Who can take RCSOnline courses?
RCSOnline Courses are offered only to Rutherford County students who are in the ninth grade or higher in an RCS high school. Rising freshmen are not permitted to take summer online courses before they start ninth grade. Students not enrolled in an RCS high school are not permitted to take RCSOnline courses.
How long do I have to complete a course?
In the summer, each half-credit course lasts four weeks, just like on-site summer school. You may take two half-credit courses each term, for a total of four half-credits. You must successfully complete your first term courses by the last day of the term in order to be allowed to take a course in in term two. If you are planning to take courses in both terms this summer, you may register for all of them at the beginning of the summer.
Students who have not completed their first term courses by the the last day of the term can request a one-week extension at a cost of $50. Any assignments not completed by the end of the one-week extension will be given a grade of zero. Students who purchase an extension for Term One cannot register for a class in Term Two. Students taking courses in Term Two can also purchase a one-week extension. Graduating seniors needing an extension will NOT be allowed to participate in the graduation ceremony.
How much time will it take every day?
For courses taken over a 4-week summer term, expect to spend at least 3 to 4 hours per day, five days per week or an average of fifteen to twenty hours per week working in the course. Make sure you have this much time in your schedule before you decide to take the course.
While online learning offers flexibility in the time of day that a student works on the course, and does not generally require a physical presence in a classroom, virtual attendance for summer courses is required for a minimum of five days per week. This means that the student is active in the course five days per week and completes work on time.* RCSOnline courses are NOT “at your own pace.” Courses have due dates every week, and points will be deducted for not meeting those deadlines.Click here to read the Virtual Attendance and Late Policy. You and your parents will have to sign acknowledgement of this policy to register.
*Students will have access to the current week's assignments. They are allowed to work ahead and finish the current week's assignments early. If you know you will not be able to be in the course for a few days, you must do those assignments ahead of time. Once you have completed your assignments in advance, contact your teacher to obtain permission to be inactive in the course for the designated days. Staying two to three days ahead of schedule is recommended for all students.
I have a busy schedule. Can I still take online courses?
Situations such as working at a job, going on a trip, participating in sports or other extra-curricular activities, etc. do not give the student permission to be inactive (virtual absence) or behind in the course. If obligations such as these and others will prevent you from staying on pace in an online course, then online learning is not for you at this time. Consider all your obligations carefully before you make the commitment to online learning. When you enroll in an online course, you are saying that you have the time to complete the work as required and on time. If you have things coming up and need to be "absent" from your course for a day or so, you can and must work ahead to complete assignments in advance of days that you might be unable to work. Students will have access to the current week's assignments. You cannot skip assignment deadlines expecting to "catch up" later.
Where can I work on my course?
Most students work from home. Some students work during a directed studies/study hall period at school. Students will need reliable internet access at home to complete their assignments. Internet access at home is the responsibility of the student/parents and is not provided by the school district. If you have problems with your computer or internet at home, you may work on your assignments on a computer at the summer school lab at Riverdale High School during summer school hours. Additionally, you will need a traditional desktop or laptop computer. Devices such as a phone, tablet, or Chromebook are not sufficient for completing all assignments. Lack of access to the internet or a computer is not an acceptable reason for late or incomplete work.
How do I become familiar with the online learning environment?
RCS Online transitioned to a new platform in January 2019. An online orientation is required for all RCS Online students even if they have previously taken an online course prior to Quarter 3 of the 2018-19 school year. This required online orientation "class" is approximately one hour in length. Details regarding the orientation will be emailed to the students and parents.
What do I have to do at school?
For each half-credit course, there are two things you must do at the summer school site (Riverdale High School):.
1. Mid-way test - must be supervised by the lab facilitator at the summer school site (Riverdale High School). (This test is the equivalent of a nine-weeks test.) Exact date of the mid-way test will be announced by the teacher in the course. This test counts as 10% of your course grade.
2. Semester exam - must be supervised by the lab facilitator at the summer school site (Riverdale High School). The semester exam must be taken no later than the last day of the course but can be taken sooner if the student has finished all assignments for the course. This test counts as 25% of your course grade. If you are taking a TN Ready course, the state test may substitute for the semester exam.
All students taking a TNReady exam course online must take the TNReady exam.
TNReady means state-tested. This applies to Biology, US History/Geography, Integrated Math 1, 2, or 3, and English 1 or 2. All students taking a state TNReady exam course online must take the TNReady exam after they have completed both semesters of the course. The TN Department of Education determines the specific dates for the tests to be administered. Those exams will be administered at your school in November or December and again in April or May. Your grade will not be finalized until you have taken the TN Ready exam. Your school counselor will be notified that you need to take the test and will inform you as to the exact date, time, and location for you to report for the exam.
Are these courses easier than regular classes?
Absolutely not. RCSOnline courses require the same amount of work as a regular face-to-face class. This is not the easy way to take a class. In fact, you must work hard to stay on track. Getting behind is the number one reason students don't pass an online class. Don't let that happen to you. If you need help, ask for it. Your teachers want you to succeed.
How would I get help if I need it?
All of our courses are developed and taught by Rutherford County Schools teachers. Each teacher has weekly "office hours" when they are available in real-time to assist their students. You should take advantage of this resource to ask questions and receive direct instruction. If you need assistance outside of your teacher's office hours, you can contact him/her using one of the methods posted within the online course. Additionally, teachers send communications at least weekly that students are required to reply to. Communication is one of the keys to success in an online class.
How much does it cost?
The cost is $150 per half-credit and must be paid before you can start the course. There are no fee waivers and no refunds for online courses. Be sure of your decision before you register for the course.
How do I register / enroll?
1. Your registration process will go much more smoothly if you speak to your school counselor before completing the registration form.
2. After speaking with your counselor, click the Enroll Now button at the bottom of this page and complete the registration form.
3. We will contact your school counselor to confirm your approval to take the class.
4. You and your parents must sign the acknowledgment form for the Virtual Attendance and Late Policy and return it to Ms. Sandidge. You may fax it to 615-898-7955, or email the scanned form, or email a statement that you have received it to email@example.com
5. Once we have received approval from a counselor, and you have turned in the form we will contact you with payment and orientation information.
Online Registration for Summer 2019
Once you fill out the registration form, you will receive an acknowledgment email from Ms. Sandidge. Your final approval email will come when she receives confirmation from your counselor at your zoned school. As a reminder, please be aware that all course requests require counselor approval.
How do I pay for my course?
When we email you with final approval, we will send instructions about how to pay. We are sorry, but we can not accept personal checks. We accept cash, cashier's checks or money orders made out to Rutherford County Schools. We also have an online payment system that takes credit/debit cards. We do not post that link on our website because we do not want payments until you have been approved by your school counselor. We will send that link in your approval email. The deadline for payment will be included in the email you receive.
Online courses are not covered by fee waivers. There are NO REFUNDS for online courses. Be sure of your decision before you enroll. Contact Ms. Sandidge or Ms. Hunter if you have questions.
One last thing to think about!
Students and parents should be aware that this is a sizable commitment in a limited amount of time and requires self-direction, good time-management skills, and determination. While online learning provides flexibility in scheduling, it is not the “easy” way of taking a course. Online courses require the same work as face-to-face classes, and students must prepare for and take all state-required tests that apply to the course. Make sure you have time to complete the course and stay on track. If you are not sure you can fit everything into your schedule, call and we will help you to make a decision.
You must speak to your counselor prior to enrolling in an online course. Also, please thoroughly read the information on this page.
If you have additional questions about RCS Online courses, please contact us.
Donna Sandidge, Instructional Technology and RCS Online Administrative Assistant 615-893-5812 ext 22124 firstname.lastname@example.org
Holly Hunter, Instructional Technology and Online Learning Specialist 615-893-5812 ext 22067 email@example.com
We will be happy to answer your questions and concerns and help you decide if online learning is right for you or your child. RCS Online Courses are also offered during the school year.