SMP Virtual Learning Program
A virtual learning program is offered to increase the district’s capacity to educate students while safeguarding parental choice. Application to the program is required and acceptance is not guaranteed. Students may enroll in the program for all courses (full-time student) or for one or more courses to supplement traditional schooling (part-time student). A parent/adult guardian or school employee must be named to serve as the student’s facilitator; this person will be responsible for monitoring student activity, communicating with course instructors, and ensuring that coursework is completed in a timely fashion. Students can expect the work load in an online course to be similar to that of a traditional course.
The school-building level committee (SBLC) should be involved in any St. Mary Parish Virtual Learning Program (SMPVLP) enrollment decision. Enrollment into the program takes place at the school site in the student’s attendance zone.
Students in grades 6-8 receive online core content instruction supported by a certified St. Mary Parish teacher. For full-time students, the home facilitator may choose to support elective instruction of band, art, and/or P.E. by awarding “S” (Satisfactory), “N” (Needs Improvement), or “U” (Unsatisfactory) for these electives. Students are required to take all state mandated assessments.
Students in grades 9-12 in the Virtual Learning Program receive online core and elective content instruction supported by a certified St. Mary Parish teacher following a graduation path outlined by the school counselor. When needed, full-time students must take courses not offered virtually at their attendance zone site. Students are required to take and pass End-of-Course Exams and to meet ACT testing requirements.
Students who qualify for 504, gifted, 1508, or other special education services receive the services physically through the attendance zone site. Home or school facilitators are expected to deliver any accommodations to which students are entitled based on current IEPs.
Whenever Virtual Learning Program students are on the school campus, they are subject to all rules and regulations of the school including the uniform policy. Virtual Learning Program students are eligible for all extracurricular offerings such as athletics, dances, and clubs. Virtual Learning Program students who meet graduation requirements are eligible to participate in graduation ceremonies at their attendance zone site.
A district-issued computer for student use is available should students need one. Parents are required to have home internet access. Students are expected to login on school days and are to notify the instructor immediately if login is not possible. Students are subject to fees in the program should they damage any computer, fail to comply with reasonable and ethical use of hardware or software, or fail to meet course expectations in a timely manner.
Virtual Learning Program staff will first notify the student’s facilitator and then the school attendance zone principal whenever students fall behind in their work. A school building level committee (SBLC) meeting should be held whenever students are not being successful in the program.
For full-time students, the SBLC may recommend a return to traditional schooling program when a student is suspended from the SMPVLP for truancy or failure to progress. Full-time students may also exit from the program into a traditional homeschool program. Exits occur at the 4 ½ week or the nine-week grading period.
Students enrolling in the St. Mary Parish Virtual Learning Program must be in good standing and eligible to enroll in a regular St. Mary Parish school. The St. Mary Parish Virtual Learning Program does not circumvent assignment to the St. Mary Parish Alternative Program.
VLP instruction can continue past the school year through the program’s Summer Learning Institute. More information can be found at https://www.stmaryk12.net/VLP
Dr. Susan Dupre