FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is Oxford Virtual Academy accredited?
Yes, all Oxford Community Schools, including OVA, are AdvancEd accredited.
Who can take courses through Oxford Virtual Academy?
Any students in grades K-12 residing in the counties of Oakland, Genesee, Lapeer, Livingston, Macomb, Washtenaw, or Wayne are eligible to enroll tuition-free.
What exactly does "virtual" learning look like?
All of Oxford Virtual Academy's classes utilize technology to deliver instruction via text, video, online activities, etc. Students can complete their coursework from anywhere and at any time. The entire course is online at the beginning of the semester. They have the ability to work at their own pace - spending extra time on areas that are more difficult and moving more quickly through concepts that come easily. Each student will be assigned a mentor to encourage the student and monitor progress. Many of OVA's courses are offered through third-party content providers such as Pearson, Lincoln, Accelerate Education, Apex, etc. The course content from these providers is paired with a certified teacher employed through Oxford. The teacher is assigned to help students understand the course content, grade assignments and provide feedback.
What types of students utilize virtual learning?
Our students come from such diverse backgrounds and situations. Below are some examples of students who have benefited from taking courses through OVA.
Are OVA students eligible to play on Oxford sports teams?
The short answer is, yes! However, there are requirements that must be met in order to comply with the Michigan High School Athletic Association. Please visit this link to view all of the details - https://tinyurl.com/ovamhsaa. If you have further questions, please contact the district athletic director, Jordan Ackerman (email@example.com).
Is Oxford Virtual Academy an "alternative" school?
Typically when people refer to a school as an alternative education option, it means that the school has a reduced number of credits required for graduation (usually 18). Oxford Virtual Academy maintains a high level of academic rigor and requires 24 credits to graduate.
How much does it cost to attend Oxford Virtual Academy?
For most students, it's absolutely free! Oxford Virtual Academy is a public school that is part of Oxford Community Schools.
Who is eligible to attend Oxford Virtual Academy?
Any students in the counties of Oakland, Genesee, Lapeer, Livingston, Macomb, Washtenaw, and Wayne may enroll at Oxford Virtual Academy tuition-free.
How can I find out more about the structure and content of the classes?
Since each vendor is different, we have demo classes available to allow families to browse sample course content. Based on your child's learning style, we can help recommend the course types that may be the best fit. Please contact us if you would like demo account information.
What are the enrollment windows for registering with Oxford Virtual Academy?
Open enrollment dates change slightly each year.
Can students outside of Oxford attend OVA?
Yes, students outside of the district can enter as School of Choice students during the enrollment windows. The dates for fall semester enrollment vary slightly each year but typically begin in early March.
I've heard that Oxford Virtual Academy utilizes online courses from several different providers. How do I know which one is right for my child?
Our guidance counselors will work with you prior to scheduling courses to help determine the best fit for your student(s). While some students prefer the consistency of taking courses within just one platform, many of our students take courses from several providers each semester to meet their individual needs.
What are the requirements for a diploma from Oxford Virtual Academy?
Full-time Oxford Virtual Academy students enroll in 6 courses per semester (typically 4 core and 2 elective). To be eligible for graduation, students must complete the following:
Are the courses offered easier than at a "traditional" school?
The courses are not easier or harder, they're just different. Since the content is delivered online, many classes require more reading and writing than the same courses offered at the traditional schools. A lot of the instruction is also done through videos. One benefit is that some students find it beneficial to pause and rewind a video or re-read some content to better understand it. They also have teachers that are readily available online or in-person at one of our learning labs for one-on-one support and instruction.
What happens if my child does not like a class?
We offer an add/drop period for five days at the beginning of each semester. Students are strongly encouraged to begin their coursework right away to determine whether the course will be a good fit. Our classes have a one-semester committment, after the end of the 5-day add/drop period, we can not drop a student from the class.
How much time each day do online classes require?
On average, we recommend setting aside one hour per day, five days per week, for each online course you take. Of course, the amount of time may vary depending on the course and the student.
Will my child ever need to come to Oxford?
Students in grades 9 - 12 must take all of their final exams at our secondary learning lab located at 176 S. Washington St., Oxford, MI. Middle school students may be able to take their finals at home. Elementary students do not have final exams.
How can students earn college credits while in high school with OVA?
Through Oxford Virtual Academy, students can earn college credits through Dual Enrollment - click here for more information.
How are assessments completed?
Assessments consist of multiple choice, written questions, and projects. It varies by class. Most assessments are completed online with the exception of some of the state-required assessments and high school final exams. High school students must take their finals in our lab in Oxford, MI.
If students need extra support from teachers or mentors, where do they meet in-person?
Oftentimes, our teachers just start up a Zoom session and work through course content with students face-to-face through their computer screens. However, one of the things that really sets OVA apart from most cyber schools is that we have a high school lab and an elementary learning center in Oxford, MI. We also have some other innovative, hybrid, school options where students meet in person several days per week at a homeschool partnership location. OVA teachers are present in those locations also.
Does OVA offer any type of credit recovery course options?
Yes, for students who have previously attempted a course and were not successful, we do have credit recovery course options. In these courses, students are given the option to test out of units within the course that they may have already mastered.
In how many classes do students enroll each semester?
Oxford Virtual Academy students are typically enrolled in four core classes and two electives per semester.
If we don't have a computer and/or an internet connection at home, can my children still enroll with Oxford Virtual Academy?
Yes! Oxford Virtual Academy will provide technology as needed upon request.
I'm interested in online courses for my children but I'm not very tech saavy. What happens if they have technical problems that I can't help them solve?
Oxford Virtual Academy has a full-time technician on-staff that will be able to help your children get back up and running if they encounter technical issues.
We are interested in enrolling our four children full-time in OVA. Will we get one computer to share or will we be provided with four computers?
In this situation, you would be eligible to check out up to four computers. We encourage families to check out just the number that are needed.
When will OVA students receive their laptops?
Once registered, this information will be communicated to you. It is typically at the end of August.
What type of computer does OVA provide?
The majority of our courses work on Windows, Chromebooks, Mac, and even mobile devices. The school-issued devices are typically Chromebooks. You may check one out from OVA or opt to use your own device.
In what "phase" does the state need to be in order for the Oxford Virtual lab spaces be open for in-person support?
As long as we remain at least in phase 4, we're planning to keep the labs open. Students will be required to sign up for a specific time slot in order to maintain safety protocols.
If an OVA student takes seated courses in a district building such as orchestra and the school closes due to Covid, how does the student fulfill class requirements?
Any courses offered through a seated district building (OHS, OMS, etc.) will follow the Oxford School District protocols for distance learning in the event that the district must limit in-person learning. At this point, it is expected that the teachers of the seated courses will continue to instruct the course online if students are working strictly from home.
What safety protocols are in place for the OVA in-person learning labs?
We will be implementing additional measures to clean and sanitize the labs. Students and staff will have to follow the district’s safety protocols including wearing a mask and social distancing.
If the seated schools are sent home because of the progression of the virus, will students from the seated schools be following the OVA curriculum or would their seated classroom teachers facilitate learning?
These are somewhat separate. The seated schools in the district will follow the district's learning plan; it may include the use of online coursework or it may be course content built and published by the seated teachers. OVA students will be enrolled in an online course at the beginning of the semester. We do not expect any interruption in learning for OVA students if the district must go to a strictly online learning model.
Due to the pandemic, it is assumed that enrollment in OVA will increase. Are there any fears that OVA will be short-staffed or overwhelmed?
Our district leadership and OVA admin are committed to ensuring we are staffed to meet the demand. We have a large pool of qualified teachers in Oxford. Our training is excellent. We follow the district PD requirements.
For the classes with Optional Learning Experiences through the local community vendors such as The Den, Urban Air, PKSA, Johnston Photography, etc., will those classes still have time scheduled to meet in person?
As long as schools are permitted to be open, we are planning to have optional in-person learning at those locations. If families are not comfortable with meeting in-person, keep in mind that the course is an online course and can be completed virtually. If you have questions about a particular community vendor course, please reach out to the local business directly. A list of current partnerships can be found here - https://www.oxfordvirtualacademy.org/partnerships.
If my child's school gets "shut down" due to Covid-19, can we decide to switch to OVA at that time?
No, any in-district transfer requests must be initiated by August 17th.
Is OVA equipped to handle the needs of special education students?
All of the student's special education accommodations and services will transfer to OVA. We have both elementary and secondary special education teachers as well as other support staff such as a school psychologist.
How often do special needs students have in-person teaching?
We base those decisions on the individual needs of the students. Some have in-person instruction scheduled several times per week, others may just be once per week.
Will special education students be required to wear masks in the learning labs?
We will follow the district plan.
If OSEC students are interested in going fully online through OVA, what is the process?
Please contact Mark Suckley for questions regarding OSEC (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Would my 8th grader still be able to go on the Washington D.C. trip if he transfered to OVA this year? We have already paid for the trip.
Students who have signed up as OMS students for the D.C. trip and transfer to OVA will certainly still be included in the OMS trip next spring.
How do we know if we are enrolled in OVA? I started the in-district transfer process but haven't heard anything.
Due to the number of transfers, there may be a delay of up to two weeks to process your paperwork. You will receive an email once the process is complete. Our counselors will reach out to all families.
Can students transfer between the virtual academy and a traditional, seated building during the school year if the situation with the pandemic changes?
Students transferring to OVA are making a committment for at least one semester. If enrolling in a hybrid program, there is a committment for the entire school year. Any transfers between schools must occur after the end of the first semester or at the end of the school year.
Does an in-district transfer affect sports eligibility at the high school level?
All OVA students can participate with all sports offered at any school within Oxford Community Schools.
What is the process to begin an in-district transfer?
- Parent contacts current school principal or counselor to initiate the transfer process.
- An in-district transfer form will be provided to the family via email to complete and sign.
- After the document is processed by current school, OVA, and student services, you will be notified via email that the transfer is complete and a counselor from OVA will contact the family to initiate and/or continue Fall 20 course scheduling.
Will transferring to OVA hurt my child's chances of getting into college?
We encourage you to reach out to the college in which your child is interested in attending. We have graduates that have went on to Michigan State, University of Michigan, West Point, etc.
If a student takes classes at OVA first semester and wants to return to the high school for second semester, is that allowed?
Yes, any OVA students will be permitted to transfer in-district between semesters.
My students are currently not students at Oxford Community Schools but we're interested in enrolling them into OVA for the upcoming school year, what is the process to enroll?
Please visit oxfordvirtualacademy.org/admissions for more information on enrollment.
If my senior moves to OVA first semester and then back to the high school for second semester, in which commencement would my child participate?
Your senior would participate in the OHS commencement.
If my child transfers to OVA, is he still considered a Wildcat?
Will the OVA courses cover different material than my student would receive at a seated school? So, if we decide to transfer back to a seated school at semester, will there be missing or overlapping material?
OVA courses cover the same benchmarks as the seated courses. The content is aligned as much as possible for the year but, if changing at semester, it will also depend on the order in which the seated teacher covers the material. Oxford teachers (virtual and seated) will help to make the transition process as seamless as possible for each student.
What is the deadline to initiate an in-district transfer?
Can you share the presentation that was used during the in-district transfer webinar?
Webinar Recordings -
The transfer process states to contact my student's building principal to initiate the transfer. If my child was in elementary school last year and middle school this year, which principal do I contact?
You will contact the principal of the building in which your child is set up to attend this school year (20-21). In this case, it would be the middle school that would initiate the process. The same thing applies to middle school students starting high school this year. In those cases, the high school would be contacted to start the in-district transfer process.
Will IEPs transfer with the students who move to OVA?
All special ed accomodations and services will transfer to OVA.
What is the difference between "Hybrid" and "Fusion"?
Hybrid is the type of learing pathway where the content is delivered online but families opt to bring their students together typically two days per week for structured lessons and enrichment around the content. Many of our hybrid programs utilize the Bookshark curriculum.
Will masks be required for students and staff attending the hybrid locations?
This depends on in what phase of the state's reopening plan we fall. Currently (8/11/20) we are in Phase 4 which requires masks for students in grades 6-12 at all times and grades K-5 while in common areas.
We're interested in the Bookshark curriculum but do not want to come in-person. Are we still able to participiate in the hybrid option?
Yes, we actually have a number of families that we call our "Homeshark" group who use the Bookshark curriculum completely from home. This is not technically a hybrid pathway since there is no in-person learning but is a great option for some families. Please keep in mind that there is a lot of parental involvement required to be successful with this option.
My child would like to take some classes in-person at the high school and others online, is that the hybrid pathway?
No, in that case, your student would be a combination of seated and online. The hybrid pathway is different and involves all of the curriculum delivered online and through books with scheduled time to meet in person a day or two per week.
If we enroll in hybrid, can we switch to a seated school or other online, non-hybrid option after the school year has started?
Our hybrid program requires a minimum of a one year committment.
I have heard that other districts charge for their hybrid pathway. What is the cost through Oxford?
Are hybrid students considered full-time or part-time students?
Hybrid students are considered full-time students and will enroll in 4 core and 2 electives with OVA.
What's the difference between full-time students and hybrid students?
Hybrid students are full-time students. These students are participating in a specific curriculum that involves work at home with the option of also meeting in-person with teachers and instructors several days per week. Each location is slightly different. It is recommended that you reach out to the director of the location closest to you to learn about their specific program. You can find more information on the hybrid options available through OVA by visiting https://www.oxfordvirtualacademy.org/hybrid.