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Innovative Pathways Full-Time Virtual Program Pilot


Innovative Pathways will be piloting a no-cost, full-time virtual program option for HCPSS students who are entering or repeating ninth grade during the 2023-2024 school year. The program will provide students the opportunity to take classes and earn credits virtually, while receiving support services from both Innovative Pathways and their designated home school.

Criteria for Participation

The full-time virtual program is grant-funded for the 2023-2024 school year and there will be limited enrollment. It is designed for students who would benefit from learning virtually for the 2023-2024 school year.

Criteria include, but are not limited to students who:

  • Are entering 9th grade HCPSS students
  • Are current 9th grade HCPSS students who will repeat the grade due to extenuating circumstances
  • Are unable to regularly attend school due to medical reasons but who do not qualify for Home & Hospital Instruction
  • Are unable to regularly attend school due to a social-emotional diagnosis

The full-time virtual program is best suited for students who:

  • Demonstrate consistent academic performance
  • Have a commitment to attend classes daily and actively participate
  • Are able to complete assignments independently
  • Create and maintain a schedule of tasks and due dates
  • Can organize their learning materials and work space
  • May have previous experience/success with virtual learning

Note: The full-time pilot is not designed for students struggling with academic performance. Students who do not attend virtual instructional lessons or make adequate academic progress in their course(s) may be subject to withdrawal from the program and would be expected to return to in-person instruction at their assigned home school.


Innovative Pathways full-time virtual students will receive live, real-time (synchronous) instruction from HCPSS Innovative Pathways teachers. Classes will meet four days per week via Google Meet. Students will also receive asynchronous assignments and have individual conferences with their teacher one day per week. Innovative Pathways courses will meet the same standard as outlined in HCPSS curriculum.

Students enrolled in the full-time virtual program will continue to be enrolled in their assigned home school and have access to the same supplemental programs and services as students at their home school. Students can choose to enroll in electives and participate in extracurricular activities, including athletics, at their assigned school as their schedules and transportation allows. However, students will receive their majority of their instruction through Innovative Pathways.

Comparison Chart

The following chart compares the Innovative Pathways Full-Time Virtual Program Pilot to Traditional High School.

  Full-Time Virtual Program Pilot Traditional High School
Grade levels

Entering Grade 9

Repeating Grade 9

Grades 9 – 12
Instructional Model Synchronous virtual instruction and digital assignments either during or outside the school day In-person instruction during the school day
Location Virtual HCPSS high school building
Instructional Delivery HCPSS teachers – virtual instruction using Google Meet HCPSS teachers – in-person instruction
Course Availability HCPSS Core Academic Courses for Grade 9

Limited elective and related art options

HCPSS Catalog of Approved High School Courses
Supplemental Programs Access to all HCPSS supplemental programs (Beyond School Hours, Digital Education, Evening Program, Summer Program)
Cost to Families No cost No cost
Student Support Services Provided virtually by Innovative Pathways and the student’s assigned home school Provided in-person by the student’s assigned home school
Transportation Not applicable If eligible
Meals Available for purchase or free/reduced-price at the student’s assigned home school

Technology Requirements & Online Expectations

Students will need to have reliable internet access and a personal laptop or HCPSS-owned Chromebook. Additional information is available on the Student Devices webpage.

Students are expected to attend scheduled virtual Google Meet instructional lessons, and should review:

How to Apply

Parents/guardians who would like their child to be considered for the full-time virtual program pilot can complete an online interest form. Interest forms submitted after the August 1 deadline will be reviewed if there is space still available in the program.



Students who are Howard County residents participating in home instruction and not currently enrolled in HCPSS will be required to enroll for the 2023-2024 school year before the first day of school, August 28, 2023.


For more information about the Virtual Program:

Email messages will receive a faster response than calling the program phone number. Phone messages will be returned after reviewing voicemail messages within 24 hours during the school week.