Tips & Best Practices
Site Facilitator Tips & Best Practices
Know Your Students: Online learning is not for everyone and E-School courses are very rigorous and require a lot of self-motivation and discipline. Before registering, find out what kind of learners your students are. Typically, students who exhibit the following characteristics are more likely to succeed in an online environment:
(Adapted from the North Carolina Virtual Public School Handbook)
- Independent learner
- Committed and self-directed
- Effective communicator; willing to ask for help, make suggestions and problem solve
- Effective time manager
- Responsible, prompt, and accurate
- Basic word processing and Internet skills
Students with an IEP/504: If students have an IEP or 504, know what kind of learning accommodations your students need and be aware of the E-School IEP/504 Support Policy. In an online setting, E-School is only able to provided limited accommodations for students.
Course load and scheduling: Know what kind of courses students need. E-School offers Advanced Placement courses, accelerated year courses, along with many other core and elective courses online. Be aware of the course load for your students! Online courses require just as much work (if not more) than regular classes. Do not overburden students with too many additional online courses if they already have a full class schedule unless you are certain that a student can handle the extra work!
Technical requirements: Also, be aware of the resources your students have access to. Students need a computer with high speed Internet access to log into their course daily. They will also need a headset and microphone to participate in virtual class sessions. If your students do not have these resources at home, then the school needs to make these provisions. If not, enrolling in an E-School course may not be a viable option.
Help Your Students: Some students, especially those new to E-School, may need a little extra assistance and support throughout the course. You may need to give them reminders and encouragement to get their online work done.
For new students, it would be helpful if School Site Facilitators could:
- Stress the importance of completing the E-School Student Orientation prior to the start of the semester.
- Send reminders to students who have not completed the Student Orientation.
- Remind students that they will be automatically dropped if they do not complete the orientation prior to the beginning of the course.
- If necessary, have face to face meetings with students who have not completed their required E-School Student Orientation. Find out why they have not completed the training and what support they may need to complete the training.
It would also be helpful if site facilitators could provide counselors with a list of their students who have registered for E-School and the courses they are registered to take. It may be necessary to provide additional support on campus for your students.
For all students, it would be helpful if School Site Facilitators could:
- Provide information to the student’s assigned counselor when mid-quarter progress reports are available.
- Follow up with counselor regarding students who are failing or having difficulty completing on-line classes and provide necessary support.
- Provide computer/Internet access options.
- Provide designated time to work on E-School course on campus if needed.
- Arrange tutoring support in the content area by a teacher or peer in the same online course.
Understand the Rigor of Advanced Placement Courses: As a School Site Facilitator, you will be helping students determine what courses to take. Advanced Placement online E-School courses are especially rigorous. Please pay special attention to the bullet points listed below describing the expectations of students enrolled in an AP course. You will need to communicate this with your students and their counselors before they determine enrollment in an AP course.
All E-School Advanced Placement (AP) Courses are approved by the College Board and are designed for highly motivated college-bound students who have demonstrated academic achievement, higher order thinking skills, and the ability to work independently.
- Students will need to devote at least 8-10 hours a week per course.
- Due to the enormous amount of information to be covered and its level of complexity, AP courses move at a fast pace and are academically rigorous. Students can easily become overwhelmed if they fall behind in their work. Therefore, students must keep up with ALL assignments.
- Students must actively participate in class by logging into their online AP course on a daily basis (yes, even weekends) and actively participate in weekly online class discussions. AP coursework requires students to work continually and to challenge themselves to work hard and maintain high standards.
- AP courses rely heavily on college-level texts and outside readings. Students will read and write extensively. There are substantial reading assignments each week.
- These courses may utilize college-level computer simulations which will require frequent software updates to plug-ins such as Java and Flashplayer.
- It will be the students' responsibility to learn any topics not covered in class due to time constraints or other extenuating circumstances.
- All students are highly encouraged to take the AP Exam in May.
Stay Organized: Part of your responsibility will be to manage the distribution and collection of forms and resources. It is recommended that you monitor Student Agreement Form submissions via the HVLN Registration system. Remind students and parents to complete the forms online.
Be Prompt: Please be prompt when communicating with E-School staff, students, parents and other school faculty so that issues can be quickly resolved.
Drops: Please process drops directly in the HVLN Registration system during the drop period. Your immediate action will allow other students on the wait list opportunity to enroll in courses.
Communicate Effectively: As a site facilitator, you will have to communicate with many people in order for E-School courses to be successfully utilized at your school. Please be sure to:
- Read emails and updates from the E-School staff carefully to stay current on policies and procedures.
- Disseminate information regarding the availability of E-School courses to the school, students, and parents.
- Respond to questions and inquiries in a timely manner.