Feedback on Georgia Virtual school and AP vs DE


My son is a rising senior in one of the schools in Georgia. He had signed up for four APs for his senior year namely, AP Physics 2, AP Chemistry, AP Calculus AB and AP computer Science A. He is a strong student (straight A’s).

Because of the pandemic and his being asthmatic, he has chosen to go for virtual learning this year. And the only choices he is offered through his school are doing AP Physics 2 and AP Computer Science via GAVS (Georgia Virtual School). He is, however, not sure about the quality of instruction via GaVS for his AP classes. If anybody has a first hand experience with them, please share your experience and feedback.

He has to take AP Calculus AB via Edgenuity (with the support of his county’s teacher, they say). But primary instruction would be via Edgenuity only, a platform whose reviews on the Net are horrible. So looks like he will have to do Calculus on his own, for the most part. He is a strong student though and we might have a few sessions with a private tutor, if needed. For AP Chemistry, he’ll get to learn from one of his school Board teachers. So he should be fine with that.

He is already enrolled with Clayton State university(community college) for his dual enrollment English class. So he does have an option to switch from AP to DE for Calculus, Physics and Computer Science classes. Our dilemma is whether to switch or not. Since he plans to do his college in Canada(he is a Canadian citizen), getting AP credits would be nice but he can always take AP tests at the end of the year for that. My question is if somebody could tell how different is the content of AP classes from DE classes for Physics, Calculus and CS? Taking DE instead of AP’s online might make his life easier and could be a good option if course content is almost similar and he is prepared for AP exams with a little extra prep. Any suggestion on that will be really helpful.

Another option in my mind is to withdraw from school and go for homeschooling instead. In which case, he can do his AP classes from AP Homeschoolers Pennsylvania or John’s Hopkins CTY etc. that have way better quality of education than Edgenuity and GAVS, offered by his school. But the concern is that they don’t give a diploma and we’ll have to make our own diploma as a homeschooler that might not be a good idea esp. as he is planning to join colleges in Canada or India. Any thoughts or suggestions on that are much appreciated.

All of us are going through real tough times and have to take difficult decisions in these unprecedented times of uncertainty. Any suggestions that could help us take a right decision would be greatly appreciated.Thanks in advance!

For Clayton State courses, based on the catalog at

  • MATH 1501 and 2502 are single variable calculus that AP calculus BC should be roughly equivalent to. AP calculus AB covers the topics in 1501 and part of 2502.
  • PHYS 1112 and 1112L cover electricity and magnetism, and may include optics and modern physics. AP physics 2 also includes fluids and thermodynamics. Note that this physics sequence is non-calculus-based, which may be suitable for biology majors but not for physics or engineering majors.
  • CSCI 1301 is probably the closest approximation to AP CS A, although the latter may contain some topics from 1302.

He should look at the Khan Academy programs for the AP classes he is interested in. I don’t know of any high schools that are awarding credit for those classes yet, but they certainly would give him strong supplementary support and exam prep.

Ucbalumns Thanks a lot. It surely helps. He is planning to major in Computer Science. Do you know if he will get credits towards it if he does AP Physics 2? He did AP Physics already in his junior year.

happymomof 1 Thanks. He is already looking at Khan academy for supplementary support and he does like it a lot.

CS major degree programs may require physics (typical of engineering based CS majors) or not (typical of liberal arts based CS majors). Some have a science requirement which allows physics as an option.

Those that require physics usually require calculus-based physics suitable for physics and engineering majors, so AP physics 1/2 or college physics for biology majors without calculus is unlikely to satisfy such a requirement.

Clayton State’s CS major has a science requirement; if physics is chosen, it must be the calculus-based version (PHYS 2211/L):

Is it not possible for him to stay enrolled in school AND do the AP class through CTY? Like could he work out a free period or a reduced courseload with his school?

There’s no guarantee that distance education through Clayton State (which is a four-year university, not a community college - my mother and sister went there!) would be better than Edgenuity or another platform. It probably would be; colleges like Clayton State would probably have professors who are used to teaching online/distance, and it does look like Edgenuity has pretty bad reviews. Taking a college class also means that he’ll probably get credit for it as long as he gets a C or higher, whereas many colleges require a specific score on the AP exam to get credit (sometimes it’s 3, sometimes it’s 4, and at a few schools it can be 5.)

The content for physics and calculus, at least, tend to be pretty straightforward - calculus AB usually maps pretty well onto calculus I at most schools (although at a few, they may start to cover more concepts depending on how rigorous/challenging their math program is). Physics C is usually equivalent to thermodynamics - first semester physics.

But if he’s taking distance learning classes at a full-on, four-year college, I don’t see why he’d still need to take the AP exams - he could just transfer the credits instead.