Virtual Learning Academy

Virtual Learning Academy Overview
*** Deadline for Virtual Learning Academy Registration- Friday September 17, 2021 at 12:00 p.m.

To register for the Virtual Learning Academy through Fort McMurray Catholic Schools please fill out this registration application form.

The Virtual Learning Academy is a full-time program that is geared towards ensuring that all of our students achieve excellence in their education. By adhering to the Alberta Programs of Study within a Catholic-based learning environment, our teachers provide structured daily classes and activities that allow students to be engaged, assisted, and successful.

It is important to note that the number of enrolled students and ability to hire qualified staff will determine the ability to offer Virtual Learning Academy at various grade levels. Students may be in a split grade and options may or may not be available as part of our programming. 

The completion of the registration form does not guarantee placement into the Virtual Learning Academy.

How does the Virtual Learning Academy Work?

Parents, students, and teachers will maintain constant communication throughout the school year using informative digital tools and learning platforms.  Google Classroom will allow organized and consistent delivery of content and instructions.  Assessment data will be easily accessible by parents from the new EDSBY learning management system.  Other applications will be used to offer students chances to work in small groups or participate in classroom discussions using email, video conferencing, or text-based chats.

The Virtual Learning Academy is a faith-based program that requires all students to complete Religion as part of their studies.  Each normal school day consists of daily virtual instruction using Google Meet that includes recorded attendance.  Good attendance helps ensure that students are engaged and receive the instructional support they need.  Students are required to sign out textbooks and other learning materials and there is a fee associated if learning resources are not returned at the completion of the school year.

Diploma courses will have specific timelines and dates for assessments required by Alberta Education. These diploma examinations will be delivered and monitored in our facility. All grade 10-12 courses require students to come into the facility to complete authentic assessments twice per semester (midterm and final exam) for all core subjects. In addition, students writing Provincial Achievement Exams in grades 3, 6 and 9 will also require students to come into the facility to complete authentic assessments and/or practice for these exams. Note: Accommodations will be granted for students needing them but a physical reader will not be provided as there is not enough staffing in place.

Who is Virtual Learning Academy For?

The Virtual Learning Academy is a good fit for students who:

  • Are willing to invest in a full-year commitment to this style of learning. Intake into this program will only happen twice per year. (Registration deadlines: August 23rd and January 17th)
  • Like the flexibility of working in a home environment with the help of a certified teacher 
  • Is strong in reading and comprehension 
  • Is organized and have the skills to work independently
  • Are willing to commit to participate regularly with teachers and other students through virtual learning tools
  • Have the ability to show learning through a variety of digital means
  • Are able to stick to a routine of learning and complete assignments on time
What Kind of Support do Students Require at Home?

Virtual learning requires at-home supervision and support. Parents must be prepared to support their child so they can be successful in this program. Parents need to support their child(ren) by:

  • Providing operational technology in their home to support the virtual learning environment
  • Implementing a daily schedule while monitoring their child(ren)’s adherence to it
  • Ensuring that their child participates in virtual instruction sessions
  • Viewing academic progress on a regular basis through EDSBY
  • Ensuring that their child works independently and takes initiative for their learning
  • Ensuring that their child turns in their assigned tasks on time
  • Meeting regularly with their teacher(s) and administration

**Enrollment in this program requires an intake interview to ensure that this program is the best fit for their child. During the intake interview, their child’s academic and behavioural strengths/challenges will be discussed in order to ensure that they will be successful. This program will be based in the areas required by Alberta Education for grade level completion and high school graduation.

Students requiring specialized services (ESL, Speech, Occupational Therapy…) as indicated by an IPP (Individual Program Plan), will not be able to participate in this program as staffing for these services is limited to schools who provide face-to-face support. Virtual Mental Health support is available for students in this program if services are required, staff are available and consent forms are completed. 

What Does My Child Need for Virtual Learning Academy?

Students enrolled in the Virtual Learning Academy are required to have the following items to be successful with this online learning opportunity.

  • Computer, either PC or MAC (Chromebook can also be used) Note: IPHONE, IPAD, or TABLET will NOT be sufficient
  • Operating system – minimum Windows 8 or newer/Mac OS Catalina or newer
  • Built in Speaker and Microphone
  • Headphones
  • Stable High-Speed Internet Connection
  • Designated area for school work
  • Printer (if your child(ren) need a hard copy of their work)
  • Scanner or Camera from phone to be able to take pictures of completed work (required for some courses)
  • FMCSD Google Account
  • Google Chrome (free download
  • Acrobat Reader (free download
  • QuickTime (Free download- APPLE, Free download Windows)
  • Java (Free download)
What Else Do I Need to Know?

Any Fort McMurray Catholic student under the age of 20, may enroll to take the courses offered at no cost. Students MUST BE under the age of 20, an Alberta resident and be living in Fort McMurray. Students at the high school level must have successfully completed any required prerequisite(s). There are no extra fees for our Virtual Learning Academy, provided you are registered in our school division.

Upon submission of the registration form, a staff member will contact you to set up an intake interview either face-to-face or online. A copy of your child’s most recent report card, high school transcript and other documentation will be required to complete the registration process.

Please note: The Virtual Learning Academy is unable to provide programming in French Immersion, as our students must be fully immersed in French, with the adults and their peers, to model and practice the language.

There are FEES associated with this program for mature students (20 years+) and those coming from another province or country:

  • Tuition for Grade 10-12 courses are $190.58 per credit. For example, a 5-credit course would have a tuition fee of $952.90 plus the cost of books and materials .
  • Textbooks will need to be purchased for use during course completion. 

To register for the Virtual Learning Academy through Fort McMurray Catholic Schools please fill out this registration application form.

Where Are We Located? 

The Virtual Learning Academy is located at 585 Signal Road in Fort McMurray, AB, T9H 4V3. We may be reached at 587-960-4121 or visit our website to see what events have taken place over the course of the 2020-2021 school year.