PVA Program Information

Please note: the deadline to complete an intake for fall 2021 has passed. If you are still interested in this option, please contact your school directly.

*If you have completed an intake form but have changed your mind and would like your student removed from consideration for PVA at this time, please complete this form HERE.

For the 2021-2022 School Year, Philadelphia Virtual Academy will be providing an online educational option for students in Kindergarten through 5th grade. This addition will complement our already established program for grades 6-12. We invite parents/guardians to read the information below in order to make an informed decision on whether or not a 100% online option is right for your child and family.

What PVA Provides

Technology: Students will be able to use their already existing SDP Chromebooks for use in the Kindergarten-12 PVA program. For any new SDP student, a Chromebook will be provided. If a student’s laptop is not working a replacement will be provided. We will have a full-time Computer Technology Specialist assigned to PVA to assist with computer issues and to provide replacement technology.

Internet: Students will need to have access to high speed internet for success in any online program. If you do not currently have Internet access in your household please utilize the SDP website for resources on how to get it set up HERE. An end of the year Internet Reimbursement will be provided per household for all Kindergarten-Grade 5 PVA students of $35 per month enrolled.

Curriculum: Our curriculum is aligned with Pennsylvania Department of Education Common Core standards and is designed to accommodate multiple levels of learning, styles of learning and abilities. All courses are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, so students can work at their own pace. They receive feedback and assessments from teachers as they proceed. This provides a personal educational experience that makes PVA a 21st century education

Teachers: All instructional staff are PA State Certified and Highly Qualified. The Kindergarten-12 program will use a combination of School District of Philadelphia teachers and Brandywine Virtual Academy teachers who are provided through our Partnership with the Chester County Intermediate Unit.

Academic Support: A Virtual Office will be available for students to access on an “as needed” basis in order to receive academic support from their teachers on a one to one or small group capacity. The office hours are 8 AM to 3PM Monday through Friday. Students are also able to schedule one to one sessions with teachers in advance.

Grade Level Advisors: Knowledgeable Grade Level Advisors will be provided for all families as a point of contact for the school year. These Advisors are advocates for their student populations and hold daily homeroom meetings for students that provide a check-in and Q&A opportunity. They are available to answer any and all programming questions or act as a go-between to solve any issues that may arise.

Counseling and Stress Management: PVA will have a full-time School District of Philadelphia Counselor on hand to provide support for the Kindergarten-12 Program. In addition PVA has a full S.T.E.P Team in order to provide support for students and families who are experiencing social and emotional challenges.

Socialization: PVA staff will work with students to provide desired enriching online clubs and activities in order to allow students to feel connected and socialize. This will be an ongoing process as this is the first year but Chess Club, Online Gaming Club, Book Club and Yearbook Club are some that we have at the 6-12 grade level just to name a few.

Parent Town Hall: All parents invited to attend this weekly event held online led by either the PVA Principal or AP. The purpose is to provide information about any ongoing or upcoming School Activities and information, allow for guest speakers. And also to provide a platform for Parents to speak and get any questions they have or issues they are experiencing addressed.

Standardized Testing: All standardized tests will be scheduled to be taken from an approved school based site that will be determined at a later date.  Students and Parents will be notified ahead of time with specific dates, times and locations.

Expectations

Learning Coach (LC): Each student at PVA will require an identified Home Learning Coach, usually a Parent who will spend time with the student throughout their school day. The LC will be the person at home who will be receiving their weekly progress reports, making sure the student is logged in everyday, following their prescribed schedule and meeting attendance requirements. The LC will be the person PVA staff will look to communicate with on a regular basis, and attend any school related meetings as they may arise. The LC will be the one assisting the student with physically uploading assignments from workbooks and completing any necessary reading logs. A working phone number and a regularly checked email is a must.

Weekly Progress Reports: Every week the Learning Coach will receive a progress report that will detail how their student is doing and progressing academically. This is basically a weekly report card and should be reviewed by the LC with the student. If there are any issues or concerns with the progress report, the LC should contact their students Grade Level Advisor and or Teacher to schedule a meeting.

Daily Attendance: Just like a brick and mortar school Parents/Learning Coaches of PVA students are required by the PA compulsory attendance laws to ensure that their students attend school on a daily basis, unless legally excused. In PVA daily attendance is measured through a combination of both daily course logins and daily login minutes. Students are required to login to all their core courses daily and meet an expectation of 27.5 hours of activities per week (5.5 hours per day). A weekly attendance report will be included in your students weekly progress report. It should be reviewed for accuracy.

Daily Homeroom and Synchronous Support Participation: Although the school is an asynchronous model there will be times that your student will be required to meet with their teachers or other staff members at specific times and dates. For instance every school day, your child will be scheduled to participate in a daily Homeroom with other PVA students in the same grade level. This meeting is hosted by your student’s Grade Level Advisor and functions as a socialization feature to make students feel more connected as well as a way of delivering them needed school and course updates. Other PVA staff members join in to daily homerooms including: Counselors, Teachers and Administrators.

FAQs

When can I apply?

The application deadline for fall, 2021 has passed.

Will learning be synchronous or asynchronous?

Learning will be 100% asynchronous – students will engage in independent learning on their own schedule using learning resources provided by an assigned online teacher.

Will my child remain part of his or her current school?

Although PVA students will remain District students, they will not remain enrolled in their current school, receive instruction from teachers from their current school or be able to participate in in-person athletic or extra-curricular activities at their current school.

Will my child be able to participate in athletics or activities at his or her current school?

Although PVA students will remain District students, they will not  be able to participate in in-person athletic or extra-curricular activities at their current school. However, they WILL be able to participate in extra curricular offerings by the PVA.

Can we re-enroll in our neighborhood school if we change our minds?

PVA students who wish to return to their home school after enrolling in the PVA can do so at the end of each quarter as capacity allows.

Special admission students however, will be giving up their seat in the special admit school so that a student on the wait list can be offered the opportunity.
Those students will need to apply for readmission to the school during the next school selection process, with no guarantee of admission at that time.

What if my child has already been enrolled in a special admission school?

Special admission students will be giving up their seat in the special admit school so that a student on the wait list can be offered the opportunity.
Those students will need to apply for readmission to the school during the next school selection process, with no guarantee of admission at that time.

If a student previously received related services such as a 1:1, speech and language, occupational therapy, or physical therapy at their local public elementary school, how would SDP provide that for PVA students?

PVA is able to provide certain IEP related services such as Speech Therapy in a telehealth setting.

Will students with IEPs have special education teachers who can make modifications to curricula?

Yes we have full time Special Education Teachers who modify curriculum and work with Grade Level teachers on any necessary modifications.

What is the PVA teacher to student ratio?

That is difficult to say, because you probably think ratio based on class size from a synchronous brick and mortar setting like 1 teacher standing in front of 20-30 students. As an asynchronous online educational environment “class size” doesn’t really apply. I can tell you without currently knowing the exact number of students that will end up enrolling that we are planning to have at least 2-3 teachers per grade level based on a grade level size of 60-100 students. Most of the times that students are working with teachers online it would be either in a small group setting of maybe 10 and usually is one to one.

Are there bilingual counselors available? How will PVA communicate with and support multilingual families?

The K-5 Principal is bi-lingual and SDP has an extensive language interpretation services. We are collecting the parent language through our intake form and will be working to have our documentation translated for any parents who are identified to need translated documents. The curriculum platform provides translation for 35 different languages.

What types of counseling services are available to students?

We will have a Counselor for K-5 and PVA currently has a full STEP team of social workers who can work with families to provide access to additional services.