Frequently Asked Questions

Check back often as this page is updated to reflect current and accurate answers to the most frequently asked questions about the Virtual Academy of Olympia (VAO).


What will a typical day look like for the students? Is it 100% online?


  • Students who enroll in VAO full-time will have opportunities to meet with their teachers online daily, as well as have project-based activities they can do individually both online and offline. We also are providing opportunities for VAO students to come on-site at ORLA for support as needed, such as participating in on-site labs, other small-group activities related to their learning, or special services.
  • Middle and high school students enrolled full-time in the VAO may also have the opportunity to participate in extracurricular activities at their resident school. VAO is committed to providing a whole-child learning experience for students and we look forward to developing partnerships with families and the community in this work.
  • Additionally, students at the secondary level may enroll part-time with their resident school and part-time with VAO. This allows VAO students, for example, an opportunity to participate in specialized courses such as Career and Technical Education classes not offered at the Virtual Academy.



How many teachers will you have across all grades and what's the student-to-teacher ratio?

It’s too early to have numbers for this as enrollment is ongoing for fall. Staffing is growing along with the enrollment. We are still finalizing student to teacher ratios for remote learning.



Is the Virtual Academy new to the district? How will it differ from remote learning last year?

The Virtual Academy of Olympia is new. We have researched online learning for several years, and taken input from families last year about how remote learning worked or didn’t work for their students, and are offering a responsive program based on best practices.



Can my child enroll part time?

Students at the secondary level may enroll part time with their resident school and the Virtual Academy of Olympia. Please contact the counselor at your current school to begin the process. The resident school's counselor will work with the VAO for enrollment, course placement, and scheduling. Students must have an uninterrupted schedule when attending their resident school as supervision will not be provided to work on VAO course work.


Elementary may share enrollment with Olympia Regional Learning Academy’s (ORLA's) hConnect program for students that want an on-site addition to their child’s learning plan.



My child is enrolled in an OSD Choice Program (Lincoln Options, Hansen Alternative Program (HAP), ORLA Montessori, Citizen Science Institute (CSI), or Jefferson Accelerated Math and Science (JAMS). If my student enrolls in the Virtual Academy of Olympia (VAO), will their spot in the choice program be held for the 2021-22 school year or beyond?

At this time, families are being asked to commit to their choice of placement for the duration of the 2021-22 school year. 


Choice programs will do their best to hold spots for students for the 2022-23 school year if space is available. Because our schools need to maintain enough enrollment to staff the classroom, they need to enroll new students when seats are open.


When requesting a different placement, please access the district transfer process by visiting the OSD website. 


The Virtual Academy of Olympia (VAO) will partner with the district office and OSD Choice Program principals to ensure student transfer lists are maintained so it's easier to facilitate a transfer back if space is available.



Can my child transfer back to our neighborhood school?

Yes. VAO Staff will work with you, the resident school, and the district office to ensure a smooth transition back to your resident school. Please access the district transfer process by visiting the OSD website.



My child receives additional services in the form of special education, speech, English language acquisition, occupational therapy, etc. Can they continue to receive the services? If so, how will my child access them?

Yes. VAO students will receive additional services in a manner that meets the need of each unique situation. Services may be delivered virtually or in person at the Virtual Academy, which is housed at ORLA, depending on goals outlined for each student.



How will attendance be taken?

Attendance will be logged by the teacher in a variety of ways. This can include attendance in a scheduled Zoom, participation in the course on Schoology, and more.


Your student should plan to connect with a teacher daily using some form of 2-way communication that will be outlined once teachers are hired and they develop their classroom expectations.



I filled out the Google Form online to enroll my child full time in the Virtual Academy. Now what?

The VAO registrar is currently working on the transfers. Students in kindergarten need to complete the online registration packet, print and complete a hard copy, or schedule a time to visit the Welcome Center to complete the paperwork in person.


Once the enrollment is complete, you can expect to receive an email from a VAO staff member to schedule an onboarding appointment.



Will there be opportunities for clubs and social interaction virtually or in person?

Yes. OSD Student Outcome 5 asks schools to support students as they "Discover their passions, be curious, and love learning" and increasing activity participation is part of the district's plan for continued improvement.


Any activities done on-site will be carried out in alignment with current health and safety guidelines and student need. Over the past year, we have learned many ways students at all age levels effectively and safely create friendships and connection virtually. VAO is committed to providing a whole-child learning experience for students and we look forward to developing partnerships with families and the community in this work.