WVA: Frequently Asked Questions

Last Updated: 7/29/2020 4:51 PM

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Click to download the latest FAQ
(07-28-2020)

 

Questions have been organized by the following categories:



GENERAL  (Return to categories)

Approximately how much time will be spent online per school day?          

The amount of time spent online completing schoolwork depends on your child's grade level and the degree to which they are engaged and understanding of the course content.  What we know about digital learning is that to do purely virtual/online for an extended period of time, truly depends on a child's age, the content being learned, interest level, and developmental maturity. Each child and the family will develop a mutually agreed-upon learning plan with the teacher.

If a student chooses one option and it ends up becoming too difficult, do they have the option to switch?

Commitment is for at least the first semester.  But, certainly there are exceptions and we would work with families on a case-by-case basis to address such issues should they develop.

(added 7/28/2020) If there ends up being a mandate for distance learning before the start of school for both in person and WVA...would WVA parents have the option to roll back to the remote model so that they could be interactive with their classmates? a student chooses one option and it ends up becoming too difficult, do they have the option to switch?

WVA commitment is through at least the first semester. After July 29, you are locked in. The reason is that we must staff WVA, schedule students, develop bus routes for traditional school students, etc. There is a domino effect to student registrations.

Will these be WCS teachers assigned to these classes?

Yes, WCS teachers will be serving as our WVA 'classroom' teachers.

Will students be using similar programs to self-teach themselves like those that they used this past spring?

No, the curriculum is different. Calvert Learning for grades K-5, and Apex for grades 6-12.

Will my daughter be able to move through the lessons on her own (or with a virtual teacher) or will my wife or I need to be with her to help her through the entirety of her school day?         

Each family will determine their child's schedule independent of the district. Pacing is monitored by a teacher, but ultimately the parent, especially for younger students, will need to be more involved. Primary instruction is completed via the course content/platform. Teachers will be available to support students, but they are not the primary mode of instructional delivery. Of course, I am unaware of your child's ability to work independently, so you would be the best judge as to the extent you will need to be 'present' during instructional delivery via the learning platform.

Given the later start date for classes the window to register here is very limited.  What if we deem this the best option but not in time to commit by the 29th?

We need to staff the WVA with WCS teachers.  In order to complete staffing for the WVA, as well as staff each building and prepare student schedules, we need families to register by the prescribed deadline. 

Will it be ALL online work (like the Spring) or will students get books/workbooks?          

There are no workbooks ... work is all virtual (on-line).

If schools were to “close” and all students go virtual/remote would everyone be on Apex? Or would the students who chose blended now be taught virtually by Westerville teachers (as was in the spring?)     

If everyone goes remote, not all students will be using Apex ... individual classroom teachers though will have Apex available to use any aspect of the curriculum.

If my student starts WVA and the schools close, does he continue with WVA or can he be taught remotely through Westerville educators?       

Regardless of school closure due to COVID, children starting out in WVA will remain in this program receiving the same services with no interruption through at least the first semester.

Will my child’s current counselor work with us to ensure the classes are lining up appropriately?

Your child's home school counselor will be whom you will work with to ensure your child's schedule is appropriate.

When looking through the information on Calvert it looked like their program had two tiers to choose from. One was fully digital while the other provided textbooks and workbooks. Which has Westerville chosen? Will Chromebooks be provided?      

Students will have the opportunity to receive a Chromebook within the WVA program. There are no textbooks or workbooks - all curriculum is online.

Is there a guaranteed classroom spot for our child if we decide to transition for the second semester?   

There is no guarantee to a specific classroom spot. Students returning to the traditional school are certainly guaranteed an educator in a traditional setting. And, there may also be a situation where children are already being overflowed to another WCS school.

Is this going to be the only online option?  It sounds like this program the teachers are not as involved. Is this correct?  Will there be a program where the students have daily contact/ teachings from their teacher?

The only online option through WCS is the WVA. Primary instruction is completed via the course content/platform. Teachers will be available to support students, but they are not the primary mode of instructional delivery. This is currently the only program through WCS where a WCS teacher serves as the primary instructor in a fully 100% virtual program.

Last year, my child had access to Dreambox, Lexia, BrainPop Jr. and several other digital resources through the school site. If attending the WVA, will he still retain access to these other tools as well?       

Yes, students will still have access to these digital resources.

Could a student do daily Dreambox math work instead of Calvert? This would help them stay connected to the programs Westerville uses, and Dreambox is much more individualized and intuitive for kids. Can WVA students use Lexia still to, again, stay up to speed on what tools Westerville uses for their students?     

Glad you like the digital products Lexia and Dreambox.  Yes, students will still have access to these. In regard to the curriculum and your child's academic plan, indeed parents and students will work with the assigned teacher to meet your child's needs ... and desires.

How many students will each Westerville teacher at WVA be responsible for overseeing?         

The number of students WCS teachers will be responsible for will be manageable and reflect what is currently in place at the building level. For example, we have elementary teachers who teach four sections of English Language Arts to grade 4 students throughout one school day, that is a max of 120 students at 30 students per section. Certainly, younger students need more individualized support and thus the numbers go down.

Will the assigned teacher be a WCS teacher from their grade level if not their home school?

WVA teachers are indeed WCS teachers, but they may or may not come from a child's home school.

I have multiple children who will be learning from home, will they be in the same parent portal or would I have separate ones for each of them?         

You will have the same parent portal to monitor all of your children.

I’d like to know if I can choose full virtual learning for one child and hybrid learning for my other child? 

Yes, you can have one child attending WVA, and the other attending the traditional school experience.

Will there be a school supply list for the virtual kids?         

There is neither a school supply list nor school fees.

What is the difference between the remote learning model and virtual academy?  How can we enroll our daughter to the ‘remote learning’ model and by when can we know that she has been placed under ‘remote learning’ category?    

WVA is completely 100% online with your child not attending school in person/face-to-face. In WCS, remote learning is designed for students to work from home one week, and then attend face-to-face the next week.

I was wondering if this program differentiates between students' educational needs and cognitive levels. Also, will it assess their understanding of the material and move them along at the pace that they need?

Yes, each child will have an established academic plan that is mutually developed with you, your child, and the assigned teacher. At no point should a child not be challenged in their coursework ... and be able to do so at their desired pace and level.

Will grades be pass/fail or letter grades?     

Letter grades will be issued.

What happens if a child is identified as really struggling with or being unsuccessful with the Virtual Academy? What steps would be taken to improve the child's outcome?   

Like all effective academic programs, we would work to support and figure out a path this is doable to ensure success.

Will twins be placed in the same class for elementary school learning?     

There is not a class per se in WVA. But, I believe you are asking will they have the same WCS teacher ... the answer is yes.

COURSES  (Return to categories)

Are advanced classes available?       

Yes, any student in advanced courses who were scheduled for them will be able to still take those classes via Apex ... such as Alg I. In terms of advanced science and social studies classes, participating students would take the grade 8 classes offered, with enrichment activities built into the identified courses to ensure they meet the needs of those students seeking an 'advanced' course.

Will students in the WVA be allowed to work ahead within the course if they want to? If students finish ahead of schedule, will they be able to access the next level course in the topic if they want to, or will instruction in that topic end when the grade-level course is completed? If they have completed their grade level content in a subject and do not want to continue, will they have a choice to not continue? 

The course is self-paced and intended to be self-directed, and students can work ahead. Once a student completes the grade level course, they can be 'done' in that grade level content area.

How would my son be able to take ASL 2? A foreign language is required, and he took ASL last year and would like to continue. Would there be an option to do online and then his ASL teacher set him up for online for her class? 

A student could take ASL online courses through credit flex. A certified teacher would need to agree to do this and provide the syllabus upon submission of the credit flex application. I know some students are looking to take ASL through College Credit Plus options. However, a WVA student is not permitted to take a WCS traditional class during the school day in person.

Will the Project Lead the Way classes be able to be done virtually?          

At this time, Project Lead the Way courses are not available online – across the US.

ELECTIVES  (Return to categories)

My daughter is an art student planning on going into a career in art.  The only art course I see offered thru Apex is an art appreciation course, which is not what she needs.  She signed up for Advanced Painting 1 this year.  Would she be able to take this course at school, either at WCHS or remotely?       

Your daughter would not be able to take the courses remotely or at a high school and attend WVA.  WVA is a separate program.  You are correct that there is one art elective - Art Appreciation.

The available electives in elementary school are PE and Art.  Are these choices opt-in or automatically assigned? What is the difference between these offerings and what is available in the blended school method?  What is the difference in the virtual curriculum and the blend curriculum?

The courses with electives are automatically assigned by grade level.   In regard to the contrast between remote or blended format and WVA is that the curriculum is different, with the primary instruction being delivered by the learning platform as opposed to a live teacher providing direct instruction with remote/blended learning.  Certainly, Westerville teachers will be available to answer questions and monitor progress within the WVA Program.

Under WVA, my son can take one elective. Does that mean he cannot take Spanish and Art this year if he does the WVA?         

Students are permitted to take 1 elective for the year (.5 each semester). So, just Spanish 1 or Art.          

ELEMENTARY SCHOOL  (Return to categories)

With the Virtual Academy, will there be clear goals and progress checkpoints? I have a daughter going into second grade, and I want to make sure that she is meeting her reading goals etc. 

Yes, a clear learning path will be provided and mutually agreed upon between the parent, students, and teacher.

My child has been accepted in a magnet program in Emerson elementary school for the first grade in the coming school year while before that her homeschool is Robert Frost. If I register her to WVA now, can she still attend Emerson in future after WVA?   

Yes, your child can still attend Emerson, and will actually still be considered an Emerson student during enrollment in the WVA program.

My child will be in 5th grade this school year. Is there the possibility for language and music credits if we pursue those subjects independently?

Yes, "credits" can be obtained from subjects taught independently and paid for at parent expense.

My son should be in first grade for most subjects but is supposed to take second grade math. Will this be possible with the Calvert content?   

Yes, any student in advanced courses who were scheduled for them will be able to still take those classes via Calvert.

If we are currently enrolled in full day kindergarten will our spot be reserved for the second half of the school year? Also do we still have to pay the $300/month?

If you register for WVA, your registration in full-day KG would be ended. In other words, there will not be a saved seat for your return. We are currently on a wait list ... thus the reason.

For kindergarten, what is the anticipated amount of time each day a student would be expected to be on the computer daily in order to complete lessons?         

The amount of time spent online completing schoolwork depends on your child's grade level and the degree to which they are engaged and understanding of the course content. What we know about digital learning is that to do purely virtual/online for an extended period of time, truly depends on a child's age, the content being learned, interest level, and developmental maturity. Each child and the family will develop a mutually agreed-upon learning plan with the teacher.

Will a WCS kindergarten teacher evaluate the projects that are uploaded?          

Yes, all students will be assigned to a WCS teacher who is certified to teach at that grade level.

Are there any placement assessments within this program or do students have to work through every lesson? For example, my kindergartner knows letter names and sounds, segments words, etc.  Is there a way to "test out of" some of those lessons?        

The WCS teacher will be monitoring work completion and achievement to ensure student success. Individual academic plans will be established collaboratively with the input from the parent. Yes, there should not be a reason that a student has to complete work they continually know.

Will there be elementary music staff providing a curriculum for students?

There will most likely be specials teachers providing support in the elective options and the designated grade levels. So, in that way, there may be likely virtual opportunities to engage in arts-oriented activities that are teacher facilitated – this was accomplished during summer 2020 with an art and ELA teacher working collaboratively using graphic novels.

If we do complete all of Grade 1 Math, do we start Grade 2 Math, or are we "done" with Math until next fall?           

Instances such as what you describe will be handled on a case-by-case basis. We want to ensure that students are indeed progressing.

(Added 07/27/2020) Is there a video or demo account for me as a parent to review Apex?

Apex demo account

Here is a video our corporate trainer developed, as well as this newly released Apex demo account. 

http://apexdemo.apexvs.com

Username: studentdemo
Password: readiness (for the month of July) / assessment (for August)

MIDDLE/HIGH SCHOOL  (Return to categories)

Is there opportunity for accelerated and advanced coursework for middle school students or the opportunity to enroll in a high school course where appropriate?          

Yes, any student in advanced courses who were scheduled for them will be able to still take those classes via Apex ... such as Alg I.  In terms of advanced science and social studies classes, participating students would take the grade 8 classes offered, with enrichment activities built into the identified courses to ensure they meet the needs of those students seeking an 'advanced' course.

Will middle/high school students be offered band/choir in a virtual option?         

There is currently not a virtual option for band/choir for WVA students

Are GPAs calculated in the same way for Honors and AP courses in Apex as Honors and AP courses taken at WCHS?  Are the courses still weighted the same?  

Yes, GPAs are calculated in Apex as the same for courses taken in a traditional way at the home high school.

(Added 7/28/2020) Is IB online available through the WVA?        

The International Baccalaureate Organization (IBO) owns the curriculum and controls both who is certified to teach the course and how it is delivered. This is the case throughout the entire World. We are currently monitoring options and staying abreast of guidance from the IBO and how they are going to support students that desire a remote option.  However, at this time, the only online option would be for juniors entering the IB program, with the courses limited to what IB offers.  There is currently no online option for juniors who want to be full IB Diploma candidates.  Based on IBO’s guidelines, our district does not have an online option for seniors.

(Added 7/29/2020) I am administratively placed at Westerville South for IB and am required to complete two IB courses. Will I be able to remain a South student while attending WVA       

The two-course requirement for IB administratively-placed students is being waived for students attending WVA. So, you can attend the virtual academy and still remain a South student.

(Added 7/28/2020) How will high school credit be awarded for my child?        

To mirror the traditional school, credit is transcribed at the end of the first semester for students successfully completing a .5 credit course.  For a 1.0 credit course, credit will be transcribed in May 2021.  Even if a student completes courses early, this is when credit will actually be transcribed.  This process will also be followed for students who opt to return to the back to traditional school at the semester.

Can my child continue to take CCP courses working on WVA?      

Yes. Work directly with your student's school counselor on the course schedule.

My child is a senior and was full day at DACC.  Can she sign up for WVA and still attend DACC half day?           

Yes. Work directly with your student's school counselor on the course schedule.

My 10th grade son is in Honors Chemistry. From my recollection, high school chemistry involves actual experiments. How is this addressed in the Apex curriculum?         

Apex has some virtual-type labs built in. You are correct there are no actual supplies required for experiments, wet or dry labs.

Can students complete a course in an accelerated manner? 

Yes, students can complete a course in an accelerated manner.  Additional courses can be added as students complete a course providing there is sufficient time in the year to complete the next course. Such requests will be handled on a case-by-case basis.  Such a situation certainly depends on the student's desire to do so, as well as academic ability in this subject area.

(Added 7/28/2020) What if my MS and HS children enrolled in WVA finishes 1 or more of the 5 scheduled classes early, can they take another class?        

Students will need to complete all of their originally scheduled 5 classes for SY20/21, before being considered for an acceleration plan which would allow them to schedule for another class that is mutually agreeable to the student, parent, school counselor, and WVA program administrators.  Such requests will be handled on a case-by-case basis.

My daughter who is a senior, could she potentially finish high school requirements early? (And then be able to take college classes second semester or work?)  

Yes, students and families determine their own schedule each day.

Will high school students enrolling in WVA be able to change a class they scheduled for last spring even though WVA offers the course?       

Yes, you will be able to change and work with your child's school counselor to ensure the appropriate and desired courses.

How does this affect high school open enrollment?

Participation in WVA does not affect open enrollment. Child remains on open enrollment in the designated school.

FINANCIAL  (Return to categories)

Who is paying for this? Is the money for this platform coming out of the WCS general fund? Or is there an additional fee?           

There is no additional fee for students.  All dollars to support the WVA is coming out of the General Fund.

Will the grade level materials fee apply for those in WVA?

There are no school fees or additional costs within the WVA program.

Is WCSD paying the tuition or are the families expected to come up with it?        

There are no fees to attend the WCS WVA program.

(Added 07/27/2020) Do I need to pay any fees for WVA? 

There are no school fees for those that have registered for WVA.

(Added 7/27/2020) What if there are school fees showing up now for me to pay, but I have already registered for WVA?

The school fees listed will go away in the near future.  There are no school fees as a WVA student.

GIFTED EDUCATION  (Return to categories)

How will the district support students in the gifted program?

Identified gifted students in grades 3-8 who enroll in the WVA will receive gifted supports from their assigned teacher through differentiation strategies determined by the teacher. As in traditional learning environments, these strategies vary throughout courses and units to provide enrichment and intellectual stimulation.

High school students who are identified as gifted and who enroll in the WVA are encouraged to enroll in the online AP course options that match their area(s) of identification for gifted support.

At the middle school level, identified gifted students who enroll in the WVA will be enrolled in their core classes offered by APEX and will be provided supports from their teacher through differentiation strategies, as noted above. Please be aware that by enrolling in the WVA, a gifted child will not enroll in an advanced class for their subjects and instead will be enrolled in their core grade-level classes, with the exception of students who are accelerated.

7th grade students enrolled in the WVA who were previously signed up for a compacted course (7/8 Compacted Social Studies and/or Accelerated Math 7) will complete the compacted coursework through the WVA.

Will students who have been accelerated into above grade level courses have access to the right courses?

Formally accelerated students who participate in the WVA will be enrolled in the online version of their accelerated coursework. Note that this is not the same as advanced course options and only pertains to students who have been accelerated into a higher-grade level in at least one subject through the district’s acceleration evaluation process.

MATERIALS  (Return to categories)

Will students be receiving the printed worksheets that correspond with the lessons? Or is there a way that can be ordered through Calvert?

All content is found within the platform itself. However, you can print out the materials as a parent providing you have a printer - but that could certainly get expensive. We are checking into the ability for parents to independently purchase the print copies.

SCHEDULE  (Return to categories)

Would the virtual academy follow the rest of the traditional school calendar with days off, holidays, and breaks? For example, would virtual academy students be expected to log in and complete lessons on Labor Day, while traditional school is closed? Or do they all get the day off?

Yes, other than the start of the school year (Sept. 1 for the WVA), the traditional school calendar will be followed.

The attendance policy was somewhat open ended: students need to make "adequate weekly progress." Would participating on a partial week/weekend schedule be an acceptable interpretation?        

Yes, what you have indicated is acceptable. Families determine what schedule will work best for them and their child.

If my middle school and high school children enroll in the online academy and transition to back to school instruction after the first semester, will they attend enough school days to meet the minimum requirement for the state? 

Yes, your child will meet all attendance requirements through the WVA.

When will we receive log in information that will allow us to see our child’s actual daily schedule? The demo is labeled 2019 so I'd imagine this year may be a little different and I'd like to know what they'll be learning in advance.        

Log-in information will be provided the week of August 24 to ensure connectivity and a more seamless start.

Who will create the Daily Schedule recommended for my student? Will that be tailored to her abilities or generic to all WVA first graders or simply general Calvert recommendations?      

A combination thereof ... again, a mutually agreed upon academic plan will be developed to meet the needs of each child.

Does schoolwork have to be completed daily? Or can the work be completed in sections over 3 days, including weekends? 

You will be in control of the schedule ... and, certainly can be completed in sections and on the weekend.

SPECIAL EDUCATION  (Return to categories)

Our son was assigned to work with a reading intervention specialist for additional help and with school ending the way it did last year we feel that he will continue to need additional help. Since he will still be considered a student at his home school while attending the WVA, will there be an opportunity to have him work remotely with one of these specialists for additional help in the area of reading?    

Yes, there will be WCS intervention specialists supporting students in such circumstances.

How are special ed and IEPs serviced by the WVA? Will the student’s intervention specialist at his home/ assigned school be involved at all with the student’s progress?      

A WCS WVA intervention specialist will be assigned to support your child. It will most likely not be an intervention specialist from your child's building, unless they by chance applied and were hired to fill that role in our district. A student's IEP would be followed.

I have a student in a 504 and a student who is on an IEP for dyslexia. I need to know specifics about how their accommodations and the instruction for his IEP.

All special education services and supports (specially designed instruction, related services, accommodations, and modifications) outlined in Section 7 of your child's IEP will be provided virtually as part of WVA, as will the accommodations outlined in your child's 504 Plan.  While the district is still in the process of determining the details of the service delivery model, you can be assured that all services and supports as outlined in your children's IEP and 504 Plan will be provided.  

STUDENT ACTIVITIES  (Return to categories)

How can a student in high school participate in concert band or jazz band while being a virtual student? Why is this the case?         

A student can participate in extra-curricular activities after school. However, a student cannot take a class during the school at their home school and participate in WVA courses.  Students are attending WVA due to a family’s choice - there are a myriad of reasons why.  The program is solely for those students and families that desire their child to receive a 100% online education during the school day for at least the first semester.  

Will marching band be a straight extra-curricular this year or will students still receive an arts grade and PE waiver?          

Participation after is considered an extra-curricular – and continue to receive an arts grade with credit as in year’s past.

If students can still participate in extracurricular activities, will the parents and student still be connected on Classdojo?     

Yes.

Will WVA students be included in special events or programs, like book fairs or field day (if those things can happen in the spring) at their home school?

WVA students are not permitted to attend school events at the home school during the school day. They can attend extra-curricular events after school.

TECHNOLOGY  (Return to categories)

Will the district or Calvert be able to provide devices for each child that are compatible for the Calvert platform?       

WCS is providing computers for free to participating students. You will be able to indicate this need on each child’s registration.

I have shared parenting with 2 children and the other parent needs Chromebooks at his house. Will Chromebooks be passed out to those that need it?

Each child receives one computer ... therefore, the computer will need to go between the homes with the child.

Can the course platform be accessed on a tablet?  If not, will a laptop be provided by the school?

Yes.  You can request one upon registration.

TEACHER/STUDENT INTERACTION  (Return to categories)

How often will my daughter have contact with her assigned WVA teacher?         

Students will have contact with their teacher through email and virtual meet sessions. It will not be as frequent as if the direct instruction was being taught by the WCS teacher ... but, there will certainly be opportunities to do so as relationships are important to foster not simply through email.

I am concerned about the amount of face time interaction my kids would get with other students as well as instructors in the WVA. Is it all looking at a screen and watching videos, or will there be live interaction with both instructors and other students at any point throughout the week?

There are various activities for students ... not all depending on screen time. There will also be opportunities for virtual instruction with the assigned teacher, but they are not providing the direct instruction; rather, instruction is embedded into the learning platform.

Will the chat feature on Calvert be used for students in the same courses? Is student interaction built into the courses?  

There is not student-student interaction. We do not anticipate using the chat feature at this time.

Is there a forum for WVA kids to interact? Video?  

There are not currently plans for a formal chat room that will be monitored by WCS staff for WVA students. However, you are not the first person to ask this question in the WVA emails received. Perhaps our thinking will need to evolve on this topic and how to operationalize something that is safe and meets the needs of our families to foster the social emotional development of students - albeit in an online forum.