Virtual School Meanderings

May 6, 2016

NCVPS E-lert for May 5, 2016 – Spring Edition XV —

From yesterday’s inbox…

Districts and Charter Schools,
Please forward this E-lert to your school-level stakeholders. We often have enrollment information for counselors, grades for data managers, tips for lab facilitators, announcements for testing coordinators, and strategies for school leaders, all of whom support your district’s and school’s e-learning efforts. If you are having difficulty viewing this email, you may view it as a web page here.
NCVPS E-lert for May 5, 2016 – Spring Edition XV

Calendar Check
April 21:  Progress reports for all classes posted in the registration system.
May 5: Progress reports for all classes posted in the registration system.
May 6: Early Calendar Courses End
May 12: Early Calendar Final Grade Report Posted in the Registration System
See the complete NCVPS calendar at this link.

Essential Links

Celebrate & Connect

Connect with us on Twitter!Find us here. Tweet to us on Twitter at @ncvps or with the hashtag #ncvps.

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

Current E-lert News

What’s New?
what's new pic
New This Week
Important From Last Week!
In addition, be sure to check out all of our tips and reminders in this week’s e-lert.

SummerELASummer ELA Contacts

District Coordinators & Charter Schools,
NCVPS must know who the summer e-learning advisor is for each school that registers students. You may elect to have just one contact for the entire district over the summer.
Presently, you may not have any students enrolled in NCVPS summer courses, but if your district or charter does enroll students in the coming weeks for Summer 2016, we will need this information.
Please complete this form to indicate who your summer contacts are.

Spring2016Spring 2016 Updates

EarlyEndEarly Calendar Courses End
Our Early Calendar courses end on Friday, May 6. This will be the last date that students have access to their early calendar classes.
Keep in mind that you may have early calendar students enrolled in our traditional calendar courses. You will need to contact those teachers directly for early calendar student grades. You can also allow those students to continue working in those traditional calendar courses if they need to! That’s a local decision.
Grade Reporting
The latest progress report is posted in the registration system for your review. Look for the report with this title:
“Spring 2016 CR, Block and YL Progress Report Due May 3, 2016”
Check out the note below on “Grade Reporting” to see how to access grades and how to interpret the progress report.
CourseExtensionsCourse Extensions
The only course extension requests we are accepting at this time are for Early Calendar courses.
It is too early for us to make course extension decisions about traditional and block courses. The semester ends on May 6th for Early Calendar courses and May 20th for traditional, yearlong, and block courses.
Instructional directors start granting extensions on May 4th for Early Calendar and May 16th for traditional, yearlong, and block courses. The reason for this is there is still a lot of time left for students to work, and extensions are for those students who need just a little more time to finish the course.  Two weeks will be the longest amount of time granted for qualifying course extensions.   If large portions of course work are missing, an extension won’t help the student.  The student will need to be re-enrolled for summer or fall courses.
Of course we will work with student situations as we get closer to the end of the semester.  We want our students be successful.  What we need now is for the student to begin to work steadily and make progress in the course.
Please submit an extension request through the Virtual Support Center on May 4th for Early Calendar courses and May 16th for traditional, block, and yearlong courses. 
 Follow this link to learn more about NCVPS course extensions.

ELLEnglish 1 for English Language Learners

In order to support the needs of English Language Learners (ELs) throughout the state, NCVPS is revising several core courses to include SIOP and WIDA-based supports for ELs. A subject-certified, WIDA and SIOP trained teacher will teach EL students alongside their Native-English speaking peers.  The courses fully align with Common Core Standards for English Language Arts and Math and include language development supports for all domains of language. EL students will have the opportunity to read, write, speak, and listen alongside their peers.
English I with EL supports will be offered starting Fall 2016, English II with EL supports will be offered starting Spring 2017.  Math I with EL supports will be offered starting Fall 2017.
For Fall 2016 registration, in the NCVPS Registration system, please register EL English 1 students in the course titled EL English I (10212X0). English 1 students should still be registered in the course titled English I (10212X0). Please note – the course code is the same, but the titles distinguish an EL registration from a traditional registration. Our Instructional Directors and registration team will combine these students into single course sections and assign them to an 9-12 English-certified, SIOP and WIDA trained teacher who can meet the needs of all students  More registration details for EL English 2 (to be offered Spring, 2017) and EL Math 1 (to be offered Fall, 2017) are coming soon.
For more on our English 1 EL course, you can see the course outline here .
Please contact with questions.

SummerUpdatesSummer 2016 Updates
Summer Registration is open!

Program Details

Allotments from Summer 2016 come from your NEW allotment totals for the 2016-2017 Academic Year.
Important Dates
Start Date: Monday, June 20
Last Day to Register: Friday, June 24
Last Day to Drop: Friday, July 1
End Date: Friday, August 12
Grades Posted: Thursday, August 18
Registration Details
Schools will not use PowerSchool to enroll as anticipated. The cross-LEA feature is not ready for release yet, and the need to register is impending.
We apologize for this inconvenience. We want our end users to have a good enrollment experience, and the cross-LEA feature cannot deliver that at this time. Fortunately, schools are already familiar with our registration system, so enrolling can proceed as usual.
Follow this link to our registration system.
If you need access, contact our Virtual Support Center here.
Please remember that there is only one login per school.  If your school already has access, you will need to share the login username and password.
If you are new to the NCVPS registration system or need a refresher, the guide at this link will help.
We have published our 2016-2017 Academic Year calendar. See all the dates here!
Summer Catalog
Follow this link to see our Summer 2016 catalog.
Catalog Updates for Summer Session
Middle School Success 101
Middle School Success 101 has been added to the course catalog for Summer 2016.
Health and Physical Education

NCVPS will be offering the HPE – Health and Physical Education 1 credit course and the Health Education 1/2 credit in the summer. We will not be able to offer the Fitness-Physical Education 1/2 credit course because of the number of required videos students must submit to show mastery in four weeks. Also, it will be harder to see a change in the student’s fitness level in four weeks.

Students will have eight weeks to submit videos to show mastery and change in their fitness rate in the  HPE – Health and Physical Education 1 credit course because both Health and PE will be covered each week in the eight week summer session. The Health Education 1/2 credit will still be offered in four weeks twice during the summer session. If you have any questions, please contact Karen Creech at

NCVPS Canvas Orientation
NCVPS is moving all of its courses into the Canvas learning management system. Most of our courses will be in Canvas this summer, and the rest should be migrated by fall.
We’ve added a Canvas orientation to our Getting Started for Students checklist here.
Here’s a direct link to the orientation. Many districts are now using Canvas. We look forward to seeing great benefits from having a statewide system.
One of our former students (now a college student) created this great summer session flyer for us.
If you need a flyer to give to students, please feel free to use this. Alex created both a color and B&W version.
Thank you, Alex!

FallUpdatesFall 2016 Updates

NCVPS registration for the 2016-2017 academic year is now open. This includes Summer 2016, Fall Block 2016, Yearlong 2016-2017, and Spring 2017.

All enrollments are counted in your new allotment totals for 2016-2017.
Schools will not use PowerSchool to enroll as anticipated. The cross-LEA feature is not ready for release yet, and the need to register is impending.
We apologize for this inconvenience. We want our end users to have a good enrollment experience, and the cross-LEA feature cannot deliver that at this time. Fortunately, schools are already familiar with our registration system, so enrolling can proceed as usual.
Registration Details
Follow this link to our registration system.
If you need access, contact our Virtual Support Center here.
Please remember that there is only one login per school.  If your school already has access, you will need to share the login username and password.
If you are new to the NCVPS registration system or need a refresher, the guide at this link will help.
We have published our 2016-2017 Academic Year calendar. See all the dates here!
Our catalogs for the 2016-2017 Academy Year have been posted. See the listings here.
APComputersAP Computer Science Principles – New Course Offering
NCVPS will offer the newly developed AP Computer Science course. Read more about this new course at the College Board’s website.

MasteryLearningA big thank you to all of our NC schools that allowed NCVPS to work with your students this past year in our Mastery Learning for First Time Credit program!  Please take a few minutes to learn more about the program and how NCVPS can help you with your most challenging enrollment situations for students by clicking HERE .  Mastery Learning can help when regular NCVPS enrollment options, Credit Recovery, or transfer options don’t work for a student.As we finish transitioning all courses to our new Learning Management System, Canvas, the last day for Mastery Learning for First Time Credit enrollments for Spring 2016 will be Wednesday, May 4th at 5pm.  After this date, schools will want to consider NCVPS summer school options for students instead of Mastery Learning.   Mastery Learning options will begin again in August.  More details to come!  Students who are currently enrolled in the Spring 2016 Mastery Learning courses will be allowed to continue working as planned.

GradeReportingGrade Reporting

What’s on the Schedule?
April 21 – Progress reports for all classes.  Look for the report with this title: “Spring 2016 EC, CR, Block and YL Progress Report Due April 19, 2016”
Report Details
See the details below for all of our reporting.
Progress Reports
See how your students are progressing! We post progress reports every two weeks in the registration system.
Follow this link to see the details on this progress report.
Grade Reports
Our grade reports are weighted grades similar to school report cards.
Follow this link to see the details on the latest grade report.
Student Status (No-Show) Reports
NCVPS posts student status reports after the third and seventh days of class. These reports indicate if students have logged in or not to their NCVPS courses. These reports are early warning indicators for schools.
Follow this link to see the details on student status (no-show) reports.
Additional Resources
Follow this link to see how to run a grade report.
Follow this link to see our Quick Reference Guide on Grades.

HireNCVPS Is Hiring Teachers

NCVPS is seeking North Carolina certified teachers in a number of subject areas. Most of our instructors teach during the day for schools throughout North Carolina, and then they teach for NCVPS in the evenings. You may know some NCVPS teachers at your school or in your district. Join them in teaching with us! We also have teachers who only teach for NCVPS. These are often teachers who have retired or have found working from home better suits their needs.
We do have an application process that includes a professional learning course and teaching practicum. The skills developed in the course and practicum will enhance your classroom instruction, as well. You will learn new technologies and digital-learning strategies that can be applied anywhere. Also, our pay is very competitive and comparable to other online programs.
Right now, we have a critical shortage in math teachers, but we also have a high demand in other areas:
  • AP Calculus BC and AB
  • AP Computer Science A
  • AP Computer Science Principles
  • AP Human Geography
  • AP Music Theory
  • AP Physics 1
  • AP Physics 2
  • AP Psychology
  • Chinese 1-4 and AP
  • Japanese
  • Math (all levels)
  • Psychology
  • Psychology Honors
  • OCS American History 1
  • OCS American History 2
  • OCS Applied Science
  • OCS Biology
  • OCS English 1, 2, 3, 4
  • OCS Financial Management
  • OCS Introduction to Math
  • OCS LDME/ Math 1

Tech Updates
Password Reset
If you have had your password reset, the new password will not expire unless you have reset it. If you have forgotten what your password was reset to, you can look up the help desk ticket to access the new password or click on “Forgot Password”.
Course Issues
When requesting help regarding a course it always easier for tech support to respond quickly if we have the specific section name, for example:
Opening a Ticket with the Virtual Support Center
When opening a ticket with the virtual support center, please always include the following:
  • Student’s first & last name
  • PowerSchool ID number (This will help ensure we have the correct student)
  • School name (full name, i.e. Eastern Mills High School, not EMHS)
  • Course name – if the student is already enrolled,  include specific section, i.e. CourseSec01Spring15.
If you need a new student account for a student who is new to PowerSchool (not just transferring schools), include the following:
  • Your full school name (i.e. Eastern Mills High School, not EMHS)
  • The student’s first and last name
  • The student’s PowerSchool ID number
  • The student’s email address
  • The student’s phone number (the contact number this will be in PowerSchool)
  • Does the student have an IEP? Yes/No
  • Does the student have a 504 Plan? Yes/No
Replying to a Support Center Ticket
After you submit a ticket to the Virtual Support Center, you will receive a ticket confirmation and resolution via email. To expedite your resolution, please do not reply to the email. The email will have a link in it for your response. Please click on that link (see below).
This will put the ticket right back in the queue of the person who is working on your ticket. If you reply to the email, then that will have to be manually put into the ticket, and that can delay the process by several hours.
Student Email Confirmations in Moodle and Blackboard
Please have students confirm/update their e-mail. Here’s how to do that:
In Moodle:
Navigate to Administration
My Profile settings
Edit Profile
Verify or update e-mail
Scroll to bottom and “Update Profile”
In Blackboard:
Click on students name in the upper right side of your BB course
Click on setting
Click on Personal Information
Click on Edit Personal Information to update e-mail if it’s incorrect.
Scroll to bottom and Submit
In Canvas:
Click on “settings” on your name in the upper right side of your course.
Click on “Add Email Address” under Ways to Contact on the right of screen.
Add your correct email if Canvas is not displaying your correct email.
Click on “Register email.”
Click the star next to your correct email address.
Student Logins:
Students, are you having difficulty locating your class? During the 2016 Spring semester NCVPS will be offering courses in three learning management systems, Canvas, Blackboard and Moodle. If you are unsure which platform your course is being offered in, please see the “Student BB/Moodle/Canvas Login” link below:

javaflashUpdatesJAVA and Flash Updates

Please update your Java to Version Java 8, Update 71.Head to and follow the instructions from there.

Please go to the following link to update Adobe Flash Player to the latest Version 

Blackboard Instant Messaging (BBIM)
Students will need to click on the BBIM link in their class and create an ID and password that they will remember. NCVPS does not issue BBIM logins nor do we store this information.
Bookmark NCVPS Login Pages
Many students visit our homepage to log in to their courses. It is a best practice to bookmark the actual login pages for both Moodle and Blackboard. Please have students and lab facilitators bookmark the following pages:
In addition, many school administrators visit our homepage to log in to our registration system or Virtual Support Center. Please bookmark both of these pages in your web browser:
Virtual Support Center:
Tech Requirements
For additional information, please see our Tech Requirements:

FacilitatorsLab Facilitator’s Guide

Do you have NCVPS students who are working in a facilitated lab at your school?
We have a lab facilitator’s guide that is designed to provide an understanding of the basic processes and procedures that successful online facilitators use to support students.
We reached out to North Carolina public schools and our partner schools in the Virtual Schools Leadership Alliance to pull together the most fundamental elements of facilitating online learning.
Each time we visit a facilitated lab in North Carolina, we see a new process, a new innovation, a or just a new way of thinking in supporting lab students, and we add that to our evolving guide.

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

VendorApprovedUpdatesVendor 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)

Courses – Vendor
Edgenuity – MS Math 6
Edgenuity – MS Math 7
Edgenuity – MS Math 8
Edgenuity – MS Social Studies 6
Edgenuity – MS Social Studies 7
Edgenuity – MS Spanish 1
Edgenuity – MS Spanish 2
Edmentum – AP Literature
Edmentum – Career Management
Edmentum – Entrepreneurship 1
Edmentum – Principles of Business
OdysseyWare – English 4
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:

CIDER – State of the Nation: K-12 E-Learning in Canada

An event next week that I am a part of…

Email not displaying correctly? View it in your browser.
Dear CIDER Member,

We invite you to the May CIDER Session at the Canadian Initiative for Distance Education Research. This free, online session will feature Dr. Michael Barbour of Sacred Heart University, Connecticut, and Dr. Randy LaBonte of CANeLearn, presenting findings from their newly-published report, State of the Nation: K-12 E-Learning in Canada.

Title: State of the Nation: K-12 E-Learning in Canada

Current research in K-12 online learning in Canada has focused on defining distance learning and its current strengths and weaknesses. Yet the proliferation of technologies and digital learning spaces has led to the emergence of new instructional strategies and digital learning practices for teachers in many K-12 classrooms, both online and onsite. Traditional school-based classrooms are incorporating technology-supported open learning options, creating “blended learning” opportunities where at least part of instruction occurs in a classroom, part online at a distance, both combined with some element of choice in learning for students. For these emerging practices little is known empirically, only anecdotally, as research into these practices has been limited or nonexistent, particularly in Canada.

As you will hear in the authors’ discussion of the 2015 State of the Nation: K-12 E-Learning in Canada report, many provinces and territories in Canada have some reference to distance education in their Education Act or Schools Act; the reference is typically used to describe distance education or to enable the Ministry of Education to create, approve or regulate K-12 distance education. However, with some exceptions, few provinces and territories have any regulations describing online or blended learning. This presentation will describe and discuss this current state of e-learning in Canada and the need for further research and study in the emerging field of K-12 online and blended learning.

When: Wednesday, May 11, 201611am to 12noon Mountain Time (Canada)

Where: Online through Adobe Connect:

Registration is not required; all are welcome. For more information on CIDER and our monthly Sessions, please visit our website:

Please note that it is important to set up your system prior to the event. Make sure your Mac or PC is equipped with a microphone and speakers, so that you can use the audio functionality built into the conferencing software. The Adobe Connect platform may require an update to your Flash Player; allow time for this update by joining the session 10 minutes prior to the scheduled presentation.


CIDER sessions are brought to you by the Centre for Distance Education, Athabasca University: Canada’s Open University and leader in professional online education, with additional support from UNESCO.

Our mailing address is:

Athabasca University

Canadian Initiative for Distance Education Research
1200, 10011 – 109 Street

Edmonton, AB T5J 3S8


Add us to your address book

Copyright (C) 2009 Athabasca University All rights reserved.

Athabasca University · Canadian Initiative for Distance Education Research · 1200, 10011 – 109 Street · Edmonton, AB T5J 3S8 · Canada

Special Webinar: Rethinking Relationships with Julia Freeland Fisher

And another item from Tuesday’s inbox…

Hosted by MVU’s Mentors Matter program…
View this email in your browser

Thursday, May 19th at 3pm EDT

During this session, our presenter will focus on:

  • Why relationships have become an important focus in education
  • What we’re missing when we as educators talk about mentorship and relationship building
  • How we can make the focus on mentorship and relationships a sustaining innovation in education

Click here to register today!

Our mailing address is:

Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute

3101 Technology Blvd
Ste G

Lansing, Mi 48910

Add us to your address book

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Michigan Virtual Learning Research Institute · 3101 Technology Blvd · Ste G · Lansing, Mi 48910 · USA

Key Elements of Reading Qualitative Education Policy Research

From Wednesday’s inbox…

May 4, 2016

William J. Mathis, (802) 383-0058,
Daniel Quinn, (517) 203-2940,

Key Elements of Reading Qualitative Education Policy Research

What questions should readers be asking?

EAST LANSING, Mich. (May 4, 2016) – Research-Based Options for Education Policymaking is a multipart brief that takes up a number of important policy issues and identifies policies supported by research.  The fifth section, released in two parts, seeks to provide guidance regarding the reading and usefulness of education policy research.

Last week, Holly Yettick identified tips for recognizing higher-quality research studies and making better use of education policy research. Yettick’s Five Simple Steps to Reading Policy Research focused on quantitative research methods.  In Reading Qualitative Educational Policy Research, William J. Mathis, managing director of the National Education Policy Center, explores key elements of evaluating a qualitative study.

According to Mathis, both quantitative and qualitative research methods have the ability to inform policymaking. In particular, qualitative research can fill in gaps in our understanding that quantitative methods cannot capture.

As such, Mathis says, “Regardless of the research method used, readers should insist on high-quality work.”

Mathis suggests readers ask the following key questions of qualitative research studies:

  • Was the study conducted with rigor?
  • Are the data sources appropriate for its conclusions?
  • Was the study placed in a larger body of research?
  • Did the study display signs of quality, such as: independent peer-review, source integrity, and absence of obvious bias? and
  • Are the methods clearly explained?

These key elements can help readers identify signs of quality and usefulness with a qualitative study.

Find the concise brief on the GLC website:

This concise brief, fifth in a series, is published by the National Education Policy Center, housed at the University of Colorado Boulder, and is made possible in part by funding from the Great Lakes Center for Education Research and Practice.

This brief is also found on the NEPC website at:

– ### –

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The mission of the Great Lakes Center for Education, Research & Practice is to support and disseminate high quality research and reviews of research for the purpose of informing education policy and to develp reasearch-based resources for use by those who advocate for education reform.

Visit the Great Lakes Center website at

LRN – MB Daily: Headlines and Analysts’ Updates for 5/5/2016

The MarketBeat update for K12, Inc. from yesterday… Daily Update: Analysts' Upgrades, Downgrades & New Coverage Facebook  Twitter  StockTwits
We wanted to let you in on something we’re working on that’s going to be out later this month: a new and improved version of our stock research tool, RatingsDB. This is by far the biggest upgrade we’ve made to RatingsDB since the product first launched in 2012. I’m extremely excited to be able to get these new and improved research tools into your hands.
Here’s a preview of what’s coming in RatingsDB 6:
Live News 2.0 – You can now receive a live-feed of news headlines, ratings, earnings, dividends, insider trades, and guidance statements as they come in throughout the day. As soon as an important news item appears in our database, it will show up in the RatingsDB Live News for your viewing. You can filter RatingsDB Live News to only include headlines for stocks on your watch-list, or for stocks in particular markets.

Top Ranked Stocks – Wouldn’t it be nice to have a list of stocks that have received multiple “strong buy” ratings from analysts? With MarketBeat’s Top Ranked Stocks, you can view a list of the 100 companies that analysts universally agree are poised for future growth and positive returns. You can also select top-rated stocks by sector, by market cap and by country.

New Stock Screener – We’ve built a brand new world class stock screener that allows you to identify companies that meet any criteria you specify. Search for companies by name, exchange, market cap, sector, industry, currency, earnings date, consensus rating, consensus price target, expected upside, share price and dividend yield.

Improved Brokerage Rankings – We’ve improved the brokerage rankings component of RatingsDB so that you can have a more complete view of each broker’s track record, including the ROI of the stocks that they issue “buy” recommendations on, as well as the accuracy of the 12-month price targets they issue.

How can I get access to RatingsDB 6?
RatingsDB 6 will be available for access on Thursday, May 12th. If you’re an existing customer of RatingsDB, you’ll be automatically upgraded to the new version. If you’re not already a subscriber, you can register for RatingsDB today and get access to the new features when they become available.

Click Here to Learn More about RatingsDB

May, 5 2016
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