After news broke out that rising seniors in the Class of 2015 are no longer eligible to fulfill graduation requirements as an eighth academic course online next year, students grew concerned, especially those whose schedules conflicted with this restriction.
However, after high demand for a course to facilitate these concerns, the Fairfax County Public Schools Online Campus is offering a new online, self-paced Economics and Personal Finance (EPF) course starting this summer. This pass/fail course does not have any formal instruction, so students must be able to follow the schedule on their own and take exams accordingly.
According to Principal Evan Glazer, this new course allows students in the county to “earn the credit at their own pace, so there won’t be conflicts with traveling or internships.”
In addition, he believes many conflicts regarding scheduling will be resolved as students at Jefferson, even members of the Class of 2015, may be able to satisfy the EPF graduation requirement without giving up any courses during the school year.
“The course opens the door to take TJ specific electives during the school year, and students can take EPF assessments only at a time they are ready,” Glazer said. “The actual instruction is dependent on a person explaining and engaging the material well, regardless of the medium.”
Due to the new restriction, after taking high advanced math courses for the past three years and planning out a senior schedule, junior Didi Park was upset to discover that a sacrifice would have to be made: forgo math courses senior year or give up a prestigious music institute over the summer.
“I haven’t had any chances to do summer school during my career at TJ because during the summers, I typically go to summer music institutes. Because of this, my senior year was planned for satisfying all the graduation requirements, such as the extra history and personal finance credits,” Park said. “When I was planning out my schedule during sophomore year, my counselor told me that I would be able to take an EPF course online senior year, so I assumed that would work.”
However, the new online course over the summer will grant Park more flexibility in scheduling and summer opportunities.
“If it works out, I will be able to take this course over the summer and since the final exams are online, I won’t have to come back to Virginia to take them,” Park said.
Though students may find advantages with the online course, some prefer formal instruction during the summer.
“I decided to take the summer course with a teacher, because I have no self-control, especially during the summer to just sit down and do work,” sophomores Kiran Girish said.
Despite the different mediums of teaching, students are pleased with the summer options for the graduation requirements, especially the new online course.
“I’ll be really happy if things work out because I’ll be able to take the math classes I want to take next year,” Park said.
To register or transfer into this self-paced option, visit here for more information. Registration ends June 25.