FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

General | Registration & Enrollment | Teachers | Students | Technology | Meals

GENERAL

Will the STPPS Virtual School follow the same schedule as STPPS brick-and-mortar schools?
Yes. The virtual school will begin and end at the same time as the STPPS brick-and-mortar schools and will follow the same calendar for holidays.

I don’t feel comfortable sending my child to school in person due to COVID-19. Is the STPPS Virtual School an option for my child?
The STPPS Virtual School is an option for parents who do not feel comfortable sending their child to school in person. Students will be expected to remain enrolled in the STPPS Virtual School for a minimum of one semester.

Is the STPPS Virtual School a response to COVID-19?
Before the COVID-19 situation began, plans were being made to open a full-time virtual school to help meet the changing needs of our families and community. The coronavirus re-confirmed the need for a virtual school option, and we were able to expedite our plans to launch the virtual school in time for the 2020-2021 school year. The STPPS Virtual School provides flexibility and benefits for our students and families in a wide range of situations beyond the coronavirus.

Is the STPPS Virtual School the same as distance learning that has been mentioned as a possible learning model being planned for schools depending on the phase the state is in when school starts?
No. The STPPS Virtual School is a full-time virtual school that students enroll in to receive instruction through an online learning platform. With the distance-learning model being planned as an option if students cannot return to school in person, students remain enrolled in their traditional school, and learning is shifted to distance learning with their teacher through Google Classroom. The STPPS Virtual School will begin at the start of the school year and operation will not be dependent on state phases or learning model the rest of the district is using at a given time.

My child has an IEP. Are special education services provided through the STPPS Virtual School?
If a parent is considering this virtual option for a student with an IEP or IAP, a team meeting must be held to determine how a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) can be provided through a virtual learning platform.

REGISTRATION & ENROLLMENT

Is there a deadline to apply for the 2020-2021 school year?
We ask that parents and caregivers register their children as soon as possible if they determine the virtual school is the best option for their child so we can accurately plan for the number of students who will be enrolled in the virtual school and traditional schools.

How do I enroll in the STPPS Virtual School ?
Register online at www.stpsb.org/register. Students enrolling in STPPS for the first time and students transferring to the Virtual School from another STPPS school can register online. STPPS Virtual School will be an option in the “Attendance Zone” dropdown menu of schools when you are completing the registration form.

When will I know if my application for the STPPS Virtual School has been approved?
Please log into registration portal to check your status. You will be able to see if your application has been accepted or if is still pending. If you are still pending, continue to check back regularly.

How long does my child have to remain enrolled in the STPPS Virtual School?
Students are expected to remain enrolled in the STPPS Virtual School for a minimum of one semester.

Who is eligible to enroll in the STPPS Virtual School?
Students in grades K-12 who reside in St. Tammany Parish are eligible to enroll in the STPPS Virtual School.

What documents are needed to register?
To complete the registration process, you will need the child’s State Certified Birth Certificate, Immunization (Shot) Records, Social Security Card, and Proof of Residency (3 residency documents are required). Get more registration information

My child is currently enrolled in a traditional STPPS school. Do I have to contact the school to withdraw before I can enroll in the STPPS Virtual School?
You do not have to contact the school to withdraw before registering for the virtual school. When you complete the STPPS Virtual School registration form, students will automatically be transferred from their current school to the virtual school.

What are my choices for my child’s education in STPPS for the beginning of the 2020-2021 school year? 
At this time, parents and caregivers have two options in the St. Tammany Parish Public School System:

        1. Enroll in the STPPS Virtual School
          This is a full-time virtual school with an online learning platform. Students would remain in this virtual school for at least a semester.
        2. Attend a traditional brick and mortar STPPS school
          Students in traditional schools could attend in person, hybrid (partially in person and partially distance learning), or full-time distance learning depending on the phase the state is in at the time and the grade level of the students. There is a possibility of schools alternating between those models as the situation evolves. Parents do not choose between these learning models. The School System will determine the learning model based on safety guidelines and protocols.

We do not know which learning models will be in place in the traditional schools when school begins, and we know parents have limited information right now. We will provide information as it becomes available so parents and caregivers can make the best decision for their children.

When will I know if my application for virtual school has been approved?
Please log into the registration portal to check your status. You will be able to see if your application has been accepted or if is still pending. If the application says it is still pending, continue to check back regularly. We are processing a large number of registration applications, so approval will not be immediate. Parents and caregivers will be notified if additional information is required. Once the registration is accepted, no additional action is needed to register.  Parents and caregivers will receive information about the next steps and information about the virtual orientation and course selection prior to the beginning of the school year.

TEACHERS

How are teachers involved?
Louisiana certified teachers, counselors and administrators provide online and in-person support.

How will teachers monitor students?
Teachers will monitor students through three ways: attendance (4 hours of online work per day), progress towards weekly goals, and academic proficiency.

STUDENTS

Can virtual school students participate in sports and school activities?
Limited extracurricular activities and clubs may be offered through the STPPS Virtual School. Sports will not be offered. Students will not be eligible to participate in sports, clubs or extracurricular activities at brick-and-mortar schools while enrolled in the virtual school.

Can students receive a high school diploma and graduate from the virtual school?
Yes. Students are eligible to receive either the Louisiana TOPS University Diploma or the TOPS TECH Career Diploma.

Can students enroll part-time?
No. The virtual school is a full-time school. Students cannot be enrolled in another school or homeschool at the same time as being enrolled in the STPPS Virtual School.

Do students enrolled in the virtual school have to take state assessments?
Yes. Students enrolled will be required to take state-mandated assessments.

How does attendance work?
Students are expected to work a minimum number of hours each week. Attendance will be logged through the educational software. Students who do not meet a minimum number of hours per day will be marked absent and will be required to complete makeup work.

How will teachers monitor students' progress?
Teachers will monitor students through three ways: attendance (4 hours of work per day), progress towards weekly goals, and academic proficiency.

How are grades given and promotion determined?
Grades and promotion follow the same STPPS Pupil Progression Plan as traditional STPPS schools.

How can I decide if my child will attend the STPPS Virtual School if we don’t know which phase the state will be in or the learning models that will be in place in brick-and-mortar schools when the 2020-2021 school year begins?
We know many people are eagerly awaiting more information about the upcoming school year. We are working to get that information out quickly as we can, but our plans are dependent on the phase the state will be in when school opens and we do not know that at this time. We want to let parents and caregivers know about the STPPS Virtual School as they make the best decisions for their children. We ask that parents and caregivers register their children as soon as possible if they determine the virtual school is the best option for their child so we can accurately plan for the number of students who will be enrolled in the virtual school and traditional schools.

How many hours will students work each day?
Students will work a minimum of four hours each day (20 hours per week).

Do elementary students have to work on the computer all day?
Students in grades K-5 will receive a workbook containing screen-free activities that will be completed and uploaded, so they are not working on the computer for all of their required school work.

Does the time students work each day have to be consecutive or can it be spread throughout the day?
No. The required time a student works each day can be spread throughout the day or spaced apart with breaks.

How much assistance will my child need from me while completing school work?
Every student is different and will require different levels of support. Younger students will typically need more support and assistance than older students. The parent or caregiver will serve as the learning coach for their child. Specific directions for the learning coach are provided within the online learning platform for grades K-5. The responsibilities of all parents and caregivers are listed in the school handbook and on the agreement form.  

What learning platform will be used?
Edgenuity developed in partnership with Accelerate Education is the platform for grades K-5. This is where the courses are located and where parents and students can also locate due dates and read class announcements. Edgenuity is the platform for grades 6-12. This is where the courses are located and where parents and students can also locate due dates and read class announcements.

When will we receive information about course selection?
Parents and caregivers of students who have completed registration will receive information about the next steps, orientation and course selection before the beginning of the school year. Course offerings are available online.

Will my child’s teacher provide real-time instruction through video?
Instruction through the STPPS Virtual School is primarily through an online learning platform which allows students to work independently. Each school day, teachers will be available for tutoring and assistance. Teachers will also monitor each student’s progress, take attendance, and grade assignments as needed.

If my child attends the virtual school for the fall semester then transfers back to the brick-and-mortar school, will they be able to participate in sports in the spring? 
Schools must follow the LHSAA guidelines. The majority of students will be immediately eligible to participate.  If you are uncertain or have a unique situation please email Supervisor of Administration Christian Monson at christian.monson@stpsb.org.

TECHNOLOGY

What are the technical requirements for a laptop or tablet?
The online learning platform is web-based, so the minimum technical requirements are reliable internet access and an up-to-date browser on a desktop computer, laptop, or tablet. A webcam, speakers and a microphone or headset are needed for online meetings with teachers. All students will need the ability to take a picture or scan and upload documents.

What kind of laptop should I buy my child?
Students will be provided with a Chromebook as soon as they are available. If a parent wants to purchase a computer for their child, any desktop, laptop, or tablet with an up-to-date browser, speakers and a microphone or headset, and internet access will be acceptable.

Is a computer or other required technology provided?
Families have to commit to providing their own technology and reliable internet access at this time. The district has ordered Chromebooks and those will be issued to Virtual School students when available. Chromebooks were ordered in March for every child in STPPS, including those who attend traditional brick-and-mortar schools and the STPPS Virtual School. Due to international demand, they are on backorder and may not arrive before school begins. The district will prioritize distribution of Chromebooks for students learning through the hybrid or distance model.

Who can I contact for technical assistance with registering online?
Contact the STPPS IT Department Helpdesk at 985-898-6416 or helpdesk@stpsb.org. They will only be able to provide technical assistance and cannot answer specific questions about the STPPS Virtual School.

MEALS

Will school meals be provided?
Students attending the STPPS Virtual School will be provided a Grab-and-Go option for breakfast and lunch at an assigned school through drive-thru pick up. The school assignment will be provided during orientation.

Can my child receive free or reduced meals?
Yes. Students who qualify will be provided free or reduced priced meals through drive-thru pick up at an assigned school. View the requirements and application for free and reduced meals.