Virtual Public Education

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Did you know that there is an education initiative from the Georgia Department of Education called The Georgia Virtual School? I heard about the program a few years ago. However, at that time, I only knew one student who was enrolled in a class, and the initial course offerings were not that extensive. However, the Georgia Virtual School now provides opportunities for Georgia students to enroll in Advanced Placement, College Preparatory, Career and Technical, and other online courses.

Courses are available in: Fine Arts, Advanced Placement, Business, World Languages, Math, Social Studies, Science, Health and PE and Test Prep. Virtual classes should not be viewed as a way for students to not attend class or to get around graduation requirements. Students must still take and pass the Georgia High School Graduation Test in order to graduate, even if they receive credit from taking virtual courses. Students should also have at least an average academic performance history before considering virtual school. If your child is interested in taking a virtual class, the following questions should be answered affirmatively before applying:

o Am I motivated to do my school and home work without being told?

o Do I stay on task when completing assignments?

o Can I schedule my time affectively? Do I have time to do this?

o Do I turn in assignments on time?

o Do I ask for assistance when needed?

o Do I have a computer at home, and access to the internet?

o Do I know how to use the computer for word processing and e-mail?

If offered by the school, students can take classes during the regular school day, at no cost. Students can also enroll in additional classes during fall, spring, and summer semesters. Although public school students are given registration priority, in accordance with state law, state funded seats are limited, and enrollment is done on a first come, first served basis. Not all schools participate in the GA Virtual School program. However, you should check with the school counselor for more information on this program and enrollment.

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