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Online Pathway to Graduation Program

Overview

The Online Pathway to Graduation (OPTG) is a year-long program that enables current Montgomery County Public Schools (MCPS) seniors and former MCPS high school students needing three credits or fewer, in addition to their daytime classes, to meet the academic requirements for a Maryland high school diploma. The instruction is delivered online. In addition, a teacher is in a centrally located computer classroom who monitors participant progress and facilitates individual instruction when needed. All diagnostic and unit tests will be proctored at the Center for Technology Innovation.

Participants progress through the courses, completing assignments and taking assessments to demonstrate mastery of course objectives. As participants successfully complete each course, credit is awarded, thus helping the participant progress toward the goal of earning a high school diploma. Also, participants are responsible for completing all Maryland and MCPS graduation requirements, including High School Assessments and student service learning requirements.

Eligible participants must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Current MCPS seniors or former MCPS high school students no longer enrolled, or
    Three credits or fewer needed to graduate, in addition to daytime schedule.
  • Already passed the Maryland High School Assessment (HSA) for any online HSA course needed; HSA-related OPTG courses may be taken for credit recovery only and not for original credit.
  • Have not earned a General Equivalency Diploma (GED).

Private school students and students who have never attended an MCPS high school are not eligible to participate in this program.

Participants access their classes online from any location with an Internet connection.

Once registered, participants attend a mandatory orientation session to receive access codes and review online course expectations.

All on-site support sessions will be offered at the Center for Technology Innovation (CTI), 4 Choke Cherry Road, Suite 120, Rockville, Maryland 20850.

The cost of the program is $300 for students not enrolled in an MCPS high school. MCPS students who are currently enrolled in an MCPS high school do not need to pay tuition. For this cost, participants may take up to three credits and must complete all coursework two days prior to the last day for seniors in May. Students might qualify for reduced tuition. For more information please call 301-279-3757.

The advantages include:

  • Students can work at home, school, or the Center for Technology Innovation (CTI).
  • Students can access academic support from teachers at CTI.
  • Students can earn from 0.5 to 3 credits for graduation to meet high school academic credit requirements.

Complete the online registration form with your counselor.

  • Mail the completed forms to:
    • Montgomery County Public Schools
      Department of Career Readiness and Innovative Programs
      Student Online Learning
      850 Hungerford Drive, Room 257
      Rockville, Maryland 20850
    or fax to 301-279-3679

You can find out more about the OPTG program by:

  • Calling the counseling office at your current high school or at the high school you last attended.
  • Contacting the Student Online Learning supervisor at 301-279-3757.

Login to APEX Learning

Courses Available

English:

  • English 9 A/B, English 10 A/B*, English 11 A/B, English 12 A/B

Math:

  • Algebra 1 A/B*, Algebra 2 A/B, 2Yr Algebra 2 A/B, 2Yr Algebra 2 C/D, Geometry A/B, Precalculus A/B, Quantitative Literacy A/B, Statistics A

Science:

  • Earth Science A/B, Environmental Science A/B, Physical Science A/B, Biology A/B*

Social Studies:

  • Modern World History A/B, U.S. History A/B

World Languages:

  • Spanish 1 A/B, Spanish 2 A/B, French 1 A/B

* For participants who have passed the Maryland HSA; for credit-recovery only

Support Sessions

Location:

Support sessions will be offered at the Center for Technology Innovation (CTI).

  • Center for Technology Innovation (CTI)
    Montgomery County Public Schools
    4 Choke Cherry Road, Suite 120
    Rockville, MD 20850
  • 240-314-2250 (Main Number)

Subjects:

Math and English: Monday through Thursday, 5:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.

Science: Thursday, 5:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.

Social Studies: Tuesday, 5:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.

Spanish: Monday, 5:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.

Testing Sessions:

Testing sessions will be offered at the Center for Technology Innovation Monday through Thursday, 5:00 p.m.–7:00 p.m.

Directions

Driving Directions:

The Center for Technology Innovation (CTI) is on the corner of Choke Cherry Road and Shady Grove Road—just west of Route 355 (Rockville Pike) and just east of I-270. It is directly across Shady Grove Road from the Home Depot store (the traffic light that goes into the Home Depot parking lot is Choke Cherry Road). CTI is in a brown brick building with a sign "Access Intelligence" on the building.

From Washington DC:

  • Take Beltway to I-270 North to Rockville,
    Get off at Exit 8, Shady Grove Road/Redland Blvd,
    Keep left onto Shady Grove Road east (avoid hard right onto Redland Blvd),
    Pass through the first traffic light (Home Depot will be on your left),
    Turn right at that intersection onto Choke Cherry Road,
    Turn left into the parking lot of 4 Choke Cherry.

Support Staff

OPTG Administrative Staff:

Patricia Bronson, Coordinator
Online Pathway to Graduation Program

Michelle Lipson, Supervisor
Student Online Learning
301-279-3757

OPTG Instructional Support Staff:

English

Lisa Runyon
Rashemah Stridiron

Math

Maryrose Spriggs
Benae Gibson

Science

Scott Durbin

Social Studies

Sharon Gardner

World Languages

Vanessa Hawkins

FAQs

How do I log on from home?

  • Go to www.apexvs.com, and then use your username and password.
  • Or, download the FAQs handout and follow the instructions at the end of the document.

What if I forget my username or password?

  • E-mail Mrs. Bronson at Patricia_Bronson@mcpsmd.org or your content teacher. She/he will e-mail you your username and/or reset the password to a temporary one so you can reset it and access your work.

When is the CTI computer lab open?

  • 5:00 – 7:00 p.m. Monday through Thursday WHEN REGULAR SCHOOL IS IN SESSION DURING THE DAY.

Do I need to arrive before a certain time?

  • Yes, students should plan to arrive by 5:45 p.m. because the building’s outer doors are locked at that time.
  • If you are locked out, come to the entrance opposite the lab and call 240-314-2250. This is the number at the sign-in desk for the suite. One of us will let you in after you call. You should be able to see the office straight down the hallway if you are at the correct door.

How long will it take me to finish my course(s)?

  • It depends on how much time you devote to them. Most students finish a class in 3 to 4 months by working a few days a week (some take much less time and some longer). OPTG does not follow the semester designation of MCPS; as soon as you finish a course, you will receive a grade and credit for the course.

What if I need help from my content teacher?

  • E-mail your teacher. INCLUDE YOUR FULL NAME, COURSE TITLE & UNIT/ASSIGNMENT YOU ARE WORKING ON (ex., Patty Bronson, Algebra 1A, 1.1.3).
  • Come by Monday through Thursday to see a math or English teacher.
  • Come by Tuesday to see your social studies teacher.
  • Come by Thursday to see your science teacher.
  • Come by Monday to see your Spanish teacher.

What do I do if I’m locked out of a quiz?

  • After two failed attempts at passing a quiz, the program locks the quiz until you contact your instructor.
  • E-mail your course teacher; he/she may ask you to complete additional work or come to CTI for support. The quiz is then unlocked by the instructor (which can be done remotely) so you can retake it.

What is the Quiz retake policy?

  • A student may re-take an online quiz only under the following circumstances:
    • If on the first try the student scores lower than 60%, the program will allow the student to take the quiz a second time. The student is expected to review the course material before the second attempt.
    • If after two attempts a student is still unsuccessful at passing the quiz, he/she must either e-mail the instructor or come into the lab to meet with the instructor (Monday through Friday—English & math; Tuesday—social studies; Wednesday—science; Monday—Spanish). The instructor will provide support and determine whether additional work must be completed prior to the third quiz attempt.
    • If a student PASSES the quiz on the first try but would like to retake the quiz for a higher score, he/she must have already completed all the preceding work in the given unit. The student must come to the lab to re-take a quiz. One re-take per quiz for students who are re-taking a quiz with a passing score.
     

When can I take a unit test?

  • You must have completed all the work for the unit prior to taking the test.
  • Monday – Thursday, 5–7 pm; your content teacher does not need to be present.

Can I take an online unit test at my school?

  • No, you must take unit tests at CTI during the hours above.

Can I come to the lab any night to work online?

  • Yes, students may complete work on site during the posted hours.

Does it matter if I stop working on my online class(es) for a few months?

  • Yes! Your school counselor will receive a weekly e-mail update on your progress; if you are not working, he/she will call you in for a talk.

How often do I need to work online?

  • Login and work with course materials a minimum of 1 hour per week per course.
  • Monthly, complete all unit materials and attend a session at CTI to take a proctored unit test.
  • Students who do not meet these requirements will be moved from active status to waitlist. As active students complete courses and additional seats in the program open, waitlist students will be given the option to move back into active status.

What about snow days?

  • If you check the Announcement box on the Home page of the Apex website, you will see specific information on closings.
  • Inclement weather policies for MCPS will be followed. If schools have early dismissal or cancellation, the lab is NOT open; if MCPS cancels afternoon/evening activities, the lab is NOT open.

What if I have a question that was not addressed here?

  • Contact Patty Bronson (Coordinator, Online Pathway to Graduation Program) or Michelle Lipson (Supervisor, Student Online Learning) at 301-279-3757.
  • For specific content questions, e-mail your OPTG teacher.

What if I have a question for APEX (the online program)?

  • APEX support is available 8 am – 10 pm Mon–Fri at 1-800-453-1454 or support@apexlearning.com.

I forget how to find the building for OPTG. Do you have directions?

  • Yes. See the "Directions" tab above.

Student eLearning

is a program for students seeking to accelerate their learning or to pursue credit recovery options by taking courses that follow a blended model of online and face-to-face instruction.

Program Infographics

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