Olathe Virtual School opening fall 2021

Fletcher Smith, Reporter

The Olathe Virtual School (OVS) is set to open for the 2021-22 school year, and will give students the opportunity to continue their education online. The application to attend OVS, which opened on April 1 and closes April 16, can be found on the OVS website.

All students and families that wish to apply can do so through an application, which can be found on the OVS website. The only requirement is that students must live within the Olathe School District, and the students selected will be full-time students at OVS. There are no additional fees for those attending OVS, one-to-one technology devices are provided for all students, and the school calendar will follow the Olathe District calendar, which includes inclement weather days.

OVS will not simply be a replication of the remote learning all students experienced earlier this school year. “[Remote learning] attempted to replicate the in-person experience by sharing staff, schedules and resources that were all designed for in-person learning” the website says. “OVS has been developed because the district recognized that some students thrived in or need a virtual learning environment and there was a long-term need.”

The OVS website states that students wishing to apply should have the characteristics and skills of “self motivation, independent learner, computer savvy, effective time manager, written communication skills, personally committed to growth, along with an availability of a strong support system during the school day.”  If your student did not thrive in this year’s remote learning environment, OVS may not be a good fit for your student.

There do appear to be a few downsides to OVS when compared to in-person schooling. For students in need of a wifi connection, OVS will only provide a limited amount of wifi hotspots. Additionally, due to state regulations, breakfast and lunch will not be provided by the district for OVS students. Lastly, some elective classes, like band and choir, and activities, like football and dance, will not be available for students attending OVS.

Parents wanting to learn more about OVS can attend a Parent Information Night on April 8 or April 15 from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. over Zoom, and the link for the meeting can be found on the OVS website. Additional questions about OVS will be answered during the meetings.