By Ann Bouchard Special to the Express Students in Yolo County have access to a unique, remote learning opportunity. Davis Joint Unified School District (DJUSD) is launching a new, Virtual Academy program for the 2021-22 school year through its Davis School for Independent Study (DSIS). This online, K-12 remote learning program is open to students within the DJUSD as well as students living within seven surrounding counties including Sacramento, Yolo, Solano, Colusa, Napa, Sutter and Lake County. The Virtual Academy provides students with access to the same quality education that DJUSD has been recognized for, including national recognition for Davis Senior High’s ranking as a US News Best High School. Virtual Academy has also added hybrid remote learning features. “Our Virtual Academy emphasizes not only academics but community, just like our traditional classrooms,” said DJUSD Superintendent John Bowes. “In addition to online learning, Virtual Academy students have the option to participate in extracurricular activities, athletic programs, clubs, and online peer student meetings. They also have in-person class options. This new program allows students to customize their remote and in-person learning to optimize their individual learning experience to best suit their needs and interests.” Virtual Academy provides different structures of learning depending on a student’s grades and supervision needs. Students in grades 7-12 participate in asynchronous (on-demand) learning allowing them to work at their own pace. They may also choose to participate in live classes online or in-person. For K-6th grade students, the program delivers synchronous (real-time) instruction each day with a teacher. To connect with their community, students can join on-campus extracurricular activities at their home school, including dance, sports, after-school activities, and clubs. In addition, online community connection resources reinforce social-emotional learning through remote counseling, regular one-on-one meetings with a teacher, and peer group opportunities. “Over the past two years, the traditional education model has experienced radical changes. Though these changes were originally expected to be temporary, they have since been embraced and incorporated into standard learning options,” says Rob Kinder, principal of the Virtual Academy. “Virtual learning allows students to learn from anywhere at their own pace. Remote education helps prepare students to study and interact in a modern world where learning through technology is becoming a growing part of our everyday lives. Davis Virtual Academy is dedicated to providing flexible, accessible education solutions now, and in the future.” Virtual courses and materials align to state content standards and are taught by highly qualified credentialed teachers who prepare graduates for higher education at the same level as all DJUSD schools. High school students also are encouraged to take at least one college course in tandem with their Virtual Academy curriculum. To register, or for more information, visit dsis.djusd.net/virtual or call 530-757-5333.