Bland County Schools announce two options for returning students in the fall

Back to School

(Photo: Courtesy Bland County Public Schools)

BLAND COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) – When students return to school in Bland County this fall, they will have two options to take online courses.

Students will have the option to take their entire course load online through the Bland County Public Schools (BCPS) Region VII Virtual Academy – including WCC Dial Enrollment courses and Governor’s School courses.

In a letter to parents and families, the district outlines the plans.

“Through the Academy, we have been able to establish partnerships with Virtual Virginia (VV) of the Virginia Department of Education, Virginia Virtual (VAVA) of Stride, formally known as K12 and Edgenuity. Students will choose one of the three platforms to use during 2021-2022 school year.”

Applicants for the Region VII Virtual Academy must meet and maintain the following criteria.

  • Kindergarten applicants must be five years old by Sept. 30 of the upcoming school year to enroll.
  • Students must be on track for the respective grade level and in good academic standing, as determined by the home school division. Data from the 2020-2021 school year will be taken into consideration when deciding on eligibility for the Virtual Academy.
  • Students in grades 9-12 must have a minimum GPA of 2.0.
  • Students in elementary and middle school grades must have at least a C average in Reading and Math.
  • All students must maintain at least a C average throughout the duration of the school year.
  • Students who have previously taken SOL tests must have passed the tests to participate in the Region VII Virtual Academy.
  • Students in SOL tested grades must pass all SOLs to participate in the Region VII Virtual Academy the following year.

Students will also be required to meet all attendance expectations set forth by the virtual provider and complete all online assignments for each class in a timely manner. Students will also need to reach out to teachers as necessary regarding questions or concerns with classwork.

Any student who misses five or more unexcused days will be asked to provide written notification for absences to the Executive Director. Students who miss eight or more unexcused days will be asked to return to in-person learning.

To take part in the Virtual Academy, students will need to have access to a reliable internet connection.

The second options for students is a hybrid form of online and in-person courses.

Traditional in-person students may choose to supplement their courses with online courses through the following methods:

  • The Region VII Virtual Academy
  • Wytheville Community College dual enrollment approved courses
  • Governor’s School Courses

Traditional students will not be allowed to take a course online if the same course is offered at BCHS or BCES, except in rare circumstances that a schedule conflict prevents the student from taking a course considered “essential” for that student during the school year.

For a traditional student to be enrolled in online courses, he/she must meet the following criteria:

  • Have an overall GPA of 90-percent or higher or have a 93-percent average in the course subject area in which he/she wishes to enroll.
  • Not have received any incomplete or excessive unexcused absences during the preceding school year.
  • Not have been placed in an alternative school setting or received a long-term suspension or expulsion during the preceding school year.
  • Pass the dual enrollment placement test through WCC.

Traditional students who do no meet the four eligibility requirements and desire to take online classes may appeal, following the appeal process in the student handbook.

Students meeting the eligibility criteria as well as those approved by the eligibility committee to take online courses will do so under the following guidelines:

  • All Wytheville Community College dual enrollment courses must be approved by the principal prior to the student enrolling in the course(s).
  • For courses other than those offered through Bland County Public Schools, the Region VII Academy, and the Governor’s School, parents must pay the tuition and cost of books prior to the student being enrolled.
  • Students who have not maintained at least a C average for the first semester will not be enrolled for the second semester.

For more information about the Virtual Academy, click here.

If you have any questions about online learning and the various options available, for the upcoming school year, call (276) 688-3361 or email

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