Online School

Will my Online School student receive a Chromebook?

Yes. Information on Chromebook distribution can be found here.

Where can I find updates from the Online School?

Principal Gresham's messages to Online School families can be found here.

Who should I contact for the Online School?

The Online School leadership team, including contact information, can be found here.  

What supplies do I need for the Online School?

All Online students would benefit from a designated distraction free learning space. An assigned small table or section of a table with a comfortable chair with space for supplies, binders, books etc. Lighting should also be considered. Ideally it would be close to an outlet for charging Chromebook. 

View the complete supply list for the online school for 2020-2021. Students may also be asked to get other supplies depending on specific course requirements.

Updated 8-3-20 2:00 p.m.

I missed the registration deadline for the online school. What can I do?

Registration for the online school closed on Friday, July 31st. Please contact your school registrar (elementary schools) or school counselor (middle/high schools) directly for next steps.

I registered for the online school but would like to attend face-to-face. How do I switch back?

If you registered for the online school and wish to change your selection, please contact your school registrar (elementary schools) or school counselor (middle/high schools) directly for next steps.

Updated 7-30-20 8:00 a.m.

I have requested to register my child to attend the Online School. However, I haven’t heard anything back. What is the process for me to receive confirmation that my request has been received/approved?

Parents will receive an email when the counselor completes the transfer of the student to the Online School in PowerSchool. If you completed the Online School Request for Registration form, your student will be transferred. Please remain patient as we process the requests as quickly as possible. 

So...You're Thinking of Learning Online?

Hanover County Public Schools is offering two options for students to receive their education this fall. Parents are encouraged to carefully read this document in order to determine which option, face-to-face or fully online, will be the best for their child(ren).

How do I register my child(ren) for online school?

To choose the online school option, please complete the Online School Request for Registration form to make your commitment. Families will need to request registration by July 31st if they would like their child to attend the online school. Families choosing face-to-face learning do not need to take any action at this time.

What number do I use for student ID for a newly enrolled student or rising kindergartner

If you have completed the face-to-face appointment to enroll a new student or kindergartner, you may use the student ID 99999 to request to register for the online school. If you have not completed the face-to-face appointment, visit our Student Enrollment page for instructions on how to enroll a new student. 

What will my child’s schedule be in the Online School? What will the school day look like?

Please see the below preliminary schedules for elementary, middle, and high school. Please keep in mind that these schedules may be adjusted as planning moves forward and as state guidance is adjusted. However, these schedules should give families a basic idea of the total time commitment during the school day. Elementary and middle school students will follow the same schedule all year; however, high school students will change classes in January, completing up to four credits in the fall and another four in the spring.

sample schedule k-2

sample 3-5 schedule

sample schedule middle

sample schedule high

What will a typical class period or block look like for my child? Will my child spend the entire class block in front of the computer?

In typical class periods, students will not spend the entire block in front of the computer. This is especially true for our younger learners. Class blocks will be planned both with time on Zoom as a class or in small groups with the teacher, and with time away from Zoom in independent activities such as reading, writing, researching, practicing math skills, or exploring academic concepts through play. Breaks will also be built in.

While a student may see a block of time assigned to a specific subject, the entire block will not be spent in front of a computer. For instance, at the elementary level, students will spend several hours each day engaged in literacy instruction. This block of time may begin with the whole class working with the teacher via Zoom on a mini-lesson or read aloud. The teacher may then work with small groups of students while the other students engage in offline “station” activities or independent reading. They may pull back together later in the block for a writing lesson via Zoom. At the middle and high school levels, a class period may begin with the entire class working with the teacher via Zoom in order to learn foundational information about a subject or to watch the teacher demonstrate a specific skill. Students may then move into small groups to work on a group project or to receive additional support from the teacher. They may also be given individual tasks such as practicing solving math problems before reporting back to the teacher, or exploring primary source documents at websites provided by the teacher.

View a sample class block.

What support will my child require in the home?

Learning in an online environment is different than the face-to-face environment with which most students are familiar. Regardless of age, the following are several topics families should talk about and plan for prior to the start of school.

  • Plan the student’s work space and locations for storage of learning materials. If you have several learners in your home, discuss how they can locate themselves so that they won’t disturb one another.
  • Place limits on non-academic use of technology during and outside of school hours.
  • Talk about the daily schedule with your children and help them structure their time.
  • Provide a Learning Coach for elementary students. Discuss with your child the role the Learning Coach will play in their learning environment.
  • Even with older students, spot check them throughout the day when possible.
  • Talk to your children about what they are learning and how they are adjusting to on-line learning.
  • Stay in touch with your childrens’ teachers. Please remember that teachers will not be able to conference with you during class time, but they will be glad to set up a time outside of class to talk with you.
  • Remember, the faculty and staff of the Online School are here to support you and your children! We understand that all of this is very new to all of us, and we are all adjusting to this new normal. Thank you in advance for supporting our learning journey, and please know that we will be working hard to support your children as they grow and learn in the Online School.

What are Learning Coaches? Are they required in order for my child to enroll in the Online School?

While all students at all grades will require adult support in order to be successful online learners, our PK-5 students will require additional support from an in-home Learning Coach. Tasks for the Learning Coach include (but are not limited to):

  • Supporting students as they access technology (ie. logging in, accessing assignments in Schoology).
  • Monitoring to ensure that students are engaged in on-line activities with their teachers.
  • Supervising and supporting participation in “offline” activities such as independent reading, station work, and writing.
  • Supporting students as they navigate between online and offline activities.
  • Ensuring that all necessary materials and manipulatives are available.
  • Providing snacks and lunch, and monitoring students during movement breaks.

Learning Coaches are NOT responsible for planning instruction. Additionally, while they support their students’ engagement in online class activities, they do not actually participate themselves.

Ideally, the Learning Coach will be an adult who can commit time throughout the day to work closely with the student. Being a Learning Coach may be challenging for adults who are also trying to work from home or for high school students who are attending classes at the same time as the elementary students. However, we understand that with the many challenges families are facing, it may not always be possible to choose a Learning Coach free of other responsibilities. Please know that the faculty and staff of the Online School will do our best to support all Learning Coaches regardless of their situations.

How will students be assessed in the Online School?

Students can expect to see some traditional assessments such as multiple choice and short answer tests and quizzes. They will also participate in division and state level assessments throughout the year. Additionally, teachers will assess students via less traditional means such as “quick checks” of skill development, performance based assessments, and use of observational data. In addition to using assessment information to determine grades, this data will - more importantly - be used by teachers to differentiate and individualize instruction to meet the needs of each learner.

How is the faculty and staff of the Online School preparing to teach in this new environment?

All faculty and staff of the Online School will work diligently to develop their skills in best practices in online instruction which are based upon The National Standards for Quality for Online Learning. For instance, prior to the school year, we will all complete a course focusing explicitly on Instructional Design which focuses on topics such as course organization and instructional planning for online courses. The faculty and staff recognize that we will need to continue our own learning throughout the year and that we will grow increasingly proficient as we continue to develop our skills. Therefore, throughout the school year we will continue to develop our skills in online instruction including assessment and feedback as well as other critical topics such as equity and relevancy.

Can my elementary student be in the same class as other students from our home school? I’m working with a small group of other parents to support our children as Instructional Coaches. Can our children be in the same class?

All class assignments are based upon the number of students and their specific needs (ie. special education services, gifted/talented services). Therefore, we cannot make firm promises that we will be able to meet all class placement requests from families. However, helping our elementary students maintain connections to their home schools and supporting families is of critical importance, and we will attempt to honor as many of these types of requests as possible.

How can my child maintain his/her connection with the home school?

All students may participate in sports, clubs, and other extracurricular activities at their home schools. The leadership team and faculty of the Online School and the faculties of the face-to-face schools will communicate throughout the year address opportunities for connections.

Should face-to-face schools have to move into virtual instruction at any point in the school year, will this impact the Online School?

A feature of the Online School is that the instructional delivery format will stay consistent throughout the year regardless of which COVID-19 Phase Virginia is currently operating in. While the other schools may have to move between face-to-face and virtual instruction, the Online School will operate in a consistent fashion throughout the year. The other schools will serve their students in both face-to-face and virtual situations. The classes and teaching assignments at the Online School will not be impacted by this.

Will parents have the ability to change the selected learning option at any point during the school year?

Our current plan will ask families to make a decision for the entire fall semester. In December, we will solicit requests to change learning models.

Will the Online School option be available to any student in the fall?


Can we do online learning all year long?

Yes, students who select full-time Online School option will commit to participating the entire first semester and will have the option to return to the physical school for the second semester or stay in the Virtual School.

How is differentiated learning/teaching done in the virtual setting?

Teachers in the Online School will differentiate curriculum similarly to how they may have done it in a face-to-face model. They, when possible, will offer choice in content, process, and product.

Does "full-time" online learning mean five days a week?

Yes, students will engage with teachers in some fashion every school day.

How will consistency between teachers be maintained?

Through supervision and training, HCPS school leaders will work to create consistent learning environments that match best practice philosophy. As we transition into very new learning environments this year, we recognize that adjustments and additional support will likely be needed to create and maintain consistency.

How will students in the Advance College Academy take their classes in the upcoming year?

Reynolds Community College has announced an all virtual fall semester, and HCPS will follow this approach with some modifications. All junior and senior ACA courses will be taught in a virtual setting so that students in both the face-to-face setting and the online school can have the same program. Students who elect face-to-face will meet with their teachers at the ACA sites; students who choose the online school will join the class in real time. Rising ninth and tenth grade students will take the required classes in their home schools for the fall semester.

How will students in the International Baccalaureate program take their classes in the upcoming year?

Principals at all four schools and the online school will be working together to create year-long opportunities for IB classes that juniors and seniors need to complete diploma requirements. These classes will be clustered in order to provide for a block of instruction every other day for a year, rather than a daily block in just one semester. Cross-school classes may be offered in a synchronous or asynchronous format in order to create workable schedules. For sophomores and freshmen, pre-IB classes may be combined with advanced level classes; however, students can be assured that they will be prepared for the rigor of IB classes in the junior and senior years. IB classes may not be available to juniors and seniors who are not pursuing a full IB diploma this year.

How will AP classes be offered to online school students in the 2020-2021 school year?

In order for students to be prepared for the AP tests offered by the College Board in the spring, principals at all four schools and the online school will be working together to create year-long opportunities for AP classes. These classes will be clustered in order to provide for a block of instruction every other day for a year, rather than a daily block in just one semester. Cross-school classes may be offered in a synchronous or asynchronous format in order to create workable schedules. Students may be limited in the number of AP classes that can be accommodated in this format.

If electives are limited in the online setting, will we be informed which electives are unavailable before we are required to choose options?

At this time, the following elective areas will not be offered in the online school:

  • The Hanover Center for Trades and Technology
  • Health Science Speciality Center
  • Agriculture, Horticulture, and Mechanics
  • Sports Medicine
  • Electronics
  • CAD and Drafting classes
  • Television production

Will the Health Sciences Specialty Center and The Hanover Center for Trades and Technology have opportunities in the online school?

Unfortunately, the nature of these classes does not translate well to an online environment for a full semester or year. The division will be exploring options for how students already accepted or participating in these programs can rejoin them in later semesters or in the following school year. Principals and directors from these programs will be reaching out.

How will music and theater education be handled in an online school environment at the middle and high school level? Will students still participate in electives such as music and theater classes?

As a community, we value our performing arts classes, and we are going to do everything possible to provide opportunities for our students. We will continue to explore extra-curricular opportunities for performing arts that can be provided in a safe manner. However, classes in the performing arts are challenging for an online environment. In this model, we will be building online course material for secondary students that students can access either in the face-to-face or in the online school. These components will cover aspects of the curriculum such as theory and history. Students will also continue working on their own performance material individually in consultation with their music/theater teacher. This can be accomplished through a wide variety of technologies available.

How will gifted and talented students be impacted by online school? Will they still be assigned to virtual G&T classrooms?

Students receiving gifted services will be supported in the online school similar to their counterparts in the face-to-face learning environment by gifted resource teachers.

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