Virtual Option

Grainger County Schools

Virtual Learning Guidelines/Expectations 20.21 UPDATES


NOTE: Virtual students that wish to transfer to Traditional Option for second nine-week period must do so between October 5 and October 23. Parent and student must notify school and return to traditional in-person classes during the open enrollment window between October 5 and October 23. As we begin our second nine week instructional and grading period, requirements for virtual students now include some live instruction and interaction with teachers. Please review updates in virtual plan indicated in red as you consider virtual option for the second nine-week period.


We appreciate your interest in being a full-time virtual student during this school year. Our school system, administrators and classroom teachers will work very hard to make sure the virtual learning experience is engaging and rigorous. Virtual (on-line) learning activities will reinforce grade level standards and course standards for high school students. Students that enroll in the on-line option will be held to the same standards and policies as a student attending class at school. GCS wants to provide instruction to all students and are working hard to provide guidance and support for teachers to be able to provide this option for students and families that understand and are compliant with all requirements.


For students to succeed, they will need support from a learning partner to support them at home with virtual learning. The learning partner can be a parent, guardian, family member or friend, etc., but it will need to be someone that can help the student at home with tasks such as logging in to platform to get the lessons and assignments for the day or course, helping student connect to internet, answering questions and making sure that the student does the required hours of instructional activities (provided on platform) each day.


GCS utilizes Google Classroom as our platform for both in-school and on-line instruction during the 20.21 school year. With Google Classroom, teachers create classes, distribute assignments (which can include live Google Meets sessions, videos, reading assignments, quizzes or other assessments, etc.) grade student work and provide feedback Students can access the platform while in the classroom or at home. Classroom makes it easy for learners and instructors to connect—inside and outside of schools. Teachers may also use Zoom as platform for live sessions with students. The GCS Virtual Option will include both Synchronous and Asynchronous learning opportunities for on-line students. Beginning in October, we will transition to increased use of live, synchronous instruction for all virtual students.


What is Synchronous Instruction?

· Students engage in course activities at a specific date/time, requiring that students and teacher be online for the scheduled lesson.

· Learning takes place in real time while the teacher and students are physically separated but connected virtually

· Students and teachers communicate with each other at the same time

· Examples include video conferencing with Google Meets or Zoom, audio or phone conferencing, live chat, live streamed videos, instant messaging, etc.


Why Synchronous or Live Instruction?

· Students learn at the same time and at a scheduled class time

· Possibly more engaging and effective

· Allows for instant feedback and clarification

· Allows direct interaction with teacher and other students

· Check-ins, question & answer sessions, discussions, and presentations occur at specific times in an online setting


What is Asynchronous Instruction?

· Students engage in course activities at any time during school day, learning at their own pace

· Students and teachers are communicating at different times. They can send and receive messages at any time

· Feedback is provided to the student through messages and reported grades

· Examples include completing assignments on Google Classroom, watching recorded videos, reading passages, posts, or comments


Why Asynchronous Instruction?

· Students learn at different times and schedules

· Possibly more convenient and flexible

· Allows students to learn at their own pace

· Teacher prepared materials can be accessed at any time


Before making the decision to enroll or continue in the Virtual Learning option, please review the daily requirements below:


K-12 Student Virtual Learning Daily Requirements

· Student will check for assignments on Google Classroom.

· Student will watch the recorded lessons and answer questions on assigned Google forms daily.

· Student will complete any additional work that teacher also assigned from the lesson and answer using Google classroom.

· Student will have regularly scheduled mandatory check-in with teacher(s). Check- ins may be daily or weekly and will be determined by the teacher(s) based on individual student need including but not limited to academic progress, attendance, and compliance.

· K-8 Student schedule will include multiple lessons/periods per day (ELA, Math, Science, Studies, as well as activities for enrichment/intervention and flex activities such as physical activity, career exploration, etc.

· 9-12 Student will spend an appropriate amount of time per subject to complete that course and will be monitored.

o Courses will be assigned based on student schedule, graduation requirements and administrator discretion.

o Students will take standards checks or assessments periodically as appropriate for subject/course.

o High school courses are individual and dependent on a particular student’s personal course history/graduation pathway. All courses required for graduation will be offered, and we will offer a range of electives including CTE courses. Elective classes will be matched as closely as possible to facilitate easy transition from virtual learning back to the physical classroom. All virtual option students will be assigned a school counselor.

· Student and parent will answer any type of communications from any person with Grainger County Schools promptly (answer phone calls, emails, texts, etc.)

· Student will obtain at least 7 hours of instructional activities each day (1st -12th grades) or 4 hours for Kindergarten students.

· Student/parent will contact teacher or school via Google Classroom to request additional instruction or guidance if needed.

· Student will need consistent and reliable internet access for virtual learning.

· Students may not be required to complete all assignments on regular school schedule on a daily basis and may have some flexibility with daily schedule to complete all of their assigned work; however, there will be some mandatory course attendance, live class meetings, participation and/or check-ins required during the regular school day depending on school and grade level. Each school will provide expectations, schedules, and information for virtual students. During the second nine-week instructional period and beginning in October, our virtual school will transition to more live, real time sessions as follows:

o K-2 Students can expect daily Google Meets or Zoom Meetings that include live, synchronous instruction and interaction with teachers for math and reading. Designated office hours for opportunity to engage with teachers will be scheduled daily.

o Students in Grades 3-12 can expect live, synchronous instruction and interaction with teachers a minimum of three times per week per course. Designated office hours for opportunity to engage with teachers will be scheduled daily.

o K-12 students may be required to participate in live RTI sessions daily.


· Virtual students are responsible for completing all assignments provided for each school day and participating in live sessions as scheduled and directed by teacher and school. Student work will be graded, and virtual students will receive grades. Failure to do any of the above may result in truancy issues with GCS and/or student withdrawal from virtual learning option and transferal to traditional learning option.