Social Studies Blended and Virtual Courses FAQ

What is the difference between the blended and virtual courses?

Both courses provide opportunities for online instruction.  For blended courses, students will meet on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday during summer school and receive virtual assignments to complete on Tuesdays and Thursdays.  For the virtual courses, all the work will be done online with students having the option to attend open labs for help on Tuesdays and Thursday.  These open labs will be held at the summer school site and will be staffed by a social studies teacher but not necessarily their course teacher.  The standards and objectives for the course are the same and the credit earned for the courses is the same whether taken in a face-to-face, blended, or virtual setting. Both the blended and virtual options satisfy the Virginia graduation online course requirement. 

What does a student need in order to participate in a blended or virtual course?

Students will need a personal device with access to the Internet.  Students will also need an email address to communicate with the instructor.  The course will be conducted on Canvas and students will be enrolled in the course.  Students participating in the course but not enrolled in APS will be provided with temporary access to the Canvas site.

What is the timeline for virtual courses?

Students participating in virtual courses are required to attend an orientation session.   One orientation day will occur during the last week of school and the other option will be on the Friday before summer school starts.   Although the face-to-face orientation is preferred, an online orientation is available upon request.  Once students attend orientation, they are placed into the course on Canvas and can begin course work.  Virtual courses are self-paced in that students may work ahead.  However, benchmark deadlines are set within the course to keep students on track to complete the course on time.  Students who do not have access to the Internet for longer than one or two days during the summer should enroll with the full understanding that they will need to communicate their summer schedule with the instructor to work out an adjusted schedule.  Content requirements will not be adjusted for such students.Students who are working to complete the course early will need to dedicate more hours each day to complete the course requirements.   Participation in a virtual course is not recommended for students who will not have internet and course access for an extended period during the summer school dates.All virtual work must be completed by the last day of summer school.

How much time for these blended and virtual courses take?

New work for credit courses in the summer are equivalent to taking a full-year course in a compressed summer school setting.  Students taking the traditional new work for credit course in summer school meet for six hours per weekday.  Students enrolled in the blended and virtual courses will be expected to spend at least 5-6 hours each weekday to complete a course.  As previously stated, students enrolled in a blended course are required to attend class at the Summer School location on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday each week.  

What are the required on site meetings for virtual courses?

Students enrolled in a virtual course are required to attend an orientation.  Once students are enrolled in a course, they will be sent information about the times and locations of these orientations.  After orientation, students can work virtually on their courses but have the option of attending labs for support on Tuesdays and Thursdays at the summer school site.  Mid-term exams are delivered virtually.  For Virtual US/VA Government, the final exam will also be delivered virtually. For Virtual US/VA History, students are encouraged to take the Virginia Standards of Learning assessment which is a proctored exam.  If the student is unable to attend on the date of that exam, the student can take the exam in the fall.  For Virtual EPF, students are encouraged to take the WISE Test for Financial literacy.  Passing the WISE test will earn the student a career and technical certification which is a graduation requirement for a Standard Diploma.  There will be multiple testing sessions available for EPF students to take this proctored exam.  EPF students who take and pass the WISE exam are exempt from the EPF final exam.  For students who take the EPF final exam, it will be a virtual exam.