FCPS helps students manage time with online classes

Casey Nguyen, In-Depth Editor

Sleeping in and getting your work done on your own time seems like a dream, right? Well, this option is open for all high school students.
“Although some classes are only offered to upperclassmen, everyone is eligible to take some sort of online course,” counselor Mark Vitelli said.
FCPS wanted to start this program for students who had scheduling conflicts as well as health problems that may potentially throw students off in terms of making it to class every other day.
“As a student athlete, online courses are something I definitely wanted to take because it was always so difficult to get homework done the night of a game or meet,” senior Lennon Wuhrer said.
The subjects offered online include: career and technical education, English, general education, health or PE, world languages, mathematics, science and social studies.
Every student interested in taking an online course has the opportunity to take two classes, and if they’re interested in taking more than the seven standard high school courses they’ll be charged $680 ($340 for reduced lunch and $68 for free lunch status).
Despite the fact that everyone is eligible, there is a technology checklist which you must meet the requirements of in order to make the process of taking an online class easier. The checklist requires your computer to have a specific software and hardware, basic skills you need to know how to do on your computer, how to use Blackboard and your school email, how to use your personal email, and lastly, knowing how to play and download video attachments.
Students meet with their instructor once a week and must have all assignments done by Sunday night. Although students aren’t meeting with their teachers two to three times a week, they are still expected to take a final or a SOL if required for the course they are taking.
“I enjoy how students only meet with the instructor once a week, but the fact that the assignments are so time consuming and difficult is extremely irritating,” junior Vitalina Fuentes said.
Classes range between starting at 4 p.m. and 7 p.m., giving students an idea of how they should schedule their day.
“The online class is assigned to one of the periods in your schedule. While you can and have to do work at home, many students are in the library for their online class,” Vitelli said.
Students taking an online course are held responsible for finding ways to understand the material that appears unclear to them as well as getting work done on time since they won’t have a teacher reminding them every other day in school.
“I love that I can get weekly assignments done on my own time as long as I get them in on Sunday night,” junior Karam Said said. “I just hate that no one is continuously reminding me of what my assignments are.”
Sleeping in and having a period is cool and all, but FCPS offers online courses that are different compared to what’s being taught in school. Courses that students have the option to take online that aren’t being taught here consist of AP Stat, Advanced Accounting, Korean and many more. Online classes are a great way to test your accountability and have a little more freedom regarding your education.