GIPS to provide virtual school offerings for middle, high school students in 2021-2022
(Grand Island, NE) - Following the successful launch of Grand Island Public Schools Virtual School in the fall of 2020 in response to the pandemic, GIPS is excited to announce additional virtual learning opportunities for the 2021-2022 school year.
With a model designed from Nebraska Department of Education guidance, national research and surveys from GIPS families, students and staff, virtual learning will be offered to all district families.
“We recognize that there are many learning environments in which a student can be successful,” said GIPS Superintendent Dr. Tawana Grover. “We are still in the midst of a pandemic. Some parents may feel that virtual school is the safest option for their student’s individual needs to be met. While many GIPS students are on site, others are thriving through this virtual education platform. This personalized option encapsulates our mission of Every Student, Every Day, A Success!”
Dr. Allison Bailey, the current GEAR UP GIPS Grant Director, will oversee the virtual school program at both the middle and high school levels.
“I am beyond excited — I am ecstatic to expand our virtual offerings to GIPS middle and high school students,” said Dr. Bailey. “Our virtual students will be provided all that they need to excel.”
The middle school will be rostered with other students from their home school and grade. Virtual Middle School students will have a schedule with assigned teachers, who will provide classes for English Language Arts, Math, Science and Social Studies through Canvas. Assigned teachers will also facilitate ‘explore’ classes — Health, Financial Literacy, Art, Entrepreneurship, etc. — through an online platform called Edmentum.
GIPS wants to ensure students have every opportunity to grow in their career of choice while also respecting the desire for a virtual learning environment. Dr. Bailey will collaborate with Academy principals and students to develop a workforce readiness plan of study that aligns with a post-secondary career within our current academies. Students in 9th grade will also receive a similar Seminar Course curriculum as offered in the Academy of Freshman Exploration.
Students participating in 6-12 virtual school will also have access to before and after-school activities. Parents will receive more information about this during the orientation.
“We are thankful for the opportunity to offer a virtual school option for our students and families,” said Dr. Toni Palmer, GIPS Chief of Leadership & Learning. “This has been a collaborative effort designed from best practices and feedback from teachers, principals and parents. Our goal is to support our students in ways that allow them to stay on track toward graduation.”
GIPS Virtual Elementary School will continue to be offered during the 2021-2022 school year. This summer, Virtual School Principal Whitney Flower will transition to a new role as principal of Stolley Park Elementary School, which will serve as the home campus for GIPS Virtual Elementary School.
GIPS always strives to meet the needs of its students. If a GIPS student needs to enroll in virtual school and hasn’t already, please contact the principal at the student’s assigned campus.