Directors Message:

Welcome to the CSVA, Sheridan County School District #1’s virtual education program. We support our district’s mission by providing students around the state of Wyoming an opportunity to find Individual Success Through Virtual Education. Today, students face many challenges their parents did not encounter, and we recognize the need for alternative approaches to educational experiences. The CSVA is one of Wyoming’s statewide virtual programs which can enroll K-12 students regardless of where they live in our beautiful state.

Our program offers students a self-paced learning environment and ongoing enrollment from July through February. Students who are accepted into the CSVA are enrolled in one of our district’s schools and if with us through their senior year, graduate from Tongue River High School or our alternative center, The Bridge School. While the program is selfpaced, students are required to complete their coursework by the end of the district’s academic school year, typically the last week of May or first week of June. Students must also demonstrate a minimum amount of progress each week (measurements of attendance) in order to complete their coursework on time or face being dropped from the program, similar to brick-and-mortar settings as required by state statute.

Our most successful students all have a number of things in common:

First, they have an established routine at home. This means they treat learning in the CSVA the same as they would in a brick-and-mortar setting. They have established start and end times each day. Many of our students choose to work in the afternoons or evenings, which works for their life schedules. But the key is their routine means working every day at thosetimes.

Second, successful CSVA students keep in touch with their teachers. Each week, the students who reach out and respond to their teachers find they are more involved with their own educational experience and progress more quickly and achieve at higher levels than students who isolate themselves from their teachers.

And third, their parents/guardians actively monitor their students’ progress and communicate regularly with our teachers and staff. This last commonality is key. Parents who are not involved in this progress monitoring often find their student not meeting our attendance requirements, leading to lower achievement or even removal from the program. This handbook describes the role of the Academic Learning Coach in greater detail.

Students enrolled in the CSVA have access to curriculum provided by SchoolsPLP, including an extensive Advanced Placement program for high school students. SchoolsPLP partners with numerous curriculum vendors to provide our students a high-quality, rigorous and supportive virtual learning experience, with many opportunities to explore a variety of courses. During this first year using SchoolsPLP, the CSVA will seek to offer more elective courses than we have been able to previously, including at the elementary and middle school levels. Additionally, we believe the new learning management system will better empower parents and CSVA staff to support students in their learning.

But like any learning experience, this system’s impact is greatly reduced when students do not fully engage in the process of their own learning. Simply guessing, looking up answers, or getting help from others does not provide the curriculum with valid information about what a student knows or does not know. For students to meet their potential for learning, they must take their own learning opportunities seriously.

In addition to enrolling students in our district, we also have contracted with a number of districts around the state to provide access to our program for students we are unable to enroll. Our vendor services enable students the opportunity to learn virtually when they often do not have other options available locally. Unfortunately, students currently suspended or expelled, or facing disciplinary action, are ineligible to enroll in the CSVA.

The CSVA’s instructional staff is made up of many of our own district’s brick and mortar teachers who in addition to their classroom duties, are available for the students in our program. Additionally, we employ other Wyoming-certified teachers who, like our students, live in Sheridan County and throughout the state.

In order to apply for enrollment in the Cowboy State Virtual Academy, parents should complete the CSVA pre-registration form. Your application will be forwarded to one of our program’s Admissions Counselors, who will contact you about possible enrollment. Not all students are accepted.

Families who live in Sheridan #1 have the option to enroll in the CSVA. The online registration form linked above does not have to be completed if you are already attending one of our brick-and-mortar schools. Instead, in-district families should first contact their building principal to discuss possibly moving online to the CSVA.

The decision to move a student to an online learning program is an important one. When made thoughtfully, the positive results can be life-changing for a child; however, when made for the wrong reasons, the negative impacts on learning and achievement can be equally life-changing. Our role in the application process is to consider whether the CSVA is a good fit for your student. This process helps ensure we can provide your student the support they need to find Individual Success Through Virtual Education.

We hope you will explore the CSVA more and consider applying for enrollment. We look forward to the opportunity to provide your student an alternative educational pathway through our virtual program.

Yours in (Virtual) Education,

Fred Hollingshead signature

Fred Hollingshead
CSVA Director
Sheridan County #1
Ranchester, WY