GOVS: Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

GOVS:  Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

General Questions

(1)   Do GOVS students earn high school diplomas?

  • Yes.  GOVS is a public, high school diploma program. The high school diploma a student earns certifies that they have completed all of the state and local requirements for graduation.  All GOVS students graduate as a member of the Greater Ohio Virtual School; they do not receive a diploma from their home district.


(2)   Where do your online courses come from?

  • The more than 100 courses that are offered by GOVS are provided through the Virtual Learning Academy (VLA).  Each course is fully-aligned to Ohio’s Academic Content Standards. Our courses and curricula are constantly being evaluated, and new courses are being added regularly.
     

(3)  What classes does GOVS offer?

  • Please review the Program of Studies (CLICK HERE), which contains a full list of courses and their descriptions.
     

(4)   If I become a student of the Greater Ohio Virtual School, can I work at my own pace and even finish earlier if I want? 

  • Yes, because the school is an Internet-based school and curriculum, it is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  Students are required to make certain levels of progress, but are also encouraged to “get ahead of the game” and complete more than the minimum.  Our counselors must approve extra coursework, ensuring that quality performance is maintained. Students are permitted to graduate, having met all coursework and testing requirements, at any point throughout the school year.
     

(5)   What does a typical day look like for a GOVS student?

  • At the start of your school day, students should log in to the computer and head to www.mygovs.com, which is our school website.  Read the daily announcements and write down any important information.  Log into VLA, read and respond to any new messages, and start working on units.

  • Our most successful students create and maintain a daily routine.  In order to get your required 25 hours a week, most students complete five hours a day from Monday through Friday. 
     

(6)   How do I know if I am doing well as a student, or as a parent/guardian, if my student is doing well?

  • Since we are an online school with an online curriculum, students (along with parents/guardians) have real-time access to their grades.  Once they submit a lesson to be graded, the teacher will grade in a timely manner and post the grade. Students can keep track of their progress by watching the top-right corner of their VLA screen to see how many more units they are required to complete.

  • GOVS sends out a weekly attendance report to all students and their parents/guardians each Monday through the One Call system.  This report will compare a student’s actual hours of participation with expected hours (based on five hours required per school day) and give a daily average, as well as report total units of work completed vs. the one unit per day bare minimum for attendance.  The one unit per day requirement is for participation consideration only and does not guarantee that a student will complete all assigned work.
     

(7)   Does GOVS offer summer school classes?

  • No.  The Greater Ohio Virtual School is only in session during the regular school calendar year.  However, our students can take summer classes via the Warren County Educational Service Center.  These classes are not tuition free and fees apply. Click HERE for more information.
     

(8)   How do I complete Physical Education in a virtual setting?

  • Students complete the physical education requirement by taking an online course which guides them through physical education routines.  Students submit a weekly activity log to the instructor for approval.
     

(9)   Can a GOVS student participate in sports?

  • Yes. Students may participate in sports and/or extracurricular activities at their district of residence.  Approval from the district must be granted and eligibility requirements must be met. In addition, the student’s GOVS counselor should be notified, as course pacing is an important component of eligibility.
     

(10) I forgot my username and/or password to log in to my Chromebook or to the VLA system. What do I do?

  • Please contact the GOVS office to verify your identity and receive help.
     

(11) I’m a minor and need a work permit. How do I go about getting one?

  • GOVS issues work permits as long as a student is not more than 10 units of work behind the one unit per day attendance expectations. 

  • Complete instructions may be found here (link to Work webpage).

 

Enrollment

(1)   Do I need permission from my local school district to enroll at GOVS?

  • No.  All you need to do is complete an online registration and a staff member will contact you to schedule a start date.  Click HERE to visit the enrollment information page.
     

(2)   Once I submit the registration form, am I officially a GOVS student?  Can I stop attending my current school?

  • No.  Do not withdraw from your current school of residence upon submitting an application.  Our office staff will go over everything once your paperwork is complete and you start date is scheduled.
     

(3) I’m starting at GOVS after the school year has begun. How will this affect me?

  • It is highly recommended that students start with GOVS at the beginning of a new school year or at the semester mark, as courses are assigned in half credit increments.  For example, if a student started a school year at another district and transferred to GOVS in October, he or she would start back at the beginning of first semester classes. 

  • Attendance is measured based on a student’s days of enrollment with GOVS, so the weekly Attendance Report only takes into account a student’s actual GOVS school days when reporting hours and units of work expected.
     

Records

(1) How do I go about getting a copy of my transcript or a transcript sent to somewhere?

  • GOVS processes transcript requests at no charge.  Expect a turnaround time of 24-48 hours for each transcript request.  We do not accept transcript requests over the phone or email.  Click on the link below.
    Transcript Request Form.
     

(2) How do I verify the graduation of a former GOVS student?

  • Please send all graduation verification requests to docs@mygovs.com.    

 

Credits & Scheduling

(1) How many credits does GOVS require for graduation?

  • Students must meet the State of Ohio minimum of 20 total credits, with specific credit requirements within subject areas. See the Program of Studies (LINK) for more information.
     

2) What do I need to do in order to earn credit?

  • The vast majority of GOVS courses are made up of 18 units and worth a half credit, with the occasional 9 unit/quarter credit course. In order to earn credit for a course, students must complete units and earn an overall passing grade of 60% or better.
     

3) How does my counselor schedule my classes?

  • After receiving a transcript from your former school, your counselor will build a schedule and have classes added to your screen.

  • Students then have two weeks to request any changes be made or bring up any concerns.  They are then held responsible for completing all assigned courses by the final day of school.
     

4) On what type of schedule does GOVS operate?

  • GOVS is different from most traditional schools in that we operate on a year-long schedule.  Although classes are split into semesters (with second semester classes locked at the start of the year), students are not issued a final grade in any incomplete class until the end of the school year. This method allows for greater flexibility in facilitating credit recovery.
     

5) Why do I only have one class?

  • If a transcript has not yet been received from a previous school, your counselor will assign one course (in which you are unlikely to have earned prior credit) until records are received.  
     

6) I’m a senior and only need a couple of classes to graduate. What are my options and responsibilities?

  • Seniors are initially only scheduled for the courses that they need in order to graduate, but may choose to be assigned additional coursework to complete the year. Full attendance requirements must be met until a student is withdrawn as a graduate, even if few courses are assigned.
     

7) What if I run out of scheduled work before the end of the year?

  • Contact your counselor prior to running out of work, so that a plan can be made and additional classes added. 
     

8) Why do I have classes on my screen labeled “EXTRA CREDIT?” Am I responsible for completing these? 

  • These classes serve as a way for students to log offline hours. They are optional, but highly encouraged. The units within them do not count toward the totals in the upper right hand corner of the VLA screen or toward the bare minimum attendance expectation of one unit of work per school day.
     

9) How do I earn credit through the Work Study Program? Will participation affect my attendance?

  • Students may earn up to three elective credits and 13 hours per week of attendance time through the GOVS Work Study Program.

  • After completing the application at THIS LINK, our Work Study Coordinator will review it and, if approved to participate, have the first 9-unit class added to your screen.

  • Students will complete this class and provide verification of 30 hours of employment via paycheck stubs in order to earn a quarter credit. They will then be assigned an additional 9-unit class and may continue the process.


Career-Technical (CT) Options
 

(1)   Do CT Schools accept GOVS credits for enrollment into their schools?

  • Yes.  You may take all preliminary work required to be accepted to a Career Center. 
     

(2)   To what CT school should I apply?

  • Students should apply to the CT school that serves their district of residence or may choose to open enroll into the CT school of their choice.
     

(3) Can I attend a CT School and GOVS at the same time?

  • Since GOVS is a State-wide program, we work with a variety of CT schools.  Allowing a student to split time is at each CT school’s discretion. Some schools do allow GOVS students to attend a lab in person, while completing academic coursework online through GOVS.  In this case, required attendance through GOVS is reduced.

 

Testing
 

(1)   If I am enrolled at GOVS, do I still have to take all required state testing?

  • Yes.  All GOVS students have the same testing requirements as all students in the state of Ohio and are required to attain the state minimum of 20 credits to graduate.  To help with this, GOVS employs two guidance counselors and a testing coordinator to monitor the graduation requirements for each student.
     

(2)   Speaking of testing, what kind of state testing is there and where do I take the tests since you are an online school?

  • The only testing students take at home (on their own computer) is the MAP test.  MAP tests are designed to measure what a student’s reading & math level is. Students take these tests twice per school year (on their first day & after approximately 13 weeks).  Any other testing (Ohio State Tests, ACT for 11th graders, and OELPA) are taken with proctors at secure sites. These tests cannot be taken at home on your own computer. Please see our TESTING PAGE for complete descriptions of required tests.
     

(3) How do I know what tests I need to take?

  • GOVS notifies students and their families of in-person tests for which they are responsible no later than two weeks before a session begins. Instructions are posted at www.mygovs.com and a One Call message is sent to families. 

  • Please review the GOVS Testing Calendar for session dates

 

Student Support
 

(1)   If I have a question about one of my classes, how do I contact the teacher?

  • All GOVS teachers are certified in each subject they teach, and are available via email within the Virtual Learning Academy system.
     

(2)   I am struggling with my classes and need some help.  How do I get assistance?

  • The Greater Ohio Virtual School offers five hours of FREE tutoring per week.  This tutoring is virtual -- the tutor will work with you via Google Meet on your computer.  We also have drop-in tutoring labs where students can stop by and get help from a tutor.  Click HERE for tutoring information.

 

 

Logging Hours

 

(1)   What is the difference between ONLINE and OFFLINE hours?

  • ONLINE hours are when a student is actively logged into VLA and completing course work.  This is also known as computer seat time.

  • OFFLINE hours are for activities students complete while not logged into VLA (some examples include hours earned for working your job, testing, independent reading, watching a documentary/film).  Offline hours are added to a student’s account weekly.


(2) Why aren’t my hours logging?

  • There may be several reasons that your hours might not be logging as expected. Here are some things to keep in mind:

    • Time spent on the home page of VLA is not logged or counted toward student attendance.

    • Save buttons are provided after each question; save often.  If you are automatically logged out of the school system due to inactivity, your online time is only recorded up until the last time you saved your work. When you’re finished working, click on the “x” in the upper right-hand corner of the VLA screen to log out.

    • Poor wifi connectivity may affect the system logging hours properly.  Please be sure you have a strong connection.

    • Offline hours in EXTRA CREDIT classes are approved on a weekly basis and will not show in the counters on the student screen until they have been accepted by a teacher.

 

Graduation

(1) Does GOVS have a graduation ceremony?

  • GOVS looks forward to celebrating graduates and provides a full graduation ceremony in early June each year.  Any student who has met requirements throughout the school year is invited to attend. In addition, a small summer ceremony is available for students who meet testing requirements over the summer.
     

(2) Do I need to order a cap and gown?

  • No. GOVS provides caps and gowns to all graduates free-of-charge. Sizing information is gathered from graduates and the items will be issued at the Graduate Luncheon prior to the ceremony.
     

(3) When do I receive my diploma?

  • Diplomas are handed out at the GOVS graduation ceremony or may be picked up in the office after that date if a student chooses not to attend.

 

(4) When can I expect information on graduation?

  • GOVS will provide detailed information on the graduation ceremony in the Spring via One Call and the website. 
     

(5) What if I don’t meet graduation requirements?

  • Students may re-enroll with GOVS the following year if necessary, as long as they have not yet turned 22.
     

(6) What if I meet graduation requirements before the end of the school year?

  • You may choose to be withdrawn from GOVS as a graduate or be assigned additional work, assuming you have met both coursework and testing requirements.

 

Withdrawing
 

(1) How do I withdraw from GOVS?

  • Parents of minors must enroll their child in another district. The child will remain a student of GOVS until an official request for records is received from the new school.  

  • Upon withdraw, any equipment borrowed from GOVS must be returned to the main office immediately.

 

(2)  Can I transfer my credits from GOVS to another school if we move or if I decide I want to return to my home district?

  • Yes.  Your credits are Carnegie Unit credits and are transferable to any other school, if for any reason you feel you need to withdraw.  Approved credits are at the discretion of the receiving school district, but in general, all GOVS credits are widely accepted.