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FVA's Guide to Academic Success

Online education is a very new concept for many families, so using the following guide can help keep you on track to academic success!

Organization

Routine:

The asynchronous setting provides students the flexibility to make "own" their schedule, and determine what works best. To put this into practice, find the times that you are most productive and keep that timing consistent.

*Pro Tip: Be honest with yourself. If something is not working, be open to adjust it as soon as possible.

1. "Chunk" Your time: Aim for working in 'chunks' of time with built in times for rest.

*Pro Tip: Create a 30-50 minute "work hour". Determine how long you can work without distraction and stick to it.

2. Take "real" breaks: Walk the dog, exercise, do the laundry or eat a snack.

*Pro Tip: During your breaks, fully step away from the screen, phone included.

3. Choose a "work space": This is a quiet, distraction free, well lit, area where the student can easily focus.

*Pro Tip: Try your best to keep this 'space' away from your bed. It has been proven that working from your bed can decrease your quality of sleep.

4. Identify Problems Before They Occur: Distractions and obstacles can take many forms. By identifying potential distractions (phones, friends, noise, etc.) or obstacles (tech issues, extracurriculars, appointments ,etc.) to reduce the possibility of lost productivity.

*Pro Tip: If you have identified a problem or obstacle that you don't know how to handle, let your parent/guardian or teacher know as soon as possible so they can help!

5. Timing "Can" Be Everything: Due to the flexible nature of our asynchronous program, you can choose the best time for you and your family to work! For some, the traditional approach of the 'typical' school hours works best, while others like to change the times to make a better fit!

*Pro Tip: Think about the time that you feel your 'study brain' works best. At that time, work on your "weakest" subject to ensure you can give it your best effort and focus.

Other Tips/Tricks for Organizing:

Finding the best way to organize your day can be difficult because it all boils down to personal preference. Here are some ideas to help find your rhythm!

  • Pre-Planning: Using some of these methods below, planning out your week in advance will help organize your time to increase productivity and decrease time spent!
  • Sticky Notes: Sticky Notes can be used to visualize what needs to be done in a "big picture" way. Find a large area (whiteboard, table, etc.) that you can organize by class or day, and use the notes to write each of your assignments on. Once it is completed and submitted, simply take it down!
  • Agenda: Using a personal agenda or calendar is very helpful to guide your progress though the week.
  • Set timers: Set clear times for work and for other activities. Dividing those times will help you be much more productive and wise with your time.
  • Make it "Public": Sharing your created weekly assignment calendar/agenda with family members will help communicate your weekly progress to everyone in the household and keep you accountable.
  • Parent Involvement: Parents: Sign in with your student to see what he/she sees in his/her courses.

*Pro-Tip: From within each student's course in itslearning, click the "Followup & Reports" tab, then choose "Personal Reports" to see what activities have been accessed and completed.

Communication

Messaging:

  • Students are required to use itslearning messenger due to its safety, security and efficiency.
  • For the quickest response from your teacher, please follow these three guidelines:
  • Be Clear: State the course you are in, the assignment you are working on and any other necessary information to help your teacher help you.

*Pro-tip: Messages are much easier to understand when using correct punctuation and grammar.

  • Be Concise: Do your best to keep things short and list only necessary facts relating to your question or concern.
  • Be Nice: Remaining respectful, calm and positive can go a long way!

*Pro Tip: Using ALL CAPS, tends to put a negative vibe on your message so please keep from using them.

Getting Help

Need more help getting through your course? Here are a few ways to make it happen!

  • Attend Help Sessions: Your teachers are providing sessions throughout the week, ranging from Q&A, office hours, and even live lessons. Look for dates and times are posted in your courses, or contact your teacher for more info.
  • Speak Up! Since you can't raise your hand in class, using the messenger to ask your teachers questions is a HUGE priority. Feel free to reach out if you need content, course, or policy clarification.

Other Information/ Updates

Attendance

Attendance is a required component of the virtual setting, and will be taken based on each student's participation in their courses.

To be considered present, students must be consistently engaging in their online courses and submitting assignments by the established due dates.

Failure to complete assigned tasks on a weekly basis will result in an absence or "AVP" (absent virtual participation) in the student's attendance record.

Grades

Grades in the virtual setting are taken just like they are in the traditional setting. While the online format provides more flexibility, grades are still recorded and posted to each student's transcript automatically.

Other Tips/ Tricks

Credits:

Created with images by STIL - "untitled image" • Paper Textures - "two sticky notes (post it notes) on a blank, white wall to use for your design project :) blank orange and green fluro sticky notes" • Volodymyr Hryshchenko - "orange sheets of paper lie on a green school board and form a chat bubble with three crumpled papers." • Felicia Buitenwerf - "untitled image" • Quino Al - "Teléfono"