Virtual Learning Academy

Virtual Learning Academy Overview

*** Deadline for Virtual Learning Academy Registration- Friday September 4th, 2020 at noon.

To be eligible for our Virtual Learning Academy the student must registered full-time with a Fort McMurray Catholic School and choose to enroll in the Virtual Learning Academy for the 2020-2021 school year. Students enrolled in this program are prepared to complete their education in this format for the entire school year. Students may be eligible for full-time studies using the online new programming enrollment application form. Other student intakes can occur throughout the year with consultation from school administrator(s).

**Enrollment in this program requires an intake interview with the parent/guardian to ensure that this program is the best fit for their child as we believe children learn best when they are in school with face to face instruction.

The Virtual Learning full-time program provides students with the opportunity to engage in their learning online together with Alberta Distance Learning Course content. Certified teachers will also develop course material on Google Classroom and other digital platforms. Students will engage in digital communications (email, videos, chat, message boards) and occasional face-to-face sessions as needed.

This is a faith-based program which requires all students to complete Religion as part of their studies.

Please note: The K-12 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.

Attendance will be taken when arrangements have been made with scheduled virtual instruction. The Virtual Learning Academy also provides opportunities for students to connect with fellow classmates through small group work and classroom discussions in online sessions.

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
  • 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

Parents must be prepared to support their child so they can be successful in this program. Virtual learning requires at-home supervision and support. 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
  • Ensuring that their child works independently and takes initiative for their learning
  • Meeting regularly with their teacher(s) and administration

The intake interview with the program coordinator will review why their child would be well-suited for this program. During this discussion, their child’s academic and behavioural strengths/challenges will be discussed in order to develop a full-time program. This program will be based on their child’s needs and the areas required by Alberta Education for junior high completion and high school graduation.

Students in this program will participate in occasional Face-to-Face sessions which will be arranged for mental health checks, authentic assessments and/or PAT DIPLOMA requirements. (Note: Face-to-face sessions are allowed provided the proper hygiene and health protocols are followed from AHS)

Students are required to sign out any textbooks or any reading materials that will be used for their program. Students will be charged for textbooks if they are not returned or not returned in the same condition. Students can also choose to purchase textbooks and other materials from any available source to complete course requirements.

The Virtual Learning teacher will mark all work and provide a formal report of assessment on a quarterly basis. Achievement can be viewed daily in real-time, using the online gradebook. The educational plan, coaching/teaching and assessment will be provided by a certificated teacher.

Mental Health support is available for students in this program. The division High School Inclusive Learning Consultant will support the need for Mental Health therapy. Support with referrals to other professionals, may be completed for students if services are required and available.

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

At the present time, ChromeBooks will not be able to be lent to families for this program as they are required to support students attending schools in a Face-to-Face Environment.

  • 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)

Students in grades 10-12 may also register in the Virtual Learning Academy to enhance their current educational situation. Diploma courses will have specific timelines and dates for assessments required by Alberta Education. Any Fort McMurray Catholic student with an ASN number under the age of 20 may enroll to take the course(s) offered at no cost.

Our online courses are available at the 1, 3, and 5 credit levels. Enrollment in courses may be limited to a maximum of ten (10) credits at a time if they are enrolled full-time in high school. Students must have successfully completed any required prerequisite(s) of the course request. Direct requests for enhancement courses will be made in consultation with either of our high schools.

Students enrolled will have the opportunity to engage in their learning primarily online, with print-based materials if required and with the help of the Virtual Learning teacher who will develop, instruct and assess the students registered in the course(s). No Religion or Physical Education will be offered as an enhancement course to High School students. 

There are no extra fees for our Virtual Learning Academy, provided you are registered in our division. Students will be charged for textbooks if they are not returned or not returned in the same condition. Students can also choose to purchase textbooks and other materials from any available source to complete course requirements.

Upon submission of the enrollment form, an email will be sent to the recorded email address. The program coordinator will contact you directly to set up a time to meet with the parent and potential student either face-to-face or online. A copy of your child’s most recent report card or high school transcript would be most helpful during the intake interview.

The program will be located at

St. Gabriel School 585 Signal Road, Fort McMurray, AB, T9H 4V3
Hours of Operation will be decided with the staff in the fall

There are FEES associated with this program for mature students and those not registered in one of our Grade 7-12 Fort McMurray Catholic Schools:

  • Students MUST BE an Alberta resident to register for any course.
  • 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 (if applicable).
  • Textbooks may be borrowed for the students to use during course completion. Students will be charged for textbooks if they are not returned or not returned in the same condition. Students can also choose to purchase textbooks and other materials from any available source.
  • If print materials have to be mailed. Postage – minimum postage at cost for shipping materials and textbook minimum $25.00 or true cost of shipping/postage.
  • Course materials ordered through the Virtual Academy are not refundable once delivered.