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No, the school has a state-wide enrollment policy. Any student entering grades 9 through 12 and who lives in RI is eligible to attend.
Enrollment in a Rhode Island charter public school is conducted by a blind/random lottery because there are typically more applicants than seats available. Beginning in the 2022- 2023 school year, Rhode Island charter schools were offered the opportunity to participate in a newly created common application online process. EnrollRI was launched to ensure that access to Rhode Island Department of Education schools and programs remains easy, safe, and accessible for all families.
Village Green Charter School participates in the Rhode Island Department of Education’s charter public school common application process through the EnrollRI website. The common application makes it easier for families to select and apply to many schools at once. For more information about this process, click here
EnrollRI offers two resources to begin the application process. The first is the Family Information Tool (FIT), accessible here. The second is the common application itself, accessible here.
How does it work?
Use the Family Information Tool (FIT) to find the school(s) that meets the performance, accessibility, and programmatic targets you are seeking. Next, use the EnrollRI Common Application to apply to any participating charter schools you are interested in and for which your child is eligible to attend. Village Green Charter School along with other participating charter schools will hold their 2023-2024 admissions lotteries on April 1, 2023, or after, and will communicate your student’s enrollment status soon after that time.
No, Village Green is a tuition-free public school open to any high school student in Rhode Island.
Yes, we meet every indicator of "public-ness." The school is tuition-free; offering a free and reduced breakfast and lunch program; open to everyone by applying to a blind lottery; welcoming all students; hiring only certified teachers; accountable to the state; student proficiency assessed by state assessments: PSAT/SAT, NGSA, and ACCESS; receiving Federal Funds; funded by state and local dollars; and, responsible to the students, families, and taxpayers.
Yes. The word “Virtual” is the school’s nickname: “Village Green Virtual” (aka VGV) refers only to the fact that the school’s curriculum is virtualized (available online). Daily student attendance is an absolute expectation. There is a 180-day school year and a day that is 6.5 hours long. Breakfast and lunch are served every school day. While the "online" curriculum makes it possible to do work when you are homesick, there is no part of the school's design that replaces the experience of "going to school" with an experience of learning only online or at home. We will follow the traditional school calendar for vacations and generally follow Providence Schools for distance learning days and delays.
There are classrooms with real teachers. All courses in VGV’s Program of Study have some degree of online coursework. Some online courses, most electives for example, do not require much teacher support and students can independently work at their own pace independently but still have teacher support nearby if needed. For VGV’s rigorous core content areas of ELA, math, science, and history, for a majority of students, without teachers, student achievement or progress would be very difficult—given no one available to help answer questions when the student is stuck.
Presently for the 2022-2023 school year, the 14 core subject teachers and 3 Special Ed teachers all hold RI teaching certificates.
Blended Learning is defined as: A formal education methodology that blends technology with face-to-face instruction in which a student learns, at least in part, at a supervised brick-and-mortar location away from home and, at least in part, through online delivery of content and instruction with some element of student voice and control over time, place, path, and/or pace.
Yes, by the definition of “blended learning” (refer to the previous Q&A) this model requires students to attend the Village Green Charter School campus in-person every day whereas for most “Virtual” schools, students do not attend a brick-and mortar location (i.e., a school) in-person at all but rather engage their coursework online from home or similar location.
No, you're never alone. If you are working at your computer workstation, there are many other students and teachers around. The typical class size is 14 to 16 students. There will be many opportunities to work in creative teams of students making product designs and team deliverables such as presentations and research.
Creating community is a part of the school's mission, and we will seek as many ways to connect students to the school and its citizens as possible. However, a potential student and family must be aware that the online curriculum means a lot of time will be spent working individually. Additionally, every student will be part of an Advisory which will be led by an advisor and further serves to connect the students to each other and make everyone in the school "well known and part of the culture."
All VGV courses, whether taken online or face-to-face with teachers, have quizzes and tests, but they are meant to show what still needs to be learned. Quizzes, tests, and practice assignments can all be retaken until proficiency is met, and the student then automatically moves to the next chapter or unit within a subject. Overall course grades and other student performance data are available 24/7 to students and families.
Village Green Virtual School is a small school, and no matter what the type of curriculum or theme, small schools are just that, small schools. No school of our size will have the number of extra-curricular activities that a large comprehensive high school has. That being said, Village Green has clubs based on student interest, dances and proms, student government, field trips, Town Meetings, internships, community service, workshops at night, Honors Nights, and Graduations. School is not "all work and no play," and we know students need a well-rounded and engaging school life in order to be happy and feel fulfilled.
Yes. Because the VGV program of study and the Edgenuity curriculum are both proficiency-based, it is possible to move through the courses in less time than in a traditional school. However, you would still need to complete all the state graduation requirements, including SAT and the Writing Portfolio and Capstone project. Plus, we would need to put in place a transition plan which includes college or career paths for early graduates.
At Village Green Virtual, we work hard to customize a path that is right for each student. It starts with diagnostic testing, which determines skill levels and aptitudes. Then, one of our pathways will make the journey to graduation a unique experience for each student. Graduating in three years is a possibility brought to ambitious students because of the flexible power of e-courseware. However, it takes hard work and dedication to achieve this goal.
Also, meeting graduation requirements and actually graduating are two different things. VGV can design a unique 4th year of high school for all students if they need it or want it.
Yes. Because we are members of the Interscholastic League, student-athletes can play sports for the city school they would have attended.
With regards to homework expectations: When we first opened the school in the fall of 2013, students spent up to 4.5 to 5 hours per day online depending on their progress and work habits. Given this, the school could not, in good conscience, request students to go home and spend another 2 or 3 hours online. In those early years, our talking points to students were to be productive on their e-courseware during the day so they could enjoy their afternoons and evenings. We encouraged students to "un- plug" and spend time with their families, read for pleasure and for enrichment, have after-school jobs, spend time with friends, take care of siblings, take driver's education classes.
However, as we grew, we realized that too many students entering VGV in Grade 9 were below grade level in reading and math—some several years behind—state testing results supported this. In order to close skill gaps, it became necessary to increase the amount of face-to-face teaching and learning time during the day and begin developing a culture where a reasonable amount of homework is assigned and expected to be completed. So, today, the answer is that VGV does not have a “no homework” rule and in fact, we encourage teachers to assign a reasonable amount of homework 2 to 3 times a week.
As for backpacks: Since Day 1 in 2013, backpacks have not been allowed past the school’s front foyer for two reasons. First, for safety reasons. Second, seeing that the curriculum is mostly web-based, there is no need for students to carry a backpack filled with heavy textbooks around school. We do have shelving units in the front foyer where upon students can leave their backpacks during the day
Some schools give laptops to each student. We won't do that for many sound reasons. First, the cost of repair, updates, backup protection, firewall protection, and unit replacement is too much. Second, having 225 laptops in circulation promotes potential loss, viruses, damage, theft, and too much time at home online. Thirdly, all learning spaces in the VGV are outfitted with Chromebooks. Within a virtual desktop environment, students can move freely from the learning centers to classrooms to the STEM Lab and be able to log in to their virtual desktop from anywhere in the school. Our virtual desktop method is simply the most cost-efficient and technologically effective way to produce a sustainable hi-tech environment with a level of operational certainty for a seamless student online experience.
Village Green opened in 2013 with the newest and most modern school-based computer system in the state of Rhode Island as well as the country—the type of technology used in small banks and engineering firms. We have continued to take advantage of advances in technology to ensure that we will never be offline or lose student data and that our systems are secure by having multiple backup capability, firewalls, and content filters. Our cloud-based, virtual desktop/thin client system and cloud-based Google Workspace for Education (G-Suite) have multiple servers for backup and redundancy. All classrooms are outfitted with classroom sets of Chromebooks. All classrooms and learning spaces have WiFi capability.
Any student who is between grades 9 and 12 should apply.
We can make that broad statement because of the school's model. The flexibility of the online curriculum is that it can be tailored to each student. If you need remediation, that's where you start. If you need acceleration, then that's your pace. How do you know when you're finished … when are you proficient in that skill. Digital learning fits the student; the student is not made to fit the school. Many of the electives are student- selfpaced. We refer to this learning experience as Self-Paced Learning (SPL).
However, VGV must be clear that any potential student of Village Green must be comfortable with computers and technology and be able to be self-paced, willing to ask for help when stuck, and able to self-monitor their progress and time use.