Should I take an AP course online?

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Why should I take a virtual / online course?
There are many reasons a student might want to take a virtual / online course. Here are a few:

  • Take a course that is not offered face-to-face
  • Solve planning conflicts
  • to take a course outside of the regular school schedule
  • to help in situations that prevent a student from attending school
  • to meet the qualification requirement for at least one online course
  • Develop college and job preparation skills; Skills like time management, technology, online collaboration, self motivation, and more
  • move forward

Who can take virtual / online courses?
Any Arlington Public School student enrolled in grades 7-12. 7th and 8th grade students are mainly scheduled during the school day.

How do I register for a virtual / online course?
Talk to your advisor. Your advisor will contact the Teaching and Learning Department of the Office of Secondary Education to obtain approval. If the course is already included in the study program as a virtual / online course, you can request it at the class selection in spring.

Do I have to pay for a virtual / online course?
Students enrolled in Arlington Public Schools do not pay fees for courses marked as virtual / online in the Arlington Public Schools study program. Additional Arlington Public Schools will be responsible for paying if a course required for graduation is listed in the study program:

  1. Not available due to low enrollment.
  2. The student is unable to enroll in the traditional environment due to demonstrable planning difficulties.
  3. When a Student Study Team has determined and documented that a student can be best served by enrolling in virtual / online courses.

Payment is required for those students who have passed the course but want to repeat this course virtually / online for a higher grade.

How do I request a virtual / online course for the summer?
Talk to your school counselor. Extended authorization is required.

What is a 24/7 class?
Virtual / online courses labeled "24/7" are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. A student enrolled in a 24/7 virtual / online class will not attend a class with a personal teacher during regular school hours. Instead, the student devotes 24-7 hours a week (4-6 hours a day for the summer school) to doing assignments for a virtual / online class at times that work within their schedule. Students enroll and do their work outside of their daily schedule ... anytime, anywhere.

Is there an orientation for students who are enrolled in a virtual / online course?
All virtual @APS Students take part in a virtual / online orientation that is built into every course. Students taking courses from third-party providers must complete the guidance provided by the course provider.

How do I access my virtual / online class?
If your course is being taught by an APS teacher, your course will likely be on canvas. You use your student login and password. If your course is offered by a provider outside of APSS, the provider will provide you with the following instructions: login page, username and password.

Where do I take exams for the virtual / online class?
For students whose virtual / online classes are scheduled during the school day, the exams will be supervised by your instructor. For students who are designated as 24/7 students, you will be assigned a mentor or moderator. Your exams can be supervised at your local high school, but you will need to coordinate the date and time with your assigned mentor or moderator.

How much time does it take to successfully complete virtual / online courses?
During the regular school year, 4-6 hours per week (4-6 hours per day for the summer school) are required to successfully complete the class. The virtual / online class is accessible 24/7.

What do I have to do to be successful in the virtual / online class?
To be successful in the virtual / online class, you need to complete all assignments by their due date, seek help if you don't understand this, and communicate with your teacher regularly. Watch this video from APS students providing advice on how to be successful in a virtual / online course.

How does a student enrolled in a virtual / online course contact the course teacher?
A virtual / online student will contact the teacher via phone, email, and / or scheduled webinars.

How can a student enrolled in a virtual / online course get additional help?
Contact the course teacher by email, phone, virtual / online office hours or visit the planned tutoring time virtual / online.

Who is my teacher
Virtual / online course teachers are certified teachers in the subject taught. AP trained teachers teach AP classes, and all teachers have been trained for virtual / online classes.

How many students will there be in my class?
The registrations vary. Unlike face-to-face courses, the class is not limited to the size of a classroom. However, virtual / online classes are scheduled based on a teacher's average class load. If the teacher is full time, 60 to 120 students can be enrolled in the virtual / online area (like a brick and mortar teacher depending on the curriculum area). Each section of a virtual / online course is the same as classroom teaching.

Do I have to work virtually / online every day?
A student enrolled in a virtual / online course must adhere to the course's assignment deadlines and schedule. The schedule may vary depending on the curriculum and student. Student attendance is recorded and based on task completion and login activity. Therefore, students should register at least 5 days a week.

Will my teacher be online at the same time I am online?
It is possible for students and teachers of a virtual / online course to be online at the same time, but that would not be the norm. Teachers set office hours and may require virtual / online sessions with webinar / chat software. The timing of these meetings will be announced in advance.

If I take a course with a provider outside of Arlington, how will my grade be reported? APS?
Typically, courses from providers outside of Arlington only report a final grade to APS. They do not calculate or report intermediate and quarterly grades.

Do I get a grade and a course credit?
The same rating and credit guidelines apply to virtual / online classes as to traditional classes. For courses from non-APS suppliers, pre-approval must be obtained for credit. For more information, see School Authority Policies I-7.2.8 Options for Providing Instructions.

Does this class count in my GPA?

Do virtual / online courses meet the requirements for the standard and advanced diploma?
Yes, all approved virtual / online courses meet standard and advanced diploma requirements.


For more information on virtual / online courses, please contact your school advisor.