The diocese launches the new Diocesan Virtual School of Saint Isidore of Seville

This story has been updated.

To accommodate families and educators who prefer distance education during the pandemic, the Diocese of Arlington is launching a fully online education option this year – the new Saint Isidore of Seville Diocesan Virtual Schoolnamed after the patron saint of the Internet.

Several teachers and school families, especially those who are medically vulnerable, had expressed interest in establishing such a school. The Diocesan Office of Catholic Schools is recruiting about 30 teachers and is looking to enroll a maximum of 207 students in single-track kindergarten through eighth grade, with an expected start date of September 8. Leslie Lipovski, diocesan assistant superintendent of curriculum and assessment, will serve as interim director.

Currently, about two-thirds of diocesan schools plan to offer in-person instruction in the fall, said Joseph Vorbach, diocesan superintendent of schools, while the other third will offer hybrid online and in-person models. While in-person teaching has clear benefits, Vorbach said, during these uncertain times, St. Isidore will provide the stability of a fully online environment with experienced educators.

“While there remains some uncertainty about the effects the virus may have on K-12 education this year, once you commit to (St. Isidore) you know your child will be in a safe environment. line and consistent Catholic throughout the year,” says Vorbach.

Learn more about plans for the fall reopening of diocesan Catholic schools.

St. Isidore students will benefit from the approved and accredited diocesan curriculum, Lipovski said. “I think the goal with a lot of these families is to be (in Saint-Isidore) this year because of the pandemic, (but) we’re all hoping that the following year they can go back to their school at the home,” she said. . “If they are in our diocesan virtual school, they haven’t missed a concept or standard” that they might miss in a non-diocesan school.

White believes she and other diocesan educators learned a lot from their foray into online learning earlier this year that they will implement in this online school. “In the spring, we were reacting to the situation,” she said. “What makes St. Isidore different is the intention to create a virtual school that brings in a lot of the best practices of what a virtual school should be like, for example, class size will be capped smaller than in in-person instruction.

A benefit will be the ability for families to watch the weekly mass broadcast live together. “One of the things that makes Catholic schools great is that you can attend weekly Mass as a community and here we also have the opportunity to evangelize parents and families,” she said.

A portion of the tuition, which amounts to approximately $6,000 per student, will be used to support diocesan schools that will lose students and faculty to St. Isidore. Part of the money will go to the schools where the teachers come from and part of the money will go to the students’ schools to encourage them to reserve a place in the class for that child the following school year. Families receiving financial aid at their previous school will receive the same percentage of aid at St. Isidore.

If the school reaches full enrollment, parents will receive a tuition-reducing discount. Tuition fees for other diocesan schools vary depending on the school, the number of students enrolled per family, and whether that family belongs to the parish, but rates range from approximately $6,200 per student to $11,000 per student.

While St. Isidore was created to meet the needs of some members of the Catholic school community during the pandemic, the diocese will see if St. Isidore will be viable even after the pandemic. The Office of Catholic Schools is looking at other virtual school models and seeing if St. Isidore might appeal to families who prefer home schooling.

To find out more or to enroll your child in the Diocesan Virtual School of Saint Isidore of Seville, go to here.

Perry A. Thomasson