River Forest Virtual Academy Frequently Asked Questions1. What is the River Forest Virtual Academy, and is it accredited?
River Forest Community Schools is proud to announce the opening of River Forest Virtual Academy for our district and the surrounding communities beginning in January 2014. This program is fully accredited through the state of Indiana and utilizes the A+Anywhere on-line curriculum. The Virtual Academy will allow students to work from home (grades 7-12) through a dynamic user-friendly platform.River Forest Virtual Academy students will:
- Have the unique opportunity of participating in extra-curricular programs at the Junior Senior High School (Sports, Auxiliary, Cheerleading, Honor Society, Academic Decathlon Teams, Intramurals, etc.)
- Work from home, while being enrolled in a home school (River Forest), and receive a River Forest High School diploma. Earn an actual GPA and walk with your class in our beautiful graduation ceremony.
- Earn an Indiana General, Core 40, or Honors Diploma.
- Have the opportunity to take classes at the High School if desired; AP and Dual Credit Classes are also available (parent transportation to and from school is required).
- Allow students to take all state assessments (ISTEP, ECA, PSAT) locally. No need to drive to Indianapolis!
- Be able to communicate with River Forest teachers as needed for coursework and also connect with counselors or administrators for additional support.
- Allow students to retake failed courses to ensure graduation on time.
- Have the ability to work towards early graduation.
River Forest Virtual Academy will begin enrolling students for the Spring Semester of this academic year 2013-2014. Families who live outside of our district will pay a student services fee of $250/year or $125/semester per child. Capacity for this unique opportunity is limited.2. What is a River Forest Virtual Academy course like?
The River Forest Virtual Academy utilizes the A+ Anywhere software as its educational outlet. A+ is a fully accredited, on-line based curriculum that is used in both the River Forest/Lake Station alternative program and the River Forest credit recovery program. Each course is divided into semester long classes and is very similar to what a student in the traditional classroom would be learning. The A+ curriculum follows state standards and can even be aligned to follow common core standards. Each course consists of lessons, which are like chapters, leading up to a final exam. Along the way, students will access a study guide that offers academic content for each individual lesson. After reading the study guide and taking notes, students must pass both a practice test and then a mastery test,assessing their knowledge on that particular lesson. Upon completion of both the practice and mastery test, students then can move on to the next lesson.All lessons require an 80% mastery rate.3. What are the technology requirements?
In order to participate in the River Forest Virtual Academy, students must have daily access to the internet. Having access to high speed internet or DSL is also highly recommended. Students should also have access to a daily email account, in which they can communicate with both administrators and facilitators. The River Forest Virtual Academy does not require you to download software, so accessing the program from multiple locations is possible. After being assigned a username and password, students can log on almost anywhere they have an internet connection or wifi. Also the A+ program is accessible on multiple devices such as desktop computers, laptops, ipads and tablets.4. How do I register my son or daughter in the River Forest Virtual Academy?You can register your son or daughter at River Forest Jr./Sr. High School during the open enrollment window dates. Each potential student/parent must fill out an enrollment form and provide River Forest Jr./Sr. High School with both an educational background history as well as medical information. Students/parents should also bring a copy of their son or daughter’s official transcript.5. What are the costs associated with the River Forest Virtual Academy?
For students living outside of the River Forest Community Schools district, there is a $125 per semester/$250 per year tuition cost. This cost is per child.6. Do I need to purchase textbooks or classroom materials?All academic content and study guides will be provided electronically through A+. Students are not required to purchase textbooks or any other classroom materials, but if they feel it would benefit them, may do so. If a student would like access to a River Forest issued textbook, they may check them out for the duration of the specific course they need it for. Checking out of textbooks will be approved through Mr. Snider and all loaning of textbooks must have his approval first.7. Do students get actual live teachers?
Students have access to two River Forest staff members any time during the school day. Mr. Cullsion is a licensed teacher at River Forest and will address any questions that pertain to math and science8. How do I know what classes to take or do you offer honors courses?Your son or daughter will be assigned classes based on what they have already completed at their home school. Each completed class will be lined up with the River Forest Jr./Sr. High School graduation requirements. Students will be assigned 7 classes to begin with upon the completion of the registration process. Yes, the River Forest Virtual Academy is proud to offer honors courses. All honors courses are only offered at River Forest Jr./Sr. High School and enrollment in them must be approved by Mr. Snider. Scheduling of honors classes will be completed by Jason Quigg, River Forest Jr./Sr. High School counselor.9. How long do I have to complete a course? Am I able to accelerate and complete classes at a faster pace?The River Forest Virtual Academy is a self-paced program that allows students to complete assignments at their own rate. Some students find great success with the A+ program, and move rather quickly through lessons, while some take longer. The advantage to a self-paced program is it gives each student the ability to fully comprehend the material before moving on to the next lesson. Our program will run on the River Forest Jr./Sr. High School calendar, meaning progress will be evaluated in 9 week increments. Students will receive both 9 week progress reports (quarterly) and report cards at the end of each semester. Class completion is gauged on a semester long basis. If you find yourself moving at an accelerated rate, new classes will be assigned to each student as needed.10. Do you offer Diplomas?
Upon being eligible for high school graduation (completion of 42 credits/passing of both math & English ECA), students will receive a River Forest Jr./Sr. High School diploma. River Forest Virtual Academy students are eligible to receive a general, core 40 or even an honors diploma. Students will receive their diploma with the rest of the graduating class at our commencement ceremony in June.