Virtual Loudoun provides an easily-accessible way to take classes online, either to make space for an elective at school or fulfill pre-requirements for one next year.
A majority of people take Virtual Loudoun in order to take their time on a class they need.
“The major benefit of taking an online course is creating space in your schedule for other electives or content courses,” Virtual Loudoun teacher Ronald Fillipovich said. “Students are really able to focus in on what they are passionate about. VL can also benefit students who may be behind or transfer from another state by helping them earn credits they may need to graduate on time.”
Freshman Alina Hasan plans to take gym online next year in order to fit another class into her schedule.
“I’m going to replace it with Spanish,” Hasan said. “Because I want to do all five years of Spanish and get the credits for the next two years.”
Students have choices of three possible terms. Terms 1 and 2 take 15 weeks each, during the first and second semesters. Term 3, the summer term, takes 10 weeks. Summer classes cost $695 per course, but courses during the school year are free for Loudoun County students. The classes don’t require many other materials beyond a computer and an internet connection.
This doesn’t mean the course is easy.
“A virtual course has the same, if not higher, expectations as the face to face counterpart,” Fillipovich said. “We are still held to the same Virginia Standards of Learning and are required to teach them. I also would like students to know that even though this is a virtual course communication is a major factor in student success.”
“Not everyone is comfortable learning in an online environment.” VL counselor Cynthia Fillman said. “But for students who are good independent learners and have a good work ethic and dedication to working regularly in a course throughout the term, I think virtual courses are an amazing option.”
Some classes, like gym or driver’s ed, have an interactive portion. Meena Kakani, a student who took online gym this past winter, explains that students use fitness logs to track exercise done throughout the week. They are required to exercise seven hours a week and record the data on a tracking device.
“You can get an assigned fitbit, and they give it to you for free,” Kakani said. “You can use that as your fitness log, and you upload it to the computer and you print the screen out and send it.”
Virtual Loudoun provides a variety of courses, from academics to career and technical education classes.