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Program Overview – Virtual Learning

Richardson ISD’s virtual learning program is a remote learning opportunity that will allow students to engage in high-quality learning experiences, use RISD’s instructional resources, including curriculum and assessments, and meaningfully connect with teachers and peers.

All activities have been designed to meet the needs of the student in the online environment through the use of instructional best practices designed for virtual learning. Students enrolled in the RISD virtual learning program will experience similar learning experiences consistent with their grade-level peers attending in-person classes.

The RISD virtual learning program is very different from the at-home model experienced by parents and students in the spring that was designed using weekly choice boards and optional virtual class meetings. The 2020-2021 virtual learning program is a highly structured and equally rigorous learning environment designed to mirror the learning and growth experienced by students in face to face learning.

The new RISD program will be led by the Virtual School Director, who will be charged with collaborating with campus principals to determine master schedules, teacher and student assignments while also ensuring teachers meet expectations for the new program.

Enrollment and Program Information

  • Students who commit to the RISD virtual learning program will remain enrolled on their home campus. They will not lose their seat or spot at their home campus, even if they remain in the virtual program all year.
  • The virtual school teachers will be highly qualified, highly trained RISD teachers primarily focused on virtual instruction except for in a few unique circumstances.
  • Virtual students will be placed in a cohort by campus or by geography. When possible, class rosters will be assigned to teachers at the student’s home campus to support building relationships and fostering meaningful connections.
  • Teachers will provide instruction, learning resources and support through the use of Google Classroom and other identified resources.
  • Parents will be asked to support students as a learning coach and ensure they have access to a device, a place to work, and follow the student’s virtual learning schedule.
  • Regular communication will be shared with virtual school families from the home campus and from the virtual school staff. Open lines of communication are critical to ensure each student is academically, socially and emotionally supported while learning at home.
  • Families will have the chance to enroll in virtual or face-to-face framework at the end of each of the four nine-week grading periods.
  • All students will be provided a technology device. Pre-K through 2nd grade will be provided an iPad. Students in grades 3 through 6 will be provided an iPad, but it is strongly recommended that the student have access to a Chromebook or other laptop device. RISD students in grades 7 through 12 will be issued a Chromebook.
  • All students participating in virtual school should purchase insurance. Links for purchasing insurance can
    be found on the RISD Parent Corner Website. Please note that insurance costs are nonrefundable.
  • Hotspots will be provided to any family without internet access.
  • Students will have access to online resources, textbooks, educational databases and materials through RISD Classlink, Self Service (PK-6), and Google Classroom.
  • No resources, platforms or apps requiring student fees or an associated cost to a family will be required at any time.
  • All virtual teachers will establish and communicate office hours when they are available to meet with parents and answer student questions.
  • Contact information will be provided and posted in all Google Classrooms.
  • All students, except Pre-K, will be provided a district managed email account and Google Drive. All communication between student and teacher should go through these accounts.
  • Parents are encouraged to remain aware of their student’s email account login information.
  • Teachers will be evaluated and held to the virtual school teacher expectations by the campus principal and virtual school program director.

Virtual Course Offerings

The goal of the RISD Virtual Academy is to provide students the opportunity to complete their academic coursework through their preferred course schedule.  The 2020-2021 RISD Program of Studies contains the current course offerings within the district.

Due to the kinesthetic (hands-on) nature of some courses, the RISD Virtual Academy is not able to offer a small segment of the RISD Program of study.  The following courses are not available to students who select virtual instruction. Please note this list is subject to change, as additional courses may not be able to be offered based on final enrollment numbers and course requests.


  • Ceramics 7/8 
    8143   8143A
  • Intro to 3D Sculpture 7/8
    8144     8144A


  • Country/Western Dance
    FA8045     FA8046     FA8047     FA8048
  • Show Choir
    FA8356     FA8357     FA8358     FA8359
  • Ceramics
    FA8140     FA8141     WF8141    FA8142     WF8142
  • Studio Art 3D
    FA8142     WF8142
  • Sculpture
    FA8134     FA8135     WF8135


  • Airframe Tech
  • Animation 2
  • Auto Tech 1
  • Auto Tech 2
  • Constru Tech 2
  • Cosmetology 1
  • Cosmetology 2
  • Engin Des & Pres 2
  • Intro Unman Aerial Veh
  • Prac Hosp Srvs
    CT7407     CT7410
  • Prac Hosp Srvs 2
    CT7408     CT7412
  • Prac Human Srv 2 Ext
  • Prac Human Svc 1 Ext
  • Prac in Animation
  • Prac in STEM
  • Prac Transp Syst
  • STEM Aircraft Pplant Tech
    CT7707     MT7707
  • STEM Aircraft Pplant Tech Dual
  • STEM Airframe Tech
  • STEM Prac in STEM – Biotech
  • STEM Prac in STEM – Robotics
  • STEM Prac Transp/Aircraft
  • STEM Prac Transp/Aircraft Dual

PE and Local Credit

  • Partners PE 7/8
  • Support Peer Rel 1
  • Support Peer Rel 2

Food and Nutrition Services

  • RISD is committed to ensuring students who qualify for free or reduced lunch will continue to have access to breakfast and lunch meals.
  • Multiple days worth of meals will be distributed two or three days each week.
  • Meal service times, instructions and locations will be communicated by the classroom teacher, campus principal, or virtual school director, and are available on the RISD Child Nutrition website.
  • Parents, guardians and older siblings will be able to pick up student meals with proof of the student’s identity (name, home school, pin or student ID number).
  • Families will be charged for meals based on their paid, free or reduced status.
  • Envelopes will be available for parents who choose to place money in a student’s account
  • To submit an application to determine free or reduced meal eligibility, please visit the child nutrition website.

Technology and Helpdesk Support

Families who need additional support with hardware or software should contact their campus technology support staff. This information will be posted in each student’s Google Classroom. Any ticket or issue that cannot be resolved at the campus level will be submitted to the district technology helpdesk.

In addition to contacting the teacher for support in any learning software such as Google Classroom, Seesaw or iXL, parents can review the RISD Student Corner for prerecorded how-to videos and other resources available to make navigating the virtual classroom easier.

Virtual students are subject to the RISD responsible use guidelines and student code of conduct. Any damage to technology equipment or missing equipment, such as iPad chargers, is the responsibility of the student.