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The Franklin News-Post
P. O. Box 250
310 Main Street, SW
Rocky Mount, Virginia 24151
Fax: 540-483-8013

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Virtual courses to be offered this summer by FCPS

Wednesday, May 7, 2014


Franklin County public schools (FCPS) will offer two virtual courses this summer, providing students with an opportunity to complete required courses in an independent environment.

Economics and Personal Finance, a required course for graduation in Virginia, will be offered for the second summer in a row.

"We piloted the economics course last summer and had a very successful experience," said Keith Pennington, director of curriculum and instruction. "Approximately 90 students earned credit for the class last year."

The course promotes student financial awareness by teaching them to analyze real-world situations, develop economic reasoning, make wise decisions and learn problem-solving skills.

The class will be completed online with deadlines and due dates for all six units of work, as well as an end-of-course exam.

Students will be required to have reliable access to Google Chrome, headphones or earbuds, notebooks, pens or pencils and a calculator.

Taking notes from reading will be required, and students can expect to work three to four hours a day in order to complete the course on time.

During the course, students will be evaluated on the post assessments at the end of each module, completion of all Virtual Virginia module activities -- such as comprehension checks, homework practices and additional practices -- unit tests and a final exam.

The course, to be taught by Dianne Hughes, will be limited to 80 students.

New this summer is the addition of a virtual Health and P.E. 9 class, also a graduation requirement for all ninth-graders.

FCPS has established a partnership with the YMCA that offers the use of Y facilities during the course.

Students may access the YMCA at all three county YMCA locations, including Rocky Mount, Westlake and Ferrum.

Instructors Keyode Rogers and Jamie Wright designed the course to provide students with the freedom to choose several options in order to meet the Virginia Health and P.E. SOL requirements, while becoming proficient in performing lifelong activities.

In order to meet requirements, students will have many diverse fitness options, all of which will be approved by the instructors.

The course requires students to complete 18 hours of strength and conditioning, 36 hours of activities from the approved list (a minimum of eight hours per week) and activity choices from the categories of recreation, dance, individual sports and team sports.

The health portion of class will be completed online through Compass Learning. Students must show up in person once a week for testing and to turn in projects and log sheets.

"This program is remarkable in that it represents novel thinking, by both organizations, about serving students better and giving them the chance to take more academic courses during the school year," said YMCA CEO Jim Currie. "This program, as well as the YMCA summer camp held at our schools and at Ferrum, represent what I see as the beginning of other programs together."

The pilot Health and P.E. class will be offered to 30 students.

Grading for P.E. will consist of the completion of 54 hours of activity, completion of activity tasks, signed log sheets, two physical fitness tests and weight training and cardio log sheet times.

Grading for Health will consist of completed assignments, papers and projects, unit tests and a final exam.

Further details on both courses can be obtained from your child's guidance counselor. Rising ninth-grade students (current eighth-graders) will receive more information from Benjamin Franklin Middle School and The Gereau Center.

Both courses are being offered tuition-free to eligible students. Enrollment will open Monday, May 15. Students may only take one virtual class this summer.

Specific requirements will be listed in the course syllabus, which will be available from guidance counselors on May 12. "We are excited to expand the virtual offerings in Franklin County," said Pennington. "The virtual program provides students with options and opportunities to complete required courses in an independent alternative environment."

FCPS are exploring additional virtual offerings, as well as several credit recovery offerings, for the 2014-2015 school year.

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