Welcome to Biology Spring 2016

A step-by-step guide to starting the GAVS semester!

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Welcome to Georgia Virtual School!

I will be your student's Biology teacher. Take a look at this presentation to learn more about me, or watch this short video to meet my family.

The information included in this flyer will guide students 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 steps that follow to start your course on time.
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Step 1: Complete the SOC (Student Orientation Course)

When completing the Student Orientation Course, it is important to complete topics in order and complete all items on the checklist.

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.

*Only those students who have taken the SOC previously are able to "opt out"

Students must finish or opt out of the SOC before gaining access to the course.

Following successful completion of the SOC, the date on which students will gain access to the course is dependent upon which schedule was selected at the time of registration.

Completing the Student Orientation Course (SOC)

I finished my SOC: May I access the course early? In some cases, YES!

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Regardless of the start date, the course ends May 6, 2016.
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Step 2: Check Your GAVS Email!

Each GAVS student is given a GAVS O365 email to use.

Click here to learn how to find your mailbox and log in. It may take a minute to load.

Your teacher will communicate with you using only this email. Please use it to communicate, too!

You are expected to check this email daily.

Are you in your course yet? If so, scroll down and set up the Office 365 Widget so it displays your email status. Here's an example of what it looks like after being set up:

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Step 3: Print out your Schedule & Get Started!

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 schedule to see what is due each two week period by the Assignment Due Date. Work the schedule in order.

Please watch these two short tutorials to (1) help you navigate the course and (2) understand how to use your schedule. Click and watch as many times as necessary.

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Click below to learn how to ensure you are submitting assignments properly:

What if my work is late?

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Regardless of the start date, the course ends December 4, 2015. 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.

Other helpful items

Biology Synchronous Sessions: Our Online Classroom

I will conduct synchronous classes with students where we review/practice difficult concepts, answer student questions, play games, clarify assignment directions, and conduct experiments together to dig deeper into Biology. These sessions are intended to be helpful and I welcome input from students as to what we should discuss.

Please join us for weekly fun and learning in the Biology Learning Lounge!

  • Biology : Mondays at 6pm

Students are welcome to come to either session for review/questions.

All sessions are announced on the Course Homepage with a link to join the session.

I strongly encourage you to make the Biology Learning Lounge sessions a part of your weekly routine to boost your potential for success in this course, and better reach your goal.

If students cannot attend a meeting, recordings will be posted on the Biology course homepage.

Submit the Syllabus/Handbook Acknowledgement Form to Earn Bonus Points on your First Biology Quiz!

Each student/parent is asked to review their Syllabus and Student Handbook and sign the Acknowledgement Form. This form should be submitted to the designated Dropbox in each course that the student is enrolled.

I am offering my Biology students bonus points on their first quiz for doing this by their first due date! (equivalent to 10% added to their score)

Whoohoo! Bonus points right away!

Student Code of Conduct: GAVS Plagiarism Policy

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.

Do not copy and paste information from the internet.

Student Code of Conduct Policy (within our Student Handbook)


If you are a special education student and would like GaVS to consider making accommodations for you, please ask your facilitator to upload your current IEP or 504 to your GaVS student profile. If you do not have a copy, please contact your facilitator.
  • Please note that GaVS teachers cannot make accommodations without a current/recently updated copy of the plan on file.
  • A copy of the plan must be submitted EACH semester.
  • If you are a public/private school student, your plan is not automatically provided to us; check with your facilitator/guidance counselor to make sure we have your plan.
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Important Parent Information

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.

In order to view your child’s progress, you will need to have a parent account within our Student Information System and your account must be linked to your child’s GAVS account. If you already have a parent account please do NOT create a new one. If you have never created a parent account or you have not linked to your student’s account, follow the steps listed below.

Parent Account Information

  • Parent helpdesk articles
  • Parents should read the knowledgebase articles in the order listed below. The steps must be completed in this order.


1. Parent account creation

2. Link child to parent account (Student's GTID is needed during this step.)

3. Using my parent auditor account

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D2L Help Sessions for Students and Parents:

Georgia Virtual School will have Brightspace Help Sessions for students and parents (via Adobe Connect) on the following dates:

: (attend any of the following)
  • Tuesday, January 5 @ 7:00pm
  • Thursday, January 14 @ 11:00am
  • Thursday, Jan. 21 @ 7pm
  • Thursday, Jan. 28 @ 11am
  • Tuesday, Feb. 2 @ 7pm
  • Wednesday, Feb. 17 @ 7pm

Where: This is an online event in the Adobe Brightspace Help Classroom.

You will join by entering the meeting as a Guest. Your username is your first and last name.

The schoolwide Brightspace Help meetings are separate from individual Welcome sessions held by each teacher. Please plan to attend the meeting with your teacher as well. Your teacher will notify you about the date of that meeting.

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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. Watch the GAVS You Tube tutorials (see link below.)

3. Look within the news announcements (in the Course) or other communication from me.

4. Familiarize yourself with the Spring 2016 Student Handbook and it's policies.

5. Feel free to contact me directly via phone or email.

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Contact Me!

Please do not hesitate to contact me. I aim to help you reach your goals for success in this class, and we can't do that without communicating. I enjoy answering your questions!

I am available weekdays 10am-6pm EST. Email and phone calls are answered within 24 hours on school days. If you call, please be sure to leave a message.

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