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Online Campus School Year Information
School Year 2019-2020


Important Information About FCPS Online Courses

(Click each item below to learn more about student environments in an online class)

General Information

Fairfax County Public Schools provides students with the opportunity to take some of the same courses offered at FCPS base schools, but in an online learning format.

Students may sign-up for FCPS Online Campus courses if they meet these requirements:

  • Students must be currently registered at a Virginia Public School.
    • Home-schooled students must register at their local base school in order to sign-up for FCPS Online Campus courses.
  • Students must register for Online Campus courses through the base school counselor, with approval of the Director of Student Services (DSS). Students and parents may NOT register directly with the FCPS Online Campus during the regular school year.
    • FCPS students may register for up to two Online Campus courses as part of their 7-credit schedule, free of charge. FCPS students wishing to register for an 8th credit must pay tuition for the additional credit.
    • All Non-FCPS students must pay full tuition for their Online Campus course(s).
    • Registration forms and deadlines can be found here: Online Campus Registration
  • Students must have consistent, reliable internet access and a computer that meets the technology requirements in the Technology Checklist
  • All students must be available to attend weekly, live-online class sessions during the evening − at the fixed weekly dates/times. Times are announced after the student orientation.
    • Weekly Synchronous Class Schedule:
    • Mondays - Economics & Personal Finance; Health & PE
    • Tuesdays - English; Science
    • Wednesdays - Social Studies
    • Thursdays - Math
    • Tuesdays or Thursdays - World Language
  • All students must be available to attend the mandatory face-to-face exams as scheduled − dates/times/locations announced by the teacher.
  • Attendance for the Online Campus is determined by (1) Daily work submission, and (2) Active, intelligent participation at the weekly live-online class sessions. Teachers will reach out to students, parents, and counselors for all students not making adequate progress in a course.
  • Students not meeting the attendance requirements for the FCPS Online Campus are subject to administrative removal from the Online Campus. If this happens, the student must complete their course face-to-face at the base school.

Differences between Online and Face-to-Face Learning

Online learning courses require at least as much time and effort as students would spend taking a face-to-face course.

  • Online learning requires students to be more diligent and dedicated, because the onus for learning lies with the student.
  • Just as a face-to-face course requires 3-5 hours per week of class time, with additional out-of-class time required for assignments, online courses will require 3-5 hours of dedicated "class time" for learning/studying the material in addition to "homework time" completing assignments. The total time commitment is 4.5-7.5 hours per week.
  • With online learning, students don't have the teacher in front of them the entire time to offer daily assistance or to urge students to complete assignments. Students must take a disciplined approach to their learning.
  • Students will spend 80% of their time engaged in lessons, activities and assignments through Blackboard or web-based material. The other 20% of their time will be spent with the teacher and peers in the weekly virtual class session and completing online assessments.
  • The FCPS Online Campus does NOT offer any self-directed courses. ALL Online Campus courses have fixed deadlines, daily or weekly assignments, and face-to-face exams.

Student's Role in Online Learning

Students must take an active approach to their learning. The teacher has structured the course to provide the best opportunity for learning, and will provide students with feedback. However, students are responsible for engaging with and learning the course material.

Students must schedule time every day to work in the online course. When students do not see their teacher, they tend to forget about the course.

Not only will students read / complete lessons and assignments, but they will also interpret important issues. An important skill for all students is the ability to ask questions for clarification as needed.

Students are responsible for staying motivated and engaged with the course content.

Teacher's Role in Online Learning

Teachers serve as mentors, guides, and facilitators for student learning. They will encourage further thought in particular areas, initiate discussion topics, grade assignments, provide feedback on assignments / assessments, and answer any questions students have concerning the course content.

Common Obstacles to Online Learning

Students who do not make time for learning tend to underestimate their workload and fail to meet course requirements.

  • Students must make time for learning. Planning a specific study schedule and sticking to this schedule is imperative.
  • A major stumbling block for online learning is keeping track of assignments and deadlines. All work must be completed as scheduled.
  • Catching up on a week or more of material is nearly impossible once a student has fallen behind. Not only are there not enough hours in a student's schedule to recover the necessary lost time, most students cannot learn and retain the knowledge at such an accelerated pace.

Many students − already committed to work, sports, clubs, performaing arts, and other activities − think that online learning is the answer to their lack of time.

  • Students cannot spend 1 hour completing 7 hours of instruction and expect to be successful.
  • It is crucial for students to prioritize their activities and make sure they can dedicate necessary time to learning.

For students who enjoy or need face-to-face contact with their instructor and peers, online learning may not satisfy that need.

  • There is electronic contact with faculty and other students, but face-to-face contact only occurs a few times per school year.



Questions? Contact the Online Campus 8am to 4pm Monday-Friday at (703) 503-7781 or Online Campus