Virtual School Now Available Here in Goochland

We continue to be excited that Goochland County Public Schools (GCPS) is piloting an online, virtual school program for the 2014-2015 school year.  We know  a few of our homeschool parents have expressed an interest in online courses provided by GCPS recently due to rising costs from some of the current providers of online homeschool curriculum.  GCPS is utilizing an online education program, Edgenuity, to provide an appropriate education for 6th through 12th grade virtual school students.  Students can complete all core academics, foreign language, health & physical education, as well as elective courses online while at school or at home. Upon completion of diploma requirements including verified SOL credits, students can even be awarded a GCPS high school diploma.

Even as we begin the month of October, students may still be accepted into our new pilot program.  We are accepting students on a first-come, first-served basis this year only. We are starting with ten full-time and five part-time students. Those accepted into our virtual school are required to maintain grades of A’s or B’s each quarter and to report to the middle school or high school only for SOL testing as part of these courses. Students must enroll at least part-time through GMS or GHS and pass all SOL exams with a score of 500 or above to remain in the virtual school program.

GCPS staff will regularly monitor each student’s progress in Edgenuity and inform parents and appropriate staff if standards are not met each quarter.  If standards are not maintained, the child must return to a home school or public school setting.

If you and your child(ren) have an interest in the program, please contact Mr. Tom DeWeerd at 804-556-5627 for more information.

Defining Blended Learning…

The Virginia DOE is interested in learning about blended learning here and around Virginia. They’re using a model proposed by the Innosight Institute to define or classify blended learning along four scenarios.

  1. A rotation model (station rotation, lab-rotation, flipped classroom, individual rotation),
  2. Flex model (instruction is primarily delivered online),
  3. Self-blend (online courses independent of traditional courses taken at school),
  4. Enriched-virtual (whole school experience; virtual school with brick-and-mortar face to face opportunities).

These models are important as requirements come to Virginia divisions around offering online learning experiences, which can include blended models.

The first model is likely what we’ve traditionally seen in our schools. I know the flex model is used in one teacher’s classes at the high school, and has been for at least 8 years. We’ve also had the self-blended model used with offerings online through Virtual Virginia and our Blue Ridge Virtual Governor’s School.

As we have access to tools such as Moodle and Edmodo, think about how you can vary instruction using one of these virtual approaches!