Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about MCPS Online Courses
Registration | General Info | Tuition | Hardware/Software
Enrollment and Registration
Students are eligible to take Comprehensive Health Education after completing Grade 9. Students currently in Grade 9 are eligible to register for the summer course when registration opens for summer courses.
Students are eligible to take Foundations of Technology A/B/ and Foundations of Computer Science A/B after completing Grade 8. Students currently in Grade 8 are eligible to register for the summer course when registration opens for summer courses.
Yes, a student can enroll for Semester A and/or B. However, Semester A must be taken and completed (either the in-school or online version) before taking Semester B.
General information about enrollment is available on the "Courses" page. Detailed information about the course registration process is available on the "Registration" page.
General Course Info
Online courses use the same curriculum and learning outcomes as the courses taught in school buildings. They are designed to take advantage of the online format. Most classwork may be done from home. Students who are most successful with online courses have good time management skills and are self-motivated.
The same grading and credit policies apply to online courses as to traditional courses offered in classrooms.
All classes are taught by highly qualified teachers who have been trained to teach in an online environment. MCPS online courses are taught by MCPS teachers, and online AP courses are taught by teachers hired by the vendors.
Yes, attendance is mandatory. Students cannot receive credit if they are unable to attend all of the face-to-face meetings. If a student's schedule will not allow him/her to attend all of the face-to-face meetings, the student should not enroll in the section.
No, students must attend the scheduled face-to-face meetings for the section in which they are enrolled. We are unable to make arrangements for students to attend face-to-face meetings for other class sections. (See previous FAQ.)
The exact agenda depends on the course and the meeting date, but important content is covered in each meeting. Examples of activities in face-to-face meetings include:
- Discussing course requirements and processes
- Introducing the online environment
- Organizing group projects
- Covering key curriculum concepts
- Creating hands-on projects
Because the curriculum is compacted in an online course, students should plan to spend four to five hours per day to complete assignments.
Students are not required to be online at specific times, but all deadlines are expected to be met. There are no common times that all students need to be online.
Students may complete the online portion of the course wherever they can obtain a secure and reliable Internet connection. This could be at home, the local library, a relative's house out of state or out of the country, or even the International Space Station (if you're so lucky).
There are opportunities for a student to work ahead. If you want to complete work in advance of the class schedule, communicate with your teacher to develop a plan.
Instructors will have "office hours" when they can be reached online or by phone.
No, grades are kept electronically in the student's online "gradebook" within the course. Additionally, weekly progress reports will be sent to students in e-mails. Parents will receive progress report e-mails only if a student's grade is below a B.
No, your online course grade will not appear on a report card. Check your transcript a few weeks after the class ends to verify that your grade has been placed on your transcript. If the grade is not recorded, immediately contact the Student eLearning office.
The tuition for an online course is $300 per half credit (subject to change each year) for the Comprehensive Health Education (0.5 credit) and Foundations of Technology A/B (1.0 credit total), and Foundations of Computer Science A/B (1.0 credit total) online courses. Tuition assistance is available, based upon financial need. Contact the Student eLearning office for more information.
The cost of online AP courses vary between $400.00 and $450.00 per half (0.5) credit course, and between $800.00 and $900.00 per full (1.0) credit course. Tuition assistance is not available for online AP courses.
Full refunds will be given when:
- a student withdraws prior to the first face-to-face meeting, or
- a student does not attend the first mandatory face-to-face meeting.
Partial refunds will be given to students who attend class for the first week or less.
No refunds will be given to students who attend class for more than seven (7) days after the first face-to-face meeting.
Checks that are returned by a bank will be charged a nonrefundable $25 fee.
General Hardware and Software Requirements
Online courses require basic computer skills. Students need computer skills such as navigating websites, uploading and downloading files, using word processing software, formatting text and page layouts, using presentation software, using spreadsheet software, saving and updating files, locating files in a computer, and downloading and installing software. Knowledge about how to reduce file size would be helpful.
Hardware: Any Windows computer running Microsoft-supported operating systems or Apple computer running MAC OS 10 (or higher) can access our online course content. Students need a reliable Internet connection, but high speed is not required. Apple mobile devices, such as iPads and iPods, are still not capable of playing Flash content; so, neither of these technologies can be used for the MCPS online courses at this time.
Software: The latest version of Firefox (preferred browser), Google Chrome, or Microsoft Internet Explorer with Flash player installed will be needed to access course content. Students need a word processing program that can open and save Microsoft Word format or Rich Text Format (RTF) files in order to open and submit assignments. The capability to work with PDF files (saving as, opening, etc.) would be helpful. Contact your online teacher about file format options and requirements.