1. Login to your classes each weekday and weekends if needed. The Virtual School provides flexibility as to when students can work in their classes. Classes are available 24/7 including holidays and vacations. Students need to work as many hours a week as students do who are enrolled in traditional educational programs. Students in traditional programs attend classes a minimum of an hour per class each day (6 classes=6 hours) 5 days a week. Then there is homework to complete. Virtual School students need to plan to work everyday in all their classes an equal amount of time as they would if they were in the classroom to be successful.
2. Check-in with your Gull Lake Mentor/Learning Coach by 3:00 pm each Thursday using your own email. Every Wednesday, your Gull Lake Mentor/Learning Coach will send students Wednesday Check-in Letters through email. Students are responsible to respond to this email by 1) hitting reply, 2) discuss an academic issue, 3) type their first and last names, and 4) send the responses back to the mentors. This communication fulfills the State of Michigan requirement for two-way communication between the Gull Lake School District and the Virtual School students. The State of Michigan also requires students to respond using their personal email accounts as a verification that the students are replying. All students will need their own email addresses and need to respond and communicate with their virtual school mentors weekly. Wednesday Check-ins are the easiest responsibility that virtual students have, so replying on Thursdays by 3:00 pm should not be a problem.
3. Complete all assignments in a timely manner, check K12/Fuel Ed policies.
Middle School students are enrolled in a mastery learning program in which they work on and complete throughout the entire school year. Eighty percent mastery is expected on all assignments and their progress through the program is measured by work completed until they reach 100%. Even though middle school students have the whole school year to finish the program, they will need to consistently work in their virtual classes to keep up the pace of their courses. Periodically, the Gull Lake Mentors will inform middle school students how far they should be in their classes, how much work should be completed, and how to figure out their grades.
High School students are enrolled in courses that are one or two semesters in length and meet high school completion requirements. There is less flexibility in the high school program and more due dates have to be met in a timely manner. The K12 program has implemented a "Late Policy" on assignments and exams. The late policy is included in every course packet, and the instructors are required to enforce it. Communication is so important between students, instructors, and mentors so everyone is aware of academic expectations to ensure student success.
4. Periodically, check your grades and progress. Students and at-home mentors (parents) have access to grades and student progress at any time. Kmails are regularly sent out by instructors to students and mentors to discuss progress and offer help. Gull Lake Mentors send out Progress Reports to students and parents to communicate and discuss student progress. The Progress Reports are only to reinforce the information that students and parents should already know. Parents, if you have a problem accessing student accounts, please contact the Gull Lake Mentors.
5. Maintain up-to-date kmail contact with your instructors. The K12 virtual program has its own communication vehicle for contacts with students and learning coaches called kmail. Kmail is accessed through the K12 website that students use for coursework. Students receive messages from instructors and can easily contact instructors with questions they have regarding their classes. Reminders, Class Connect sessions, office hour updates, and any important information instructors need to communicate to students are all sent through kmail. Most kmail communications are sent to students, parent/learning coaches, and Gull Lake Mentors. It is the students' responsibility to read and respond to kmails to be clear about expectations in classes. Parents should regularly read the kmails as well. K12 instructors are very good about responding to kmails that are sent to them.
6. Ask questions if you need help or are confused. Communication is so important due to the fact that students are enrolled in a virtual academic program. Communication is essential for success. If students are having computer problems, let the Gull Lake Mentors know immediately. If students are ill, let us know immediately so we can report absences to the online school. The Gull Lake Mentors expect students to be successful in the virtual program. If students do not communicate about problems, concerns, or other issues, they can get behind in their classes very quickly. All questions are welcome. We are here to help you!
7. Report immediately by email to your Gull Lake Mentor if you are ill. If a student is ill and unable to work in classes, the Gull Lake Mentors will contact the appropriate schools or programs to report the absences. Instructors are very good about being flexible with work if they receive the communication about absences. Students should contact instructors to work out adjustments with assignments, too. Gull Lake Mentors will help by communicating with instructors as well.
8. Report immediately by email to your Gull Lake Mentor if your computer is down. Sometimes there are computers issues with specific classes or with the whole system. Other times only a few students are experiencing problems. By contacting your Gull Lake Mentors, we will troubleshoot the problems with the services that can correct the glitches. Students are in a better position to have problems corrected if they report the issues as soon as they are noticed. Problems reported late on Friday probably will not be fixed until the following Monday.
9. Work closely with your At Home Learning Coach. In most cases one parent or guardian is assigned as an At Home Learning Coach for Virtual School students. Students who are successful in the virtual program have parents who are actively involved with their student's program. Parents should be aware of their student's progress in classes, what assignments have been completed, and if there are any struggles. Parents can communicate with Gull Lake Mentors at any time, and also send kmails to instructors. Communications sent to virtual students by Gull Lake Mentors will always be copied to parents.
10. Read, use, and respond to "Weekly Tips" from your Gull Lake Mentors. Occasionally, the Gull Lake Mentors will include learning strategies, study tips, or just words of encouragement in the Monday Check-in Letters. Please read all the information that is contained in the Monday Check-in Letters. If the Gull Lake Mentors ask questions, please take the time to read and reply to the questions. We want your feedback as well.
11. Login correctly for October and February State of Michigan "Count Days". The State of Michigan requires public school districts to submit the number of students who are enrolled in the district's schools. The official "Count Days" for the 2016-17 school year will be October 5th and February 8th. On the Count Days, students will need to login to their classes and contact their Gull Lake Mentors to verify that they have worked in their classes on Count Day. Then students will need to continue to work in their classes every day during the Count Day window. Students will receive several reminders about the importance of working in their classes during the Count Day window. This should not be a problem since students need to work every day in their classes. Fulfilling the Count Day requirements are important for the State of Michigan, Gull Lake Community Schools, and your participation in the Gull Lake Virtual School.