2017-18 open enrollment underway for Virtual School

Internet-based learning program available for students from kindergarten through 12th grade

The school district offices are located at The Landings in Sarasota. File photo

On Feb. 1, open enrollment began for the next Sarasota Virtual School year, 2017-18, and it will end on Thursday, July 13, the Sarasota County School District has announced.

Sarasota Virtual School (SVS) is a district public school that provides a full-time online learning option for students from kindergarten through 12th grade, a news release explains. The student and teacher are separated by time, space or both, the release notes. Students access lessons and assignments, and receive assessments, via the internet. “Using technology, teachers communicate with students and parents in many different ways,” the release says.

“The school meets all Florida public school standards and requirements,” the release points out. “Students completing graduation requirements will be awarded a high school diploma,” it adds.

The Sarasota County School District contracts with four outside virtual instruction providers approved by the School Board, the release says. Connections Academy, K12 Florida and Florida Virtual School provides the district with online learning services for students in grades K-12, and Edgenuity serves district students in grades six through 12, the release notes. High school students have the option of using any of the four providers to meet their specific needs, the release explains.

The school uses a state-approved curriculum with a variety of instructional materials, including textbooks. Student attendance is monitored, based on online activity, completion of material and successful assessments, the release continues. Much of the content is delivered via the providers’ websites, www.connectionslearning.com (grades K-12), www.k12.com/flvp (grades K-12), www.flvsft.com (grades K-12) and www.edgenuity.com (grades six-12), the release adds.

“Instructors are highly qualified and/or certified teachers, as defined by the federal No Child Left Behind law,” the release points out.

Computers and internet access may be provided at no charge to eligible students who meet family income requirements, the release adds.

Sarasota Virtual School is graded, just as all schools in Florida receive a grade each year, the release notes.

For the 2017-18 school year, all students in grades K-five are eligible for enrollment. Students who were enrolled in a Florida public school (traditional, charter, virtual or alternative) since Sept. 30, 2016 who are in grades six through 12 also will meet the enrollment eligibility criteria, the release says.

According to Florida law, students in grades six through 12 who were home-schooled during the 2016-17 school year are not eligible for the virtual school, the release explains. Parents interested in this option must schedule an appointment with the Sarasota Virtual School administrator to discuss their student’s needs and eligibility status, the release points out.

The Sarasota Virtual School office may be reached at 927-9000 or via email at SVS@sarasotacountyschools.net.