An Invitation and a Brief History

As the Facilitator for the World Virtual School (WVS) Project, I would like to extend a special invitation to you to join a global PK-12 international schools project that is specifically focused on online continuity of operations for member schools during an extended emergency. Membership is open most directly to A/OS (American Overseas Schools) affiliated with the US Department of State Office of Overseas Schools, but has also been extended to other interested and qualified schools. Membership and group activities are ultimately coordinated through the 8 regional associations listed here (opens in new tab).

Since starting originally in the NESA (Near East South Asia) region in 2002 as a joint project of the US Dept. of State Office of Overseas Schools and the regional association, The NESA Virtual School (NVS) Project has been working methodically over the years to continually develop and practice procedures for successful online continuity during an extended emergency. In 2007, the project began to expand globally to form the WVS Project, and now we serve over 100 schools in 6 of the 8 international school regions. Each region has its own regional "virtual school" meetings (usually at the Administrators' conference) but the agenda is coordinated annually by the WVS core group to include the latest best-practices documentation, self-evaluation surveys, and rigorous "tabletop" simulation exercises. Our work has proven to be extremely valuable to participating schools, especially with regard to transitioning to online learning and business continuity precipitated by the COVID-19 pandemic. We have effectively ushered schools through a process of real change in school policies and procedures to enable them to be truly prepared for emergency circumstances.

Inquiries should be sent to your respective representative or to me, Ken Paynter, at

Thanks very much for your interest in this endeavor,

Ken Paynter
World Virtual School Project Facilitator
NESA Virtual School Project Manager

Last modified: Friday, 11 December 2020, 2:31 PM