Virtual School FAQs
How does virtual school work?
Each student starts on his/her specified day. Assignments are based on a weekly pace chart that dictates how many assignments students will complete each week. Once an assignment is completed, the student submits it and the teacher grades it, providing specific feedback. The feedback will provide guidance to corrections for the student to re-submit the submission for increased learning and improved grade.
Do I have to have a computer to take virtual classes?
Yes, you must have access to a computer and internet on a daily basis.
What if I do not have internet access?
Internet access is required in order to complete the work. Students must log into the virtual system, which requires internet access.
Do I get time off with virtual school?
Polk Virtual Education programs follow the Polk County Public Schools calendar.
How do my teachers get to know me if they do not see me every day?
Virtual teachers get to know their students on an individual basis. They learn individual student learning habits and can usually tell who is calling by the sound of a student’s voice. Teachers also complete discussion-based assessments with students where they are able to discuss various elements of lessons and possibly student interests. Virtual teachers and students get to know each other well throughout the school year.
Is PVS less challenging than other traditional accredited schools?
No. As an accredited school, PVS offers a flexible alternative for students. It is not an easier option than traditional accredited schools. All courses are written at or above grade level and require an average of one to two hours of focused study on a daily basis to complete one course within the traditional semester time frame. Our courses engage students in real-life projects, requiring the use of critical thinking, problem-solving skills, and the ability to apply the knowledge they have acquired.
How does attendance work at Polk County Virtual School?
PVS offers a true distance learning experience that does not require seat time in a traditional classroom. Periodically, standardized testing and academic interventions require students to attend face-to-face activities. Teachers may exercise the option of having students take face-to-face proctored assignments and exams to ensure fidelity.
Students are expected to actively participate in all courses on a weekly basis in order to maintain educational integrity. Students are considered truant (absent) if there is no participation in the online courses for more than one week without prior approval and will be reported as absent to the proper administration.
How do I know if online learning right for me?
A successful online learner is a motivated self-starter and is committed to the success of his or her education. While PVS offers world-class educational opportunities, there is a high degree of accountability placed upon the student. PVS is not an alternative school or dropout prevention program.
What is the difference between PVS and traditional brick-and-mortar schools?
There is no difference in the curriculum between PVS and traditional schools. All courses are approved by the Department of Education. There is a significant difference in the flexibility offered to all PVS students in the way they can earn their courses/ credits online.
What is the difference between PVS and FLVS?
Both programs utilize the same online curriculum and platform (FLVS). PVS courses are taught by local PCPS teachers. Additionally, our program combines online instruction and face-to-face support at our campus in Lakeland.
Is Polk County Virtual School accredited?
Yes. Along with all Polk County Public Schools, PVS is fully accredited by COGNIA formerly AdvancED.
Polk County Virtual School is also registered with the Florida State Department of Education and a part of the Polk County Public School system. Our accredited online high school diploma and all credits earned at PVS are accepted by other K-12 schools, colleges, universities, the military, and employers.
Is Polk County Virtual School available to everyone?
PVS is a public school serving grades K-12. If you meet PVS admission requirements and have determined that online learning is suitable for your needs, you are encouraged to apply for enrollment. PVS thrives on diversity and feels our diverse student body is what sets us apart from other traditional schools. We offer a well-rounded learning experience designed to prepare students for a successful future.
Can I use a diploma from Polk County Virtual School to enroll in college, join the military or gain employment?
Yes. Polk County Virtual School has a solid reputation within the academic community. PVS offers a standard high school diploma that meets state and school board requirements. Our graduates seamlessly move on to post-secondary education, employment, or enlist in the military. PVS graduates attend major colleges and universities throughout the country.
As a parent, will I be kept informed of my students' progress?
Yes. As a parent, you will likely receive more updates and information about your student’s progress than ever before. We strongly feel that a parent’s involvement in a child’s education is the key to success. Our teachers are in frequent communication with parents. You can always see how your child is performing by logging into your VSA parent account.
How do I enroll full-time in Polk County Virtual School?
Enrollment in our full-time program takes place before the first and second semesters of the school year (for students in grades K-12). Students/parents should complete the prospective full-time student application online during the application window. Once an application is received by PVS, we will make contact with the student/parent via email, phone, or mail.
How do I enroll part-time in Polk County Virtual School?
Students in grades 6-12 who attend a traditional school and want to take additional courses online may do so. Course requests must be approved by the student’s counselor and parent/guardian. Home Ed students are also considered part-time students. Students who already have an account with Florida Virtual School must use their existing account to register for PVS courses. Students without existing FLVS/PVS accounts may create one to enroll.
Can I attend PVS on a full or part-time basis?
It is our goal to provide students with whatever level of service they require. We can offer a full curriculum for grades K-12, or just one or two courses in grades 6-12 to satisfy public school graduation requirements; or supplement your homeschool curriculum.
Do I need to get approval from my guidance counselor to enroll in Polk virtual courses?
Students only require approval from their brick and mortar counselor if they are taking courses part-time with PVS. When students sign-up for a course, it is digitally sent to counselors for their approval. Students can enroll in part-time courses at any time due to our rolling enrollment.
Is there a cost to enroll?
As a public school, enrollment at PVS is free to Polk County residents.
Is there a max number of spots for PVS? What is the latest date that students can be enrolled for the school year?
We currently do not have a cap on student enrollments and have spots available for incoming students. Our full-time enrollment does have enrollment periods two times during the school year, before each semester. However, our part-time program continues to have rolling enrollment throughout the year.
Course Work FAQs
How much work do I complete each day?
Student work is based on a weekly pace chart. Students may have anywhere from 2-5 assignments per week, per class.
Does my teacher instruct online and I watch the video of the lesson?
Lessons are in text version. Students read the required lessons and complete the specific assignments. The teacher is available via phone or email to help answer any questions students may have. Teachers may provide recorded tutorials. Additional assistance may be found on our “Course Assistance” page.
How do I take tests online?
Student receives required passwords from the instructor after he/she completes the discussion-based assessment and demonstrates they are ready for the exam.
How do I complete my work?
Work is typically created in some type of word processing program such as MS Word or Open Office. It is then attached to the assessment that is to be submitted. There are also automated assignments that students will complete within the course. Those are typically a combination of multiple choice, short answer, matching, and short essay questions.
Who grades my work?
Your teachers for each class will grade your work.
Who teaches the online courses at PVS?
All online courses and programs are taught by highly qualified Polk County Public School instructors that meet Florida Department of Education certification requirements. You can be sure that quality in education is our highest priority.
Will other students be in class with me?
Classes range from a few students to many. The number of students in a class does not affect individual students in any way.
Do I talk to my teacher every day?
You can call your teachers whenever you have questions, need to take a discussion-based assessment, or if you are due for a monthly call. It is not necessary to talk to your teachers every day unless you need to.
How do I know how I am doing if I do not meet with my teacher every day?
Students can check grades any time by logging into the virtual system. All work is typically graded within 48 hours of submission. There are exceptions such as weekends and holidays. Students can also see which work has or has not been submitted and graded.
What happens if I have questions about my work?
You can call your teacher during regular office hours or you can send an email any time. All phone calls and emails will be returned within 24 hours with exception of weekends and holidays.
What if I finish all my required work for the week and it is only Wednesday?
Students only have to complete the required work each week. When they finish that work, they can work on other classes or work to get ahead. The virtual school system allows for a lot of flexibility.
What if the student has questions or problems while taking a course?
Students are assigned an instructor for each course. Instructors are available daily M-F via phone or email. Teachers also have online office hours throughout the week.