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Board of Education

Frequently Asked Questions and Answers
for  Middle School Students

How does an online class work?

In an online course, students learn by reading, writing, and performing other learning activities designed by the instructor.  Online students "attend" class by accessing the "Learning Management System" and completing assignments according to the class schedule.  Students are expected to communicate regularly with the instructor and participate in class assignments.

How can I be successful in an online class?

Students learning online have greater responsibility for their own success than students in traditional classroom settings. As an online student, it is important that you have the self-discipline and self-motivation to work on a flexible schedule and not get behind. Persistence and willingness to work collaboratively in an online environment are also requirements.

Good written communication skills and a minimum level of technological experience are necessary. You will need to be comfortable using e-mail, the Internet, and a variety of software packages.

Who pays for first-time credit and credit recovery courses?
During the academic school year, tution costs are covered for APEX, Burke Canvas, and NCVPS and WPCC courses. This includes first-time course credit and credit recovery.

During the summer session:
  • Tuition costs for first-time course credit are the responsibility of the students
  • Tuition costs are covered for credit recovery courses.
What if I need help in the online course?
You have many sources of help.  Your online instructor should be your first contact if you are having difficulty with the content in a course.  Secondly, you have an Electronic Learning Advisor (eLA) at your school.  The eLA can assist you with technological problems.  Your parents will also be a great source of help as well.  The District eLA can also assist you with issues that may arise.
How do I sign up to take an online course?

You need to speak with your guidance counselor to determine if online learning is for you.  Online learning is not for every student.    

The next step is to complete the Online Registration Process​.  The school counselor will notify you of your acceptance into the program.  Once accepted, you will be registered for an online class. 

Please pay close attention to application deadlines.  Your counselor and eLA will advertise these dates.  Your school has a limit to the number of students that will be accepted into the online learning program.  You can only begin a class at the beginning of each semester.  Students may continue to enroll for the first five days of class; after that registration is closed to all students.

When is the course available?
Online courses are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  As long as you have Internet access, you can access your online course.
What is the policy regarding plagiarism and cheating?

If a student is found plagiarizing or cheating, disciplinary action will be taken. The student's school, eLA, and parents will be notified, and t​he provider may remove the student from the course.

How large will my class be?
Most classes will have between 25 and 30 students; however, it will vary by provider.
Do I need special software to take an online course?
Each course has software/hardware that is pertinent to that course.  It is VERY IMPORTANT that YOU read the course requirements prior to signing up for the course. Your home school will need to know in advance any special software/equipme​nt that will need to be installed prior to the course starting. If you are taking the course at home, you will need to ensure you have the necessary programs/equipment for the course.
How do I access my course each day?
You will login using the username and password provided by your eLA or the provider.
What schools offer online courses that middle school students in my county may take?

North Carolina Virtual Public School (NCVPS) is the provider of online courses for middle school students in Burke County Public Schools.  You may visit their site at

Which courses are available for me to take online as a middle school student?
  • African-American Studies
  • Earth/Environmental Science
  • French I
  • Latin I
  • Medieval Studies
  • Spanish I
  • Success 101
  • World History
  • What kind of credit do I earn by completing one of these courses successfully?
    One high school credit.  This credit will appear on your high school transcript.  It does NOT count in GPA or rank, though.
    Will I have time to complete my work in this online class at school?

    All middle schools provide some time to work on your online course.  However, you will have to do some of your class work outside of school.  Therefore, you need to make sure that y​ou have Internet access from outside of school.  This may be at home, the public library, a relative's house, or a friend's house.  This will provide you with the extra time you might need to complete your work successfully.

    What calendar does my online course follow?

    APEX, NCVPS, NCSSM and WPCC set their own calendar.  It will be similar to Burke County Public Schools' calendar, but there will be some differences.  In your online course, you follow their  calendar.  If there is an assignment due on a day that BCPS is out of school, the assignment is still due on the date that your instructor has set it.  Being out of school is not an excuse for being late on an online assignment.

    Burke Canvas follows the BCPS calendar.

    What if I get into the course and decide that this is not for me?

    You have ten school days to withdraw from a high school credit course.  This is a state rule; as well as a Burke County Public Schools rule.  If you ​just stop working after the tenth school day, you will receive an F in the course and this will be recorded on your high school transcript.

    How long does it take to complete an online course?
    NCVPS online courses may be year-long or semester length. Read their course catalog to select the appropriate duration. APEX and Burke Canvas courses are semester length. 

    Students are expected to complete their course within that time period.
    How many online courses may I take per semester while in middle school?
    BCPS board policy allows middle school students to take one online course per semes​ter.
    Who will be in my online classes?

    Most of your classes will have a combination of both middle school students and high school students; with the majority being high school students.  Please keep this in mind as you ​participate in collaboration activities with your classmates.  These students come from all across North Carolina.

    What about my textbook?

    Textb​ooks for online classes are provided by Burke County Public Schools.  Most NCVPS courses are textbook independent meaning that no textbook is needed.  You must return this textbook at the end of the course OR pay for the textbook if it is lost.

    How will I take tests?
    Many instructors will place the test online for you to take and submit for grading. Many require one or more proctored tests. A "proctored" test is one where someone monitors you while you take the test. Some online classes require a combination of online tests and proctored tests. Please read your course description carefully to understand the class requirements.