Return of the Big Red Elephants: GVA Information for Students/Families


Thank you so much for your interest in Gainesville Virtual Academy. The response of GCSS families to the opportunity to participate in GVA has been enormous. Unfortunately, we have no more space available to serve student except in situations of medical necessity. If you would like us to consider GVA for your children for health reasons at this time, we will need a letter from your doctor indicating that the student is unable to attend school in person. 

A reminder that Georgia law, O.C.G.A. § 20-2-690.1, states that a person who fails to send a child to school may be charged with a misdemeanor. For each violation of the statute, a court may subject this person to a fine not less than $25.00 and not greater than $100.00, imprisonment not to exceed thirty (30) days, community service, or any combination of such penalties. Each day's absence after the school notifies the person of five unexcused days of absence shall be considered a separate offense of the statute.

GCSS School Board Policy states a child between his/her sixth and sixteenth birthdays shall be considered truant if the child has more than five days of unexcused absences in a school year. A truant student with more than ten days of unexcused absences within a school year may be identified as a child in need of services in accordance with O.C.G.A. § 15-11- 380.




GENERAL INFORMATION

Gainesville Virtual Academy (GVA) is designed to provide students with an opportunity to engage in a virtual learning environment that does not require the physical presence in a traditional school setting, yet still supplies the support of a certified teacher for instruction. Online courses give a full course educational experience in which instruction takes place primarily over the internet, using an internet-based delivery system to provide access to course content. Although the delivery of course content is virtual, age-appropriate screen-time guidelines will be established and followed. In other words, students (especially those in elementary grades) would not be expected to work in front of the computer for the equivalent of an entire face-to-face school day. In some grade levels or courses, particularly at the lower elementary level, significant parental support may be necessary. In this virtual environment, other students (particularly those in upper elementary grades through high school) should be capable of working independently (setting and monitoring their own schedules in order to complete a combination of assignments, tests, quizzes, projects, and assessments). GVA courses are led by certified teachers, and the grades earned become part of the student's academic record. GVA will be accessed outside of the school building.

The course catalog for GVA will not mirror the courses available in Face-to-face Instruction. Courses in grades PRE-K-5 will be provided by GCSS instructors, and most courses, including some exploratories (Art, Music, etc.) will be provided, although there may be limited choices. Courses in grade 6-8 will be provided by GCSS Instructors using content provided by Georgia Virtual School. Courses in grades 9-12 will be provided by Georgia Virtual School instructors. Course availability will be based on demand, instructor availability, and feasibility of content being taught virtually. High school students involved in GHSA extracurricular activities may want to consider the impact of virtual courses on postsecondary education plans. Families of high school students with questions regarding GHSA should contact Adam Lindsey.

Gainesville Virtual Academy Contact Information

The GVA Administrators are Dr. Chad Crumley (K-5) [email protected], Titia Sargent (6-8) [email protected] and Dr. Paige Galt (9-12) [email protected]

Visit the GVA Website.

The phone number for GVA is770-536-5275 x5172. 

DOWNLOAD GAINESVILLE VIRTUAL ACADEMY (GVA) DOCUMENTS BELOW

PARTICIPATION IN EXTRACURRICULAR AND OTHER ACTIVITIES

Because the purpose of GVA for the 2020-2021 school year is to support students during the pandemic, participants will be expected to take a full course load virtually for a minimum of one semester. Partial virtual schedules will not be permitted, except for some high school students who meet criteria described below. However, all students still have full access to the base school facilities, activities and extracurriculars (e.g. athletics, arts, drama, band, clubs, etc), provided that these occur before or after regular school hours.

In addition, students must meet all requirements set forth by each respective program, including any applicable GHSA guidelines for participation. Pre-K-8 students who wish to participate in program-related courses that would require face-to-face instruction during the school day (for example, Art, Band, Robotics, etc.) will not be eligible to participate in the Gainesville Virtual Academy. Due to GHSA implications and/or graduation requirements, high school students who wish to participate in selected courses that would require face-to-face instruction during the school day (for example, Band, Theater, Work-Based Learning) may also participate in the Gainesville Virtual Academy with the permission of Gainesville High School instructors. A complete list can be found on this page.

enrollment guidance icon

Enrollment Guidance

Gainesville Virtual Academy is a program of choice and offers a full-time program for students in grades Pre-K-12. Full-time GVA students remain enrolled as students in the established schools in the district, take part in district testing, and have the opportunity to earn a Gainesville High School diploma. In order to maximize success, it is recommended but not required that GVA students:*

  1. Have been successfully promoted to the next grade level at the end of the previous school year. 
  2. Attained proficiency on prior year standardized tests and local assessments.

Prospective students are encouraged to work with teachers, counselors, and school administrators in order to determine if an online environment would best meet student needs. Once the determination is made that a student will participate in GVA, advisement sessions will be completed in order to determine appropriate course placement.

what to expect at GVA Icon

    What to Expect in Gainesville Virtual Academy

    • Standards-based instruction and assessments
    • Live online instruction provided by GCSS teachers during traditional school hours (Pre-K-5)
    • Instruction provided by Georgia Virtual School teachers (6-12)
    • Interaction with GCSS (Pre-K-5) or Georgia Virtual School (6-12) teachers using digital format
    • Required use of assigned GCSS assigned device
    • Required adherence to Georgia Virtual School expectations (6-12); please see Demo Course for more information

    family expectations iconFamily Expectations for Gainesville Virtual Academy

    • Assurance of consistent access to the internet
    • Commitment to learning online for a minimum of one complete semester
    • Responsible for repair or replacement of assigned GCSS property
    • Participation in training for online platforms and online expectations
    • Response to all emails and other modes of communication
    • Participation in all meetings regarding student success, including 504 and IEP meetings

    attendance iconStudent Attendance

    Students enrolled in online courses are expected to adhere to the attendance requirements set forth in Board Policy JBD. Since instruction will take place in an online environment, attendance will be collected in flexible ways, including but not limited to submission of work, direct interaction with the teacher at live meetings, and communication between teacher and student. Students who do not meet attendance requirements may be reported as truant, in keeping with GCSS guidelines for attendance.

    IS GAINESVILLE VIRTUAL ACADEMY FOR ME (OR MY STUDENT)?

    Two key advantages of online learning are flexibility and convenience, but online learning is a lot more challenging than it may seem.

    First, make sure you're ready to succeed. Virtual learning can sound so wonderful that some students start with an unrealistic vision. In reality, online courses require just as much, if not more, time and energy as traditional classroom courses. Online courses require specific computer skills and learning strategies in order to succeed.

    To see if you're ready, see how many items of the following skills you have:

    1. Persistence

    Persistence is perhaps the biggest key to success in online learning. Students who succeed are those who are willing to tolerate technical problems, seek help, when needed, work daily on every class, and persist through challenges.

    When you run into a challenge, keep going and ask for help.

    Set up a manageable study schedule for yourself and stick to it. Students who succeed are those who log in and submit work every day. This is especially important after the novelty of going to school online starts to wear off!

    2. Effective Time-Management Skills

    You must be able to manage your time well. While flexibility is one of the great benefits of online learning, it can also be a drawback for a student who procrastinates, is unable to stick to a routine study schedule, or is not able to complete assignments without daily reminders from a teacher.

    Effective time-management skills don't just happen. They have to be learned. Once you do, they will benefit you throughout your life. One suggestion is to review the tasks for each of your courses and develop a daily or weekly plan for completing your assignments by the due dates listed on the schedule.

    3. Effective and Appropriate Communication Skills

    Communication skills are vital in online learning because students must seek help when they need it. Teachers are willing to help students, but they are unable to pick up on non-verbal cues, such as a look of confusion on a student's face.

    Contact your GVA teacher when you have questions. GVA provides several ways for students and/or parents to communicate with teachers and staff including email and text messaging. 

    Use appropriate style and language for school. When communicating with teachers and other staff, you should write in full, grammatically correct sentences and with a respectful tone. Many students are used to a very informal style of writing in chat rooms, blogs, text messages, and so forth.

    4. Basic Technical Skills

    Virtual learners need basic technical skills to succeed. These include the ability to create new documents, use a word processing program, navigate the internet, and download software.

    5. Reading and Writing Skills (grades 3-12)

    Reading and writing are the main ways you'll communicate in an online class. You should be comfortable reading a lot of information on a computer screen and be able to type.

    6. Motivation and Independence

    To be successful, an online student has to want to succeed. Online learning requires independence, internal motivation, responsibility, and a certain level of maturity.

    7. A Good Study Environment

    Another critical component of academic success is a good study environment. A good study environment is quiet, comfortable, and free of distractions including games and cell phones.


    Approved Face-to-Face Courses for GHS

    Because the purpose of GVA for the 2020-2021 school year is to support students during the pandemic, participants will be expected to take a full course load virtually for a minimum of one semester. Partial virtual schedules will not be permitted, except for some high school students who meet criteria described below. However, all students still have full access to the base school facilities, activities and extracurriculars (e.g. athletics, arts, drama, band, clubs, etc), provided that these occur before or after regular school hours.

    In addition, students must meet all requirements set forth by each respective program, including any applicable GHSA guidelines for participation. Pre-K-8 students who wish to participate in program-related courses that would require face-to-face instruction during the school day (for example, Art, Band, Robotics, etc.) will not be eligible to participate in the Gainesville Virtual Academy. Due to GHSA implications and/or graduation requirements, high school students who wish to participate in selected on-campus programs may also participate in the Gainesville Virtual Academy with the permission of Gainesville High School instructors and GVA administration. These courses are:

    
    

    GAINESVILLE VIRTUAL ACADEMY FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

    *Notice of Non-discrimination
    As required by Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Title II of the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the Gainesville City School District does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, sex, age, or disability in admission to its programs, services, or activities, in access to them, in treatment of individuals, or in any aspect of their operations.
    Website by SchoolMessenger Presence. © 2020 Intrado Corporation. All rights reserved.