Welcome from Mrs. Scopano!
GAVS Middle School Language Arts 8 A- Fall 2016
Meet your teacher
I graduated from the University of Georgia with degrees in English and Journalism and have a Master's in English Education from Johns Hopkins University. I have been teaching for the past 12 years and this is my second year with GAVS.
The information included in this newsletter will guide your student to helpful resources as well as steps to take as they begin in this course. If you are new to the online environment, I am here to help you through this transition. In the online world (much like a face-to-face school setting) success is achieved through common effort of student, teacher and parent. As you encounter questions starting and working through the course, please do not hesitate to contact me. I am here and available for each of you.
Step 1: Complete the SOC (Student Orientation Course)
*Students will not have access to the course until completion of the SOC. There is a 24-48 hour processing time after completing the SOC, so please do not wait until the last minute to begin*
The following items are required for the completion of the Student Orientation Course (SOC):
· students complete all sign off
· students complete all agreement quizzes
· students make a 100% on the final Student Orientation Quiz.
- Students may choose to opt out of the Student Orientation Course; however, students who elect to opt out of the Student Orientation Course are still responsible for all content presented in the course.
Students must finish or opt out of the SOC before gaining access to the course. It is possible that students will not gain access to the course until the first start date or one workday after the semester has begun in January.
Step 2: Students Need to Check Georgia Virtual School Email EVERY SINGLE DAY
Checking Email Video Instructions
Step 3: Submit the Student Acknowledgement Form, Print Your Course Schedule, and Work in Order
**Before you begin the course, you will want to listen to the Welcome Chat Recording. The link for the Welcome Chat is under the first News Item. All class recordings are located under "User Links" on the right side of the Course Homepage. If you cannot attend class, please make sure to listen to the recordings!
**Accessing the Content:
The "Content" is like your textbook and where you will find all of the study materials and assignments. Please DO NOT skip through the content--make sure you view, read, and study each page.
**As soon as you have entered the course, read the Bulletin Board and print your (18, 16, 14, or 12 week) schedule on the Course Homepage. The schedules are in the "Course Information" box on the right side column on the screen.
Read through the schedule to see what is due daily. Work the schedule in order.
Step 4: Attend or Listen to the Welcome Chat
The Welcome Chat is our first "live" class session. You'll log on with the rest of your classmates, and I will teach you everything you need to know to be successful in our course. You don't want to miss it!
Welcome Chat for 18 week students: Aug. 9, 2016
Welcome Chat for 16 week students: Aug. 23, 2016
Welcome Chat for 14 week students: Sept. 6, 2016
**Use your GaVS Username@gavirtualschool.org and Password to enter the room. If your username and password does not work, enter the room as a guest.
**If you cannot attend the Welcome Chat, listen to the recording under "User Links" in order to understand how to navigate your course and have your questions answered
How Much Time Should I Spend On My Course?
You are expected to login and participate in your online course on a DAILY basis.
Fall/Spring semester: Plan to spend at least 60 to 90 minutes per weekday (5 to 8 hours per week) for a half unit course or 90 to 120 minutes per weekday (7 to 10 hours per week) for a 1 unit (AB or block) course.
The estimates above are per course, so if you are taking more than one course, please plan accordingly.
Technical difficulties are not an excuse for assignments to be late!
Fall and Spring Semester (NEW POLICY BEGINNING FALL 2015):
Please be aware of the pacing guide and due dates for all assignments. Extensions past the last day of school will NOT be granted. Student work is due bi-weekly on THURSDAYS at midnight EST. Check course schedules for specific due dates. Work turned in after the deadline on the course schedule will be accepted within 3 school days following due date with a late penalty assessed. Late penalty begins on Friday and is deducted at a rate of 10% of the assignment value per school day. Work submitted on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday is considered 1 day late.
At the end of the semester, all class work must be submitted prior to the time period the final exam is available. Thus, if final exams begin Wednesday of the last week of school, all other assignments which can still be accepted based on course schedule due dates, except the final exam, must be submitted by Tuesday of the last week of school.
Fall & Spring late work policy example: David turns in an assignment at 3:15 pm on Sunday. He scores a 7 out of 15 on the assignment. David will lose 1.5 points on this assignment (15 * .10) and the score recorded in the grade book is 5.5/15. A note should be made in the grade book detailing the late work deduction.
Technical difficulties are not an excuse for assignments to be late. Students must have computer access to complete GaVS work. It is the student’s responsibility to secure backup computer options when technical difficulties arise. Many public libraries offer computers with internet access. Additionally, GaVS courses can be accessed on a variety of mobile devices so it may be that a mobile device could be used to complete some coursework when there are computer problems.
Sometimes students submit a file that the teacher is not able to open. When that occurs, the teacher will leave feedback notifying the student, and a zero will be entered into the gradebook. The student then has up to five school days to submit a readable version of the file without penalty. Students are expected to submit all subsequent assignments in a properly formatted file type. Five school days after the teacher has notified the student of the file issue, the standard late policies apply.
When a student switches to a shorter schedule, any assignments that have been completed cannot be resubmitted. Any zeroes already entered in the old schedule not yet due on the shorter schedule can be replaced. Zeros previously earned will not be removed from the gradebook but will be replaced if assignments are submitted by the shorter schedule due date.
If a student is suspended from the local school, GaVS course access remains open. Unless a student is directed otherwise by the local school, he or she may continue working in the GaVS course while suspended at the local school. Note that under no circumstance is a school suspension grounds for an extension under the GaVS late policy.
*If you are a special education student and would like GaVS to consider making accommodations for you, please email a copy of your IEP or 504 plan to Sarah Newman at email@example.com or fax a copy to 770-357-3704. If you do not have a copy, please contact your facilitator.
However, FOR REAL TIME GRADES, please log in to the student account and click on "Assessments" and then "Grades"--this will show you each individual grade of your students, what your student is missing, and when it was due.
Watch this video for instructions on how to check grades for your student in REAL TIME:Checking Grades and Viewing Feedback
For the parent account...if you already have a parent account please do NOT create a new one.
1) Please check to see that your parent account is linked to your student’s account.
2) For more information click Help on the Log in page or click the following link:
If you are uncertain about whether you have a parent account or not,
1) Log in to GAVS at www.gavirtualschool.org and at the Log In page type in your username and password.
2) For more information click Help at the top of the Log In page or click the following link: Parent Information Help Desk
*Information for parents who have NEVER created a parent account.
1) Login to our website www.gavirtualschool.org
2) Click the “Log In To GAVS” icon
3) Click “Create An Account” from the navigation bar.
4) You will need to know your child’s GTID and date of birth.
5) Please follow the directions on the screen.
6) Be sure you have linked your parent account to your student’s account.
7) For more information simply click HELP at the top of the Log In page or click the following link:Parent Information Help Desk
Checking Dropbox Receipts
Each time a student submits an assignment to the dropbox correctly, he or she receives an automated email indicating the file has been received. Save these emails for reference. The following video explains how to use the dropbox to submit assignments:
Use the Help Desk
If you have questions about navigating GaVS, please check out the Helpdesk. It has video tutorials for many aspects of the course:
Accepted File Types
When you submit work to GaVS, please be sure it is in one of the file types listed above. If you use Publisher, Pages, or another program, be sure you can export the document as a PDF or other file type indicated with a green check above.
Checking Dropbox Receipts
Use the Help Desk
Naming & Saving Files
MLA Format Required for English Courses
* Students are expected to use MLA format on all writing assignments.
* ALL submitted documents should have an MLA header (Name, Instructor, Course, Date)
* All work quoted, paraphrased, or summarized from other sources should use an in-text citation.
* A sample first page of an MLA style paper/assignment can be seen below.
Click here for MLA Tutorial Website: MLA Tutorial Website
Student Code of Conduct
Unless your teacher expressly states otherwise, all work must be original and entirely the student's own work without any outside help which includes other students, parents, textbooks, internet or any other outside source. Assignments that require documentation and/or references must adhere to guidelines presented by the teacher. When in doubt, clarify with your teacher before beginning an assignment or submitting it.
Check this link for the Student Code of Conduct: Student Code of Conduct
If you are a special education student and would like GaVS to consider making accommodations for you, please fax a copy of your IEP or 504 Plan to 770-357-3704. If you do not have a copy, please contact your facilitator.
* Please note that GaVS teachers cannot make accommodations without a copy of the plan on file.
* A copy of the plan must be submitted EACH semester.
What if I have other questions?
1. Start with the GaVS Knowledgebase, a searchable database of tutorials on the most common questions:
Click here to use the GAVS Helpdesk/Knowledgebase!
2. Look within the news announcements (in the Course) or other communication from me.
3. Familiarize yourself with the Student Handbook: Click here to access the Student Handbook.
4. Feel free to contact me directly via phone or email.
When sending an email...
Please always include your name, course, and schedule (18, 16, 14, or 12).
Emergency Situation Procedures
Keep my phone number & email address in a place that is easy to reach. If you have a special circumstance, please let me know. Here are some situations that might merit an immediate contact:
* Medical situation (hospitalization, extreme sickness, injury): Contact me BEFORE a due date if you have been too sick to complete work. Please note that a note from the doctor may be required to authorize any extensions for sickness.
* Technology emergency: Please notify me BEFORE a due date if you experience a technology issue. If you lose power, get kicked out of a test, have a computer crash, or other extreme situation, please let me know immediately. We understand that these things happen, but also expect students to have a back-up plan for technology issues. Plan to use a computer at school, the library, a friend or family member's computer, etc.
* General Assignment/Course Questions: These are best answered by email, but feel free to call me as well.