Welcome from Mrs. Gardner

Spring 2016

Please Read All Information Below

Welcome to my class. Please be sure you read all of the information below. Please contact me with any questions.

Before you begin...you must have reliable internet access to complete this course. Students may work at school, at home, at a library, etc. However, no extensions will be given for students without internet access at home.
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Welcome to GAVS! I will be your child's English teacher for 10th Grade Lit/Comp or 9th Grade Lit/Comp. 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.

Please scroll down and work through the directions that follow to start your course on time.

My Video Welcome - Meet Your Teacher - Spring 2016

Gardner Welcome Fall 2015
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Check Your GaVS Email

When logged in to GAVS, you can access your email using the icon shown below. Click here to watch a tutorial on how to access this email. Check email daily.
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Review all information in Student Handbook

Before You Can Start Your Class, You must COMPLETE THE SOC

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.

**NOTE: AP courses do not offer a 12 week schedule option**

Regardless of the start date, the course ends May 6, 2016. Student work is due bi-weekly on Thursdays at midnight. Check course schedules for specific due dates. Work turned in after the deadline on the course schedule will be accepted within 3 school days 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.

Completing the Student Orientation Course (SOC)

I finished the SOC... When can I access my class?

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Brightspace Help Sessions for Students and Parents:

Are you unsure about how to navigate GaVS courses? These help sessions are for you! Learn more about our learning platform and what is required to submit work.

Enter the meeting as a Guest.

Type your first and last name.

Session Link: Adobe Brightspace Help Classroom

Join us and become a Brightspace expert!


Tuesday, January 5, 7pm Thursday, January 14, 11am

Tuesday, January 19, 7pm Thursday, January 28, 11am

Tuesday, February 2, 7pm Tuesday, February 16, 7pm

Enter the meeting as a Guest.

Type your first and last name. Click enter room.

Session Link: Adobe Brightspace Help Classroom

Join us and become a Brightspace expert!

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Print Your Course Schedule & Work in Order

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 (see the Course Info Widget). Read through the entire schedule and complete the Handbook/Syllabus Acknowledgement Form.
Before You Begin Video - Fall 2015

Understanding Your Course Schedule - How to Find Assignments

Schedules & Spring 2016 Acknowledgement Form

The video below will explain how to read and interpret your course schedule. Be sure that you read ahead on the schedule in order to know what is coming. All items are due as they appear on the schedule.

The Course Information widget to the right has a new look. In this widget, you will find the course schedules, as well as the Spring 2016 Acknowledgement Form that all students are required to download, fill out, and submit to the dropbox.
Fall 2015 Schedules

View Your Schedules Early

Click on my Padlet link below. Be sure to choose your class schedule correctly, based on your enrollment in either 10th Lit/Comp B, 10th Lit/Comp AB, or 9th Lit/Comp B. This way, you can be ready when it is time for your class to begin.

Mrs. Gardner's Schedules
Direct Link Address: http://padlet.com/MrsGardner/gttee37vfg0s

Learn How to Determine What is Due - Check Out Newsletter Below

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Other Helpful Places to Look

After setting up email, it should look like this...

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How much time should I plan to spend on my course?

You are expected to login and participate in your online course on a DAILY basis.

Fall/Spring semester: Students completing the 18 week course should plan to spend at least 60 to 90 minutes per weekday (5 to 8 hours per week) for a half unit (A or B) course or 90 to 120 minutes per weekday (7 to 10 hours per week) for a 1 unit (AB or block) course. Time required to complete work increases if the student enrolls in a 16, 14 or 12 week course.

Time required to complete work increases if the student enrolls in a shorter week course.

The estimates above are per course, so if you are taking more than one course, please plan accordingly.

Please note: You may not be logged in to the course the entire time, but you need to plan on your work taking that much time. You may be able to complete some of your work offline, but you do need access to your computer and the internet every day Monday through Friday. Allow more time if you are not comfortable using a computer.

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Fall and Spring Semester:

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 (11:59 pm) 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.

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The quickest way to fail my class is to NOT turn in work. If you turn in ALL your work, your chances of passing are VERY good.

On that note, I do NOT offer extra credit.

I will provide ONE opportunity for ALL students to replace a grade, but other than that, NO extra credit will be offered.

** Please be sure your work is submitted on time. If you do not submit on time, please submit within the late work policy. **

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Parents Can View Grades ~ Follow These Directions

The Parent Account gives you information about your child’s grades and progress in their course. If your child’s grade drops below a 75, you will receive an automated phone call. If your child’s grade drops below a 70, you will receive a phone call from me.

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: Parent Account Information 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 Info from Helpdesk

*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 Link

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Synchronous Sessions in Adobe Connect

We believe synchronous learning is important because it provides students the full benefits of our highly qualified instructors. The synchronous interaction provides immediate instructor and student feedback, reduces the feeling of isolation, fosters a sense of community with the learners, and offers a forum for student collaboration. By incorporating live and interactive learning opportunities in the online environment, teachers are leveraging synchronous learning to enhance learning and promote student engagement.

GaVS courses offer opportunities for students to meet online at the same time with the teacher of the course. These synchronous sessions are provided using web-based conferencing tool Adobe Connect.

Synchronous online meetings allow you and your classmates to meet online with your instructor for question and answer sessions, further instruction, or to practice speaking if you take a world language class.

Adobe Connect can also be used to provide online meetings. You may check your computer for required software needed by Adobe Connect at the following website:

http://na3cps.adobeconnect.com/common/help/en/support/meeting_test.htm or by using the Adobe Connect Checklist: https://students.ga.desire2learn.com/d2l/lor/viewer/view.d2l?ou=1798&loIdentId=4189.

We will meet on Mondays @ 4pm

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Use Correct Document Formats

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 Fall and Spring semesters (up to two school days Summer semester) 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 Fall and Spring (two school days Summer semester) after the teacher has notified the student of the file issue, the standard late policies apply.

An Incorrect File Type NOT Resubmitted Within 5 Days Will Earn a 0

Look for a "1" in the dropbox. This shows that I have received and evaluated your assignment, but that there is an issue. If an assignment is not resubmitted within 5 school days, the assignment will earn a 0.
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Submitting Work Correctly

Check out this document that explains all the ways you can be sure your work was submitted correctly.


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A Note About Using MLA Format in 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.

MLA Tutorial Website: http://mlahelp.weebly.com/

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Student Code of Conduct ~ Plagiarism Policies

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.

Student Code of Conduct Policy

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Special Accommodations

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.

Where Can I Go To Find answers to 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.

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Parents & Students...

Please note that I teach several different courses. It is VERY IMPORTANT that when you write me, you include your full name, class you are taking, and the session number. It is also important that you refer to items directly, and as specifically as possible.

Here are some examples:
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Email Etiquette
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School Break Policy

Students should stay on the GaVS schedule that they choose upon entering their course. Even if the local school breaks do not coincide with the GaVS break, students must meet the assignment due dates. Students should communicate their school breaks with their teacher as soon as possible and if necessary discuss with their instructor how to get ahead.

For the Spring 2016 Semester, GaVS observes the following breaks:

January 18th - MLK Day

February 15th - Presidents' Day

April 4-8 - Spring Break

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I have created a Symbaloo page for my courses. On this page, you will find links to helpful course resources. All you have to do is click on the box to view the connected webpage. Here are some things you will find:

~ Unit Overview Videos: These are videos of me walking through EACH unit in the course, while I explain assignments, expectations, and assessments.

~ Course Resource Videos: These videos contain information on how to read a schedule, how to navigate your course, and how to use proper email etiquette.

~ MLA Help: These links describe how to use MLA format, as well as how to format items correctly.

~ Online Navigation Videos: These videos include how-to information about how to take a screenshot, enlarge text, use Natural Reader, view mixed content in a browser, and use a camera scanner.

* Please review this Symbaloo page before you begin our course. Complete the form on that page to earn an extra point on your first quiz.

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Contact Me: Kelly Gardner

If you need me, please feel free to email or call. I am usually able to answer emails quicker than I am able to return phone calls, but please feel free to do either.
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Emergency Situations

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.