals committee.
- The principal will select another teacher familiar with the student’s ability and motivation to serve on the committee and schedule a date and time for the committee to meet with the student and parents.
- The Director of Online Instruction will serve on all appeals committees.
- The student and parents will present to the committee reasons he/she should be scheduled into the online course.
- The committee will render a decision after the meeting and the building principal will notify the student and parents by the end of the next work day regarding the decision of the appeals committee.
Students meeting the eligibility criteria and those approved by the eligibility committee to take online courses will do so under the following guidelines:
- All Wytheville Community College dual enrollment courses must be approved by the principal prior to the student enrolling in the course(s).
- For courses other than those offered through Bland County Public Schools, the Region VII Academy, and the Governor’s School, parents must pay the tuition and the cost of books prior to the student being enrolled.
- Students who have not maintained at least a (C) average for the first semester will not be enrolled for the second semester.
- Drop-Add Period – Students may drop or add online courses during the first three weeks of a course through the Region VII Virtual Academy. WCC courses follow the add/drop schedule. To Drop or Add an online course through the Virtual Academy, students must confer with the Director of Online Instruction and complete the Drop/Add Form. This formality is intended to ensure that students are properly advised when making course changes and are aware of assignments in courses they are joining. To drop or add dual enrollment or Governor’s School courses, students should see the school counselor.
- Withdrawals – In some circumstances, a student may withdraw from an online course through the Virtual Academy after the Drop/Add period with approval from the Director of Online Instruction. The course title will remain on the student’s transcript for that semester, and the action will be recorded as W/P if the student is passing at the time of withdrawal, or W/F if the student is not passing. A student who withdraws from a yearlong course in the second semester will receive a numeric grade for the first semester, a W/P or W/F for the spring, and no final grade or credit. Students who wish to withdraw from a dual enrollment course should confer with the school counselor.
Technology Responsible Use Policy
All Bland County Public School students, virtual and traditional, must sign and follow a responsible use policy for technology. Fill out the form here.