FAQs

Virtual

Frequently Asked Questions

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

Who is eligible to take online classes?
Any Arlington Public School student who is enrolled in grades 7 through 12.  Students in 7th and 8th grade are primarily scheduled during the school day.

How do I register for an online class?
Talk with your counselor. Your counselor will communicate with the Department of Instruction for approval. If the course is already in the Program of Studies as an online course, you can request it during class selection in early Spring.

Do I have to pay for an online class?
Student enrolled in Arlington Public Schools do not typically pay for online courses.  There are some unique situations where a family may need to pay for an online course.

How do I request an online class for the summer?
Speak with your counselor.  Advanced permission is required.

What is a “24/7” class?
Online classes designated “24/7” are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. An online student enrolled in a 24/7 class will not attend a class during regular school hours with a face-to-face teacher.  Instead, an online student will dedicate 4-6 hours per week (4-6 hours per day for summer school) to complete assignments for an online class at times that work within their schedule. Students will enroll and complete work outside their daily class schedule…anytime, anywhere.

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 must complete the orientation provided by the course provider.

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 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 (4-6 hours per day for summer school) 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 their 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 does an online student contact the online teacher?
An online student will contact the teacher via phone, email and/or scheduled webinars.

How does an online student get extra help?
Contact the online teacher via email, phone, online 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 sizeof 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 60-120 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.

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 log in a minimum of 5 days a week.

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.

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 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 I get a grade and course credit?
The same grading and credit policies apply to online classes as to traditional classes.

Does this class count in my GPA?
Yes.

Will online classes meet the requirements for the standard and advanced diploma?
Yes, one online class is required of all students beginning with 2013-14 SY freshmen.  All approved online courses meet standard and advanced diploma requirements.

For more information about online courses speak with your school counselor.