Virtual School Meanderings

March 25, 2017

SITE 2017 Keynote Talks Now Available!

From Friday’s inbox…

Keynote Talks Now Available!
View the live recordings of keynotes speakers exclusively on LearnTechLib.
Recordings are open access, no subscription required.

Sponsored by:
Accepted and presented papers are published by SITE/AACE in the
Conference Proceedings and internationally distributed via
Like us on Facebook   Follow us on Twitter     Find us on PinterestView our videos on YouTube
AACE,, 828-246-9558, P.O. Box 719, Waynesville, NC 28786

Journal of Research in Rural Education, Volume 32, Issues 1-3

From Thursday’s inbox…

The Journal of Research in Rural Education is pleased to announce:

Volume 32 (2017, fourteenth online volume, tenth volume at Penn State)

Book Review of Understanding Social Justice in Rural Education by H. Cuervo
Michael Corbett

Book Review of Serving Gifted Students in Rural Settings by T. Stambaugh & S. Wood
Amy Price Azano

Book Review of Small-town America: Finding Community, Shaping the Future by R. Wuthnow
Patricia L. Hardré

You can access these issues in the Featured Articles sidebar at: or you can navigate directly to the article via the link provided above.


Thank you!


* * * * * *

The Journal of Research in Rural Education publishes research that is of demonstrable relevance to educational issues within rural settings. JRRE welcomes single-study investigations, historical and philosophical analyses, research syntheses, theoretical pieces, and policy analyses from multiple disciplinary perspectives. We welcome manuscripts concerning learning and instruction; preservice and inservice teacher education; educational leadership; educational policy; rural education and community development, and the cultural, historical, and economic context of rural education. Brief commentary on recently published JRRE articles is also appropriate.



Sally J. Kelley

Education Policy Studies

The Pennsylvania State University

300 Rackley Building

University Park, PA  16802

(814) 863-3760; FAX: (814) 865-1480

Virtual Schooling In The News

InTheNewsBeginning with the MiddleWeb SmartBrief.

Skype, online learning key to this classroom

Fifth-grade students in Nebraska are using digital platforms, such as Scratch and Go Noodle, daily. They also used Skype for a recent lesson on graphic novels and engaged in Twitter and Skype chats with authors.
Enterprise Publishing Co. (Blair, Neb.) (3/3)

Similarly, the ASCD SmartBrief.

Calif. district opens online academy

Middle- and high-school students at California’s Paso Robles Joint Unified School District will soon be able to take most of their classes online. The online academy will offer such courses as math and English as well as preparatory classes for the ACT, SAT and PSAT, officials said.
The Tribune (San Luis Obispo, Calif.) (3/23)

Also, the SmartBrief for EdTech.

Other News

Back to the regular Google News alert for virtual school.

@FGCU_MTen Battles, Falls 5-2 to George Washington

Florida Virtual School/Texas Christian University) and Austin Bates (Marietta, Ga./Pope HS) secured a win at No. 3 over Chris Reynolds and Fernando …

@FGCU_MTen Falls to #48 UCF 6-1

Florida Virtual School/Texas Christian University) and Austin Bates (Marietta, Ga./Pope HS) came from 1-5 down to claim a 7-5 victory over Enrique …

Cathedral weighs virtual Catholic high school

Cathedral School in Superior is exploring options to begin offering virtual and online high school classes through an agreement with Regis Catholic …

iSucceed Virtual High School to enroll new students during Idaho roadshow

BOISE, Idaho — iSucceed Virtual High School, a tuition-free online high school available to all 9th through 12th grade students in Idaho, is hosting six …

@FGCU_MTen Drops Tough Match to #29 South Alabama

Florida Virtual School/Florida) and Felipe Ramirez (Armenia, Colombia/Florida Virtual School) took down Juan Cruz Soria and Loic Cloes 6-4 before …

The River Valley Virtual Academy Features Aspects Similar To Traditional Schooling

Students enrolled in the virtual academy will be able to participate in regular school activities or enroll in a specific art or physical education course on …

Ashley tackles the challenge of virtual education

Gifted: Year 7 Ashley Sher is one of a select few Eden High students who are also enrolled in the state’s firstvirtual high school, and her dad Larry …

@FGCU_MTen Battles, Falls 5-2 to George Washington

Florida Virtual School/Texas Christian University) and Austin Bates (Marietta, Ga./Pope HS) secured a win at No. 3 over Chris Reynolds and Fernando …

Idaho Virtual Academy Now Accepting Enrollment for 2017-18 School Year

MERIDIAN, Idaho–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Idaho Virtual Academy (IDVA), a tuition-free online public charterschool, is now accepting enrollment …

Oklahoma Virtual Charter Academy Opens Enrollment for 2017-18 School Year

MIDWEST CITY, Okla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Oklahoma Virtual Charter Academy (OVCA), an online public charter school authorized by the Statewide …

@FGCU_MTen Falls to #48 UCF 6-1

Florida Virtual School/Texas Christian University) and Austin Bates (Marietta, Ga./Pope HS) came from 1-5 down to claim a 7-5 victory over Enrique …

Virtual rural health school mooted: med schools, college and network on board

The School of Rural Health would not be a “bricks and mortar” department of either university, rather a virtual school, building on Auckland’s …

Hechinger chat: What does the Trump education budget mean for Trump voters?

The decision to double down on virtual school was especially stunning because the Trump budget director said there was no proof that feeding hungry …

Katy Virtual School brings online learning to students

Katy ISD trustees were updated at their March 20 board meeting on services provided by the Katy Virtual School. Darlene Rankin, director of …

Now, a virtual school to guide bloggers to succeed as digital influencers

Now, a virtual school to guide bloggers to succeed as digital influencers Understanding the rising opportunity of influencer marketing for brands, …

Forsyth Virtual gives students alternative to classroom

Virtual school allows students the opportunity to explore their interests through project-based learning and freedom from the traditional classroom …

Enthusiasm greets school of rural health idea but Waikato Uni says it’s not enough

The announcement yesterday of a proposed virtual School of Rural Health was generally welcomed across the sector, with Waikato University – which …

Virtual Class Visits Link Book Authors to Students

These days, more authors are also doing virtual school visits—using Skype, Google Hangout, or Facetime. While in-person visits can cost a school as …

New report examines the virtual schools market in North America 2017-2021

Report Outline: A virtual school operates on an online learning platform and offers courses pertaining to various fields entirely through digital …

McAuliffe vetoes legislation on charter schools, virtual schools

Dickie Bell that would have created a statewide virtual school program that would have provided Virginia students a full-time online education program …

Governor vetoes Republicans’ ‘educational choice’ legislation

Two bills, House Bill 1400 and Senate Bill 1240, would have established the Board of Virginia Virtual School as an agency in the executive branch of …

Separating fact from fiction on charter schools

While early versions of charter school legislation allowed for money to follow students out of district or for them to enroll in a virtual school, the final …

Finally, the Google News alert for cyber school.

Florida Cyber Charter Academy Opens Enrollment for 2017-18 School Year

JACKSONVILLE, Fla.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Florida Cyber Charter Academy (FLCCA) an accredited, full-time online public charter school, welcomes …


March 24, 2017

NCVPS E-lert – March 23, 2017 – Spring Edition VIII (Progress Reports Posted Today!) –

A newsletter from yesterday.

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 – March 23, 2017 – Spring Edition VIII (Progress Reports Posted Today!)

CalendarCheckCalendar Check
Spring 2017
Start Dates
Early Calendar: Jan. 4
Traditional Calendar:  Jan. 23
Last Day to Drop and Add
Early Calendar: Jan. 18
Traditional Calendar: Feb. 8
This is the last day districts and schools can drop students with no penalty for the student and no cost for the district or charter.
See our calendar for progress report dates. We post updates every two weeks throughout the semester.
Essential Links

NCVPS Is Hiring Teachers

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 to our list here.

Current E-lert News


The last day to register for credit recovery courses and to transfer in students is Friday, March 24.
We posted our latest progress reports in the registration system today. This is for all classes.
We hope to open registration in late March or early April. We are still working on some final details for registration.
Updated 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.

ELAYeaerELA of the Year Nominees Announced

Our search for this year’s E-Learning Advisor of the Year is underway!

NCVPS teachers and staff members have nominated educators at the school or district level who have a positive impact on their NCVPS students.

Nominations have included individuals working in various roles such as the e-learning advisor, lab facilitator, EC coordinator, data manager, principal, and even the district e-learning coordinator.

We are proud to announce the following names of educators who were nominated

Kendra Hargett-Chamblee – Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools – Carrboro High School
Robin Lamb – Orange County Schools – Cedar Ridge High School

Katy Bradley – Rutherford County Schools – Rutherford Co Early College

Neal Dorow – New Hanover County Schools – Eugene Ashley High School

Debra Almanza – Jones County Schools – Jones Middle School

Nartarshia Sharpe – Wake County Public School System – Crossroads Flex

Brenda Drye – Union County Public Schools UCPS District Office

Deborah Dishman – Caldwell County Schools – Oak Hill Elementary School

Deborah Ellis – Chapel Hill-Carrboro Schools – East Chapel Hill High School

Todd Cardwell – Caldwell County Schools – Gamewell Middle School

Aileen Will – Carteret County Public Schools – East Carteret High School

Matthew French – Guilford County Schools – Early Middle College at Guilford Tech Community College Jamestown

Amanda Housand – Union Academy Charter School – Union Academy Charter School

EarlyCalendarOCSEarly Calendar Phase Out / OCS Update

As you may know, NCVPS will be phasing out all Early Calendar course offerings during the 2017-2018 school year.  Please know that throughout this transitional period, NCVPS remains committed to partnering with our districts and schools to meet the needs of students.
Fall 2017: OCS courses will continue to be offered in both the Early Calendar and Traditional Calendar formats. No other courses will be offered in the Fall Early Calendar.
Spring 2018: Beginning with the Spring 2018 semester, OCS courses (and all other NCVPS courses) will only be available in the Traditional Calendar format.  However, our NCVPS teachers are prepared to work closely with your school’s co-teachers to provide “lesson plans” for students who may be online and ready to go before our Traditional Calendar OCS courses begin.  Additionally, we are able to adjust pacing as needed to ensure course end dates meet the needs of your specific school.
Yearlong 2017-2018: Fall 2017 will be the last time that schools will have the option to enroll into Yearlong OCS courses in both the Early Calendar or Traditional Calendar format. Moving forward, Yearlong OCS courses will only be available in the Traditional Calendar format.

Why is NCVPS Making This Change?

Over the past several years, we have seen a steady decline in Early Calendar enrollments, including Early Calendar OCS enrollments. While the Early Calendar offerings have been welcomed by some of our district partners, managing the set up and implementation of these separate calendar courses has proven to be extremely taxing to NCVPS resources for the few students impacted. By consolidating our calendars, we are able to more effectively serve students across the state.

Again, please know that NCVPS remains committed to working with each of our schools to make this transition smooth.
For questions or concerns, please contact Wendy Kraft, Director of OCS, at

NCVPSAPCodeNCVPS Code for AP Tests

We would like to request that ELAs contact their school’s AP testing coordinator to remind them about the NCVPS school code when students take their AP tests.
Please have students input the NCVPS code (045) into the ‘Online Provider Code’ found on page 1, item G, of the student’s AP answer sheet during administration of the exam. This will allow NCVPS to receive a copy of their May 2017 test scores for our records. These scores are needed as part of the accountability piece for NCVPS.

calendarandcatalogNCVPS Calendars and Catalog

Be sure to check out our Summer School Guide at this link.
We have a new format for our course catalog. Please view our new catalog at this link.

Early Calendar Courses

Please note that we are phasing out our early calendar. We will only offer early calendar courses in the fall of 2017, and that will only be for OCS courses. We typically have low enrollment numbers for early calendar, and this puts a strain on our teacher pool as teachers have a limit in the number of sections they can teach. An early calendar section of a course may only have seven students in it, but a traditional calendar section may have 25-30 students in it. So the early calendar offering greatly impacts the number of students we can serve.
We are sorry for this inconvenience, but our teachers, of course, will work with early calendar students to help them finish their courses early if they need to.

Spring2017Spring 2017 Updates

CurrentEnrollOptionsCurrent Enrollment Options

Our Spring 2017 enrollment has closed. However, we still have a number of options for schools.
Credit Recovery: Credit recovery enrollment will remain open until March 24, 2017 Schools can continue to enroll in credit recovery courses that have open seats.

OCS: Schools can continue to enroll in existing OCS sections throughout the semester. We cannot open new sections at this time.
1/2 Credit Health and 1/2 Credit PE Courses: Registration for our 2nd 9-week health courses will remain open until March 21.
Transfer Students: We are now accepting transfers for students who meet our transfer criteria. Transfer students must already be enrolled in a traditional course at the school with an instructor AND have a grade to transfer in with. If a student has a grade to transfer in with, open a ticket with our virtual support center, and include this information:
Student’s Name:
Course Needed:
Is course Year long or Block?
Grade Level:
Numeric Transfer Grade:
The school’s support plan if student does not have a passing transfer grade:
Reason for Transfer:
Student’s School:
Student’s PowerSchool Number:
Student’s Email: (do not use ELA’s email address)
Student’s Phone Number:
Does the student have an IEP? (yes/no):
Does the student have a 504 Plan? (yes/no):
Is the student an English Language (EL) learner? (yes/no):
Parent Contact information:
We are able to accept transfer students through March 24, 2017, for traditional calendar courses.
Flex Learning (formerly Mastery Learning): Our Flex Learning program will help students who have a special or hardship situation. If any of the above options work for a student, you will need to use those options, but when you are out of options, check out the details here for Flex Learning enrollment.

GradeReportUpdatesGrade Report Updates
Report Card

 CurrentGradesWhat Grades Are Currently Posted?
March 23: Progress Reports Posted in the NCVPS Registration System
March 30: Final Grades for 9-week Health and 9-week PE Courses Posted in the NCVPS Registration System

ReportOverviewReporting Overview

See how your students are progressing! We post progress reports every two weeks in the registration system. These are unweighted grades.
Only our final grade report is a weighted grade report.
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.

CanvasAppCanvas App for Parents

Canvas App for Parents
Parents and facilitators can now download the CanvasParent app in both the iTunes and  Google Play stores.

Parents and facilitators will need student login information to set up their parent accounts. This will have to come from the school. NCVPS cannot supply login credentials to parents or facilitators. Check with your school’s e-learning advisor (ELA).
The Canvas Parent app is designed to provide visibility into a student’s progress at a glance. Canvas Parent allows both parents and facilitators to:

  • View assignment descriptions and due dates
  • Set reminders for assignments
  • View assignment grades
  • View course grades
  • Set grade alerts
  • View course announcements
Here are several helpful links:
Parents and facilitators can also use the Parent Portal online. Directions on how to use the portal are here.

NCFETEstingNCFE Testing Update
Please remember that districts and charter schools must test all students enrolled in NCVPS courses that have a North Carolina Final Exam. This includes OCS courses that are taught jointly between the LEA and NCVPS.

Twenty-eight courses have NCFEs:
English 1, 3, 4
American History: Civics, World History, American History 1 and 2
Physical Science, Earth/Environmental Science, Chemistry, Physics
Math 2, Math 3, Advanced Functions and Modeling, Pre-Calculus
Please check your rosters to see if you have students enrolled in these courses with NCVPS. You will need to administer the NCFE test to them. You do not need to report the scores back to NCVPS, but you will need it to determine the final grade for students in those courses.
DPI’s Accountability Services will communicate with districts and charters about the testing windows.

RepordcardUpdateNCVPS Report Card Update
Beginning Fall 2016, NCVPS will no longer report two grading period averages for students. Instead, NCVPS will report cumulative progress reports every two weeks. At the end of the semester, we will report a Final Course Work grade.
In the past, our weighted grades for report cards looked like this:
First Grading Period: 37.5%
Second Grading Period: 37.5%
Final Exam/Project: 25%
*Schools administered EOC and CTE Exams and averaged in those scores with our two grading period averages.
Now, our weighted grades will look like this:
Final Course Work Grade: 75%
Final Exam/Project: 25%
*Schools now administer EOC, NCFE, and CTE Exams and average in those scores with our Final Course Work grade.
As always, schools may recalculate grades if the district policy has different weights for the final exams.
NOTE: NCVPS progress report grades are not weighted grades. Therefore, our progress report grades would not be accurate for schools to use when they are generating their weighted Quarter 1 and Quarter 2 or Midterm and End term (or whatever variation a district might use) report card grades. The school’s final averages and NCVPS’s final course work grade will not match each other when districts do this.
A number of districts are only entering NCVPS grades at the end of the term. Districts use a similar method when students take courses at the local community college. These districts are sending home separate NCVPS progress reports when they mail home progress reports, Quarter 1, or Midterm grades.

NCVPS Resources

NCVPS teachers have a lot of great tips to share with online students and the support crews who facilitate their learning. “They know a thing or two because they’ve seen a thing or two.”
Having students save their work is an important step in protecting hours of hard work and the effort they have made in their NCVPS course. We have a plan for them, which utilizes sound internet backup and security procedures. Read the details on our website here.

Tech Updates
ChromebookUpdateChromebook Update
Google Chromebooks are currently supported for NCVPS Courses.
Google Chromebook and Chrome OS are possible options for you to consider to support your learning at NCVPS. While NCVPS learning environments are fully compatible with Google Chromebooks, some third party content within your courses may not yet be updated to meet the requirements set forth within the Chrome Operating System. If you experience an interruption in your learning, please open a help desk ticket at and we will make reasonable accommodations to support your learning experience.
Students are able to open a help ticket with our Virtual Support Center when they are logged into Canvas.
When “Page Not Found” appears users should open a Virtual Support tickets by clicking on the ? Help button then clicking on “Enter a NCVPS Help Desk Ticket.”
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”.
When requesting help regarding a course it always easier for tech support to respond quickly if we have the specific section name, for example:
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. CourseSec01Sum16.
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.
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.
javaflashUpdatesJAVA and Flash Updates
Please update your Java to Version Java 8, Update 111.
Head to and follow the instructions from there.

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

Many students visit our homepage to log in to their courses. It is a best practice to bookmark the actual login pages for Canvas. Please have students and lab facilitators bookmark the following page:
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:
For additional information, please see our Tech Requirements:

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
American History 1 – Florida Virtual
Biology – Florida Virtual
Chemistry – Florida Virtual
Exploring Career Decisions – OdysseyWare
Latin 1 – Florida Virtual
Math 1 – Florida Virtual
Spanish 4 – Florida Virtual
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 Session March 29, 2017

Note this webinar next week.

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

We invite you to our upcoming CIDER session on March 29, 2017. This free, online session will feature Connie Blomgren of Athabasca University, Verena Roberts of Rocky View, and additional project contributors, in the launch of a new series of podcasts and videos on open educational resources in K-12 education.

Title: Multiply K-12 OER

For various reasons including costs, it is expected that the use of Open Educational Resources (OER) within K-12 is likely to take hold rapidly. Educating in-service teachers through the Multiply K-12 OER podcasts and video series thereby addresses an identified need of higher educational institutions and of the teaching profession.

The thirteen podcasts and three videos from the Multiply K-12 OER project include interviews with TJ Bliss, Michael Canuel, Beatriz de los Arcos, Bill Fitzgerald, Bronwyn Hegarty, Royce Kimmons, Randy LaBonte, Rory McGreal, David Porter, James Swanson, and Sarah Weston.

This session will be the official launch of these podcasts and videos, providing an opportunity to hear the design team describe their process in creating these media and discuss key aspects of the project such as accessibility and Universal Design. It is anticipated that a number of project contributors will be in attendance.

When: Wednesday, March 29, 201711am to 12noon Mountain Time (Canada)

Where: Online through Adobe Connect at:

Registration is not required; all are welcome. For more information on CIDER and our 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 International Review of Research in Open and Distributed Learning (IRRODL) and the Centre for Distance Education, Athabasca University: Canada’s Open University and leader in professional online education. The Sessions and their recordings are open and available to all, licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

Our mailing address is:

Athabasca University

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

Edmonton, AB T5J 3S8


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