The Mentee Minute

November 12, 2014, Volume Seven

Welcome to November, GaVS Faculty!

The seventh installment of The Mentee Minute highlights the iNACOL conference and the GaVS Extension Policy.

The Minute also presents three Professional Development opportunities to assist with the closing weeks of the semester: SLDS, Grade Reporting, and ePortfolio Week.

Enjoy the issue and share comments freely! Happy November!

Celebrating the strengths and achievements of GaVS faculty! Carrie Madden, iNACOL Teacher of the Year!

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Jay Heap . . . reflection on iNACOL Conference 2014

Professional Learning Communities (PLCs) take a variety of forms and remain an important part of staff development and growth.

For me, PLCs are most often regional or national conferences, where I have the opportunity listen and learn from distinguished leaders in virtual education. These occasions also afford a moment to reflect on leadership principles, organizational policies, and emerging opportunities.

Additionally, the PLCs provide an in-depth look into a number of organizations across the nation that I can then compare to GaVS.

The country has 26 state virtual schools, and the schools serve almost 3/4 of a million students collectively, and for five of the last six years, iNACOL has completely, or in part, sponsored an award to recognize teachers leading the way in the digital educational field. Each year, a GaVS faculty member has been selected as an iNACOL finalist. This year, GaVS Science teacher, Carrie Madden received the distinguished honor of being recognized as the National Blended and Online Teacher of the Year.

The GaVS program continues to grow at a rate of 30% each year, and, according to Keeping Pace, a noted national publication on K-12 online learning, the GaVS program is now ranked 4th among all state virtual schools in the number of enrollments.

Furthermore, GaVS is leading the movement in Open Educational Resources in the K-12 space and is often referenced across the nation as a quality option for textbook resources through the shared learning online pages.

With the introduction of the TOOL program and the new teacher training model, GaVS provides not only and open learning environment, but also a badging verification system that other state schools are seeking to implement. In the state of Georgia, the TOOL program is used by teachers, schools, districts, and higher education to prepare teachers to meet the digital needs of students.

Throughout the three day conference, it was most evident that GaVS will continue to be a leader and innovator in online learning. The success and growth of the program is directly related to the quality of instruction and training provided by the staff and teachers of GaVS.

Without a growing, dedicated staff of educators, none of these accomplishments could have happened or received such immense praise at a national level.

Please accept a special thanks for everything that you do from the GaVS leadership team and staff members.

Student Extension Request Process

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Erin Hill, GaVS ASI

Medical Notes/Extension Requests:

When a student has an excused absence of more than three days*, such as a doctor’s visit, the teacher must be notified in writing and given a copy of any documentation within ten school days during fall and spring and within three school days during summer.

If the teacher is not notified in writing and given documentation within the time allowed, the student will not be permitted to make up missed work.

*There are times when a student could miss fewer than three days and need an extension. If you feel a student has a situation that warrants an exception, submit the details using the extension request form.

  • Requests for extensions should be submitted by a parent, facilitator, or teacher using the Extension Request Form located in the Teacher Toolbox
  • Documentation can be faxed to 770-357-3704 or emailed to
  • Erin Hill and Kelly Walker will review extension requests.
  • A decision regarding the extension will be made within 2 school days.
  • Erin Hill will contact the DC or instructor(s) if any additional information is required.
  • Following the receipt of acceptable documentation an appropriate extension will be determined and the student, stakeholders, and instructors will all be notified of the extension plan.
  • If, for any reason, the extension is denied the student, stakeholders, and teachers will all be notified of this decision and provided an explanation.
  • If there is no documentation accompanying the request an email will be sent to the student and home contact outlining the GaVS Make-Up Work Policy, what type of documentation is required, and to where the documentation should be sent. If documentation is not received following this email the extension request is considered closed and no extension is granted.
  • All communication regarding extension requests is sent via TheSIS and is accessible to teachers.
  • If you have questions about an extension request please feel free to contact Erin Hill at

*Please note: If a student requests an extension of an assignment due date for a religious holiday please complete the Extension Request Form found in the Teacher Toolbox. No documentation is required but please provide as much detail about the request as possible.

George Lucas: Sharing His Hope for Education

George Lucas Shares His Hopes for Education

Professional Development Opportunities

SLDS and GaVS Faculty

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Grade Reporting

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ePortfolio Week

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Tip of the Issue: The Rubric Tool

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