/ Leadership / Cold weather doesn’t stop learning at Michigan Virtual

Cold weather doesn’t stop learning at Michigan Virtual

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When it’s cold out. Really cold. Like it has been often this winter. Many schools shut down. That’s not news to anyone in Michigan, but Michigan Virtual online learning students are warm and toasty on those days, sitting in front of their laptops while logged into courses ranging from Algebra to Forensics to AP Physics.

You see, schools are open to online learners from Alpena to Zeeland and everywhere in between on those days. That’s because Michigan Virtual has never had a snow day and never will!

When I think of ”school” I think of learning, not a physical building. Unfortunately, when we experience an arctic blast, public school buildings in the state of Michigan close. Most students enjoy the closings, but if we want to be competitive as a state, we need to be creative and think about how we can extend learning opportunities even when transporting children to and from school is unsafe.

Michigan Virtual is one of the largest nonprofit virtual schools in the nation. It uses Michigan certified instructors and provides online learning options that supplement, not replace, what is currently being offered at local schools. Michigan Virtual does not directly grant credit or diplomas to students, but works in partnership with more than 500 schools across the state of Michigan.

With only six snow days allotted per school year, some Michigan students will be spending more time in the classroom than expected come the end of the school year in June. If more students were learning online in February, there might be more students enjoying the sunshine in June.

Check out online learning at Michigan Virtual, where learning doesn’t stop when the wind chill is minus 30.

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Jamey Fitzpatrick

Jamey Fitzpatrick

Jamey Fitzpatrick, President and CEO of Michigan Virtual™, serves as a catalyst for change and a champion of innovation in education. He provides strategic leadership for Michigan Virtual, a Michigan-based nonprofit organization focused on advancing K-12 digital learning and teaching. In addition to his previous leadership roles at the Michigan Department of Education and Saginaw ISD, Jamey also worked in the private sector for Pitney Bowes Corporation. He serves on the Board of Trustees for Olivet College.

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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.