The information below was shared originally as part of the Ready for Learning Plan for the 2020-21 school year. 


    10-12 Virtual School





    Fort Smith Public Schools (FSPS) works to provide safe and excellent educational opportunities for all students at all grade levels. The COVID-19 school closure has given the FSPS team a unique opportunity to test our ability to deliver online instruction. We understand that due to the pandemic, some students and families may not be ready to participate in on-site classroom settings when the new school year arrives. 

    Fort Smith Public Schools offers variations of Virtual School to District residents including (1) High School Online blended learning, and (2) 100% Online for students in grades 10-12 who may travel often, are unable to attend school on the local campus, or who may have medical needs in the home requiring less interaction in the community.


    Virtual School will be available for all 10-12 students within Fort Smith Schools. Here is a list of qualities that characterize successful virtual students. These are important considerations when making decisions about enrolling students in Virtual School. 

    Students can be excellent virtual school students if they have strong parent support and are:

    • Self-motivated 
    • an Independent Learner 
    • Computer Literate 
    • a Good Time Manager 
    • an Effective Communicator 
    • has a Personal Commitment 
    • Academic Readiness 
    • Technologically Prepared 

    Families who select the Fort Smith Virtual School 10-12 option will provide the home support needed to guide their children through the education process. 

    Students who are not on grade level, need professional intervention, or special services may elect to participate in virtual but are best served by a traditional school environment. However, students who have severe underlying medical conditions, including heart or lung disease or diabetes or are at risk for severe illness may be advised to participate in virtual learning for that student’s safety. These options are a form of learning where content is delivered via the internet on a schedule that best fits their personal needs. Examples include email, online discussion forums, message boards, pre-recorded video lessons, etc. Teachers will schedule regular opportunities to communicate through video conferencing, such as Zoom, or phone calls to maintain social and emotional connections. 

    Fort Smith Public Schools will offer a full-time virtual experience for students in grades 10-12 at both Northside and Southside High School. A virtual student takes all classes through online/at home and only comes to campus for scheduled/approved activities. These students are supervised by Fort Smith Public School teachers.  High school virtual learners MAY participate in AAA activities which will require enrollment in, and attendance for that activity class, on-campus through Northside or Southside High School. 


    All students enrolled at Northside and Southside High Schools, who are not enrolled in 100% online classes, will participate in blended learning. This means that students will have access to the coursework for their classes in a traditional on-site classroom, as they have participated in the past, or through lessons uploaded by their instructors in schoology. All expectations for students who are working online will mirror the classroom on-site setting, including but not limited to assignments, tests, due dates, etc. Assessments, such as end-of-unit exams, are taken in class and supervised by the teacher.


    • Chromebooks
    • Fort Smith Schools curriculum, teachers, intervention, and support
    • Fort Smith Schools parent and student resources, extracurricular activities at their home school, and events such as pep rallies, dances, renaissance rallies and more


    Fort Smith Schools will provide each student a Chromebook. Efficient home internet is necessary for your child to have a successful virtual education. 


    All students including virtual will participate in Fort Smith Public Schools’ assessment system so student growth can be closely monitored. Some of these tests will occur at a student’s school; others may be taken virtually.


    Who is eligible to attend Virtual School?

    All students living within the Fort Smith School District have the opportunity to attend virtual school. 

    When I choose the Virtual School, how long is the commitment?

    When families choose the Virtual School, the students have the first ten school days to transfer back to the blended school environment. If students remain enrolled in virtual past the first school ten days, they must complete the semester with the option of changing upon one semester’s completion. 

    Can my student mix and match virtual and blended? 

    No, students must select blended or virtual classes. 

    What is the format of the classes for VIRTUAL? Will there be video lectures? Will students have to log in to the classes at certain times of the day or is there flexibility in schedule? 

    The classes will utilize an online curriculum adapted and monitored by FSPS teachers. Students can log in anytime of day or night and units and assignments will have broad short-term deadlines. 

    What is the format of the classes for BLENDED? Will there be video lectures? Will students have to log in to the classes at certain times of the day or is there flexibility in schedule? 

    The classes will use curriculum created and used in on-site instruction each day by the classroom teacher. Students can log in anytime of day or night; however, due dates will remain the same for students working digitally as they are for students working at school.

    What curriculum will you be using? 

    Virtual classes will be using Pearson Connexus content guided by Arkansas course standards and aligned with FSPS essential standards. Blended classes will be using a teacher created curriculum through Schoology. 

    Will there be dedicated teachers for this 100% Online program or will they be teaching traditional school as well? Depending on the size of the program at each grade level, some of these teachers may be teaching 100% Online and/or blended classes. 

    Will my student have access to other services?

    ALL students may come to campus during the designated meal time for breakfast and/or lunch. Other services will be available either on campus or virtually to meet exceptional needs such as IEPs, 504s, ELL, Dyslexia, etc.

    What happens if on-site schools shut down due to COVID-19, inclement weather or other crisis?

    A significant benefit of both virtual and blended learning is no interruption of student learning should occur. Students will continue to work digitally if the need to close a campus should arise. 

    What if a student struggles with working at home under the blended option? 

    Students who have a 70% or less or who have been identified by the teacher as needing support may be required to be in attendance on campus until further notice from the teacher.

    How do I enroll in the Virtual Learning Model at NHS or SHS?

    Enrollment has now closed for the Virtual Learning Model at NHS or SHS. 

    I have a question not addressed here. Who do I contact? 

    If you have additional questions, please contact the Southside High School office (479-646-7371) or Northside High School office (479-783-1171).