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Creating In-Person Opportunities for Virtual Students

Connecting in-person with peers and teachers


While virtual schools offer many flexible opportunities (time, pace, place) to students, they usually do not offer a designated building or space for students to attend in person. Being able to physically meet with peers and/or educators can help students collaboratively work through academic issues, ask clarifying questions if they get stuck, and simply feel more supported through peer-to-peer connections. Some virtual and hybrid schools have set up physical locations where students can go in person to work on assignments, seek help from educators, and socially connect with peers.


Here are some innovative ways that virtual and hybrid schools have created in-person meeting areas for their virtual students and families:

  • Set up an open space with tables and chairs where students can drop by anytime to get work done (similar to a study hall). Staff can rotate through the area to provide support or answer any questions that students may have. Crossroads Flex High School has created a “Commons Area” where students can receive help from teachers as well as earn required seat time.

  • Utilize other buildings in the district or network to offer opportunities for students to join in person. Gem Prep Online allows their virtual students to partake in school activities (e.g., extracurricular clubs, school library, field trips) if they live near one of the brick-and-mortar schools in the Gem Prep network.

  • Create multipurpose rooms in an office building (if the school has access to an office) that can serve as a gathering area for virtual students. Mountain Heights Academy rents out two large activity rooms in their office building and hosts fun activities (e.g., baking, art classes) for their virtual students to attend in person a few times per week. They also live-stream these activities for students who do not live close enough to the office.