If you have a question that is not answered below you can contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we will get back to you.
Will the credit earned be recognized the same as traditional course?
Assuming successful completion of an online course, would the credit earned be recognized as similar with the credit obtained after a regular high school class and count toward the required graduation credits? Would it be reported as online credit at the end of high school transcript? Could it be viewed as somehow “inferior” credit when compared with the “traditional” ones?
All online courses that are taken through our approved list of courses will generate a grade, which could generate credit if the student passes the course. The course will show up on the transcript and will contain a designation as part of the title indicating that the course was completed online. For example, the government online course would be entered on the transcript as Government OL.
There are varying points of view about the idea that an online course is "inferior " as compared to a traditional course. There is not a clear answer when it comes to this question, as there is quite a variety in how classes are delivered in both online and traditional courses. One of the goals of A2 Virtual+ is to ensure students have access to online courses that meet our academic standards. Ann Arbor Public School encourages all students to discuss educational options with their counselor to ensure alignment with career goals, graduation requirements, learning styles, and athletic eligibility.
The state of Michigan, for student pupil accounting purposes, views online and traditional building courses as being equal.
updated May 2017
Are online courses flexible and can be customized to fit a student's other commitments?
All online courses have a defined start and end date, students must adhere to the pacing guide that charts course assignments and due dates. This pacing guide will help students determine their own pace each week. Generally there are not specific due dates for online courses so there would not be a penalty for submitting work after the suggested due dates. However, if a student falls behind and does not work consistently within the course, they will not be eligible for an extension should one be needed. The Advanced Placement courses do have specific due dates and will impose a penalty grade if the student does not submit on time. Students are required to take a mid-term and final during the proctoring sessions. We suggest that you consult our calendar for specific places and times.
The flexibility that online courses afford are in the weekly time allotment to work. We do not expect students to run quickly through course material as this is not optimal for student learning and retention. We have specified the pacing chart to allow for adequate time to learn material.
updated August 2016
Is there a limit on how many online courses one student can register for?
Yes. PA 60 Section 21f allows students in grade 6-12 to take up to 2 online courses in place of traditional courses in the students’ schedule. Under AAPS’ Seat Time Waiver, students in grades 6-12 can take up to a full schedule of online courses. If a student is considering this option, they need to meet with their counselor to discuss the impact of a fully online curriculum.
Does the course have to completed in a specific timeframe?
Yes. All online courses have to be completed by the end of the posted term unless the students qualifies and applies for an extension. (See the extension policy.) All online courses have a defined start and end date but students are able to work at their own pace on a weekly basis. Most courses have a suggested pacing guide that students can reference to help them determine what work needs to be completed each week. Generally there would not be a penalty for submitting work after the suggested due dates. However, falling behind has many ramifications the biggest being not having adequate time to learn the material. The course instructor will work with the parents and students to ensure that the pacing guide is met. The only courses currently that have specific due dates are the AP courses. A penalty is normally imposed if a student turns in assignments or takes quizzes or tests later than the posted date. All Trimester courses have a defined time period of 12 weeks for completion and Semester courses have a defined time period of 18 weeks. Students are required to take the final exam during the last week of the term unless they have been granted an extension.
updated August 2016
Can middle school students take high school classes?
Yes. Middle school students can take high school courses but only if they have completed the prerequisites for the course. Middle school students that take a high school course, get credit for the course, and it fulfills the high school requirement. Students receive a grade on their high school transcript for the course but that grade is not calculated in their high school grade point average. Even though the courses appear on the transcript, the cumulative GPA begins in the fall of freshman year. Please note that some colleges and universities recalculate the GPA on all courses that appear on the transcript.
Can students take two sequential courses at the same time?
No, a student must have completed the prerequisite. For example, the prerequisite for 8th grade English is completion of 7th grade English. Prerequisites will be published as part of course offerings in the AAPS course catalog. All high school prerequisites are published in the high school course selection guide.
Can an AAPS student use the online courses to take additional languages?
Yes. An online course can take the place of any course in a students' schedule. The student would need to drop a traditional course in order to accommodate the online course in their schedule.
Is it correct that each AAPS student can take 2 online courses per year?
No, AAPS students in grades 6-12 can take 2 online courses per term, not year. The new state law allows students in grades 6-12 the right to take up to 2 online courses per academic term as part of their schedule. The only online courses that can be taken by a student must be listed in the state catalog (micourses.org). The state provided a list of conditions that would prohibit a student from taking an online course.
...there are five approved specific reasons for denial, including:
1) the student has previously gained the credits provided from the completion of the online course;
2) the online course is not capable of generating academic credit;
3) the online course is inconsistent with the remaining graduation requirements or career interests of the student;
4) the student does not possess the prerequisite knowledge and skills to be successful in the online course or has demonstrated failure in previous online coursework in the same subject; and
5) the online course is of insufficient quality or rigor. If a district denies a student enrollment because the online course is of insufficient quality or rigor, the district shall make a reasonable effort to assist the student to find an alternative online course in the same or similar subject that is of acceptable rigor and quality.
(Question 4 of the FAQ for Section 21f of the State School Aid Act).
Are students required to pay a fee for an online course during the school year?
No. The student is required to drop a traditional course in order to take an online course. Any associated fees for the online course will be paid by Ann Arbor Public Schools. Students are not permitted to pay Ann Arbor Public Schools to take an online course during the school year.
Students will be required to pay a fee to take online courses during the summer.
How does taking online courses affect eligibility in sports?
Online courses are considered a flexible option because the content can be accessed any time, any place, and at any pace. However, high school student athletes need to have assignments submitted in alignment with the pace of the course for the PowerSchool grade to show adequate progress. Athletic Directors review grades for MHSAA eligibility. The online grade in PowerSchool reflects coursework as a percentage of total points earned compared to what could be earned during each four-week interim for the student. This means that if a student only did two of ten assignments, then the grade will reflect "0" for eight assignments. Therefore, the student would show up as failing even if the two assignments that were turned in and graded were given an "A" or 100%. Therefore, student athletes must keep pace with the online course. We also recommend that students check with the school Athletic Director to understand all the MHSAA rules. Students who are intending to play on a university team should always choose a core course that has been NCAA Approved. If you are not sure if a course is NCAA approved, please contact the A2 Virtual+ office.
updated January 2016
When I take an online course will it be in PowerSchool?
All online courses are listed in PowerSchool for the student. It is a non-traditional class and shows up as "AS" - which indicates it is outside the school day. AAPS online courses will have entries in PowerSchool for each assignment and exam. For courses based in APEX, Edgenuity, and MVU, the most accurate way to see the grades for an online class is in the online grade book. At a minimum, a grade is transferred to PowerSchool once a month, although grades are typically updated weekly. That grade will reflect the progress that the student has made according to the Pacing Chart. Students who are taking a course that is outside of the term calendar for their school may not see the grade accurately in their personal account. This is due to a deficiency in PowerSchool. Students or parents who need to see the grade can make request to the A2 Virtual+ office or with the student's counselor and a print out can be made.
What can I expect from my teacher in an online class?
The teachers of an online course will be highly qualified for the content that is being taught. The teacher will be in personal contact with the student at least once a week. Instructors visit each high school weekly and set-up appointments with individual students. Instructors are not on demand but will respond to emails and texts within 24 hours, Monday-Friday, excluding holidays. Students will have assignments graded and returned within a week. Students should expect to have personalized written feedback on assignments and tests for the purpose of instruction, guiding, and evaluating.
updated August 2016