Frequently Asked Questions

2023-2024 Virtual Campus Information 

The following questions and answers will help you become more familiar with Virtual Campus and earning a diploma from Des Moines Public Schools.

How do I enroll my rising 9th – 12th grade student into Virtual Campus for the 2023-24 school year?
The students and families who choose the unique experience of Virtual Campus come from Des Moines, and beyond the district’s boundaries.

Students who will be in grades 9-12 for the 2023-2024 school year, may enroll their student at Virtual Campus by completing the Virtual Campus Enrollment Form.  2023-24 Virtual Campus Application

All high school students who complete the necessary form and contract will be transferred to Virtual Campus for the 2023-24 school year. Their requested courses will transfer with them from their address-assigned school and a Virtual Campus counselor or staff member will reach out if there are any issues with their course requests or schedule.  

Click here to learn more!

What is online learning?
Online learning is learning with the assistance of the Internet and a personal computer. The term e-learning, or electronic learning, often is used interchangeably with online learning.

What will the virtual learning experience look like for my student?
Courses will be a combination of synchronous (“live”) and asynchronous (“student-directed”) learning opportunitiesSimilar to this past school year, all courses will use Microsoft Teams and Canvas as the primary online platforms. 

Teachers will be accessible to students outside of the virtual classroom through scheduled office hours. Students will be able to meet with teachers individually or in small groups as needed during this time.

Will students receive training on how to use the Canvas Platform for online learning?
Yes, students will take Canvas 101 prior to engaging in Virtual Campus coursework in their student orientation.

What will be offered at Virtual Campus in the 2023-24 school year?
Course offerings at VIRTUAL CAMPUS will be based on student requests. Students will have the ability to request most of the same courses they do in a regular high school setting, including the four core subjects, AP courses, electives in art, world language, business, technology education, family and consumer science, and physical education, as well as ELL and Special Education courses. While students will be able to indicate their interest by requesting these courses, only courses that have enough student interest to warrant a full section will be offered.   

How many classes can my student take while attending Virtual Campus?
A full-time student is one who takes at least 7 courses/3.5 credits a semester. It is important that students maintain full-time status to remain eligible for a number of assistance services and to stay on track for high school graduation.

Does Virtual Campus have a School Advisory Council?
Yes, Virtual Campus has a School Advisory Council that meets at least once a month during the school year. The purpose of the School Advisory Council is for families, students and community members to provide input on school policy and budget, strengthen communication between Virtual Campus and our school community and promote school programs.

Does my student still get the same holiday breaks as a traditional classroom student?
Yes, a Virtual Campus student will follow the same school calendar the district follows.

Where can I see my student’s grades?
There will be a section on Canvas for students to keep up on their scores for assignments, but all final grades will be found and recorded on Infinite Campus.

Can my student attend any college or university after graduating from an online school?
Yes! Virtual Campus thrives itself on providing a quality rigorous online education that compares to a brick and motor school, just in a different modality! You will graduate with a DMPS high school diploma!

How will graduation and other senior activities look?
There will be a Virtual Campus Graduation Ceremony, along with other senior events/activities. Students who complete HS at Virtual Campus will receive a full high school diploma listing Virtual Campus as the institution of record.  

If I enroll my student at Virtual Campus, how long is the commitment? 
Students enrolling at Virtual Campus are effectively transferring out of their address-assigned school and into Virtual Campus. Like current within district transfer requests, the commitment for Virtual Campus will be for a minimum period of the 2023-2024 academic year. This is done to avoid disruptions to a student’s educational program and allow the district to properly assess staffing needs for all schools. Part of the Virtual Campus enrollment form that must be completed to initiate the transfer/enrollment process includes a contract acknowledging this commitment and agreeing to the year-long duration.  

Because of the difficulties involved in scheduling individual classes, middle and high school students may only discontinue their participation at the conclusion of the school year.

What technology resources and supports will be provided to students and families? 

Students will receive a laptop, charger, and laptop bag. If students have their own device, they may elect to use that, but no district technology supports will be in place should the device stop working. We strongly encourage students to use the district-provided laptops to limit software issues in accessing school-related programs.  

Assistance in getting internet access is available if needed.  Students will have access to technology support and troubleshooting via the Technology Family/Student Support Center (515-242-8221). 

What does communication look like from teacher to student in an online setting?

We communicate in a variety ways in Virtual Campus. Through discussions, messages, emails, phone calls, video conferencing, Microsoft Teams, or face to face by appointment during teacher’s office hours.

What if my student needs extra help?
There are many ways Virtual Campus can provide additional support:

  • Meet with the teacher or counselor during set office hours or make an appointment
  • An academic counselor is available
  • Microsoft Teams meetings
  • Collaboration opportunities with other students

Does my student still have to take state and district wide assessments?
Yes, all students are still required to take part in all state-wide district assessments. Virtual Campus will have space available to take all required state and district assessments.

Will virtual students have access to Central Campus and Academy courses?
Virtual Campus students will be able to take courses at Central Campus and/or Central Academy.  Students wanting to take courses at Central Campus will be able to do so and will go through the regular course request process for these programs. Similar to how Central Campus and Academy scheduling works in the current comprehensive high schools, Virtual Campus students may need to be scheduled for specific periods at the Central Campus and Central Academy buildings. Counselors will be available to help you. 

Will student services be available for students identified with IEPs, 504, ELL, and GT?
Virtual Campus students will have access to all student services they would typically receive at their home schoolincluding Special Education services, English Language Learner supports, 504 Plan accommodations, and Gifted & Talented supports.  

Students with an IEP requesting to transfer to Virtual Campus are required to have a formal IEP meeting to review accommodations and ensure that Virtual Campus is able to meet the individual student’s needs.

Will virtual students be able to participate in extracurricular activities like band, choir, and sports?
Students enrolled at Virtual Campus will be able to participate in extracurricular athletics and activities offered at their address-assigned school, assuming they meet eligibility requirements to do so.  

Performing arts ensembles, such as Band, Orchestra, or Choir, that are formal classes will not be offered at Virtual Campus. If offered as an extracurricular activity rather than an official class, Virtual Campus students may participate at their address-assigned school.

If you are open enrolled from another district, you may participate in up to 2 sports/activities at your address assigned high school building!

Who do I contact for questions and more information about Virtual Campus?
Heather Menninga, Project Assistant – 515-242-7697 or email