MCPS Virtual Academy Application Window Now Open
For the 2021- 2022 school year, Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) is offering a full time virtual learning program for students in Kindergarten to grade 12. The Virtual Academy program is now being referred to as Montgomery Virtual.
While the district is continuing to plan for a full return to in-person instruction for next school year, MCPS has heard from schools and the community that virtual learning has been an instructional model that has worked well for their students and families for a variety of reasons.
The district’s virtual learning program, Montgomery Virtual, will be a centrally managed program and will partner with students’ home schools to provide the academic and social emotional support students need to thrive in virtual instruction.
The application window for the MCPS Virtual Academy (now known as Montgomery Virtual) opened yesterday, Wednesday, June 2nd. It will remain open until July 2nd. Only new students enrolling in MCPS after July 2nd will be considered after the window closes, as well those with serious health concerns.
Enrollment options for K-8 include being enrolled in the Montgomery Virtual full-time, while high school offers full-time and part-time options.
The application includes many details about Montgomery Virtual, including a program overview, program eligibility, and program disclaimers that can all be seen below.
● For the 2021-2022 school year, the program will serve students in Kindergarten to Grade 12 with qualifying extenuating circumstances. Documentation that can be independently verified must accompany all requests for enrollment. In the absence of such documentation, evidence of such extenuating circumstances may be obtained through consultation with school staff.
● The program is a comprehensive, five day a week online instructional program.
● Students will be required to engage in the program via a computer and the Internet synchronously and asynchronously five
(5) days a week to fully participate in the virtual academy and must follow MCPS’s acceptable use policy, IGT-RA.
● Students under 12 years of age are required to be supervised by an adult during school hours to participate in the program.
● Enrollment in the virtual academy is intended to be a full year commitment for the 2021-2022 school year. However,
students may apply to transfer back to their assigned school during designated transfer windows. Transfers are contingent upon space, staffing, and program availability.
○ Elementary/Middle (Grades K-8): Transfer windows occur at the end of each marking period.
○ High School (Grades 9-12): Transfer windows are at the end of each semester.
● Students will be expected to reapply for enrollment in the program each year.
● Technology will be available to students on an as needed basis.
● Students may apply for the virtual academy when:
○ The student or student’s family is experiencing extenuating circumstances related to health that could be mitigated
through a virtual learning experience. Preference for virtual learning is not considered an extenuating circumstance.
■ Parents/guardians/eligible students seeking enrollment in the Virtual Academy should provide
documentation of health-related extenuating circumstances necessitating participation in virtual learning
rather than in-person learning.
■ Documentation of extenuating circumstances may include evidence of ongoing treatment by a health care
provider of issues related to the health of a student, or a member of the student’s immediate household, that may be significantly impacted by potential exposure to COVID-19 and which could be mitigated by the student’s participation in virtual learning. In the absence of such documentation, evidence of such extenuating circumstances may be obtained through consultation with school staff.
○ High School Only – Modified scheduling is required to address instructional needs including but not exclusive to credit recovery, internship or work experience, flexible schedule to complement CTE program or enrollment at Montgomery College, or courses in addition to a full day schedule.
● Students are required to maintain a bona fide residence in Montgomery County, MD
● Students are required to be actively enrolled in an MCPS school to be eligible. Students enrolled in home instruction or a
private/non-public school must enroll in the local MCPS school prior to applying to the virtual academy. (Find your School –https://gis.mcpsmd.org/SchoolAssignmentTool2/)
By enrolling in the virtual academy, I understand:
● Availability and program offerings in the virtual academy are contingent upon budget and staffing allocations.
● Class assignments are not based on homeschool assignments. Students may not be in classes with students from their home
school and in varying grade levels based on scheduling and staffing.
● For students with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or 504 plan, the application process will include an IEP or 504
meeting. The purpose of which is to review, discuss and determine which supports, services and accommodations can be made available in a virtual school. Accommodations and special education services provided by a licensed service provider will not be provided for students residing outside of Montgomery County, Maryland.
● Certain aspects of the program will require in-person engagement including but not limited to the administration of assessments in alignment with state and local requirements (Regulation ILA-RA, Assessments with Security and Reporting Requirements). In these circumstances, students will need to provide their own transportation.
● Program will offer a limited set of core courses to provide pathways to graduation.
● Students currently enrolled in an MCPS specialized/signature program will be unenrolled in that program and enrolled in the
virtual academy. Students would be required to reapply to the specialized/signature program should they wish to re-enroll in
● Requests to transfer before the one year commitment will be contingent upon staffing, space, and program availability at the
assigned school and will only be reviewed at select transfer windows that align to the marking period and semester transitions.
More information and access to the application can be found here.