What is Strong Start?
We at GCA want you to have the tools you need to be successful in our virtual schooling environment. Strong Start is our on-boarding program which begins your orientation to our school.
1. Set Up Accounts
In order for your student to begin school, you will need to set up your Online School (OLS) accounts via your computer - one for yourself and the other for your student. Setting up these accounts is important for a successful school year.
2. Install Blackboard Collaborate
The Blackboard Collaborate Launcher provides access to Class Connect. Class Connect is an online classroom where teachers can provide real time instruction to students. In order for your student to participate in Class Connect and for you to participate in Learning Coach sessions, you will need to install Blackboard Collaborate Launcher on your computer.
* NOTE: Configuration Rooms 1 & 2 are only to test your setup of Blackboard Collaborate. There are no presenters in those rooms. All GCA sessions and classes must be accessed through your Online School (OLS) login.
Class Connects and Blackboard Collaborate Sessions cannot be accessed via a phone or tablet. Please make sure you install Blackboard Collaborate on your computer.
3. Install Office 365*
Students have access to Office 365 which can be used for computers or mobile devices. The Office 365 suite includes Microsoft: Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and OneNote.
*NOTE: If you already have Microsoft Office installed on your computer, it is not necessary to download the Office 365 desktop application suite. Please continue to use the Microsoft Office program already installed to mitigate any software compatibility issues.
Phone and Email Contact
GCA families receive continued support from a Family Success Liaison (FSL). You can expect to receive a personal phone call and follow-up email from your FSL prior to your school start date.
To receive these important communications, please make sure your contact information is up to date in your Learning Coach account in the Online School (OLS).
Change in Address or Learning Coach?
If you need to change your address, Legal Guardian, Learning Coach (change or addition), or student name, please follow instructions on the instructions on our Contact Information Changes page.
Learning Coach Prep Academy Training Videos:
Your role as a Learning Coach is essential to the success of your student. Learning Coach Prep Academy will provide you with a basic understanding of the role and responsibilities of a Learning Coach.
To ensure you receive the necessary information to be a successful Learning Coach, begin by watching the six training videos below.
- Mission & Vision
- Online School at GCA
- GA Milestones Requirements
- Our Staff
- Family Engagement
- Internet & Computer System Requirements
- How to be a successful Learning Coach
- How to be a successful Student
- Basic materials needed for success
- Setting up effective work-spaces
- Identification numbers and where to find them
- How we provide school to home communication
- A day in the life of a virtual school family
- What is Class Connect?
- Navigating Blackboard Collaborate
- Logging Into the Online School (OLS)
- Learning Coach Landing Page
- Online School Home Page
- Monthly Instructional Calendar
- How to Access Lessons
- How to Check Progress
- Learning Coach view
- Student view
- Checking grades
- What attendance means
- School and state requirements
- How to log attendance
- GCA Events Calendar
- Parent Teacher Student Organization
- K12 Online Customer Support website
- Your Family Success Liaison and Teachers
Attend Orientation Sessions:
New Family Orientation:
The purpose of Orientation Sessions is to welcome you to our school and to make sure you have the necessary tools for being a successful Learning Coach. During these live sessions, you will have an opportunity to interact with your Family Success Liaison and other Learning Coaches. These sessions will strengthen your understanding of how to be a successful Learning Coach.
Orientation Sessions will be held in a Blackboard Collaborate classroom which you will access from your Online School account on your computer. Before you attend this session, please make sure you have installed Blackboard Collaborate on your computer.
You will receive the session schedule from your Family Success Liaison. If you have any questions, please contact your Family Success Liaison.