Michigan Virtual Announces Statewide Learning Continuity Work Group

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LANSING, Mich. — Recognizing the importance of learning continuity planning in the wake of the COVID-19 school closures, Michigan Virtual today announced the creation of the Michigan Virtual Learning Continuity Work Group. The Work Group, composed of 21 education experts will help plan for the “new normal” and accelerate the adoption of innovative teaching models that support students learning remotely and online.

“Educators need to quickly come together to make plans to prepare for learning continuity and new delivery models during this emergency which could impact the 2020-2021 school year,” said Jamey Fitzpatrick, President and CEO of Michigan Virtual, Michigan’s leading voice in online education as a nonprofit organization with more than 20 years of experience. “Our goal is to provide a framework of practical recommendations to school district and state leaders on developing instructional strategies that ensure students’ learning continues.”

The expert panel supports three critical areas for Michigan:

  1. React to potential ideas, policies, and guidance for school leaders and policymakers around remote and online learning, access, and equity issues.
  2. Identify and create recommended strategies for leaders to consider as they implement remote and online learning.
  3. Explore new scalable delivery models that enable effective anytime, anyplace and any pace teaching and learning.

The Work Group is co-chaired by two recognized leaders in Michigan education, Dr. David Richards, former superintendent of Fraser Public Schools and coordinator of the Michigan Competency Consortium and Dr. John VanWagoner, superintendent of Alpena Public Schools. Both individuals have extensive leadership experience with personalized learning and the systemic shift towards a blended learning environment that supports online learning.

“The Work Group represents a great cross-section of leaders with expertise that will guide our thinking about how to assist local school districts in transitioning to new models of instruction,” said Dr. Richards. “I am optimistic Michigan’s school community will rise to the challenge this crisis has presented to us. We will look back at this time in history as a turning point for the implementation of flexible delivery models that enable effective anytime, any place, and any pace teaching and learning.”

“Due to the COVID-19 emergency, our students, parents, and educators are living through a surreal time in our state’s history,” said Dr. VanWagoner. “We are racing to find practical strategies and tactics to help our system of public education respond in thoughtful ways that benefit our children.”

In response to the crisis, Michigan Virtual continues to develop and share a variety of support services to help students, parents and educators make the transition to remote learning, including:

The Michigan Virtual Learning Continuity Work Group members:

Mr. Jamey Fitzpatrick, CEO/President, Michigan Virtual
Dr. David Richards, President, Core2Edge, LLC, Co-Chair
Dr. John VanWagoner, Superintendent, Alpena Public Schools, Co-Chair
Dr. Jeff Bush, Principal, Kent Innovation High School at Kent ISD
Mr. Steve Carlson, Principal, Sandusky Jr/Sr High School
Ms. Anupam Chugh, Manager, Instructional Technology, Wayne RESA
Dr. Kelly Coffin, Assistant Superintendent, Traverse Bay Area ISD
Mr. Christopher Davidson, Superintendent, Public Schools of Calumet-Laurium-Keweenaw
Mr. Steve Dickie, Teacher and Instructional Technology Coordinator, Divine Child Catholic High School
Mr. Ben Gilpin, Principal, Warner Elementary School – Western School District
Ms. Amy Gwizdz, Technology Instructional Coach, Dearborn Public Schools
Dr. Gerald Hill, Superintendent, West Bloomfield School District
Mr. Andy Mann, Director – Director, Regional Educational Media Center (REMC) – Muskegon ISD
Ms. Gianna Mrozek, Assistant Principal, Oxford Virtual Academy
Dr. Sarah Pazur, Director of School Leadership, FlexTech High Schools
Dr. Beth Rayl, Chief Academic Officer, Plymouth-Canton Community Schools
Ms. Patricia Sattler, Principal, Mercy High School
Ms. Kelly Tillman, Teacher and Technology Teacher Leader, Geisler Middle School – Walled Lake Consolidated Schools
Dr. Christopher Timmis, Superintendent, Dexter Community Schools
Ms. Monique Uzelac, Director WAVE Alternative Education Program – Washtenaw ISD
Ms. Carrie Wozniak, Superintendent, Fraser Public Schools


About Michigan Virtual

Michigan Virtual™ (formally known as Michigan Virtual University®) provides online courses for Michigan students, professional development for educators and is the parent organization of the Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute®. As a nonprofit organization with more than 20 years of experience, Michigan Virtual is Michigan’s leading voice in online education. Visit us at michiganvirtual.org.

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Limited Course Capacity

We’re sorry to inform you that we have reached capacity for several of our Semester 1 and Trimester 1 courses. You’ll notice when attempting to enroll students in our Student Learning Portal that some courses are unavailable. While we are no longer accepting new enrollments for these courses at this time, many courses continue to remain open for enrollment.

With many students across the state 100% remote, demand for our online courses is greater than ever before. Because every course we offer is taught by a Michigan-certified teacher, this high volume of enrollments has created capacity issues for our teachers who provide each and every student with individual feedback.

While the Michigan Virtual team anticipated and planned for significant increases in student enrollments this Fall, the increased demand we’ve experienced has been unprecedented. As a result, we are taking steps to hire even more part-and full-time teachers to support larger numbers of student enrollments for Semester 2 as well as for Trimester 2 and 3. 

For schools that still need online learning options this year, please fill out the form at the bottom of our virtual pathways page to meet with someone to discuss other solutions. While some of our teacher-led courses are full, we may still have the capacity to help you in upcoming terms or can discuss timing to implement a whole-school or collaborative program in which local teachers from your school/district use our online course content to teach students. We also have free course content and resources available for you to use.

We know this is an incredibly stressful time for all, and we’re sorry if the courses you’re looking for are unavailable. We never want to turn away a student who wants to learn from us. Our top concern, however, is student success, and we have a policy to not take on additional enrollments if we cannot guarantee that all students will have a quality online learning experience. 

We appreciate your patience and understanding as we navigate the unusually high volume of enrollments we are receiving.