In order to provide a substantive option for our students with health concerns or any other special circumstances that would prevent their return later in the year to a hybrid learning model, St. Vrain has partnered with the Florida Virtual School (FLVS) to create St. Vrain LaunchED Virtual Academy.
LaunchED Virtual Academy operates under the mission of St. Vrain Valley Schools and offers a fully-accredited online alternative for preschool through 12th graders. The curriculum is taught by licensed St. Vrain Valley Schools educators and delivered via Schoology in an environment that advances academic excellence while supporting and fostering student development.
St. Vrain LaunchED Virtual Academy will utilize content from Florida Virtual School to deliver a rigorous and comprehensive educational experience that aligns with Colorado Academic Standards. The content taught and the pace of delivery will approximate district expectations for each grade level and course, according to district unit plans. Each course is taught by St. Vrain educators, supported by St. Vrain departments, and aligned with St. Vrain’s expectations. Families play an instrumental role in the learning process at home, but parents and guardians are not expected to serve as teachers. Any student who is enrolled in a St. Vrain school may elect to enroll in the online program for the 2020-2021 school year while remaining affiliated with their school of record. If a student has primary enrollment in a charter school, that student must first enroll in a non-charter St. Vrain school to access the online program.
LaunchED Virtual Academy is not a homeschooling program. The program will utilize content from Florida Virtual School to deliver a rigorous and comprehensive educational experience that aligns with Colorado Academic Standards. The content taught and the pace of delivery will approximate district expectations for each grade level and course, according to district unit plans. Each course is taught by St. Vrain educators, supported by St. Vrain departments, and aligned with St. Vrain’s expectations. Families play an instrumental role in the learning process at home, but parents and guardians are not expected to serve as teachers. Click here to view the course catalog.
Is LaunchED the right program for my student?
As St. Vrain begins remotely for all students, we know that families are weighing which online learning option is best for their child. The information below is designed for families to decide which program aligns to their student's needs while providing important consistency in learning.
- Do you plan for your student to return to hybrid in-person learning when it is available for students?
- Yes: If you want your student to return to any schedule of in-person learning during the 2020-2021 school year, they should begin the year with the online-learning environment offered through their school.
- No: If you want your student to remain in a full-time online program regardless of whether the district opens schools for hybrid or in-person learning later in the year, the St. Vrain LaunchED Virtual Academy is the best option for your student. Students enrolled in St. Vrain LaunchED Virtual Academy will remain in full-time online instruction, even when St. Vrain returns to a schedule with in-person learning.
- Do you plan to wait for a widely available COVID-19 vaccine until your student returns to in-person learning?
- Yes: The LaunchED Virtual Academy will provide better consistency and continuity of learning for families who do not plan to return to any in-person learning until a vaccine is available.
- No: The online-learning model offered at your student's school will provide better consistency and continuity of learning for families who plan to return to in-person learning as soon as the district determines that it is safe and feasible to do so.
LaunchED Virtual Academy vs. School-Based Online Learning
|St. Vrain LaunchED Virtual Academy||School-Based Online Learning|
|Teachers||Taught by St. Vrain Valley teachers||Taught by St. Vrain Valley teachers|
|Curriculum||Utilizes the Florida Virtual Schools' curriculum and aligns to the Colorado Academic Standards||Utilizes St. Vrain Valley's traditional school curriculum and aligns to the Colorado Academic Standards|
|Courses||Click here for a course catalog||Courses align to offerings at your student's school|
|Learning Environment||Year-round, fully-online learning. Students can transfer to their school-based learning environment at specified grading periods.||Begins with fully online instruction with plans to shift to hybrid in-person learning as soon as it is safe and feasible to do so.|
|Flexibility||Includes a combination of synchronous (live) and asynchronous instruction. Students will have a set schedule each day.||Includes a combination of synchronous (live) and asynchronous instruction. Students will have a set schedule each day.|
If you are selecting the fully online program, please enroll your student(s) by August 12.
Once the enrollment form is completed for a student, the principal of that student’s home school will be notified and will accept the enrollment. At that point, the student will still be primarily enrolled at their regular school, with a secondary enrollment in the LaunchED Virtual Academy.
If you are currently enrolled in a charter school or a district other than St. Vrain, please contact Amber Muir at email@example.com to begin the transfer process to a non-charter St. Vrain school before you enroll in LaunchED.
Please do not hesitate to reach out if you have any questions:
- Connie Syferd, LaunchED Program Director, firstname.lastname@example.org, 303-682-7226
- Jason Kelsall, Coordinator of the LaunchED Virtual Academy, email@example.com, 303-682-7410
- Kyra Sare, LaunchED Administrative Assistant, firstname.lastname@example.org, 303-682-7308
For homeschooling support, please refer to St. Vrain’s APEX Homeschool Program. For information about St. Vrain’s alternative virtual programs, please refer to St. Vrain Online Global Academy and eCredit Recovery.
Frequently Asked Questions: How Families Can Support Their Student
Can students participate in WebEx streams from their brick-and-mortar school AND enroll in the online academy?
No. Classroom teachers at brick-and-mortar schools will focus on meeting the needs of the students in their classrooms, and LaunchED teachers will focus on meeting the needs of their online students. While the academic standards of both environments are the same, the curriculum and experience will be different enough that mixing the two environments will likely not serve students’ growth.
Is there an opportunity for students to transition between online and physical environments if instruction if the health situation changes?
In order to provide continuity in student learning, transitions will be offered at grading periods. These decisions will be made in consultation with families, teacher(s), the program coordinator, and the student’s school of primary enrollment.There will not be an option to switch to/from LaunchED on October 1st.
- Elementary students will be able to transition to/from the physical environment at trimesters.
- Secondary students will be able to transition to/from the physical environment at the semester mark.
If a student is enrolled in the online option, do they lose their open enrollment at their primary school?
If a student has primary enrollment in a non-charter St. Vrain school, that enrollment will not be lost while they are engaged in LaunchED.
Is there a cost or tuition associated with enrolling in the program?
- Tuition for K-12 students is covered by St. Vrain Valley Schools at no cost to families. Some courses, such as AP classes, may require nominal fees. Families in need of financial assistance should contact the program coordinator.
- Tuition for preschool remains the same as for in-school instruction.
Curriculum and Learning
What will the learning platform look like?
LaunchED will utilize the Schoology Learning Management System, one that most of our students and families are already familiar with. All courses, assignments, discussions, etc will happen within Schoology. If you have questions about getting logged in to Schoology, this presentation may help.
What content will be covered through the LaunchED Virtual Academy?
St. Vrain LaunchED Virtual Academy will utilize content from Florida Virtual School to deliver a rigorous and comprehensive educational experience that aligns with Colorado Academic Standards. The content taught and the pace of delivery will approximate district expectations for each grade level and course, according to district unit plans.
To see what the content looks like, please visit the web pages below and click on “Try a Sample Lesson” for a good approximation of daily content. Please note, St. Vrain’s content will look similar to these lessons but will be presented through the Schoology platform.
What will the schedule be like?
What courses does this program include?
- The online courses offered through LaunchED Virtual Academy will include both core courses and electives, which will differ by grade level. Course offerings will be based on student interest and teacher availability. A full course catalog will be available soon.
- If a class is not offered that a student has already registered for, LaunchED will work closely with students and their primary school counselor to remap their schedule.
- At this time, specialty and school-specific courses, such as pre-IB, IB, PTECH, PTEACH, Career Development Center, or Innovation Center courses will NOT be available through LaunchED.
What about acceleration/differentiation/personalization?
- Students with individualized Education Plans (IEPs), 504 Plans, or Gifted & Talented or English Language Learner services will be supported by the LaunchED teaching staff in partnership with support staff at their home school.
- We will also be staffing qualified Special Education teachers to meet the needs of students on IEPs.
How will students be graded?
Students will be graded in the same manner as students who are attending brick-and-mortar schools in accordance with district grading policy.
What school supplies will be needed?
Family Expectations and Commitments
What is the role of families?
- Family involvement will be crucial to student growth and success in the online program. The role of families will vary by grade level, course content, family dynamics, and student needs. Please consider these components:
- Preschool through 1st grade students need a significant amount of parent support. Families will need to be able to support the child in logging on, accessing material, reviewing content, completing and submitting assignments, etc.
- 2nd through 5th grade students will probably need much of that same support, although at a less intense level than the younger learners.
- Middle and high school students should feel comfortable navigating the courses and content with the teacher, but parents would do well to check in with students at least once a week to ensure that pacing is on track.
- Parents should plan on at least 30 to 60 min weekly of checking in with students on progress, regardless of whether or not they need support on a daily basis.
- We will host parent and student orientation sessions to introduce families to the program itself as well as the Schoology platform. More information about orientation sessions will be shared after enrollment and registration.
How can student(s) be set up for success with online learning?
- Technology requirements: Stable and reliable internet access; Learning device (desktop, laptop, Chromebook, district-issued iPad) for accessing content, with microphone and webcam; Printer, or method for accessing printed material (e.g. students can download printable materials into Notability and complete assignments on the iPad).
- Provide an academic environment: Students ideally will have their own quiet and organized space for daily study with appropriate learning supplies available. (Please note that some of those district supplies will not apply if you are learning at home, please use your own discretion in setting up your learning environments.)
- Monitor student progress daily: Check-in with students on content, new learnings, successes, and concerns.
- Be involved with student progress and content mastery: Through Schoology or conversations with the teacher, parents/guardians will be prepared to help students maintain appropriate progress.
- Help with course navigation or technology: Be available to help students with logging on, finding materials, following instructions, etc.
What does a typical day look like for a LaunchED student?
While a typical day will vary by grade level and by course, LaunchED students can expect to attend live lessons anywhere from 1 to 4 hours a few days per week, with additional work to complete individually. There will be pacing guides, assignment checklists, and other support tools embedded in each course to help students stay on track.
Do students have to log in at certain times?
Students will be expected to be on time and present online for their live lessons in accordance with district attendance policy. Live lessons will be recorded for students who are absent.
Can students play sports or join clubs at their home school while they are enrolled in the online option?
Students can participate in sports, clubs, or other extracurricular activities if they are offered at their home school. Please contact the brick-and-mortar school for further information.
What opportunities are there for social interaction?
Students in LaunchED Virtual Academy will primarily connect with each other over academic content. Social and emotional needs will be addressed with teachers through course content and individual relationships, and may also be met by continued engagement with the primary enrollment school for extracurricular activities.
Who will students’ classmates be?
Students from around the district will be engaging in learning through the LaunchED Virtual Academy. Online students will not be separated by school, so students will be learning with peers from around the district. There will be online collaboration, discussions, and other interaction with students at the same grade level or in the same content courses.
Who are the teachers for the LaunchED Virtual Academy?
All levels, courses, and the content will be taught and delivered by St. Vrain teachers. Teachers will be hired from around the district, and will not necessarily be from students’ regular school.
How much interaction will students have with their teacher?
Teachers will be regularly providing instruction, monitoring progress, providing specific feedback, and communicating with students and families. The interaction will be a mix of synchronous (or ‘live’) and asynchronous (or ‘on demand’) learning. There will also be opportunities for individual connections during open office hours, small groups, or 1-on-1 learning opportunities
How can students communicate with their teachers?
There are a few ways students can reach out to their teachers:
- Schoology Learning Management System will be used for all content delivery, assignment submission, grading, and feedback, etc. Students will be able to use the platform to send messages to their teachers and ask questions.
- Each teacher will have a direct phone line and St. Vrain email address and will respond to any communication within 24 hours.
- There will be periodic times throughout the year, much like parent/teacher conferences at brick-and-mortar schools, where families will engage with LaunchED teachers to discuss student progress, learning habits, next steps, and overall academic development.
What characteristics do students need to be successful online learners?
Students who will thrive in an online environment come in many forms. There is not a mold that dictates success in online learning. The typical characteristics seen as necessary — self-directed, independent, flexible learners — are things that our teachers will work with students on, and in which students will grow in confidence and capacity over the course of the year.