SY21-22 Virtual Instruction

If your student meets medical eligibility requirements for virtual forms, please upload the form signed by your doctor using this online tool as soon as possible.

We hope and expect the overwhelming majority of DCPS students will return to full-time in-person learning in the fall. However, we know there are students who have a documented medical condition who need to continue virtual learning. To support these students, DCPS will offer virtual instruction for a limited number of students who meet medical eligibility requirements. Virtual learning based on medical need will be available across all grades for the 2021-2022 School Year.

At this time, virtual instruction will be offered on a semester basis, covering Terms 1 and 2 at DCPS (August 30 to January 26). Each student in a household that needs virtual learning should complete online registration and upload a form signed by their doctor.

For more information about the upcoming school year, including health and safety measures, click here.

How to Register for Virtual Learning

Consistent with a District-wide policy, families who need virtual learning must provide a medical consent form signed by a physician or nurse practitioner that explains why their student requires this option (i.e., a documented medical need as determined by a health professional).

If your student has a medical need for virtual learning, please follow these steps. Links will open in a new window.

Families are encouraged to complete the virtual learning registration process as soon as possible. Follow the steps below to complete the online registration process.

  1. Complete student enrollment for SY21-22. You may submit enrollment forms electronically online or complete them at the school you will attend next year.

  2. Download the COVID-19 Medical Consent and Certification for Distance Learning prepared by the Office of the State Superintendent of Education (OSSE) or pick up a copy from your school.
  3. Contact your child’s medical provider so they may complete and sign the medical consent form for virtual learning. Forms must be signed by a physician or nurse practitioner, or they will not be accepted.

  4. Complete the virtual learning registration process by uploading your student’s medical consent form signed by their doctor by July 6. You can just take a picture of the signed form if you do not have an electronic copy. The form will ask for your student’s ID number. If you do not have the ID number, please contact your school.

  5. Our Student Health Services team will follow up with you if your form is incomplete, or to notify you if your form has been accepted.


Each student in a household that has a medical need for virtual learning should complete their own medical consent form. After the COVID-19 Medical Consent and Certification form is uploaded online, families will be notified once their virtual learning request is processed.

Questions about the medical consent and certification process may be directed to medicalconsent@k12.dc.gov. All other questions should be directed to your school.

The Virtual Learning Experience

If you choose virtual learning for your student with a medical need, please note:

  • Virtual students will be taught by DCPS teachers, but they may be teachers in a different school depending on virtual enrollment numbers. Virtual students do not give up any re-enrollment or feeder rights.
  • DCPS will offer a rich learning environment for students who need to participation in virtual learning, but we cannot guarantee access to all DCPS courses or programs (e.g., a dual language seat, courses outside of graduation requirements). Students will still have access to all required courses for graduation.
  • Virtual students will need to make a semester commitment to virtual. If a student’s medical situation changes, DCPS cannot guarantee a seat will be available for in-person learning until the start of the new semester in late-January 2022.
  • Attendance expectations will mirror in-person learning attendance requirements and virtual students will be expected to attend live instruction in SY21-22.
  • Virtual students are not eligible for in-person activities, including extracurricular and athletic activities, and before or aftercare

Virtual Learning FAQ

Are all students eligible for virtual learning?

Yes. All DCPS students in grades PK-12 who provide a medical consent form signed by their doctor/nurse practitioner will be eligible for virtual learning. Students with medical needs unrelated to COVID-19 should follow the guidelines for the Home and Hospital Instruction Program (HHIP).

What if my child does not have a medical need for virtual instruction, but I prefer to keep them in remote learning?

DCPS believes that the best place for a student to learn is in the classroom and that is why we will fully reopen for every student, every day with their teachers and classmates this fall. Virtual learning in SY21-22 is limited to students with medical needs. All other students are expected to attend school in-person.

My child does not have a medical need, but their sibling/parent/caregiver does. Can I still register my child for virtual?

Virtual learning in SY21-22 is limited to individual students with medical needs as documented by their physician or nurse practitioner.

What if I register for virtual learning but then I change my mind?

Registering for virtual learning is a semester commitment. If your child’s health condition changes and you no longer need virtual learning, you are not guaranteed the opportunity to return to in-person learning until the start of the second semester which begins at the end of January 2022.

I can’t get a doctor’s appointment in time to meet the July 30 deadline. What do I do?

To support school planning we are asking families to complete their virtual learning medical eligibility form by July 30. If you know you are unable to obtain a physician note by that date, please complete the forms when they are fully signed but note that student scheduling may be impacted.

What medical conditions qualify for virtual learning?

Medical eligibility is determined by each child’s healthcare professional.

What if I don’t have access to a medical provider?

Families can review this list of primary care providers that offer services to children at this link.

Can my child attend in-person part of the time, and virtual part of the time?

DCPS believes that the best place for a student to learn is in the classroom and that is why we will fully reopen for every student, every day with their teachers and classmates this fall. Virtual learning is a full-time alternative to in-person learning. DCPS is not offering hybrid schedules.

My child is in a dual-language program, Montessori program, or specialized high school. Will the virtual program provide these options?

DCPS will offer a rich learning environment for students who need to participation in virtual learning, but we cannot guarantee access to all courses or programs. However, virtual students in grades 6-12 will have access to all courses required for graduation.

What is the attendance policy for virtual students?

More details about the attendance policy will be shared in the coming weeks. Virtual students will be expected to attend live instruction.

What if I want to register for virtual but I do not have a device or internet for my child at home?

We are committed to providing all students enrolled in virtual learning with the tools to participate fully, including a technology device or internet access support.

How will virtual students access breakfast and lunch?

Virtual students will be eligible for meals. More details will be shared in the coming weeks.

When will my virtual student find out about their teachers?

Virtual students will be assigned to a DCPS teacher, but in some cases virtual students may be placed in other schools for specific courses or for the whole day depending on enrollment numbers. We will share more information about schedules with virtual students in August.

What will instruction look like for virtual students?

We will provide additional updates on the structure of classes over the summer months. To help aid in our planning, we encourage families to return the medical consent form by July 30, but we will accept completed forms after that date.

How do I register for virtual if I am new to DCPS?

First, please enroll in your new school for the 2021-2022 School Year. Only enrolled DCPS students are eligible to register for virtual learning. More information about enrollment is available at enrolldcps.dc.gov.

If I have more questions about virtual learning, who should I contact?

For general questions on virtual learning in SY21-22, you can reach out to the Office of Integrity at dcps.cio@k12.dc.gov, or 202.442.5885 (Option 2). If you have questions about medical eligibility for virtual learning, or the medical consent and certification form, please contact the Health team at medicalconsent@k12.dc.gov.