BPS Exploring the Idea of Offering Virtual School Next Year

The Boston Public Schools (BPS) has sent out a survey to parents this week to gauge whether there is interest in creating a Virtual School program that would continue remote learning options through next school year.

The letter went out in the last few days and contained a survey for those that might be interested, an exploratory approach that would be undertaken if there is sufficient interest, the letter said.

Boston Public Schools is exploring the possibility of launching a fully virtual school for SY21-22,” read the letter. “A virtual school is a school that exists fully online…This survey asks families to share their interest in a fully virtual school option to understand demand for planning purposes. Any virtual school option would need to be approved by the Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. This survey does not guarantee the option of a virtual school…”

If there was enough interest in a Virtual School at BPS for all grades, the district would seemingly embark on creating the frameworks and getting it approved by the state in time for next year.

The letter indicates there would be ample opportunities for online learning, and even some opportunities to interact with other students via extracurricular activities.

“Attending a virtual school is similar to attending a school in a physical building in many ways: students have a homeroom, classmates, BPS teachers, a principal, and rigorous instruction,” read the letter. “Instead of going to a school building, students at the virtual school learn remotely, from their homes, using a computer and the internet…There may be some opportunities for in-person engagement with classmates, either for special occasions, specific projects, or extracurricular activities.”

The results of the survey are expected within a month or so.

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