‘Henrico Virtual Academy’ will debut in the fall as HCPS’ first fully online school

Henrico, Va., April 30, 2021 — Henrico County Public Schools will launch the Henrico Virtual Academy for the 2021-22 school year, a fully online K-12 school that will join HCPS’ 72 other schools and program centers. Students at the academy will attend classes virtually with a mix of synchronous classes — learning online in a group with a teacher — and asynchronous, or independent, learning. The school is aimed at students who have benefited from the flexibility, individualized environment and focus of virtual learning. Any student residing in Henrico County may apply.

Because a fully virtual environment is not best for all students, families are asked to use the questions in HCPS’ Online Learning Reflection Tool before applying, to assess the program’s suitability for their child. The tool can be found at the new Henrico Virtual Academy webpage at http://www.henricoschools.us/HenricoVirtualAcademy. The academy’s application will be available May 7, following a Q&A session for families May 6 at 6 p.m. Students who enroll will commit to attend for one year. Families and students will have an annual opportunity to decide if they would like to continue in the virtual academy the following year or transfer back to the in-person school they would normally attend.

Garry Marshall, currently an assistant principal at Elko Middle School, has been named the school’s first principal. The academy’s faculty will be composed of licensed HCPS teachers who have excelled in the virtual environment. The student body will be involved in establishing traditions, selecting school colors and choosing a mascot, while remaining in a fully virtual learning environment.

Elementary students will have access to the same courses as in-person students. At the middle and high school levels, students will have options like their peers in a traditional setting. Course options will include accelerated courses, select honors courses, and high school Advanced Placement courses. Students will be able to select from a variety of elective courses, including courses in world languages, career and technical education, and fine arts.

Students participating in middle school athletics or Virginia High School League activities or athletics will take part in person through their neighborhood’s “zoned” school. Other activities and clubs will be available to students online through the Henrico Virtual Academy. Time will be built into the schedule to enable students to participate in online clubs geared to specific interests as a way to foster social interactions and connections.

Students who are accepted to and choose to enroll in high school specialty centers, the Gifted Young Scholars Academy at L. Douglas Wilder Middle School or an International Baccalaureate program will attend those centers in person.

Academy students will have access to the same student support and wellness services as those attending school in person, including comprehensive school counseling services, school psychological services, school social work services, behavior support and extended learning opportunities.

HCPS employees and student households received full details in an email earlier today. For additional information, visit the Henrico Virtual Academy webpage at http://www.henricoschools.us/HenricoVirtualAcademy.

Henrico Virtual Academy timeline for students and families

 May 2021

  • May 6: Virtual Q&A session for interested students and families. 6-7:30 p.m. (Information about participating in the May 6 session via Microsoft Teams is being communicated directly to HCPS employees and student households.)
  • May 7-21: Application window for prospective students

June 2021

  • June 4: Students and families notified of acceptance on or before this date

September 2021

  • Sept. 8: First day of school