RCAS to launch a virtual school pilot program


PHOTO: 5th grade student does her online assignments from home, Photo Date: March 26, 2020

RAPID CITY, S.D. —   In the fall of 2021, Rapid City Area Schools plans to launch a virtual school pilot program.

According to RCAS, this virtual pilot is not in response to COVID-19, but rather a growing interest for an online learning platform from students and families.

  • There will be extremely limited space for students K-12.
  • Fifty elementary students, 30 middle school students and 50 high school students will be selected via an application process.
  • Students will be considered based on previous success with distance learning, attendance and overall fit. If there are more applicants than spots, participants will be selected through a public lottery process.
  • Elementary students will be taking courses taught by certified RCAS elementary teachers, dedicated solely to the virtual school.
  • Middle school students will be taking courses through Black Hills Online Learning, with certified teachers employed outside RCAS.
  • High school students will be taking courses using Edgenuity, an online self-paced curriculum, which will be monitored by certified RCAS teachers.

Since the virtual school is a pilot, there will be a limited number of course options, particularly at the high school level.

If applications exceed the capacity of the pilot capacity, a lottery will be used to determine which students will be accepted into the virtual school pilot. Additionally, high school students who graduate from the virtual school will earn a base diploma. To learn more about the various diplomas available, click here: Graduation Requirements – Rapid City Area Schools (rcas.org)

This is a one-year time commitment, but District leaders and families can re-evaluate at semester if this mode of learning is not successful for a particular student.

High school students who are not successful would be required to attend Rapid City High School for the remainder of the semester. Elementary and middle school students would attend the school in their attendance area.

If you are interested in having your child participate in this pilot program, please fill out the following application and complete the survey here: Qualtrics Survey | Qualtrics Experience Management

Parents are asked to submit their application no later than Friday, May 21.

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