1644 N. McKinley Rd.
Arlington, VA 22205
703-228-2707
Tuesday, March 28, 2017

For Students

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about Virtual@APS Online Classes
 
Why should I take an online class?
There are many reasons why a student might want to take an online class.  Here are a few:
  • to take a course that isn't offered in a face-to-face setting
  • to solve scheduling conflicts
  • to take a course outside of the regular school day schedule
  • to help in situations that keep a student from attending school
  • to meet the graduation requirement of taking at least one online course
  • to develop skills in preparation for college and the work place; skills such as time management, technology, online collaboration, self-motivation, and more
  • to move ahead 
  • You may want to refer to this document for more information:  Is Online Learning Right for Me
How do I register for an online class?
Talk with your counselor. Your counselor will communicate with the Department of Instruction for approval and with the Virtual@APS office for registration -- a Virtual Course Request Form will need to be completed and submitted by the counselor. If the course is already in the Program of Studies as an online course, you can request it during class selection in early Spring.
 
Who is eligible to take online classes?
Any 7th through 12th grade student in Arlington Public Schools. Students in 7th and 8th grade are primarily scheduled during the school day. Please visit “Is Online Learning Right for Me?
 
How do I request an online class for the summer?
Advanced permission is required. Counselors must complete the Virtual Course Request Form.
 
Do I have to pay for an online class?
Typically no. There are some unique situations where a family will need to pay for an online course.
 
My schedule is full, but I want to take an extra class online, what do I do?
Talk with your counselor. Your counselor will communicate with the Department of Instruction for approval and with the Virtual@APS for registration -- a Virtual Course Request Form will need to be filled out by the counselor. If this course is approved, it will be designated as a “24/7 course”.
 
What is 24/7?
Online classes are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from anywhere you have a computer with Internet access. At APS we call "24/7" classes those classes which are scheduled outside of the regular school day schedule. An APS student enrolled in a 24/7 class does not attend a class during regular school hours with a face-to-face teacher. Instead, a 24/7 student dedicates 4-6 hours per week to complete his/her online assignments during times that work within their schedule.
 
Is there an orientation for online students?
All Virtual@APS students participate in an online orientation that is built into each course.  Students taking courses from outside providers should do the orientation provided by the course provider.  There are several resources on this website as well to help you know what to expect of an online course.
 
How do I access my online class?
  • If your course is taught by an APS teacher, your course will likely be on APS Blackboard.  You use your student login and password.
  • If your course is offered by a provider outside of APS, you will receive instructions from the provider to include:  login page, login, and password.
Where do I take exams for the online class?
  • For students whose online classes are scheduled during the school day, exams are proctored by your Online Course Facilitator.
  • For students scheduled as 24/7 students -- you will be assigned a mentor or facilitator.  Your exams may be either proctored at your school or at the Virtual@APS offices at the Reed-Westover buildling.
How much time is needed to successfully complete online classes?
4-6 hours each week during the regular school year will be required to successfully complete the class.The online class is accessible 24/7.
 
What do I need to do to be successful in the online class?
To be successful in the online class you must complete all assignments by due dates, seek help if you don’t understand, and communicate with your teacher regularly.
Watch this video of APS students giving advice on How to Be Successful in an Online Course.
 
How do I communicate with my online teacher?
An online student will contact the teacher via phone, email and/or scheduled webinars.
 
How can I receive extra help?
Contact the online teacher via email, phone, online during office hours, or attend scheduled tutoring time online or in person at the Reed-Westover location.
 
Who is my teacher?
Online teachers are certified teachers in the subject being taught, AP trained teachers teach AP classes, and all teachers have been trained to teach online.
 
How many students will be in my class?
Enrollments will vary. Unlike face-to-face classes the class is not restricted to the size of a classroom. However, online classes are scheduled based on the average class load for a teacher. If the teacher is full-time, the online enrollments may be 70-120 students (the same as a brick-n-mortar based teacher, depending on the curriculum area). Each section of an online course is the same as face-to-face classes. (Maximum of approximately 25-30 per section.)
 
Do I have to work online everyday?
An online student must meet assignment deadlines, and the schedule of online time will vary based on curriculum and student. Student attendance is recorded and is based on completion of assignments and login activity, so students should login a minimum of 5 days a week.
For more information, watch this video:  10 Myths of Online Learning
 
Will my teacher be online at the same time I am online? It is possible that online students and teachers may be online at the same time, but that would not be the norm. Teachers will designate office hours and may require online sessions using webinar/chat software.The timing of these sessions will be advertised in advance.
 
Does this class count in my GPA?
Yes.
 
Will I get a grade and course credit?
Yes, students taking approved online courses receive grades, and APS awards credits.
 
If I'm taking a course from a provider outside of Arlington, how is my grade reported to APS?
Typically courses from providers outside of Arlington only report semester grades (semester 1 and semester 2), and a final course grade to APS.  They do not calculate and report interim and quarter grades.  Because APS requires a grade be entered into report cards each quarter, APS manually pulls each student's grade at interims and at the end of quarter 1 and quarter 3.  These grades represent the grade for work completed at that moment in time (current grade) -- it may not reflect the true grade based on required pacing (actual grade).  As a guideline, students should complete a minimum of 5% of the course each week.
 
How are my grades calculated for an APS Online Courses?  For courses taught by APS teachers, please check the grade book in the Blackboard course and StudentVue/ParentVue.  For any questions, please check with your teacher.
 
How are my grades calculated for Contracted Online Courses?  For courses from outside providers, students can see their progress within the online course.  Some providers also offer parent accounts. Online courses are graded by semester.  A “point in time” grade will be entered in StudentVue for Quarter 1 and Quarter 3 – this calculation takes into account grades of completed assignments and progress-in-pacing.  These quarter grades are not to be averaged. Semester 1 and Semester 2 grades are provided directly from the course provider. 
 
Will online classes meet the requirements for the standard and advanced diploma?
Yes, taking an online class is a graduation requirement (beginning with the class of 2017). All approved online courses meet standard and advanced diploma requirements.
 
For more information please email Virtual@apsva.us
Last Modified on October 20, 2015
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