Granite Falls Virtual Academy F.A.Q.s



Why was Granite Falls Virtual Academy created?

Granite Falls Virtual Academy was created to meet the diverse needs of students and families during the Covid-19 pandemic. Depending on the success, the district may continue to offer and expand these opportunities for personalized learning in the future.

Will Granite Falls Virtual Academy be different from what was offered from March to May?

Yes. Participation is not voluntary. Students will be enrolled in courses that would align with a typical day on campus. Students will be required to complete all course assignments and exams by specific due dates. Student work will be submitted online and there will not be weekly paper packets sent home. Teachers will be available to provide support and reteaching, but much of the learning is self-directed and self-paced. Parents are expected to help monitor and support the learning needs of their student(s) at home.

How will I know if my student will be successful in this environment?

Parents play a huge role in whether or not your child is successful. Parents will need to monitor that assignments are completed daily. Depending upon the age and maturity of the student, parents may have to help monitor progress and hold students accountable for their assignments. This type of schooling is not appropriate for all students or all families. As a general rule, students need to be able to work independently to complete assignments and be able to submit them online. Students also need to feel comfortable asking questions or seeking assistance from their teacher. The decision to enroll in distance learning is significant, so we encourage families to read all of the information available on our website. Families are encouraged to communicate with your child’s principal to discuss the likelihood of success. We want to make sure that everyone understands the required level of commitment to participate in the Virtual Academy.

What are the grade levels available through the Virtual Academy?

Granite Falls School District is offering Virtual Academy in grades K–12 for the 2020–2021 school year. Kindergartners must be five by September 1 to be eligible for the program.

What will my student learn at Granite Falls Virtual Academy?

The district curriculum will be the same for on-campus learning and the Granite Falls Virtual Academy. The pace will be kept similar to allow for students to transition back to campus whenever families are more comfortable. We have partnered with Accelerate Education to offer English Language Arts, Math, Science, and Social Studies courses through an online platform. Special classes and elective options will also be available. All course offerings are facilitated by Granite Falls certified teachers and will meet the graduation requirements outlined by the Washington Department of Elementary and Secondary Education. The flexibility of the Virtual Academy schedule does allow for families to create additional learning experiences to enhance their child’s education.

How long will it take my student to complete daily assignments?

The amount of time required depends on the student. Generally speaking, we are estimating 5.5 to 6 hours. Some students will finish more quickly than others. We will provide a suggested daily schedule to allow adequate time for learning.

How often will Granite Falls Virtual Academy teachers be available?

The role of the teacher changes in a remote learning environment. Instead of being front and center in the classroom, they are more in the background. Teachers will post weekly announcements and will send a reminder of due dates. They will provide some instruction and will have designated office hours to provide additional educational support. They will be available by email during each school day. Teachers may also provide reteaching sessions as determined to be necessary for the success of the student(s). Teachers will direct coursework, create personalized learning plans, assess student learning and provide feedback. Families will be provided with a weekly progress report and teachers will schedule routine check-ins with families.

Will my child need special equipment or supplies to participate in Granite Falls Virtual Academy?

Students will need a computer to participate in the online coursework. Students will also need a reliable connection to the Internet. Chromebooks and hotspots can be checked out from the Granite Falls School District if needed. Student work will be submitted online, and there should not be a need for a family printer. There are some extra supplies that students will need to participate in lessons, activities, or labs. This list will be provided to families that enroll in the Virtual Academy. These supplies are generally items that people have around their homes. Parents are not expected to find or purchase these supplies all at once. They will know the list in advance of the lesson. Reading is fundamental at all grade levels. Parents are encouraged to visit the Granite Falls Library (www.sno-isle.org) to check out books for your child to read.

Can my child work at his or her own pace?

Students will be given a suggested schedule but there is flexibility on when a student will distribute their academic time throughout the day/evening. Students have the flexibility to determine when they work on assignments and may take as long as is needed. However, the curriculum is not completely self-paced. Since Granite Falls School District operates as a public school, our teachers are required to oversee their students' academic progress and pacing in line with state expectations. Granite Falls School District teachers are responsible for setting assignment due dates, grading student work, and providing ongoing feedback and support to help students be successful. Our teachers work diligently to differentiate their courses to meet every child's unique needs and make sure that they grow and progress in their learning. Students and families have daily and weekly flexibility to create schedules that enable them to complete the required assignments in line with teacher expectations. Families will want to create a structured schedule that works best for their needs. Teachers will keep students working at a pace that is similar to the District’s Blended Model in case students transfer between learning models.

Do you provide a curriculum for special needs children?

Teachers will make classroom accommodations that are outlined in the child’s IEP/504 plan. Related services will be determined by the IEP team. Please contact the school office to be put in touch with our special education team so that you can discuss your child’s needs and if the Virtual Academy will be a good fit for your child.

Can you accommodate the accelerated learning needs of my gifted/talented child?

Once our teachers have had the opportunity to assess a student's skills, the teacher can offer enrichment activities to best meet the child's needs. In High School, students can take more advanced courses, including honors and Advanced Placement (AP), if they meet the prerequisite requirements.

Can students participate in extracurricular activities?

Participation in athletics will be allowed. Some extracurricular activities will be permitted, while others will not. Generally speaking, students may not attend anything that would occur on campus during the day. Parents and students should check with the building administrator for details on specific activities.

Will my child be able to participate in school pictures and be included in the yearbook?

Yes. If you want to make arrangements for school pictures, please contact your school office for an appointment time.

Will breakfast and lunch be provided to students enrolled in the Granite Falls Virtual Academy?

We are still waiting for approval from the federal government regarding our ability to serve meals. If provided, we may permit students to pick up a takeout meal at a couple of off-site locations. We will post more information about this once it is available.

Where can I find more information about Granite Falls Virtual Academy?

The district recently hosted a series of informational meetings for parents regarding Granite Falls Virtual Academy. Those videos can be viewed in their entirety on our district website.

How will enrollment be handled?

The enrollment window for Granite Falls Virtual Academy is August 11 - August 24th. Parents will visit the district website, www.gfalls.wednet.edu to enroll in the Virtual Academy. We will be communicating with families about course schedules (Grades 6-12) and teacher assignments prior to the start of the school year.

Can my child return to traditional school during the year?

Yes. Students will be offered the opportunity to return to campus at the end of each quarter. We recognize that a change in the middle of a quarter may be necessary to accommodate a medical condition. Those situations will be handled on a case by case basis. Some high school courses that are offered only online might need to be completed through the semester for credits to transfer.

What supports will parents have to help their children?

Accelerate Education has a site that is full of resources for Learning Coaches (the person at home who is coaching the student through their learning). This is a helpful tool for families.  Parents and students can schedule times to meet with their teacher during office hours and ask questions via email.

Will grading be different for those attending the Virtual Academy?

All students will be graded and held accountable to submit teacher assignments, and complete assessments. Students K-12 will be graded just like every other student in the school district. High school students in the Virtual Academy will receive high school credit the same as a student that attends the high school.