Virtual Scholars FAQ’s (link)VS-Logo-Black.png

Access

Q: I am a student and I don’t have a login password.  How do I get one?            

Q: What is the recommended browser for PPS Virtual Scholars?                   

Q: How do I log into the Virtual Scholars Main Campus?         

Q: The “Main Campus” is giving me an error message when I try to login.  What should I do?

Courses                    

Q: What is the difference between an online class and a blended online class?

Q: Who will my teacher be in a Virtual Scholars blended online class?

Q: What courses does Virtual Scholars offer?

Q: How does a Virtual Scholars online course work?

Q: How long do I have to complete a course?

Q: What textbooks and materials will I need to take my course and where do I get them?

Q: How are courses graded?

 Registration

Q: When can I sign up for a Virtual Scholars blended online class?                 

Q: How do I enroll in a Virtual Scholars blended online class?          

Q: How do I drop or add a course?

Grades

Q: How do I check my progress in the course?

Q: How will I get my final grade?

Q: If the VIrtual Scholars “Main Campus” is down, will this affect my grade?

Q: What is a “DBA” and why do teachers do DBAs?

Technical Course Questions

Q: Do I have to have a computer and Internet Access at home?

Q: I am submitting assignments, but my teacher isn't receiving them. What should I do?          

Q: I am locked out of my assignment/test. What should I do?

Q: I cannot access an assignment/test.  What should I do?

Q: I can't attach a file to submit an assignment in my course - says Error: File invalid?           

Communication

Q: Where is my teacher's contact information?

Q: What are my options for communicating with my Virtual Scholars teacher?

Q: How do I chat with my teacher in the “Main Campus”?

Q: How often will I meet with my Virtual Scholars teacher?


General Knowledge

Q: What should be the first thing that I do as a Virtual Scholars student?

Q: Where can I find the code of conduct  (AUP) for students?

Q: What is expected of students enrolled in a Virtual Scholars course?

Q: What do I do if I can’t get an answer to my question?


Parents

Q: I have not received a grade for my student. What should I do?             

Q: I don’t think my student’s grade is correct. Who do I contact?       

Q: When do your classes begin and can how do I register my student?  

Q: Can my home-school or private school student take your courses?

 

           


Access


Q: I am a student and I don’t have a login password.  How do I get my password?            

A: If you are a returning PPS student then your password is the same as your password for your district login.   If you are new to PPS, you will need to contact your counselor to obtain your district login credentials. (Return to Top)

Q: What is the recommended browser for PPS Virtual Scholars?

A:  The latest version of Firefox and Chrome. (Return to Top)              


Q: How do I log into my course?         

A: Portland Virtual Scholars courses can be found at vs.pps.net. Look for the link that says “VS Main Campus” and click on it.  The site will ask you for your PPS username and password. Please remember, your PPS username and password is identical to the credentials you use to log into the computers at your school.

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If you didn't receive a PPS username and/or password please contact your
counselor to obtain that information.


Q: The “Main Campus” is giving me an error message when I try to login.  What should I do?

A:         Step 1:  Ensure that you are entering in the correct username and

password.

        Step 2:  Switch to a different internet browser

(Firefox,Safari,IE,Chrome).

        Step 3:  Alert and troubleshoot with your VS Mentor.

Step 4:  If steps 1- 3 do not work.  Contact the Virtual Scholars

office at (503) 916-6120 or email: virtualscholars@pps.net.  Be sure to include the error message.

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Courses

                   

Q: What is the difference between an online class and a blended online class?

A: In an online class, students work only on the computer to complete courses; sometimes there is no teacher contact.  In a blended online class, students work with teachers to complete their course that is delivered in an online format.

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Q: Who will my teacher be in a Virtual Scholars blended online class?

A: Our 2017-18 highly qualified teachers are listed below by the subject they teach.

Subject

Teacher

English 4-8

English 1-3

Elizabeth Ellis

Charlie Zizzo

Health 1-2

Carolyn Myers

Science FPC 1-2, Bio 1-2, Chem 1-2

Nick Hartel

Social Studies MWH 1-2, USH 2,

Social Studies USH 1, Gov, Econ

Lisa Rivers

Trask Colby

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Q: What courses do you offer?

A: Our current course offerings include the following courses. If you have a request for a course not presently offered, please contact the VS administrator at (503) 916-6120 ex 71730

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Q: How does a Virtual Scholars online course work?

A: Once your counselor has completed the registration process, you will be able to login and start the “Student Orientation”.  When you have completed the orientation, you will have access to your course. Make sure you read all instructions and complete each activity carefully.

Your VS Teacher and Mentor will check in with you regularly, and will be there to support you throughout your course.

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Q: How long do I have to complete a course?

A:  Virtual Scholars courses are designed to take 15-18 weeks, but you may choose to finish sooner if you work outside of your scheduled class time. You can download the Canvas app on a smartphone, work from home or library outside scheduled class. Students who are not on pace to complete the course within the 18 weeks may be placed on an academic contract in order to remain enrolled in the course.

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Q: What textbooks and materials will I need to take my course and where do I get them?

A: Most class materials are contained online.  When course materials are not online, teachers will provide you with the offline materials.  It’s always a good idea to keep a highlighter, pencil, USB drive, and paper with you in all classes. You may be asked to use resources from your school, such as poster paper and novels from the library. Ask your VS Teacher where you can find these materials.

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Q:  How are courses graded?

A:  Courses are graded by proficiency.  A student must demonstrate that they are proficient in the standards that the course is aligned to.  If a student does not demonstrate that they are proficient in a standard, they may revise the assignment to demonstrate understanding.

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Registration

Q: When can I sign up for a Virtual Scholars blended online class?     

           

A: Virtual Scholars continuously enrolls students until early second semester of each school year. Please check in with your counselor for the exact date.  If you do not go to a school that participates in Virtual Scholars or there are other circumstances where your counselor is unable to enroll you, please contact the administrator of Learning and Credit Options/Virtual Scholars at (503) 916-6120 or by email: virtualscholars@pps.net 

Virtual Scholars enrollment is done through the school, so you should also check back with your school to find out specific processes and policies your school follows for registration, as they may have additional scheduling calendars.

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Q: How do I register for Virtual Scholar courses?          

A: Because we are a supplemental program to the school system, enrollment into a Virtual Scholars class is done through your counselor/school.  You will need to contact your counselor or administrator to get more information about Virtual Scholars enrollment.  If your school does not participate in Virtual Scholars and you would like to take a Virtual Scholars course, please contact the administrator for Learning and Credit Options/Virtual Scholars at (503) 916-6120 or by email: virtualscholars@pps.net                 

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Q: How do I drop or add a course?

A: If you need to add/drop a VS course contact your VS teacher first. Then,if you and your teacher decide that a drop or add is the next step, contact your counselor. If you do not log in within the first seven days of enrollment, are inactive for 14 or more days, or fail to make continuous progress in the course, Virtual Scholars may withdraw you from VS. You may have the option to re=enroll after a meeting with the VS Administrator.

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Grades

Q: How do I check my progress in the course?

A: There are three ways to check your progress in a Virtual Scholars course.

1. COURSE CALENDAR- (Located in the left column navigation of your course menu) The course calendar will show you what has been completed,  when assignments are due, what needs to be done.

2. GRADEBOOK- (Located in the left column navigation of your course menu) The gradebook will show you a list of all assignments in your course, your grades, and what assignments remain for you to complete your course. Note that the gradebook will also be where you will find instructor feedback on specific assignments.

3. PROGRESS BAR - (Located in the upper right corner of the course page)
The progress bar indicates the percentage of the course that is completed. This percentage is subject to change based on grades received from your VS Teacher. Please make sure that you check in with them to ensure that your percentage complete is accurate. The progress bar is also color coded based on your pace in your course. If a student is 20% or more off pace the bar will be
RED, 10%-19% off pace the bar will be YELLOW, and if a student is on pace or less than 9% off pace the bar will be GREEN. If the progress bar is BLUE you are ahead of pace!

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Q: How will I get my final grade?

A: Your final grade will be transcribed by the Virtual Scholars office. A notification with the grade transcribed will be sent to your counselor and VS mentor.

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Q: If the “Main Campus” is down, will this affect my grade?             

A: No, you will not be penalized for the system's downtime.  Teachers are aware of the downtime and will take that into consideration when grading. Teachers are being notified by the technology team on the outage situation, and they will work with students submitting assignments and taking tests during this time.  Please let your teacher know by email (or any other trackable means of communication) that you were directly impacted by the outage, so they are aware of your specific situation.


Also, note:  It is the student's responsibility to continue refreshing your page to see when the system is back up and running, and to continue working after the problem has been resolved.

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Q: What is a “DBA” and why do teachers do DBAs?

A:  Also known as a Discussion Based Assessment (DBA), teachers use DBAs as an assessment tool for you to demonstrate your knowledge.  

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Technical Course Questions


Q: Do I have to have a computer and Internet Access at home?

A: No, you should be able to complete your course in the VS HUB period. You may also work outside of your HUB period to finish sooner.  If you don’t have computer access at home, you may consider using the library, your mobile device, school computer lab, cafes, etc. Check out the Canvas app for a smart device.

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Q: I am submitting assignments, but my teacher isn't receiving them.

           

A: Here are some possible reasons:

1. Make sure that your login session hasn't timed out or that you are still connected to the network.

2. Make sure the file was saved properly with a valid extension that is compatible with the Virtual Scholars Main Campus. ( i.e. Wrong= "assignment.doc.docx",  Correct = "assignment.doc" or "assignment.docx")

3.  If you you are using Mozilla Firefox on a MAC it will insert the filename without the extension in some cases which submission page will treat as an invalid file type.

If you are unsure of how to submit an assignment, watch a video on how to submit assignments here:

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Q: I am locked out of my assignment/test. What should I do?

A: Contact your Teacher or ask your On-Site Mentor for assistance.  

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Q: I cannot access an assignment/test.  What should I do?

A: Contact your Teacher or ask your On-Site Mentor for assistance.  

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Q: I can't attach a file to submit an assignment in my course says Error: File invalid?   

        

A: The following are directions on how to troubleshoot attaching a file:


Make sure file was saved properly with a valid extension that is compatible with
 the “Main Campus”. i.e. Wrong= "assignment.doc.docx",  Correct = "assignment.doc" or "assignment.docx"

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Communication


Q: Where is my teacher's contact information?

A: All of your teacher’s contact information is located on your course page. Please see the link below to see how to contact your teacher:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otje9Ih6GfI

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Q: What are my options for communicating with my Virtual Scholars teacher?

A: Communication with your instructor is available via email, telephone,  instant messaging, video conferencing, and in person.

Please see the link below to see how to contact your teacher: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otje9Ih6GfI 

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Q:  How do I chat with my teacher in the Main Campus?

A:  In the right hand corner look for the chat icon and click it. A box will appear, fill out the box with your information and select your teacher's name. Click on connect and your chat will begin.

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Q: Will Virtual Scholars issue me an email account?

A: Virtual Scholars will not provide you with an email account. Most of the time you will use the messaging system in your course to communicate with your instructor.  PPS students have access to a free email account using their username@student.pps.net.  To set up/activate your district email go to  https://www.pps.net/Page/1915 . You can also get free email accounts from Google or Yahoo.

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General Knowledge

Q: What should be the first thing that I do as a Virtual Scholars student?


A:  Make sure you attend your scheduled class with your On-Site Mentor.  Go to the “Main Campus” and complete “Student Orientation”.
 We also recommend downloading the Canvas app if you have a smartphone.

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Q: Do you have a code of conduct for students?


A: Yes, we do!  It’s important that you are familiar with our conduct policies that cover everything from online behavior to cheating and plagiarism.  
To see our code of conduct and academic integrity guidelines, go to http://vs.pps.net/Page/108 .  Students at Virtual Scholars are expected to follow the same rules and regulation as all other PPS students.  

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Q: What is expected of me as a student enrolled in a Virtual Scholars course?

A: We expect that you have basic computer skills: navigating websites, sending emails and attaching files to emails.

To be successful taking an online course, you need to log in consistently, communicate with your teacher at least once a week, attend every VS HUB assigned, and follow your pacing guide. You are expected to attend every class period until you have been excused by your VS Teacher and your school counselor.  


You will need to know the requirements of the course(s) you are taking. You will find a syllabus in each course; print out this syllabus. Keep a calendar of the due dates. Use your weekends to get ahead. Stay current in submitting your assignments. Communicate with your teacher.


If you are struggling with an assignment, contact your teacher
via the messaging system in your course. If your teacher is unavailable please move on to the next assignment until they are able to respond. Some of you may have to get a tutor (or a friend) to help you. But we do expect you to do your own work.


We do expect you to have read and to adhere to the
PPS Virtual Scholars policies and procedures.  

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Q: What do I do if I can’t get an answer to my question?

A: Make sure you understand who is responsible for answering which questions

Your counselor can help with the following:

Your teacher/ instructor can help with the following:

Your On-Site Mentor can help you with the following:

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Parents


Q: I have not received a grade for my student.  What should I do?    

        

A: At this time, grades are processed when students complete their course. To receive final grade information please contact your student's counselor, the VS Teacher, or the Virtual Scholars Office (503) 916-6120. Grades are posted directly to student transcripts, so you may also request from the school  a copy of your student’s transcript to see their final grade.

 

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Q: I don’t think my student’s grade is correct.  Who do I contact?     

           

A: Please contact your student’s counselor orVirtual Scholars Office at (503) 916-6120.  

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Q: When do your classes begin and how do I register my student?  

A:  Students are enrolled on a “rolling” basis until early second semester of the school year. Please contact your student’s counselor for the exact date.  If you think your student would be successful in the Virtual Scholars program and are not already enrolled in a course with us, contact your student’s counselor.  

Registration is done through the school, so you should also check back with your school to find out specific processes and policies your school follows for registration, as they may have additional scheduling calendars.

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Q: Can my home-school or private school student take your courses?          

        

A: Students not enrolled with PPS can take courses with approval from an administrator and for an additional fee.  Please contact the program administrator Diane Berthoin-Hernandez at (503) 916-6120 ex71730.  

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