FAQs – Students

Virtual@APS is different from our K-12 Virtual Learning Program. Please visit the VLP site for more information on that program.

Why should I take a virtual/online class?
There are many reasons why a student might want to take a virtual/online class.  Here are a few:

  • to take a course that isn’t offered in a face-to-face setting
  • to solve scheduling conflicts
  • to take a course outside of the regular school day schedule
  • to help in situations that keep a student from attending school
  • to meet the graduation requirement of taking at least one online course
  • to develop skills in preparation for college and the work place; skills such as time management, technology, online collaboration, self-motivation, and more
  • to move ahead

Who is eligible to take virtual/online classes?
Any Arlington Public School student who is enrolled in grades 7 through 12.  Students in 7th and 8th grade are primarily scheduled during the school day.

How do I register for a virtual/online class?
Talk with your counselor. Your counselor will communicate with the Office of Academics and Office of Secondary Education for approval. If the course is already in the Program of Studies as a virtual/online course, you can request it during class selection in early Spring.

Do I have to pay for a virtual/online class?
Student enrolled in Arlington Public Schools are not charged for courses designated as virtual/online in Arlington Public Schools Program of Studies.  Further Arlington Public Schools will be responsible for payment when a course required for graduation an listed in the Program of Studies is:

  1. Not available due to low enrollment.
  2. The student is unable to enroll in traditional setting due to a verifiable scheduling difficulties.
  3. When a Student Study Team has determined and documented that a student will be best served by enrolling in virtual/online coursework.

Payment is required for those students who have passed the course but wish to retake that course virtually/online for higher grade.

How do I request a virtual/online class for the summer?
Speak with your school counselor.  Advanced permission is required.

What is a “24/7” class?
Virtual/online classes designated “24/7” are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A student enrolled in a 24/7 virtual/online class will not attend a class during regular school hours with a face-to-face teacher.  Instead, the student will dedicate 4-6 hours per week (4-6 hours per day for summer school) to complete assignments for a virtual/online class at times that work within their schedule. Students will enroll and complete work outside their daily class schedule…anytime, anywhere.

Is there an orientation for students enrolled in a virtual/online course?
All Virtual@APS students participate in a virtual/online orientation that is built into each course.  Students taking courses from outside providers must complete the orientation provided by the course provider.

How do I access my virtual/online class?
If your course is taught by an APS teacher, your course will likely be on Canvas.  You use your student login and password.  If your course is offered by a provider outside of APS, you will receive instructions from the provider to include: login page, user name, and password.

Where do I take exams for the virtual/online class?
For students whose virtual/online classes are scheduled during the school day, exams are proctored by your course facilitator.  For students scheduled as 24/7 students — you will be assigned a mentor or facilitator.  Your exams may be proctored at your local high school but you will need to coordinate the date and time with your assigned mentor or facilitator.

How much time is needed to successfully complete virtual/online classes?
4-6 hours each week during the regular school year (4-6 hours per day for summer school) will be required to successfully complete the class.  The virtual/online class is accessible 24/7.

What do I need to do to be successful in the virtual/online class?
To be successful in the virtual/online class you must complete all assignments by their due dates, seek help if you don’t understand, and communicate with your teacher regularly. Watch this video of APS students giving advice on how to be successful in a virtual/ online course.

How does a student enrolled in a virtual/online course contact the course teacher?
A virtual/online student will contact the teacher via phone, email and/or scheduled webinars.

How does a student enrolled in a virtual/online course get extra help?
Contact the course teacher via email, phone, virtual/online office hours, or attend scheduled tutoring time virtually/online.

Who is my teacher?
Teachers of virtual/online courses are certified teachers in the subject being taught. AP trained teachers teach AP classes, and all teachers have been trained to teach virtually/online.

How many students will be in my class?
Enrollments will vary. Unlike face-to-face classes the class is not restricted to the size of a classroom. However, virtual/online classes are scheduled based on the average class load for a teacher.  If the teacher is full-time the virtual/online enrollments may be 60-120 students (the same as a brick-n-mortar based teacher, depending on the curriculum area), each section of a virtual/online course is the same as face-to-face classes.

Do I have to work virtually/online everyday?
A student enrolled in a virtual/online course must meet assignment deadlines and the schedule of the course.  The schedule may vary based on curriculum and student. Student attendance is recorded and is based on completion of assignments and login activity, so students should log in a minimum of 5 days a week.

Will my teacher be online at the same time I am online?
It is possible that students and teachers of a virtual/online course may be online at the same time, but that would not be the norm.  Teachers will designate office hours and may require virtual/online sessions using webinar/chat software.  The timing of these sessions will be advertised in advance.

If I’m taking a course from a provider outside of Arlington, how is my grade reported to APS?
Typically courses from providers outside of APS only report a final course grade.

Will I get a grade and course credit?
The same grading and credit policies apply to virtual/online classes as to traditional classes.  For courses provided by non-APS vendors, pre-approval for credit must be obtained.  For more information, see School Board Policy I-7.2.8 Instructional Delivery Options.

Does this class count in my GPA?

Will virtual/online classes meet the requirements for the standard and advanced diploma?
Yes,  all approved virtual/online courses meet standard and advanced diploma requirements.


For more information about virtual/online courses speak with your school counselor.