New Hanover County Schools


Engaging Students, Achieving Excellence


Virtual Academy Frequently Asked Questions


What is NHCS Virtual Academy?
The NHCS Virtual Academy is a fully online K-12 school-based option that allows a student to maintain membership at his/her face-to-face school. The majority of the learning is self-paced with few live synchronous sessions. Access is provided to standards-based curriculum and instruction. Students are taught by a NHCS teacher that will likely be a teacher from their school. 
Does this mean that traditional schools are not opening in August?
All schools will open in August. The New Hanover Virtual Academy is a full-time online/virtual option to provide our families a flexible learning environment led by NHCS teachers. 
If I enroll in New Hanover Virtual Academy this year, will my student be able to return to their traditional school next year? 
Students who attend the New Hanover Virtual Academy during the 2020-2021 school year will be allowed to return to their traditional school the following 2021-2022 school year. Students that are currently attending a magnet program will be allowed to return without the need to reapply.
What are the options for traditional schools for the fall 2020?
Since closing our buildings to in-person instruction in March, school districts across North Carolina have been anticipating direction from state officials on how they will reopen this fall. In June, the state shared three different options for schools to consider in planning for a return to instruction: 
Plan A involves moderate social distancing, an increased focus on handwashing and use of hand sanitizer, more frequent cleaning of facilities, especially in high traffic/high touch areas,  and modification of normal school routines to allow for more transition time along with health and temperature screenings.
Plan B requires schools to provide all the measures in Plan A, but to decrease occupancy of facilities and transportation to allow for social distancing. This would require districts to possibly consider limiting attendance in buildings on an alternating schedule, using some combination of in-person and virtual instruction and limiting numbers of students on buses.
Plan C would require school districts go with remote learning only.This would be the most drastic of the three plans and implemented by the state only if there were a need to suspend in-person instruction. 
New Hanover County Schools will open for the first grading period under Plan C.
How do I enroll my child in NHCS Virtual Academy if they are already enrolled in an NHCS traditional school?
Students already enrolled in an NHCS school who are wanting to attend full-time at New Hanover Virtual Academy need to complete the registration form.
Will Virtual Academy students be able to participate in school athletics or other extracurricular activities?
New Hanover Virtual Academy students grades 6-12 will be eligible to participate in extracurricular activities at their attendance boundary school. Academy students must declare their intention to the attendance boundary school’s athletic director before the beginning of the season. NHCS academy athletes must meet and maintain the same criteria as that of their peers in a traditional school setting. For information regarding what extracurricular activities are offered at your traditional school, please visit their website or contact the school’s office.
How will New Hanover Virtual Academy be structured?
New Hanover Virtual Academy will operate with primarily asynchronous learning. When engaged in asynchronous learning your child will be moving through the course content on their own. This allows more flexibility for your child to explore the lesson, complete assignments, and develop questions for their teacher. Examples of asynchronous learning include: Flipgrid, videos, lessons in the LMS, etc. Classes are offered online through our learning management system (LMS), which allows for engaging and interactive instruction. While students have the daily flexibility to work anytime and anywhere, the classes follow a calendar with firm start and end dates and students are strongly encouraged to login and participate daily. Students are provided pacing guides and calendars to assist as they work through their courses. 
How will New Hanover Virtual Academy track attendance in a virtual setting?
Attendance record keeping is provided to NHCS Academy by tracking student logins to the Learning Management System and by students completing assignments in a timely fashion.
Due to the nature of virtual instruction, NHCS Virtual Academy students are not confined to attend school or access their course work at a specific time of the day. Therefore, the parent/guardian should monitor their student’s daily online accumulated hours, their daily schedules, assignments, quizzes and tests to assure their student does not fall behind during the semester. NHCS Virtual Academy recognizes that tracking virtual attendance is a partnership and requires consistent communication. Parents  will be able to monitor students progress and assignments through PowerSchool.
Will virtual students be provided a laptop?
Every NHCS Virtual Academy student will be checked-out a 1:1 device if requested by the parent.  
If I try Virtual Academy and it does not meet my student's needs, what are my options?
NHCS Virtual Academy is asking for a nine-week commitment for elementary and middle school students and a semester-long commitment for high school students. Parents should make the decision to enroll in the Virtual Academy in a very thoughtful manner. Virtual education is a tremendous option for most students, but some find the demands too strenuous. While students may always return to a more traditional setting, it is important that parents work with the school district in the timing of the return to ensure a good transition for the student.
What are the responsibilities of parents?
NHCS Virtual Academy is a full-time online learning, which means it is home-based. This gives parents additional responsibilities for providing instructional support, monitoring student engagement and progress, and communicating with teachers as the Learning Coach. Students in grades K-5 must have a learning coach (parent) that can commit at least 3-6 hours per day to their child’s education.
Will EL services be provided through NHCS Virtual Academy?
Yes, NHCS Virtual Academy teachers will work closely with an EL specialist to ensure your child receives their services.
Will high school students be able to enroll in Honors and AP courses?
NHCS Virtual Academy students will be able to enroll in Standard, Honor, and AP level courses.
Will NHCS Virtual Academy students be able to take electives such as band, orchestra, or choir?
The district is currently researching how to allow students to continue with these courses in the online environment.
Who will be teaching my child at New Hanover Virtual Academy?
Teachers at New Hanover Virtual Academy are New Hanover County Schools teachers. The teacher will likely be a teacher from your child’s school.
Will my child have to take state required assessments? 
All students in the district will be required to participate in all required state and local testing. This may require students to take state assessments in a face to face environment.