BRVGS Parent Orientation Packet

Dear Parents of Incoming BRVGS 9th graders,

I would like to welcome you and your child to the Blue Ridge Virtual Governor’s School.  I hope that it will be a rewarding experience, and that students will look back on BRVGS as an instrumental part of preparing for college and the world beyond high school.  The information below is provided for you to become familiar with the main expectations, policies and procedures of BRVGS.  

Much of the same information will be sent home with students in the BRVGS Student/Parent Handbook soon after the start of next school year, but we feel that this is critical information for incoming parents and students to know prior to starting in the program.

In addition to policies, the students will have summer work, consisting of reading and questions in preparation for the school year.  The summer work can be found online by clicking on BRVGS World History Summer Work.  Paper copies of the work will be available at the freshman orientations, or can be ordered by mail by contacting BRVGS at: kbunovich@brvgs.k12.va.us, or by phone at 804-787-0886.

The primary purposes of BRVGS are to “Challenge, Inspire and Prepare” our students to reach their full potential.  With that in mind, I would like to share some information about the philosophy and procedures for BRVGS (click on each highlighted title below to view.  These pages are attached if you are receiving this as a paper copy):

BRVGS Purpose, Mission and Vision

BRVGS Honor Code and Code of Conduct

BRVGS Course requirements

The “Challenge” of BRVGS comes in rigorous content classes and in new and different ways of learning and collaborating through technology.  Research tells us that the best learning occurs through challenges - particularly when students find themselves at times in unfamiliar situations, or faced with content that is beyond their immediate understanding.  It is through trial and error, occasional failure and recovery, and the practice of overcoming unfamiliar or uncomfortable situations that students grow the most.

One potential side effect of this is that real academic challenges sometimes result in grades lower than students might have experienced before.  This can be frustrating for students and parents.  We ask students and parents to keep in mind that all BRVGS classes are “weighted grade” classes - that is, students receive more points towards their GPAs than they would in a regular class.  This is in recognition of the level of rigor and challenge that BRVGS classes present.  We also want to be clear that it is not the purpose of BRVGS to cause students to do poorly - but in challenging students, there will be occasional situations when students will not do as well as they historically have.  In those circumstances, our teachers and staff are here to help in whatever way we can.

If a student or parent does not agree with a particular grade in a BRVGS class, BRVGS prescribes a certain set of steps to appeal that grade.  Those steps can be found in the

BRVGS Grade Appeal Process

It is also the purpose of BRVGS to inspire students through student-centered, collaborative, hands-on learning experiences.  Students travel on field trips regularly to work with peers from other BRVGS schools to produce websites, computer programs, engineering prototypes and scientific presentations as part of their BRVGS learning experience.  They also use online resources, email and chat to accomplish these tasks.

Ultimately, the goal of BRVGS is to foster skills for success in the 21st Century.  A complete list of our skill areas and goals can be found in the 21st Century Skills for BRVGS

All of the major projects in BRVGS have project resource websites that are designed to be used by students, teachers and parents.  Links to most current BRVGS projects can be found on our website at: http://www.brvgs.k12.va.us/current-projects/

Because students use technology through accounts managed by BRVGS, we have high expectations for the proper use of accounts including emails and chats.  BRVGS requires each student to agree to the:

BRVGS Guidelines for the Acceptable Use of Technology 

and

Guidelines for Academic and Professional Communication.

Because the projects and hands-on experiences are important part of the BRVGS curriculum, participation in field trips is critical for our students, and is considered to be a mandatory part of the program.  We do, of course, understand that conflicts sometimes arise, and are willing to work with students when there are extenuating circumstances.  A full set of our field trip expectations can be found in the BRVGS Field Trip Expectations

Last, but not least, we are here to help every BRVGS student reach his or her potential.  We are available for questions, comments, etc. at any time.  As a virtual school, the best way to reach us is through email, but cell phones work well also.  Here are critical contacts for BRVGS:

Marc Carraway (BRVGS Director - refer all administrative inquiries to Mr. Carraway)

mcarr1@brvgs.k12.va.us

434-989-3972

Sallie Hill Outten (BRVGS Technology - refer BRVGS technology questions and problems to Mrs. Outten)

soutten@brvgs.k12.va.us

540-717-2995

Jerry Reynolds (BRVGS Computer Science Instructor and Online Coordinator)

jreyn@brvgs.k12.va.us

540-872-6604

Kristi Bunovich (BRVGS Administrative Specialist)

kbunovich@brvgs.k12.va.us 

804-787-0886

The mailing address for BRVGS is:

Blue Ridge Virtual Governor’s School

14455 James Madison Hwy

Palmyra, VA  22963

Please let us know of any questions, and please accept our best wishes for a great school year!

Marc Carraway

BRVGS Director