Summer School Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Below are common questions and answers to help students successfully login, access, and complete their Summer course. You will also find information below about payments, the online learning experience, student time commitments, grades, and technical requirements.
For immediate assistance or if you have any additional questions not answered above, please submit a help desk ticket or call us at (309) 676-1000.
Registering for an IVS Course (or Courses)
If a student has never made an IVS student account, please follow the steps in this help guide to create a new account: New Students - Steps to Creating an Account
If the student has already made an IVS account, but cannot remember the username and/or password, please submit a help desk ticket at https://ilvirtual.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/requests/new
Please include the student name and state that your credentials need to be resent to the email address associated with your account.
To request a course,
- Log into the the IVS SIS with the student credentials (username and password)
- Request the course(s) the student would like to enroll. An email is then sent to the local school to approve the course request.
For assistance, use the "How to Request a Course" help guide.
The local school will then need to:
- Log into the IVS SIS and approve the course request, which enrolls the student in the course(s).
- The student will receive an email notifying him/her of being enrolled and will be able to access the course on the course start date or within 12-24 hours if the course start date has passed.
Note: For students who select Home School as their school in the SIS, IVS will approve the enrollment.
Course requests are emailed to the person listed as the School Registrar in the IVS SIS. The Registrar must log into the IVS SIS and approve the request, which then enrolls the student in the course.
If the student has not been enrolled, please contact the local school as the school must approve the request. If the student's school is Home School, please contact Lara Zink at [email protected]
Great question! IVS has multiple course solutions available to students. Please review document below, which explains the differences in these three course options.
Accessing My Course(s)
IVS has two start dates for the summer term: May 4 and June 1.
- May 4 Start Date - If you were enrolled in the course before May 3, you will have access to the course and may begin working on May 4. If you are enrolled after May 4, you wiill be able to access the course within 12-24 hours after being enrolled in the course.
- June 1 Start Date - If you are enrolled in the course before May 31, you will have access to the course and may begin working on June 1. If you were enrolled after June 1, you wiill be able to access the course within 12-24 hours after being enrolled in the course.
Teachers will send out a welcome email around the start date to help you get started in the course.
Students who are enrolled in a course before the scheduled start date will have access to their course on the start date. Students who are enrolled after the start date will receive access to their course within 12-24 hours of the enrollment.
To access the course, students will click the Launch Course button in the Course Widget on the Dashboard (or main page) of the IVS SIS. The course will open in a new tab on the Course Homepage. Be sure to read everything on the Course Homepage before clicking the Content link that contains all course content.
If students click the Launch Course button and it seems nothing happens, students must allow pop-ups so the course will open in a new tab.
With Google Chrome, look immediately in the top right area of the web address bar near the star icon after you click Launch Course. You should see the words “Pop-up Blocked” very quickly, which then turns to a tiny red x in a tiny window icon. Click the red x, and then select Always Allow for this Site. Click the Launch Course button again, and the course should now open in a new tab.
If you use a different browser, use our webpage to learn how to enable pop-ups in your browser.
If you click the Launch Course button in the Course Widget and receive an "unauthorized" message, you are trying to access the course too soon. After your local school approves your course request and you are enrolled in the course, there is a 12-24 hour delay in course access because our two systems need to sync up. Our SIS and course systems sync at Noon and Midnight.
In addition, if you click the Launch Course button and it seems nothing happens, you need to enable pop-ups so that the course will open in a new tab (see question above).
Payment responsibility is decided by the local school. If you don’t know which payment option has been chosen by your school, please reach out to them to find out if you are responsible for paying IVS course fees.
- For the May 4 term, students will have until May 23 to submit the course payment before IVS processes an automatic course drop, regardless of the due date listed in the student account ledger.
- For the June 1 term, students have until June 20 to submit the course payment before IVS processes an automatic course drop, regardless of the due date listed in the student account ledger.
Students with pending charges will be dropped for non-payment after the payment due date.
Payment may be made by mailing in a check or through our online Paypal processing system.
- A Paypal account is not necessary to pay online - you can choose "Pay by Credit or Debit Card" under the normal login prompt on the Paypal screen. For Paypal payments, IVS passes the 5% processing fee onto the families.
- To avoid the processing fee, we suggest you mail a check to our office. We do not accept payment by credit card over the phone. Checks can be sent to:
Illinois Virtual School C/O Peoria ROE 48
324 Main Street, Room 401
Peoria, IL 61602
For specific course fees and more information on payment responsibility, please visit our “Costs and Payments” page.
For detailed payment instructions, view our our help guide, "How to View and Pay IVS Course Fees."
- May 4 Start Date - Students may request a withdrawal from our May 4 term up until 11:59 p.m. on May 21. As long as the student submits the drop request by May 21, even if it has not yet been approved by the local school, IVS will honor the request. All course drop requests after this date will not be subject to a refund.
- June 1 Start Date - Students may request a withdrawal from our June 1 term up until 11:59 p.m. on June 18. As long as the student submits the drop request by June 18, even if it has not yet been approved by the local school, IVS will honor the request. All course drop requests after this date will not be subject to a refund.
For help requesting to drop a course, please view our help guide "How to Request to Drop a Course"
Course Experience/Time Committment/Materials
If you are taking a year-long course, be sure to enroll in both semester one and two for the same term start. Your instructor will then create a Pace Chart for you to complete the first semester during the first half of the term and the second during the last half of the term.
- For the May 4 Start, students will have roughly 6 1/2 weeks to complete each semester.
- For the June 1 Start, students will have roughly 4 1/2 weeks to complete each semester.
Due to the condensed and fast-paced summer environment, please make sure you have the proper time (at least 20 hours a week) to commit for both semesters of a yearlong course.
All IVS courses are taught by a qualified and licensed teacher in Illinois. All courses have activities similar to taking a course face-to-face such as practice problems, readings, web explorations, videos, quizzes, tests, projects, and a final exam. Students will also participate in discussions with other Illinois students who are taking the same course about particular topics.
Our teachers model similar expectations that your local school teachers perform: offering timely feedback, monitoring your progress and communicating with you throughout the course, supporting you if you need help or have a question, etc. You may work at your pace as long as you complete the materials by the term end date. In fact, you are welcome to work ahead of schedule and finish your course early.
Most IVS courses do not require extra materials. Math courses require calculators, language courses require earbuds and microphones and a few courses require books.
To see if your course requires extra materials, please view our IVS Required Course Materials document
One of the benefits of IVS courses is being able to work at any time, day or night since all the material is online. Students are not required to be online at a particular time. Although our teachers may hold weekly virtual office hours, these are not required and optional based on the student needs.
Students will be given a Pace Chart and Assignment List detailing what work is due each week. This pace chart is intended to help students organize their time and complete all course work by the final day.
IVS courses follow guidelines to offer Carnegie credits (1 semester = .5 credit). VS courses follow guidelines to offer Carnegie credits (1 semester = .5 credit). Students should prepare to work on their IVS course 4-5 hours, plus homework time, per week. An Honors or AP course will take more time, just like in a face to face class.
Because summer is a shorter term, and IVS summer courses are not condensed, students might use 10 hours/week as a guide. These amounts are averages only; real required time is different for every student as it is dependent on things like reading level, learning style, technological skills, and motivation.
Grades and Final Exam
All tests and exams exist online. Each course will have different types of assessments. Some will be traditional electronic exams like a multiple-choice where others might be a project, paper, or similar performance-based assessment. Some of the electronic exams are timed, and you will want to review the directions carefully to ensure your understanding of the assessment expectations.
Students are required to take the semester final exam.
When the student has completed the course, the teacher will post the final percentage earned in the IVS SIS. An email will be sent to the student, parent, and local school containing the percentage earned. The school can then log into the IVS SIS and download the IVS Completion Report for each student.
Grades will be finalized no later August 13. The local school then applies their own grading scale to determine A, B, C, etc. It is up to the local school how the grade and credit are applied to the local school transcript.
Teachers will send a weekly academic progress report emailed to student and parent/guardian. This report will contain the student's current grade percentage.
Students can view the current percentage (as of the night before) in the Course Widget and in the Grades option in the IVS SIS. More grade details, including important instructor feedback, can be viewed by the student in Class Progress.
Student Supports/IEP and 504 Plans
Yes. IVS supports students with IEP or 504 plans. When a student creates an account, they must indicate they have an IEP or 504 by checking the appropriate box. IVS then works with the local school to secure a summary of needed accommodations.
Illinois Virtual School instructors can make limited accommodations for students working under the guidance of an Individualized Education Program (IEP) or Section 504 Plan. Due to the setup of the Illinois Virtual system, it is not possible for instructors to read content to students. However, tools such as text-to-speech are offered inside our D2L learning management system.
Most accommodations may be naturally supported online such as time and a half, frequent reminders, checks for understanding, scaffolding, reduced assignments, modified projects, multiple re-takes, preferential seating, etc. However, if the student feels they are not receiving a particular service, please bring that to the attention of your teacher and we will work with you and your local school to accomodate.
We expect our teachers to respond to all student requests within 24 hours Monday-Friday. Although the most common way our teachers will communicate with students is through email, they may utilize other options including direct phone calls and optional video conferencing. Teachers will also post frequent class announcements, current events, and other important reminders as news items inside your course and on the homepage. Our teachers also work closely with local school contacts and parents to help ensure student success.
For technical issues (something not working or opening), please submit a help desk ticket at https://ilvirtual.zendesk.com/hc/en-us/requests/new
For content issues (clarification on directions, question on an assignment) contact your teacher. In most cases if students contact their IVS teacher first, the teacher can either solve the problem or assist the student in obtaining help.
Students must have an active email address, daily Internet access, and model basic computer skills. Google Chrome is our preferred browser for Windows and Apple computers. Mozilla Firefox is also an acceptable option.
Please use the "Prepare Your Computer or Device for IVS Courses" to learn how to allow cookies for IVS content, allow pop-ups, allow mixed content, etc.
Although iPADs, tablets, and smartphones can be used to perform certain tasks such as reading content, we highly reccommend all students use a desktop, laptop, or Chromebook device.
Advanced computer courses do have specific requirements. Please refer to our IVS Required Course Materials document to review those specs.
Tips for Parents
IVS welcomes your support and partnership in helping your student succeed. We encourage parents to help your student:
- find a comfortable and organized space to work that is free from distraction
- establish a consistent work routine and periodically check-in with them to ensure they are staying on pace to complete their course.
You might also consider asking your student to share with you their work, or teach you something they learned. Lastly, we join you in modeling high expectations for your student and reinforcing with them the importance of approaching online studies like face-to-face learning.