Questions and Answers■ What is the Gaston County Virtual Academy?
Provided to the community by Gaston County Schools, the Academy is a virtual school that offers online learning for students. The school features a blended model of instruction -- students take courses online and attend some regularly-scheduled face-to-face activities. These activities include informational meetings/orientation, tutoring and mentoring sessions, field trips, enrichment activities, community service projects, and other opportunities. Above all else, the Academy is designed to provide school flexibility and personalized learning for students.
■ Who is eligible to attend?
Any student who will be in the fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, or ninth grade for the 2018-2019 academic year may apply to attend. All students who apply will be screened in order to determine acceptance. Students should demonstrate the need for a flexible schedule and the ability to be successful in a virtual learning environment.
■ What are the benefits of the Gaston County Virtual Academy?
A virtual school offers several benefits. The most significant one is the flexibility online learning provides for students whereas a traditional school has a more formal structure and schedule. For students who may be pursuing other interests in areas such as athletics, equestrian and similar competitions, or the fine arts, the flexible schedule alleviates conflicts between school and other commitments. Virtual learning also offers a personalized learning program that is tailored to a student’s needs.
■ What classes will be offered?
The classes are aligned with the North Carolina Standard Course of Study: Gaston County Virtual Academy offers the core content areas: English/Language Arts, Mathematics, Science, and Social Studies. Some world language and elective classes are available too.
■ Is all instruction offered online?
Yes. Instruction for the core content classes and several electives is online. Students do not have to go to a school or other location to complete their classes. However, a student who would like to participate in band, chorus, or Career and Technical Education (CTE) may do so at the school to which the student would attend based on residence.
■ How many courses can my child take?
Depending on the type of enrollment desired and grade level, students may take anywhere from two (2) to eight (8) courses.
■ How much does it cost?
There is no cost to attend the Academy.
■ Who are the teachers?
The majority of Gaston County Virtual Academy teachers are Gaston County Schools’ teachers. In the few circumstances where Gaston County Schools cannot provide their own teacher, North Carolina fully certified teachers will be provided.
■ How are the virtual classes structured?
Classes are offered online through our virtual learning platform, which allows for engaging and interactive instruction. While students have the flexibility to work at their own pace, the classes follow a calendar with start and end dates.
■ What technology will a student need at home?
Students need access to a computer and a reliable Internet connection. For students who do not have a computer and/or Internet access, we will try to work with you to make other options available. While not required, students may find it helpful to have a computer microphone and/or headphones.
■ Can homeschool students apply?
Yes. The Academy is ideal for students in a homeschool setting because they receive additional academic support while maintaining a flexible schedule and personalized learning. Homeschool students can choose between a full time enrollment or a dual enrollment.
*Ask for more information. Certain conditions may apply
■ What academic support is in place for students?
The student’s teacher is the first point of contact to provide instruction, guidance, and help. Further, students will have access to tutors who can meet face-to-face or virtually to provide additional academic support.
■ Is there a lottery to select the students? Do students need to apply?
There is no lottery, but space is limited. Students who wish to attend must apply and will be screened to determine if the Academy is right for them.
■ If I have questions about the Gaston County Virtual Academy or how to enroll my child, whom do I contact?
Please call Virtual Learning Coordinator Kathleen D'Avria at (704) 836-9125 or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.