Posnack Virtual School Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is Posnack Virtual School?
A: We are a Jewish online school designed to provide a Jewish college-preparatory education to students unable to get such an education in a traditional setting.
Q: Who is eligible to attend Posnack Virtual School?
A: Posnack Virtual School is for students entering 9th or 10th grade who would like to receive a fully accredited college preparatory Jewish high school education but can only do so or prefer to do so online.
Q: With which branch of Judaism is Posnack Virtual School affiliated?
A: As a community Jewish day school, all of David Posnack Jewish Day School is unaffiliated with any branch of Judaism. We have students who belong to Conservative, Orthodox, Reconstructionist, and Reform synagogues, as well as students who are unaffiliated with a synagogue. We strive to create an environment where all are welcome and comfortable.
Q: Do students have to be in front of the computer at certain times?
A: Yes. The teaching model we use requires students to be in front of their computers with a webcam, in a virtual classroom, at the same time as their teacher and classmates. This adds collaboration and social elements missing from other virtual school models, because face-to-face conversations are possible.
Q: Do students have to teach themselves?
A: No. One of the best aspects of our teaching model is that students learn from a live teacher, who will explain concepts and answer questions, just like if the student was physically in a school.
Q: Is Posnack Virtual School a form of homeschooling?
A: Yes and no. Students who live in Florida can tell the state they are attending a Florida school online. Students who live outside of Florida should follow their state’s laws regarding homeschooling, and say that Posnack Virtual School is the curriculum provider. In either case, unlike other homeschool options, students will be taught by teachers licensed in each subject area. Therefore, students will be able to send an accredited transcript to universities.
Q: How do I know what my state’s homeschool laws are?
A: You should always check your state’s department of education website to be sure. However, the Coalition for Responsible Home Education has a good website with overviews of each state’s requirements.
Q: Is Posnack Virtual School accredited?
A: Yes! We are currently accredited by the Association of Independent Schools of Florida, the National Council for Private School Accreditation, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, the Florida Council of Independent Schools, and the Florida Kindergarten Council.
Q: Will universities accept a Posnack Virtual School diploma?
A: Yes! Students graduating from Posnack Virtual School and students graduating from Paul and Maggie Fischer High School (our physical location) will both receive diplomas and transcripts that say they are from “David Posnack Jewish Day School.” We have an extremely good college and university placement rate, and Posnack Virtual students will benefit from the same college support opportunities.
Q: What technology is required for students enrolled in Posnack Virtual School?
A: Posnack Virtual School students are required to have reliable access to a high speed internet connection. The school offers opportunities to purchase suitable computers with all of the necessary specifications and a kid-proof warranty. Other technology, such as a second monitor, are suggested but not required.
Q: How do absences work?
A: Because students are required to attend their classes virtually, they will be marked absent if they are not participating in class. However, our teachers record their classes, so it is easy for students to learn the material they missed. We do not differentiate between excused and unexcused absences. Students with more than 12 absences in a semester will not receive credit for the semester.
Q: What if my computer is not working?
A: We have technical support staff available to help you with any computer problems.
Q: How do assessments work?
A: David Posnack Jewish Day School is on a proficiency based assessment system, which means students are graded on performance, rather than effort. Students will always take formative assessments (such as quizzes) during a unit, which they can retake if they do poorly the first time. These are designed to help the student understand what is needed to succeed on a summative assessment, and to help the teacher determine where each student is in their learning. Summative assessments (such as tests) are given at the end of a unit, and cannot be retaken.
Q: How do you take a test online?
A: We give our assessments through Canvas, a learning management system widely used by both high schools and universities. Canvas allows us to assess students remotely as well as providing instant feedback.
Q: How do you prevent cheating?
A: When taking assessments, students will access Canvas through Respondus Lockdown Browser. Lockdown Browser prevents students from accessing other software on their computers and creates a video recording of them taking their assessments. Teachers can then go back and check for suspicious behavior.
Q: What if a student needs extra help?
A: All teachers have office hours at least one day per week after school and at least one day per week during lunch. However, most teachers are available more often upon student request. Students will be able to go into a virtual classroom to see and hear and speak with their teacher, in the same way they participate in classes.
Q: What are the Judaic Studies requirements for Posnack Virtual School students?
A: All students take at least one Judaics class each year, but they can take additional classes as electives if they choose.
Q: How does Tefillah work?
A: Because a virtual minyan is generally not accepted as appropriate, students are asked to daven Shacharit on their own.
Q: What are the Hebrew requirements for Posnack Virtual School students?
A: All students take Hebrew language classes appropriate for their proficiency level each year.