Virtual School Meanderings

October 25, 2014

NCVPS E-lert for Oct. 24, 2014

From yesterday’s inbox…

Districts and Charter Schools,
Please forward this E-lert to your school-level stakeholders. If you are having difficulty viewing this email, you may view the E-lert online here: 
October 24, 2014 – In This Issue:

Calendar Check
October 16 – Early Calendar Grade reports posted in the registration system. These are weighted grades (37.5%)

October 16 – Traditional calendar progress reports are posted in the registration system.

October 30 – Traditional calendar grade reports posted in the registration system. These are weighted grades (37.5%)

October 30 – Early calendar progress reports are posted in the registration system.

NCVPS Celebrations
Districts and Schools, tell us about your success stories. Let us hear about individual student successes, increased virtual enrollment, outstanding lab facilitators, or virtual support processes that your school or district has in place. We would love to promote these stories.

Click here to tell us about your successes.

E-lert Subscription
If you are not on the E-lert subscription list, but would like to be, please add your name to our list here.

Current E-lert News

1st Grade Reports

We have posted our first weighted grade reports in the registration system for early calender courses.  Be aware of these dates:


Oct. 16: Early Calendar 1st Grade Report posted.

Oct. 30: Traditional Calender 1st Grade Report posted.


Here is how we weight our grades:


Standard Grading Scale for Block Classes

37.5%     (First Grade Report)

37.5%  (Second Grade Report)

*Final Exam/Project: 25%

Standard Grading Scale for Yearlong Classes

18.75%  (First Grade Report)

18.75%  (Second Grade Report)

18.75%  (Third Grade Report)

18.75%  (Fourth Grade Report)

25%       (Final Exam/Project)*

*EOC and CTE Courses


The Final Exam for EOC and CTE courses will be the EOC and VoCATS score. Schools are responsible for the administration of all EOC and CTE tests. For those courses, the grades NCVPS reports to the school will be 75% of the final grade. Schools will score the EOCs and CTEs and average in the remaining 25% to determine the final grade.


*SAT Prep will not have a final exam because of the two-part nature of the course.


All other courses have their final exams or final projects online in the course.

The following fields are on our first weighted grade reports:


Grading Period 1 = All courses (except credit recovery and OCS) will have a numeric grade reported here.


Comment = All instructors will leave a comment.


Sample Grade Report

Grade Report Details:


1. All standard classes will report a progress grade, and teachers will leave a comment for each student.


2. We do not report grades for OCS classes. Classroom teachers determine OCS grades.


3. We do not report grades for credit recovery classes. See the comments section to determine if the student is on pace or not.


4. Even if a student is supposed to be dropped or withdrawn, we will report a grade until the school withdraws the student.


5. We do not report a grade below 60 on our first grading period report.


Be sure to download these reports to see how your students are performing! If you have district-level access, you can see progress of NCVPS students from all of your district schools.


Follow this link to see how to run a grade report.


Follow this link to see our Quick Reference Guide on Grades.

Supporting Students – Intervention Time

Be sure to check the latest progress report to see how your students are progressing. If you have students who are low-performing, under-performing, or at-risk for any reason, NCVPS has a number of intervention strategies for districts and schools to help.


Follow this link to see our intervention strategies.

Current Enrollment Options

Here are our current enrollment options:


1. OCS – We cannot create new OCS sections, but schools may add students to their already established NCVPS OCS sections throughout the semester.


2. Credit Recovery – Schools may enroll students in credit recovery until December 1 if we have seats available in the course.


3. Transfer Students – NCVPS is now accepting transfer students. Transfer students must already be enrolled in the face-2-face version of the course, have seat time in front of an instructor, and have a grade to transfer in with. Students new to the course cannot transfer in.


4. Spring 2015 – Registration for Spring 2015 is still open.

Tech Updates

We have some important tips from our tech team. These tips help ensure smooth operations.  


Recent updates for Java and Flash

Please update to version Java 7, Update 71.
You can find the update at this link:

We are testing out Version 8 update 25. For now, please hold off on this update if possible.
Please go to the following link to update Adobe Flash Player to the latest Version 



NCVPS does not support Chrome’s web-based operating system, and we do not recommend the use of Chromebooks for NCVPS courses. Chrome’s lack of Java capabilities means students will encounter problems with rich media objects while using Chromebooks.
If a student or school chooses to use Chromebooks, please understand that certain areas of NCVPS content WILL NOT FUNCTION CORRECTLY in the Blackboard and Moodle environments.

Help Desk Ticketing Tips

To answer your tickets faster and more efficiently we ask for the following when opening a ticket with the Virtual Support Center:

  • Students first & last name
  • PowerSchool ID number
  • Course enrolled (example CourseSec01Fall14)

Please specify if course is:

  • AP
  • Honors
  • Early Calendar
  • CR
  • OCS

This will help to ensure we have the correct student.

Tech Requirements 

For additional information please see our Tech Requirements:

Approved eLearning Courses for NC
NCVPS Courses
NCVPS offers over 150 different courses, including advanced placement, electives, traditional, honors, core, STEM, occupational course of study, and credit recovery courses.

Vendor Approved Courses

In addition to NCVPS courses, North Carolina public schools also have a list of approved third-party vendor courses that they may choose from for virtual classes. Please follow this link to see the list of approved vendor courses. More on the vendor approval process can be found here.

Here are the newest approved vendor courses: (Course Title – Vendor)

  • Spanish 1 – Edmentum
  • Probability and Statistics – Edmentum
  • Pre-Calculus – Edmentum
  • French 1 – Edmentum
  • French 2 – Edmentum
  • AP Calculus AB – Florida Virtual
  • AP Statistics – Florida Virtual
  • Physical Science – Florida Virtual

Course Spotlight – ACT Prep

ACT Prep sections are open for Spring 2015 enrollments! This course offers a great way to prepare for your future!

If you have questions, please contact Karen Creech at

North Carolina Virtual Public School
1017 Main Campus Drive, Partners I Bldg.,
SUITE 3900, Raleigh, NC 27606
Phone:  919-513-8550   |  Fax:  919-513-2557  |


Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter

Adam Renfro
Outreach and Support Coordinator
North Carolina Virtual Public School

North Carolina Virtual Public School | 1017 Main Campus Drive, Partners I Bldg., 
SUITE 3900 | Raleigh | NC | 27606
NCVPS Virtual Support Center:

Who Will Be Next?

From Thursday’s inbox…

Is your school or district leading the way in digital learning innovation? Know any exemplary afterschool programs, libraries or community partners that support college and career readiness through high-quality digital learning opportunities? We want YOU to help us find the next set of schools and programs to highlight on a national stage!
Selected submissions will be invited to participate in online and in-person events, in addition to being highlighted in video interviews, case studies, and other publications associated with the Alliance’s Digital Learning Day and Project 24 initiatives in 2015.

Exemplary models of digital learning help us inform policymakers, state officials, district leaders, school administrators, and educators from all backgrounds about promising digital learning practices that are improving student outcomes. Click here to learn more about how to nominate a school, district or program.

How to Submit:
Entering a submission is easy! Visit the Digital Learning Day website to access the submission criteria and online form. We’ll ask you a few questions about the school, district or program you are recommending. Then, click submit and you’re done!

Submit Now
Copyright © 2014 Alliance for Excellent Education, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email because you signed up to participate in Digital Learning Day activites and events.Our mailing address is:

Alliance for Excellent Education

1201 Connecticut Avenue

Washington, DC 20036

Add us to your address book

7 Days Until Showtime – Virtual Attendance for 20th OLC International Conference

From the inbox three days ago…

** To ensure delivery to your inbox, please add to your Address Book **
20th Annual Online Learning Consortium International Conference


Bring the conference to you!


7 Days and counting until our 20th anniversary celebration. Don’t miss out!


There is still time to join the festivities by joining us as a virtual attendee!

What you get:

  • 80+ sessions, 3 keynotes, featured sessions, select information sessions, and key vendor showcase sessions.
  • On-demand access of all recorded sessions is provided to virtual attendees for one year post-conference.
  • Convenience of attending despite time constraints, budgetary restrictions or scheduling conflicts.
  • A chance to join us in celebrating 20 years of online learning with thousands of educators from around the country and world.

Along with individual options, now you can bring the conference to a select group of members at your institution with two registration options that will allow up to 100 people in one room or 30 people at their own computers. Don’t forget about our buy two, get one free registration special. 

Members, check your e-mail for a BONUS discount offer on Institutional Virtual packages.

We hope to see you virtually!


Best Regards,

Christine Hinkley

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Christine Hinkley | Director, Conferences

Online Learning Consortium

Empowering Educators Everywhere

Forward this email

Online Learning Consortium | P.O. Box 1238 | Newburyport | MA | 01950

Virtual Schooling In The News

InTheNewsI don’t normally make editorial comments on this regular Saturday feature…  But notice the distinction in reporting in the Google alerts (and the irony) in the fact that one state is moving to approve the cyber charter school for a for-profit provider, while the state right next store is putting the cyber charter school of that same provider on probation.  Kind of funny if you ask me or, as one of my colleagues indicated in an e-mail, “might be one is smarter than the other, or more likely, one is more susceptible to lobbying.”

Beginning with the ASCD WorldWide Edition SmartBrief.

Free PD Online Course: Blended Learning: An Introduction
As a part of Connected Educator Month, ASCD is offering a free PD Online Course to participants. Designed by Google certified high school English teacher and blended learning expert Catlin Tucker, this course is designed to help you use technology to support classroom instruction and management. By signing up, you’ll receive free 30-day access to the Blended Learning course. Sign up now. Browse all PD Online courses.

Also,the SmartBrief for EdTech.

Del. blended learning initiatives help prepare students for higher learning
T.H.E. Journal (10/22)

Next, an ASCD SmartBrief Special Report.

Special Report: Blended LearningBlended learning is helping to transform one-size-fits-all learning into personalized, student-centric instruction. Such flexible learning environments are becoming the new normal in a world where students can access lessons anytime, anywhere and on virtually any device.

In this ASCD SmartBrief Special Report, we provide a roundup of news about recent trends in blended-learning implementation and personalized learning. We also highlight tips and tools to support blended learning in the classroom.


3 components of blended-learning implementation
Blended learning can be messy, but it’s a hallmark of modern learning, history teacher Bill Tolley writes in this commentary. He offers tips to help schools get started, with an emphasis on three essential components — online delivery, student control and the brick-and-mortar experience. Education Week Teacher (tiered subscription model) (10/8)

K-12 districts upgrade networks to keep up with demand
With the influx of online testing, mobile devices in schools and use of multimedia resources in the classroom, K-12 districts nationwide are working to upgrade their networks. For many, officials say, the struggle is adapting the technology fast enough to keep up with the speed of change, particularly when it comes to bandwidth and reliability. EdTech magazine online (10/13)

How one district expanded blended learning
An Ohio school district is one of 32 — out of a total of more than 600 — in the state to advance blended-learning concepts. This article demonstrates how, with the help of a portion of a $14 million state grant, the Mentor school district has been able to work toward its goal of expanding blended learning to all schools. StateImpact/Ohio (10/9)

Personalized Learning

Report: Technology has big benefits for at-risk students
At-risk students benefit most from interactive technology, according to a recent report from the Alliance for Excellent Education and the Stanford Center for Opportunity Policy in Education. The report also lists five recommendations that “if paired with professional development for educators” would help educators use technology to aid at-risk students. The tips include implementing one-to-one technology and making high-speed Internet a priority. eSchool News (free registration) (10/7)

Tenn. program seeks to curb need for remedial math
Schools in Tennessee are piloting a new state-sponsored blended-learning program that teaches college-level developmental math to high-school seniors. The Seamless Alignment and Integrated Learning Support was designed by high-school teachers and community-college instructors and offers a way for schools to measure student readiness for college math. (10/1)

Pa. school re-envisions library to support one-to-one
A Pennsylvania middle school is providing a digital-skills course to students in its newly redesigned library to support its one-on-one technology initiative. The course teaches students research skills, plus online law and etiquette, and it will then support digital projects in other subjects throughout the year. The library also was redesigned to include a walk-up tech-support center. York Daily Record (Pa.) (10/3)

Tips and Tools

Blended-learning toolbox addition: Office Mix
Educators can use a free addition for PowerPoint 2013 called Office Mix to help support blended- and flipped-learning models, according to Peter West, director of e-learning at Saint Stephen’s College in Australia. He highlights 15 ways educators can use the program. eCampus News (free registration) (10/10)

iNACOL releases blended-learning framework
Educators now have a framework by which to determine their online and blended-learning competencies. The framework, which includes a list of competencies and effective practices, was developed by the International Association for K-12 Online Learning and nonprofit Learning Accelerator. T.H.E. Journal (10/8)

Classroom-management strategies for mobile classrooms
In this article, East Central University assistant professor Mark Jones and instructor Toni Jones offer tips to help educators manage mobile classrooms. Their suggestions are to focus on instructional design, teach digital citizenship, develop guidelines to manage off-task usage and have a plan for when students violate the rules. eSchool News (free registration) (10/8)

ASCD Resources

Back to the regular Google News alert for virtual school.

J-Serve Teen Task Force announced

… Harris (junior at Virtual School), Jonathan Hefley (sophomore at Seminole High School), Rebecca Michel (sophomore at Winter Park High School), …

Dearborn Heights Schools superintendent defends permanent suspension of Atiya Haynes …

She’s been offered the opportunity to enroll immediately in the district’s “virtual school,” an online-based curriculum that will allow Haynes to complete …

Say No to Maine Virtual Academy

Maine already has one virtual charter school, the Maine Connections Academy, which opened this fall. It is far too early to add another virtual school to …

New guides push school choice for parents, families

… choice booklet, which the center’s CEO says will give parents access to information about private, charter, homeschool and virtual school options.

Second virtual school in Maine one step closer to opening

The Maine Charter School Commission will review the Maine Virtual Academy’s application and will vote in November on whether to open contract …

Yardleys School in Tyseley becomes UK’s first virtual school after fire forced closure

A Birmingham school which remains closed due to an asbestos scare has “reopened” for the time being as the UK’s first virtual school. The potentially …

Charter school committee recommends second virtual school

A three-person review team of the Maine Charter School Commission is recommending that a virtual charter school be approved to move forward in its …

Shenandoah Valley Virtual Academy provides learning with, without walls

The school district based in Shenandoah plans to showcase its Virtual Academy by providing tours by appointment of what the academy can provide …

School district sees big increase in enrollment

Reed City Area Public Schools adds virtual school with 16 new students, adding to enrollment growth. / UPNORTHLIVE.COM …

State’s first virtual charter school is latest addition to changing education landscape

Based in South Portland, it is the state’s first virtual charter school, allowing students to take classes online regardless of where they live in Maine.

Maine moves virtual charter school forward

Maine has six charter schools serving almost 900 students. Maine Connections Academy opened this fall as the state’s first public virtual charter …

Education chief backs probation for charter school

The state would not release any information Wednesday on the recommendation for the Greenfield Commonwealth Virtual School, and school officials …

Review finds state’s first virtual school lacking

The state’s first-ever virtual school is under threat of probation by state education officials because of low academic achievement and a failure to meet …

Tyseley Yardleys School still closed in asbestos scare

The academy has spent tens of thousands on online tutoring – making it the first virtual school in the UK – since it closed on September 29. Money has …

Two Mass. schools placed on probation by education board

Both the Boston Green Academy and the Greenfield Commonwealth Virtual School will have at least a year to show academic improvement. Failure to …

Virtual lessons a boon for Birmingham school hit by fire

Pupils at a secondary school closed by a fire are learning online in what is being claimed as the UK’s biggest virtual school experiment. Yardleys …

Easton student at virtual school seeks afterschool program at OA

Students enrolled in a virtual school do all their classwork online, some six hours per day, which makes it unlike homeschooling but also unlike a …

Ofsted-ready assessment reports from Contact Group help Virtual School Heads in LAs meet …

Ofsted-ready assessment reports on looked after children (LACs) can be accessed in real-time by Virtual School Heads (VSH) in local authorities …

Massachusetts in brief

The state education board has placed two schools, including the first virtual school in Massachusetts, on probation for low achievement and other …

Enrollment continues to rise at state virtual school

The Georgia Virtual School is expected to reach an enrollment of 32,000 students this year, according to numbers released this week by the state …

Are virtual reality schools the future of education in Japan?

Your avatar will attend the virtual school, which is laid out like any other school with classrooms, desks and even an athletic field. You can also interact …

Kids get a kick out of Palm Coast professional-style soccer program

Now the players are registered as home school students so they can take flexible free online courses through the Florida Virtual School — the United …

Editorial: Virtual school, state remain at odds

Learning that stat Education Commissioner Mitchell D. Chester is not happy with how the Greenfield Commonwealth Virtual School is performing …

Why AT&T Is Investing in Virtual School

It made sense that the Georgia Institute of Technology launched an online-only computer science degree in January of this year. It was less obvious …

Cyber High School Will Allow Students To Attend Via Avatars

The virtual school also features fishing spots and a farm, where students can play games. Besides its cyber academy, Meisei offers typical all-day high …

Program to create online charter schools

Tennessee, which opened its K12 Inc.-run charter school in 2011, may shut down the virtual school at the end of the year, after three years of test …

Four of six seats open on Ecorse Public School Board

… Academy Elementary School, Grandport Academy and Project Excel, Ecorse Community High School, Hope Academy, and Ecorse Virtual School.

Finally, the Google News alert for cyber school.

Consolidation among options Blairsville-Saltsburg may consider as student enrollment drops

Whitfield noted the population figures include students who are enrolled in Blairsville-Saltsburg’s own cyber school and take online classes at home …

Lehigh Valley superintendents denounce state charter school system

So, a cyber school educating an Allentown student for $4,000 is still getting $8,000 and the excess money doesn’t have to be returned, Mayo said.

Haverford School Board decries cyber charter payments

Pointing to a $43,628 payment to Education Plus Academy Cyber Charter School, Bennett noted that Education Plus had a School Performance …

Haverford school board protests cyber school bills

Pointing to a check to Education Plus Academy Cyber Charter School in the amount of $43,628, Bennett noted that Education Plus had a School …

Cyber schools can overemphasize standardized tests, too: PennLive letters

Courtney Thurston’s reckless and unsupported accusation that students with disabilities are “bullied out of brick-and-mortar schools” notwithstanding …

Charter school system is flawed, superintendents say

School superintendents across a five-county region want Pennsylvania … So, a cyberschool educating an Allentown student for $4,000 is still getting …

Haverford school board protests cyber school bills

HAVERFORD TWP. –When it came time to approve the school district’s October check register, school board Vice President Coleen Bennett raised …

Cyber school pioneer Trombetta cites wiretaps in seeking end to criminal charges

Attorneys for a cyber school pioneer on Monday urged a judge to drop or reduce the criminal charges against their client because they said federal …

Virtual School faces probation

Also the cyber school must provide evidence that it has completed the alignment of its curriculum to the Massachusetts curriculum frameworks by Dec.

CAMPAIGN 2014: Kevin Freeberg, Democrat for 62nd District

If the district has one available and the parents want a cyber school, they need to send them to that district’s cyber school,” Freeberg said. “If they want …

State places Greenfield Commonwealth Virtual School on probation

The Greenfield-based cyber school has been placed on probation for 20 months until June 30, 2016, when its state certificate expires. The 11-member …

Are virtual reality schools the future of education in Japan?

Meisei High School, which has been open as a traditional correspondence school since 2000, has revealed their new school: the Cyber School.

Palmyra district sees enrollment increase in cyber program

The Cougar Academy is the district’s version of a cyber school. The program also is used as an alternative education program for some students.

Cyber school draining Galeton revenue

Cyber school education has been taking a big fi- nancial toll on the Galeton Area School District. Superintendent Brenda Freeman told Galeton …

Transient students take bite out of RU’s enrollment

Enrollment in SEMCA, the online cyber school, plus shared services is 581 compared to 296 in fall 2013. The district has increased its shared services …


October 24, 2014

Join Your Colleagues for QM Success Stories!

Also from Wednesday’s inbox…

Quality Matters logo
Susan Long at 5th Annual Conference

Your colleagues have experience meeting QM’s rigorous course design standards and implementing QM on their campuses. They can offer valuable insights and experiences.

QM Success Stories webinars are FREE, designed exclusively for subscribers and presented by your colleagues. These webinars offer opportunities for sharing experiences with implementing QM and designing courses that have met QM Standards.

QMSS Facilitators New Mexico State University Alamogordo (clockwise from top left) Sherrell Wheeler, Rob Klinger, Kathy Roark-Diehl and Gary Bond, New Mexico State University-Alamogordo will present “Making Quality Happen Through A QM Internal Review Process” Thursday, October 23 at 3:00 p.m. ET. Register for the “Making Quality Happen” webinar. If you’re in K-12 education and would like to attend, register here.

Act now as space is limited to the first 100 registrants. You can register once and share the webinar with colleagues.
Can’t make it? All QM Success Stories will be recorded and available to subscribers after the session.
We look forward to you joining us for QM Success Stories and learning how colleagues are meeting QM Standards and implementing QM!
Questions? Contact Nancy Ragias, QM’s Registrar for Higher Education.
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Suite 300
Annapolis, Maryland 21401
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