Happy New Year!

Helpful Hints and Information for Spring Semester 2016

Welcome to Spring Semester 2016!

I hope you enjoyed the winter break and are excited about beginning a new semester at GaVS!. I would like to welcome back our veteran teachers and welcome new instructors. Please take note of the information shared in this newsletter. If you have questions or concerns about your instructional requirements, do not hesitate to communicate with me. Have a wonderful start to the semester!

CTAE/Electives Assistant Supervisor of Instructor

Dr. Marilynn Skinner serves as the Assistant Supervisor of Instructor for CTAE/Electives. Many of you received an email regarding teaching assignments for spring from Dr. Skinner. She welcomes each of you and is working hard to promote our courses.

Instructional Duties

Check Course Roster
When you login to TheSIS, you should be able to view Section information for your course(s). Please check your section listings daily and send welcome emails and make welcome calls to new students. If you sent welcome emails prior to January 5, make sure to update stakeholders on the correct link for the Spring 2016 Student Handbook link (note email I sent on January 5).

Sending Emails via TheSIS

It is recommended that welcome emails and course update notices be sent through TheSIS. By doing so, your communication will be documented in the Communication Log and students will receive an "official" email notice with the GAVS Logo. It is a good practice to send welcome emails and make phone calls a week before the official start date begins.

When you receive a copy of your student's welcome email in your O365 account, please forward a copy of the welcome notice to their personal email just in case they have not established their O365 account. You can obtain their personal email from the spreadsheet in the Student Roster Panel in TheSIS.

For more details on sending emails and notes in TheSIS, click here.

Release Grades

As students enter your course, make sure to release their grades so that students and parents can view your feedback and grades as assignments are completed. If you are not familiar with this process or need a refresher, click here to view a tutorial video.

Apply Release Conditions for News Announcements
Brightspace group names have been updated so teachers can easily identify section numbers when applying release conditions. Release conditions are great to use as you post announcements for various sections. For more details on applying a release condition, click here.

Weekly Announcement Updates
GaVS Instructors are provided weekly updates which can be accessed via the Instruction Site. It is vital that you make a practice of reading all the information provided in the weekly announcement. I will prompt you to check the weekly update by sending out an email.

Instruction Site

The Instruction Site includes many resources and documents that will aid you as a GaVS Instructor. In addition to accessing the weekly update announcements, you can access the GaVS Dashboard to obtain statistics regarding Spring 2016 enrollment.
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GaVS Help Desk.

As you address student, parent, and facilitator inquiries, you will discover that many of the answers can be located by accessing the GaVS Help Desk. Click here to access the Knowledge Base.

Teacher Toolbox

The Teacher Toolbox includes an assortment of videos and teacher resources that will add spice and flavor to your instruction. You will also discover specific resources for O365, Edmodo, Brightspace, Special Education resources, and many other "teacher goodies". To access the treasure chest of teacher resources, click here.
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e-Portfolio Requirement

Documentation for the e-Portfolio Protocol for 2015-2016 can be accessed from the Instructor Site - Department Documents - CTAE. If you have not made updates to your e-Portfolio, please access the document to obtain details on the requirements.

TOOL Requirement

Do not forget that each GaVS Instructor is required to complete the TOOL requirement by the end of Summer Semester 2017. If you would like more information about this requirement, click here. The image below also provides details about the Effective Online Teaching Course Bootcamp sessions.
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Quality Assurance Specialist

LaTonya Richards will continue to serve as the Quality Assurance Specialist (QAS) for CTAE/Electives. If you are a new instructor, please email Ms. Richards at latonya.richards@gavirtualschool.org and introduce yourself. She will conduct formal monthly evaluations of your course(s).

As a reminder, do not forget to copy LaTonya on any emails that involve student concerns.
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CTAE/Electives Department Staff Notebook

We are currently working on a CTAE/Electives Department Staff Notebook that will store department related resources and best practices exemplars. You will be able to access the note using OneNote. The Notebook will be divided into three parts: 1) Welcome Section; 2) Collaboration Space; and 3) Content Library. Each teacher will also have a Notes page. More details regarding the notebook will be shared in the coming weeks.

Contact Me

Do not hesitate to communicate with me if you have questions or concerns this semester.