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Flexible, equitable and personalized learning in a supportive virtual environment

For the 2021-22 school year, 196Online will replaced the 196 Digital Academy option, which was created to meet the emergency pandemic-related requirements. The goal is to continue providing an online option for students and families who would like an online learning option with some modifications and enhancements from the current Digital Academy model. Providing this 196Online option allows students and families to have additional opportunities within our own district based on students’ interests and needs.

This new districtwide virtual school offers comprehensive online learning experience and carries forward the commitment to a high-quality education where students can learn and grow, and is dedicated to helping them explore the outer limits of their vast potential. 

The development of the online school began in late January and early February with over 60 staff members involved in full-day visioning sessions at the elementary, middle, and high school level.  Through these reflective conversations around a variety of topics and considerations (e.g. staffing, scheduling, co-curricular programs, equitable access, etc.) the groups developed foundational elements of 196Online focused on delivering an equitable, personalized, and flexible virtual learning community which builds relationships and inspires the growth and development of all learners.

The 196Online virtual school waitlist is now closed as it has reached capacity limits. If the waitlist reopens, more information will be shared with families.

Elementary Level

Secondary Level

Highlights of 196Online

  • Our program provides a high-quality, rigorous, comprehensive and fully online learning experience.

  • Curriculum meets or exceeds all Minnesota state standards.

  • Students receive the structure of live academic learning opportunities while still maintaining the flexibility of completing work independently at on their own personal and academic schedule.

  • The program combines digitally delivered coursework with hands-on, tangible learning experiences.

  • Provides options and choices to keep students engaged with content that is relevant, authentic and meaningful.

  • Student voice is amplified through learning opportunities that are student directed.

  • All courses are facilitated by licensed Minnesota teachers.

  • All 196Online staff work in partnership to provide comprehensive support based on areas of need.

  • 196Online will establish partnerships with similar grade levels/departments at District 196 schools to provide an aligned learning experience.

  • An advisory program provides students with a dedicated staff person who checks in regularly regarding academic progress, social emotional connections, along with building connections with fellow students.

  • Dedicated support staff to work with students and families, including counseling supports, technical assistance, cultural family advocates and specialized positions such as English Learner and special education.

Is your child enrolled in a magnet school?

District 196 elementary magnet lottery families who are considering the 196Online virtual school for the 2021-22 school year should consider that enrollment in 196Online will affect their magnet assignment, as well as their student's chances of returning to their magnet school either during the 2021-22 school year or in the fall 2022. 

Families who were already granted enrollment in any of our elementary magnet program via the magnet lottery and who are now considering enrollment in 196Online:

  • During the 2021-22 school year, families who may be interested in returning to their magnet school can request a change in enrollment at the end of each trimester. Magnet principals will make every effort to accommodate requests in the best interest of students while also managing class size and space at each of our schools.  If no space is available at the magnet school, the family can request enrollment in their attendance-area elementary school if space is available.

  • For the following school year, 2022-23, families who may be interested in returning to their magnet school are automatically granted enrollment in their magnet school without re-entering the magnet lottery.  Note that students can choose to continue in 196Online for a second year (2022-23) during next year’s enrollment window, but the family would then forfeit their magnet enrollment.

Open-enrolled magnet families who are NOT residents of District 196, enrolled via the magnet school lottery, and who are now choosing to enroll in 196Online: 

  • During the 2021-22 school year, families will have similar options as listed above with the exception that they do not have an attendance-area school. If no space is available at the magnet school, the family can request consideration for open enrollment at a non-magnet elementary school within the district if space allows.

  • For the following school year, 2022-23, families are automatically granted enrollment in their magnet school without re-entering the magnet lottery as noted above.

A young boy sits at a computer during a virtual school lesson.