High school students can apply for Virtual Academy, transportation now provided

High school students can apply for Virtual Academy, transportation now provided


Charles County Public Schools (CCPS) offers high school students different options to complete graduation requirements, including attending the Virtual Academy. The academy operates out of the Robert D. Stethem Educational Center and offers courses for sophomores, juniors and seniors.

Students complete coursework both online and during face-to-face instruction. Courses are held Monday through Thursday and the Academy is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Students are required to attend classes for five consecutive hours per day, four days per week. Interested students can apply between now and Friday, Sept. 28 to attend the Virtual Academy.

Transportation is provided for Virtual Academy students from their assigned home school. This is new for the 2018-19 school year and begins on Monday, Sept. 10. Virtual Academy students who would like to use bus transportation must take the bus to their home school, and board the Stethem shuttle bus. Virtual Academy students who ride the bus home will depart Stethem for their home schools at the 1:48 p.m. dismissal, and take a bus from their home school to their assigned residential bus stop.

The Academy is closed on Fridays and closes at 3 p.m. on all planned two-hour early dismissals days. Students must arrive by 10 a.m. on early dismissal days in order to meet the five-hour attendance requirement.

Applications must be signed by the student and parent, and requires signatures from both the school counselor and principal. Students accepted to attend the Virtual Academy must remain in the program for the entire school year. Virtual Academy students are not eligible to participate in sports or extracurricular activities at their home school.

The Academy offers 30 A-level courses through the online APEX Learning Program. Virtual Academy was piloted in CCPS during the 2016-17 school year with nearly 40 students initially enrolled. At the end of last school year, more than 160 high school students have enrolled in the Virtual Academy, with 82 students having graduated.

Virtual Academy students who meet graduation requirements receive their diplomas through their home school at the end of the school year. Virtual Academy students must remain in contact with their school counselor to ensure they are making progress toward graduation. Information and application materials are posted on the Stethem website at http://www.ccboe.com/schools/stethem/. 

About CCPS

Charles County Public Schools provides 26,900 students in grades prekindergarten through 12 with an academically challenging education. Located in Southern Maryland, Charles County Public Schools has 36 schools that offer a technologically advanced, progressive and high quality education that builds character, equips for leadership and prepares students for life, careers and higher education.

The Charles County public school system does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, age or disability in its programs, activities or employment practices. For inquiries, please contact Kathy Kiessling, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (students) or Nikial Majors, Title IX/ADA/Section 504 Coordinator (employees/adults), at Charles County Public Schools, Jesse L. Starkey Administration Building, P.O. Box 2770, La Plata, MD 20646; 301-932-6610/301-870-3814. For special accommodations call 301-934-7230 or TDD 1-800-735-2258 two weeks prior to the event. 

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