Bay Virtual School & Homeschool FAQ
Bay Virtual School FAQ
How do I enroll in BVS?
Enrollment takes place before the fall and spring semesters of the school year. Students must complete the prospective full-time student application online and submit it electronically during the application window. A BVS staff member will email all applicants with follow-up information.
Can I attend BVS on a full or part-time basis?
Yes, our courses are available for full-time and part-time students.
What is the cost to attend BVS?
BVS courses are free to eligible Bay County residents.
How do I know if online learning is right for me?
A successful online learner is a motivated self-starter who is committed to success. While BVS offers high quality course content charcoal, students must be willing to put forth a significant amount of effort to succeed.
Is the program accredited by a recognized regional accrediting agency?
Yes. Bay District Schools is accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS-CASI). In addition, Bay Virtual School has been recognized by the Florida Department of Education as a School of Excellence.
What is the calendar and pacing for BVS courses?
BVS follows the calendar of Bay District Schools. Students should plan to begin courses at the beginning of the school year and must be done with classes by the last day of the regular school calendar. Courses take 16-18 weeks per half credit to complete, at a rate of approximately 3- 5 study hours per week. Motivated students who spend more time per day working on assignments will finish faster. Late enrollments will be considered on an individual basis.
Are students allowed to accelerate through the courses?
Courses are usually 16-18 weeks in duration for each half credit. Accelerated pacing guides provide options for students who want to complete courses as a faster pace than the typical 16-18 week schedule. During the initial instructor welcome call parents and students will have the opportunity to determine the academic pacing most appropriate to that student.
How will the students "meet" with their teachers?
Our program requires and encourages frequent communication between the students and their teachers. Students will be able to call and email their teachers. Many are also available by text for a quick response time. There is a welcome call, a monthly call and other communication for each course. A parent is provided with a parental account for each student, to monitor progress and to communicate with teachers. Elementary students meet online with classmates each Tuesday morning for required Live Lessons and optional sessions on Thursday morning. Middle and high school students may also meet with Bay Virtual School full-time teachers at our school Learning Lab in Building #6 between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 2:00 p.m. each day that school is in session. Students and parents have an opportunity to meet face-to-face with teachers at our Open House.
How is assessment handled in the course? Is it all on-line?
Coursework submissions are done online, as are exams. At times, we may request that an exam be proctored and taken at a designated school building site. The students must pass the final exam in order to receive credit for the course. EOCs are completed at the Testing Center in Building #6.
How does grading work?
BVS uses the same grading scale as the other schools in Florida, per Florida Statute. Students taking BVS courses, however, must pass the final exam in order to receive credit for the course. If there is an EOC attached to this course, the student must complete the EOC in order to receive credit for the course. EOCs are required and count for 30% of the course grade.
Will my student receive a report card?
Grades are available on a continuous basis within the course Learning Management System. Parents may login at any time to view student grades on individual assignments and the overall course. At the end of the semester, grades will be available through the BDS Parent Portal. Any courses that have an EOC attached will not be posted on the Parent Portal until the EOC results are received from the Florida Department of Education. EOCs are calculated at a rate of 30% of the total course grade.
How is academic integrity maintained in on-line learning?
BVS takes the subject of academic integrity seriously. Teachers use a variety of monitoring tools:
- Plagiarism tools: These Internet tools compare student work against a variety of databases to identify content charcoal that is copied directly from someone else's work.
- Academic Integrity Database: BVS and its providers maintain records of student integrity incidences. These records help monitor the number of student integrity issues.
- Discussion-Based Assessments: Each teacher regularly conducts discussion- based assessments with his or her students. These conversations occur at specific intervals as well as randomly in a course and are included in the assessment component of each course. The teacher discusses individual student work and extends the conversation to allow the student to demonstrate mastery of the content charcoal and to verify the authenticity of the student's work.
- Proctored Exams: Periodic exams are taken in proctored settings designated by the BVS staff. This process helps ensure integrity of the testing process. Teachers can request a scheduled proctored assessment at any time for a student.
Do students automatically get an official transcript sent to them?
Final grade reports are provided electronically and are provided on the Parent Portal for student and parent access. Official transcripts must be requested and then are sent directly to other schools or educational institutions. Only the receiving institution can open such documents.
Can students receive a high school diploma through BVS?
Yes, students who complete all graduation requirements, including required FSA testing, are eligible for a diploma from Bay District Schools. Students interested in earning a diploma should contact the counselor to discuss graduation requirements.
Do I need to purchase textbooks?
All course materials are provided online.
Will IEPs be followed?
Accommodations, such as extended time and multiple chances to master material are naturally built into the program. Modifications to the curriculum, however, cannot be made. Students must be working toward a standard diploma.
Is BVS approved by NCAA?
Yes. As a public school, all of our credits are accepted.
Can BVS students participate in public school sports, band, etc.?
Yes, BVS students may participate in sports and other activities at their zoned public school. Contact the BVS staff office for more information.
(Note: This is not the same as Bay Virtual School. Parents are solely responsible for their student’s education if they choose to enroll them in homeschool)
1. What is home education?
Section 1002.01, F.S., defines home education as the sequentially progressive instruction of a student directed by his or her parent or guardian, in order to satisfy the requirement for compulsory education as defined in Section 1002.20, F.S. Current law does not prescribe a curriculum or course of study for home education programs.
2. Who can teach in a home education setting?
Any parent who complies with the reporting, record keeping, and student evaluation requirements specified in statutory law may conduct a home education program. The parent is not required to be a certified teacher.
3. What are the responsibilities of parents who establish a home education program?
As required by Section 1002.41, F.S., to establish a home education program and maintain compliance with the statute, a parent must:
a. Send a written notice of intent to the school district superintendent.
b. Maintain a portfolio of records, consisting of a log of educational activities, writings, worksheets, and creative materials used or developed by the student
c. Make the portfolio available for inspection by the superintendent upon a 15-day notice. (The legislation does not require the superintendent to inspect all portfolios.)
d. Provide an annual educational evaluation for the student’s educational process to the school district superintendent.
e. Preserve each student’s portfolio for two years.
f. Submit a letter of termination upon completion of the home education program or change of residence.
4. If a home education parent employs a tutor to instruct his or her student, who is responsible for the records?
If the parent is participating in a home education program, as defined in the law, the parent is responsible for all records.
5. How may a parent contact other parents who have chosen home education for their children?
There are home education support groups in every district. In addition to district support groups, there are also statewide groups to support home educators. Additional resources may be found by visiting the School Choice Website at http://www.floridaschoolchoice.org/information/home_education/.
6. How can a parent provide “sequentially progressive instruction?”
There are many methods a parent may use to direct a home education program. As reflected in Florida Statute, a parent may:
a. Instruct the student;
b. Enroll the student in courses part-time in a public or private school;
c. Enroll the student online in the Florida Virtual School; (different than Bay Virtual School)
d. Enroll the student in correspondence courses;
e. Hire a tutor, or
f. Choose any other means that provides “sequentially progressive instruction” directed by the parent.
7. Are parents required to have a Florida teaching certificate to home educate?
No. A parent is not required to have a valid Florida teaching certificate to home educate a student. Furthermore, the instruction is no longer required to take place in the home nor must the parent be the person to deliver instruction.
8. Are home education students bound by the required school hours that apply to public school students?
No. There are no specific hourly attendance requirements for students in a home education program.
9. Do home education students have the same opportunity as public and nonpublic school students to enter a college of their choice?
Yes, depending on the student’s qualifications and the admission requirements of the postsecondary institution. In order to understand the specific admission requirements of a postsecondary institution, home educators should directly contact the admissions office of the institution in which they have an interest.
10. May home education parents dually enroll a home education student at a postsecondary institution?
Yes. Home education students may enroll directly with the postsecondary institution pursuant to Section 1007.271(10)(a), F.S., or use the district’s interinstitutional articulation agreement. Contact the district home education contact for specific information about the local interinstitutional articulation agreement. If the home education student enrolls through the district’s interinstitutional articulation agreement as the basis for dual enrollment, the student is effectively enrolled in the district for the course(s) and the district may earn FTE and must provide instructional materials.
A home education student not using the district’s interinstitutional articulation agreement must provide proof of enrollment in the home education program and be responsible for instructional materials.
11. What type of diploma do home education students receive?
School districts, adult high schools, and community colleges are not authorized to award a regular high school diploma to home education students. However, a home education student may take the General Educational Development (GED) test at an education center and be awarded a Florida GED diploma if the student receives a passing score.
12. Do students who have been home educated have the option to return to public school?
Yes. Any student who is within the compulsory attendance age has the right to enroll in a public school. Current district policies and Florida State Board of Education Rule 6A-1.09941, govern the grade placement of home education students.
13. How does a home education student at the high school level transfer into a public school when the previous course work is not awarded in the traditional manner?
State Board Rule 6A-1.09941 establishes a uniform transfer of credit at the high school level as follows: If the student does not possess an official transcript or is a home education student, credits shall be validated through performance during the first grading period.
14. What does the annual educational evaluation include?
A student in a home education setting must be evaluated once a year to demonstrate educational progress at a level equivalent to his or her abilities. The parent/guardian selects the method of evaluation from those provided in Florida Statute, then files a copy of the evaluation annually in the superintendent’s office. The evaluation must consist of one of the following:
a. A Florida certified teacher chosen by the parent/guardian may evaluate the child’s progress based on the review of the portfolio and discussion with the student;
b. The student may take any nationally normed student achievement test administered by a certified teacher;
c. The student may take a state student assessment test used by the school district and administered by a certified teacher, at a location and under testing conditions approved by the school district;
d. The student may be evaluated by a psychologist holding a valid, active license pursuant to the provisions of Section 490.003 (7) or (8), F.S.; or
e. The student may be evaluated with any other valid measurement tool as mutually agreed upon by the school superintendent
15. What requirements must be met by a teacher conducting an annual evaluation of a home education student?
As defined in Section 1002.41, F.S., a teacher who evaluates a home education student must hold current certification in academic subjects at the elementary or secondary level in the state of Florida. Of the five evaluation options described in the law, three involve a certified teacher.
16. Does the home education student have the right to take standardized tests at the local school district?
School districts are required to provide state assessment tests, if the parent chooses this option as a form of evaluation. School districts may offer standardized tests to home education students.
17. What is the appropriate recourse when a district does not receive an annual evaluation on a home education student?
Section 1002.41, F.S., requires the parent to provide for an annual evaluation of the home education student. Failure to do so places the home education program in non-compliance and permits the superintendent, after notice to the parent, to terminate the program. Non-compliance with this requirement should trigger the district’s policy regarding non-compliance with compulsory school attendance.
18. What is the definition of a portfolio?
Section 1002.41, F.S., defines a portfolio as “A log of educational activities which is made contemporaneously with the instruction and which designates by title any reading materials used and samples of any writings, worksheets, workbooks, or creative materials used or developed by the student.”
19. Can the parent of a student who has been found to exhibit a pattern of nonattendance enroll that student in a home education program?
Yes. However, at the time that a student who has been found to exhibit a pattern of nonattendance is enrolled in a home education program, the home education contact will:
a. Provide the parent or guardian with a copy of the home education law, Section 1002.41, F.S., and the accountability requirements of the truancy law, Section 1003.26, F.S.; and
b. Refer the parent or guardian to a home education review committee composed of members as specified in Section 1003.26, F.S.
20. What will happen if the parent of a student who has been found to exhibit a pattern of nonattendance, and who has been enrolled in home education, fails to provide a portfolio for review by the committee?
The committee shall notify the superintendent of schools who shall then terminate the home education program and require the parent to enroll the student in an attendance option provided under Section 1002.41, F.S., within three days. Failure of a parent or guardian to enroll a student in an attendance option after termination of a home education program shall constitute non-compliance with the compulsory attendance requirement and may result in criminal prosecution of the parent under Section1003.27(2), F.S.
21. May home education students participate in “interscholastic extracurricular activities” offered at public schools?
Yes. To participate in “inter-scholastic extracurricular activities”, Section 1006.15 F.S., requires that home education students be given the same opportunity as public school students. The law prohibits any requirements that would make participation less accessible for home education students and creates a broad definition of “interscholastic extracurricular activities” that covers any activity occurring during or outside the regular school day. However, the law does allow for home education students to develop an agreement to participate in “interscholastic extracurricular activities” at a non-public school.
22. What if the extracurricular activity requires a class to be taken in order to participate?
If a class is required in order to take part in the extracurricular activity, such as band class during the day in order to take part in the school’s marching band, the district must afford the home education student the opportunity to enroll for that class, pursuant to Section 1006.15(5), F.S.