Scheduled Downtime
Over Winter Break

Each year over winter break, we temporarily close our office and take our online student courses offline to give both staff and students time to rest and be with their loved ones.

Here’s what Michigan Virtual learners need to know about our scheduled downtime over winter break.

Key Details

Student Courses

Offline Dec 26-29

From Monday, December 26 through Thursday, December 29, students will not be able to log into Brightspace, the platform where they access online courses and submit assignments to instructors. Courses will reopen at 7 a.m. on Friday, December 30. 

See FAQs below for information on how students can download lessons and assignments to continue to make progress over the break if desired.

Michigan Virtual Staff

Unavailable Nov 24-25 and Dec 23 – Jan 2

The Michigan Virtual office will be closed, and our staff (including instructors and the Customer Care Team) will be out of the office between Thursday, November 25 — Friday, November 26, and Friday, December 23 — Monday, January 2. If you reach out during this time, we’ll get back to you as soon as we can upon our return to the office.

Professional Learning Portal

System will remain online throughout the break

Learners in our Professional Learning Portal will continue to have uninterrupted access to their online courses throughout our winter break. Those enrolled in a facilitated course, however, should expect not to receive feedback from our staff between Friday, December 23 — Monday, January 2. 

Processing of SCECHs may take longer than our typical 10-day turnaround due to our office being closed:

  1. Learners who complete courses by December 20 will have SCECHs processed prior to the holiday closure.
  2. Learners who complete courses after December 20 will have SCECHs processed the week of January 3.
Thank you for your support and understanding as we offer our staff and students some time off. We wish you a relaxing winter break with family and friends!

Frequently Asked Questions

Why do we shut down access to our online student courses?
In a traditional school, the doors close during winter break. In online courses, this isn’t quite as easy to accomplish, but we believe that breaks are important for our mental health and well-being, and we want students and teachers alike to reap the benefits of this break time. Additionally, having instructor availability is a valuable part of our online learning experience. 
If my online students want to work over winter break, can they still make progress in their coursework?
If your students would like to make progress in their online courses during our scheduled downtime, there are still ways they can do this. Students will, however, need to take steps to prepare before our systems go offline.  Students are welcome to download lessons and assignments from their courses before Monday, December 26. The only exception here is our Middlebury-based world language courses, which unfortunately do not offer an option for students to download lessons and assignments. To learn how to download lessons and assignments, check out this video created by one of our instructors or read the written instructions. Some features of our online courses will not translate well when downloaded, such as:
  • Interactive elements
  • Quizzes
  • Discussion boards
We recommend that students note where these elements appear in their coursework so that they can go back and complete them later. They may also choose to write down the discussion board prompts to prepare and study for any upcoming quizzes.
When can students expect replies from their online teacher?
Our teachers will be on break between Friday, December 23, and Monday, January 2. During this time, students shouldn’t expect to receive responses from their teachers. We’ll get back to students as soon as we can, beginning on Tuesday, January 3.
Is the break reflected in my students’ pacing guides?
Yes! The winter break is reflected in students’ course pacing guides to help them stay on track and prepare for this time off. 
Can I still drop or enroll in online student courses during this time?
Yes, you may still drop or enroll in an online student course during time; however, these changes may not be reflected in our system until our staff returns to the office on Tuesday, January 3. 
How can I get help during this time if I encounter a problem?
Our Customer Care Team will also be out of the office between Thursday, November 24 — Friday, November 25 and Friday, December 23 – Monday, January 2. If you submit a help ticket, they’ll get back to you as soon as possible, beginning on Tuesday, January 3.  If you run into any challenges while our team is on break, we recommend you check out our Knowledge Base. This repository houses a wealth of how-to articles that you can use to solve our most common customer challenges.

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.