By Megan Kelley
During their July 22 meeting, Lake Orion Community School’s presented their return to school plan for the fall. In last week’s issue of The Lake Orion Review we covered LOCS’s in-person learning option. The second option for student’s, this coming school year, is a fully online virtual learning option.
LOCS will offer Dragon Virtual, a fully online program for those who wish to forego the traditional in-person learning option.
“It aligns directly with our traditional rigorous LOCS curriculum while providing schedule flexibility. Dragon Virtual is being created and led by certified LOCS teachers and students in grades K-12 will be registered to their assigned neighborhood school so students can also participate in after school activities or sports if they so choose with their neighborhood school,” Mercer said. “This is a program where parents and guardians will need to support and help their child manage their school experience, but it also provides flexibility and consistency in your student’s education.”
According to Mercer, specials and electives could be taught by an out of district Michigan certified teacher depending on enrollment. However, more than likely, elementary electives will be taught by LOCS teachers.
All necessary materials will be provided including technology, textbooks, etc.
Participation, assignments and activities will also be required in the Dragon Virtual program.
Secondary students will not have a daily set schedule, classes can be accessed whenever best fits the student’s schedule.
Dragon Virtual will follow the same academic curriculum as the in-person learning classrooms. This means that if/when a student transitions to in-person learning, they will have a smooth academic transition.
Arrangements will be made for Dragon Virtual students for formal assessments such as M-STEP.
LOCS included sample schedules they recommend for their Dragon Virtual students.
Dragon Virtual registration is available at lakeorionschools.org/DragonVirtual2020 until August 7. Dragon Virtual will begin on Sept. 8. LOCS is currently offering registration for the first semester in the fall and is not expected to open up registration for the following semester until December.
As far as technology, this year, the district will be able to provide laptops to all students in grades 9-12.
“I am very excited and happy to report that with the passage of the 2018 bond, we are able to, this coming school year, to go one-to-one for our students at Lake Orion High School and Learning Options,” Mercer said. “So, what that means is all of our students in grades 9-12 and Learning Options will have the opportunity of having a laptop for their four years with us in high school. So, we’re very excited about that and more details will be coming soon as to the distribution of those laptops.”
These laptops will be distributed to all 9-12 students regardless of which program (Dragon Virtual or in-person) they are in.
In-person elementary students and students and the Pine Tree Center will use laptop carts. Middle school in-person students will also use laptop carts as well as the desktop computers in computer labs.
LOCS is currently looking into a way of assigning students to specific computers/laptops. However, if that is not plausible, laptops and desktop keyboards will be cleaned in between users, Mercer said.
Families with students participating in Dragon Virtual can request one device per student from LOCS Technology Support at email@example.com.
Students with health plans and 504s will be reviewed to ensure that the district is meeting the needs of these students and adjustments or accommodations will be made if necessary.
Additionally, students with Individual Education Plans (IEPs) will be received by the IEP team and adjusted based on the individual’s needs. Parents should contact their IEP team before making any decisions.
Social and emotional support will be available to all students at all levels and will be provided by LOCS staff.
For additional information on both in-person and virtual learning options visit www.lakeorionschools.org/return-to-school-2020/frequently-asked-questions.