/ For Students / Parents Seeking Virtual Options for Fall 2020

Parents are seeking options.

Are you looking for virtual school options for your child this Fall? Explore ways you can enroll your child in Michigan Virtual online courses by either partnering with your local school or homeschooling.

There’s no playbook for parenting in a pandemic.

There are no easy answers right now. Parents around the country are put in a difficult position of determining what’s best for their children, weighing the risks of COVID-19 against the personal and professional challenges associated with at-home learning. 

If you’re looking for ways to enroll your child in virtual courses this Fall without sacrificing the quality of their education, we may be able to help. Michigan Virtual offers over 250 online courses for students in grades 6-12. Every course we offer is taught by highly qualified, Michigan-certified teachers who is an expert in their subject area.

Our teachers make the difference

With over 20 years of research and experience in online learning, we’ve learned a thing or two about what drives student success in the virtual classroom. Here’s what we know: Online students need more support, not less, in order to succeed in their virtual courses. Student success is amplified by having multiple supportive adults who help them stay on track throughout their online learning journey, including an online instructor, mentor, and parent.

That’s why each of our 250+ online courses is taught by a highly qualified, Michigan-certified teacher who is an expert in their subject area and rigorously trained in best practices for online pedagogy. When it comes to effective learning, it’s the teachers who make the difference. Online courses are no exception to this age-old rule.

The results speak for themselves

Our research-based solutions leverage the latest data and proven methodologies to increase student success.

Online Course Pass Rate (2018-19)

0%
Michigan
Virtual
0%
Statewide

How can my student take Michigan Virtual courses this Fall?

Since Michigan Virtual does not grant diplomas, you will either need to partner with your local school district or choose to homeschool your child if you would like to enroll your child in our online courses this Fall. Here’s some information on both paths to help you get started:

Partnering with your local school district

Most students who take Michigan Virtual online courses do so through their local school district, where online coursework serves as a supplement to their face-to-face learning. By law, students taking online courses in Michigan through a public school institution must be assigned a local mentor who provides support and monitors their progress. 

Did you know that Michigan students have the legal right to take online courses through Section 21f of the State School Aid Act? This law applies to grades 6-12 and counts for up to two online courses per academic term. It can even allow for more than two online courses per term if certain conditions are met.

If you’re interested in enrolling your student in our online courses, we recommend first asking your local school the questions listed below first. Then, when you’re ready, you can use this form to create an enrollment request PDF that you can send to the person responsible for online registrations at your school.

homeschooling

If you have explored your local school’s virtual options and are not happy with them, another option at your disposal is homeschooling. In the national context, Michigan as a state is fairly lenient with its homeschool requirements. 

Parents who choose to homeschool in Michigan are not required by law to report to the state unless special education services are required. There are, however, specific laws regarding what subjects must be covered in homeschool classrooms. View Michigan’s homeschool requirements here→

If you choose to homeschool your child this Fall, you may choose to have your child take Michigan Virtual online courses as part of their homeschool curriculum. Learn more by downloading our free Definitive Guide to Online Homeschool Programs.

Questions to Ask Your Local School​

If you’re not sure where to begin, here are some questions you might want to ask your local school to get the conversation started about enrolling your child in Michigan Virtual online courses.

To start, it will be important to find out who handles online course registrations at your school and make sure you’re talking to this person. They will best be able to answer the following questions. If you’re not sure who this person is, we recommend calling the front desk at your high school or middle school to find out.

If your student’s Fall schedule hasn’t been determined yet, you may need to check with your child’s school counselor to figure out which courses they will need to take this year to stay on track for graduation. Explore our student course catalog to find equivalent courses that fit these requirements and double check with your counselor to ensure they will count as intended.

This is an important question to have answered before you enroll. By law, Michigan students have the legal right to take online courses through Section 21f of the State School Aid Act, so your school should cover at least two online courses if your student is in grades 6-12. It can allow for more than two online courses per if certain conditions are met.

Check out this infographic to get a quick overview of 21f legislation, relevant criteria, and reasons your request can be legally denied. When you’re ready, you can use this form to generate an enrollment request that can be shared with the person who handles online registrations at your school.

This is another important question to ask the person who handles online registrations at your school. Before you enroll, be sure to clarify that your child’s online courses will be included on their official transcript if they pass. 

Once your student completes an online course through through Michigan Virtual, they will receive a completion certificate displaying a percentage. It will be the local school’s responsibility to convert this percentage to a grade value based on their grading policy. Some schools have different grading standards for online courses than they do for face-to-face courses. It’s important to inquire about this before you enroll so you and your student both know what success looks like in their online course.

To accommodate the wide variety of school calendars in Michigan, we offer many different start and end dates for our online courses, which you can see on our calendar.

Before picking a start date for your child’s online courses, you should first ask by what date your student will need to complete their online coursework in order to earn credit. Once you have this date, you will be able to choose an enrollment window that works best for your child.

For example, if your child attends a school that requires students finish their first term before winter break, you might first look for the appropriate end date and work backwards from there.

Once you have enrolled a student in their online course, you will not be able to change the end date you’ve selected, so exercise caution when choosing your enrollment window!

Prepare yourself & your child for success

Learn best practices for supporting your child in our FREE Parent Guide to Online Learning (New Content)

Additional Resources for Parents

We have a variety of free resources available to help parents prepare themselves and their children for online learning, including: Did you find these resources helpful? Subscribe here if you’d like to receive email updates on the latest Michigan Virtual news and resources related to parents.

Ready to enroll?

To enroll your homeschool student in Michigan Virtual online courses, explore our course catalog for subjects customized for your child. If you have any questions, check out our Parent & Guardian FAQs, or contact our Customer Care Center.

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.