DSIS Virtual Frequently Asked Questions

Davis School for Independent Study (DSIS), part of the Davis Joint Unified School District, is announcing the addition of a Virtual Academy starting Fall 2021 to accommodate the growing demand for online learning opportunities. DSIS has been a leader in individualized instruction since graduating its first student in 1991. The virtual program will continue the longstanding tradition of personalized education combined with current educational technology to create a successful online learning environment.


Who can apply for the Virtual Academy?

  • Any student residing within the boundaries of DJUSD.
  • Any student living in a county that borders Yolo County (Sacramento, Solano, Napa, Colusa, Sutter and Lake Counties) can enroll upon receiving an interdistrict transfer from their own school district.
  • Special Needs/Special Education students may participate in independent study if their Individualized Education Plan (IEP) indicates Independent Study is an appropriate option for the student.


What will the Secondary (7-12) Virtual Academy experience be like for my student?

  • Students will receive personalized social-emotional learning based on an individualized menu of options.
  • Students will receive an education equal in quantity and quality to their counterparts at traditional schools.
  • Students will experience a flexible, asynchronous, 100% online curriculum (via Edgenuity Courseware).
  • Some classes, including many electives such as Art and Foreign Language, will have LIVE/synchronous learning opportunities.
  • Students and their parents/guardians will have 1:1 bi-monthly meetings with a credentialed supervisory teacher.
  • Students will receive small group support, tutorials and office hour opportunities.
  • Students will have access to A-G courses as well as NCAA Approved courses on a semester schedule.
  • Students will graduate with a DJUSD high school diploma.
  • Students will be able to take community college courses while enrolled.
  • Students will enjoy maximum flexibility learning on their own schedule and portable to anywhere they have internet access.


What will the Elementary (K-6) Virtual Academy experience be for my student?

  • Students will have daily interaction with a highly qualified DJUSD teacher(s).
  • Students will have access to high quality Standards-based daily instruction.
  • Students will learn in whole groups, small groups, and one-on-one instruction.
  • Students will have bi-monthly parent/student/teacher check-ins.
  • Students will have live learning opportunities each day.
  • Students will have a daily class meeting each morning.
  • Students will have goal setting and progress monitoring meetings with their teacher.
  • Students will be offered enrichment opportunities, which are embedded into the program for every child.
  • Students will have ongoing feedback, progress reporting, assessments, and grades.
  • Students will utilize our Learning Management System (LMS) Canvas to support communication and implementation of curriculum.

What is Expected of Parents/Guardians?

  • Completion of the Master Agreement prior to admission to DSIS confirming the ability to meet all expectations in the parent contract.
  • Ensure student has a work space set up for optimal learning.
  • Assist student in obtaining proper technology and access to be successful online (District will provide technology when needed).
  • Monitor student progress and track assignment completion via the DJUSD Parent Portal and Canvas LMS.
  • Support their child in following the outlined daily/weekly schedule for learning and planning for assignment completion.
  • Support students in their completing assignments and independent work.
  • Reinforce student behavioral expectations for the whole group, small group, and individual meetings with the teacher.

When do we need to enroll?
Apply Now!
If you reside outside the District, you must also complete the Interdistrict transfer process.
Who usually participates in the Virtual Academy?
The Virtual Academy is ideal for students who thrived during Distance Learning and have the skills and motivation to engage in a more self-directed educational experience. Additionally, this opportunity may be well suited for families concerned about COVID-19 infection.
Are virtual students guaranteed a spot at their neighborhood school if they want to return?
The Virtual Academy is a choice program. If the student lives in Davis, they can return to a neighborhood school, however there is no guarantee that there will be a spot at the same school they attended prior to coming to DSIS. If the student lives outside of Davis, they will need to complete another interdistrict transfer application to a different DJUSD school or return to their home district.
Can students receiving Special Education Services attend the virtual program?
Students receiving services in the Special Education may participate in Independent Study if their IEP indicates that Independent Study is an appropriate option for the student.
Will my secondary virtual student have textbooks and other materials?
Secondary virtual students will have all necessary materials (including required novels) contained within the online Edgenuity Courseware and Canvas.
Will my elementary virtual student have textbooks and other materials?
Students enrolled in the elementary virtual program will receive District-adopted textbooks and materials. Families can also elect to use their own curriculum in place of, or in support of, District materials.
Are computers provided?
DJUSD is a 1:1 technology District. Students can choose to use their own device or borrow a Chromebook from our technology department. In addition, headphones will be provided if a student does not have their own.
Can my student get into a good college if they attend a virtual school?
Independent Study and the Virtual Program are equal in quantity and quality to classroom study. Courses and materials align to state content standards and are taught by highly qualified credentialed teachers. Your student will graduate with a well regarded DJUSD/DSIS diploma. Many DSIS students have gone on to prestigious public and private universities such as NYU and Duke, to name a few.
Will the virtual program be similar to the Distance Learning (DL) approach in the 2020-21 school year?
Unlike DL, our secondary virtual program will be taught in an asynchronous format to provide the most flexibility. Students will be required to meet with their supervisory teacher bi-monthly and additional educational supports can be built into each student’s program. Our elementary program will function in a similar manner as DL, with a structured blend of live and independent instruction as well as whole, small group and 1:1 teacher meetings.
What are the virtual attendance requirements?
  1. As per Independent Study Education Code, student attendance will be based on work completion, not seat time.
  2. Students enrolled in our 100% virtual programs will be expected to complete their weekly independent assignments on their own schedule.
  3. Students agree to complete five (5) hours of work per week per class.
  4. Students are expected to attend their bi-monthly supervisory meeting with cameras turned ON.
  5. Students may be required to be on-site for state-mandated testing.
Can students in the virtual program participate in extracurricular activities?
Students can participate in afterschool activities, including sports, with their “home” school.
Can virtual students take college courses?
It is recommended that virtual students grades 9-12 take one (1) course per year with Sacramento City College (or schools within the Los Rios Community College District).
Can virtual students take split-site classes with other schools in Davis?
Students may be able to participate in classes not offered through the Virtual Academy, such as Dance and AP courses.
How will my student’s Social/Emotional needs be met?
  • Students will have a menu of Social-Emotional Learning (SEL) classes to choose from from our “SEL Block”
  • Students will have regular 1:1 meetings with a supervisory teacher, virtual counseling and small, peer group opportunities.
  • DSIS prides itself on relationship-based learning; the virtual program will be no exception.

What college and career preparation opportunities will be available through this program?
We are currently exploring concurrent enrollment opportunities with Sac City College, which would provide access to community college courses for our high school students. We are also planning to integrate Career Tech Education options so that students can explore or pursue their career interests.