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Spring 2022 Original Credit Briefing

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Spring 2022 Original Credit Briefing
for
Counselors, Administrators, and Site Facilitators

Updated 11/22/2021

Notice to students and parents: This information is intended for distribution to schools and districts only and may contain details that do not apply to your local district’s participation in MTDA services. If you are interested in enrolling in courses with Montana Digital Academy, your first contact should be with the counseling department or administration of your local public school to discuss what is available locally.  MTDA does not take enrollments directly from students or their parents.

Important note for districts: Enrollment for Spring 2022 opens November 22, 2021  We will continue to work to efficiently manage MTDA resources to meet the needs of your students in this and future semesters.  We continue to ask you to assist us in making the best use of MTDA resources by thoughtfully and deliberately enrolling students that you believe will be successful in online classes.

Cost-Sharing Statement

On June 14, 2021, the MTDA Governing Board exercised its authority granted by MCA 20-7-1202 to begin cost-sharing with districts in fall 2021.  This applies to the MTDA original credit program.  Before enrolling any student for the upcoming term, please review our information page regarding payment: link.

COVID-19 Statement

MTDA continues to monitor the Covid-19 situation as it applies to educational services across the State of Montana.  At this point, MTDA continues to serve in our pre-COVID-19 service model.

If you choose to enroll students that have any impact on their ability to learn or engage due to Covid-related circumstances, you must review MTDA entrance counseling forms with students and their families to help communicate the requirements and expectations of students to participate in MTDA services.

Registration

  • Please review our student registration page for information on data collection, entrance counseling, and student registration in the site facilitator handbook.
  • Please be mindful of course requirements and prerequisites.  We rely on local school officials to determine appropriate placement in MTDA programs and services. Many full-year courses are not available for mid-year enrollment (for example, mid-year entry in AP Biology with no prior background), and students that are attempting to switch from face-to-face to MTDA mid-year should contact the support desk well ahead of enrollment to discuss the situation.  Also, schools should be cautious to enroll students in the spring term of a full-year course where they do not have a successful history with the Fall semester in any format (for example, a student failing Fall Algebra I A/1st Semester does not meet the minimum prerequisites for enrolling in Algebra I B/2nd semester).
  • As noted in our facilitator handbook, each student account must have an accurate, unique, and functioning email address for each student enrolled in the system.  If your district’s student email system blocks outside emails, please work with your IT department to unblock MTDA email addresses BEFORE enrolling.  Additionally note, Apple iCloud.com addresses do not allow access to many automated email systems; please use an alternative.
  • Registration for Spring 2022 opens on November 22, 2021.  We will again enforce an “Initial Course Request Deadline” on Wednesday, January 19, 2022.  MTDA will finalize sections on that day and assign teachers.  We may or may not have additional slots open in any particular course after this day.  If you choose to enroll a student on or after the course start date on January 24, 2022, you must play an active role in helping that student get in the course and catch up to pace.  Students that are enrolled after the course starts have a significantly higher drop rate and ultimately lower success rate.
  • Please use the enrollment counseling forms when enrolling students and give a copy of the form to the student after enrollment.  This form helps decrease confusion on behalf of the student and their parents and opens up communication lines.  Our enrollment counseling page is here: LINK.

Program Information

  • Our course list for Spring 2021 is here: LINK.
  • Our 2021-2022 Academic Calendar is located here: LINK.
  • Our 2021-2022 course catalog and course offering lists are located here: LINK.
  • Significant program changes (please check back here for an up-to-date list):
    • New Courses for Spring 2021
      • Google Workspace Career Tech – CTE/Business elective.
      • US History I (Dual Credit) is a Social Studies/History course that covers the second half of US history.
    • New Courses from Fall 2021
      • Public Health is a CTE/Health Science elective.
      • Hospitality and Tourism Marketing is a CTE/Business elective.
      • Photoshop Introduction is a CTE/Business elective.
  • Course Enrollment Limitations
    • Latin I and II are limited to ONE section, due to teacher availability.  These slots are available first-come, first-served.
    • CTE/Agriculture Education courses are limited to ONE section, due to teacher availability.  These slots are available first-come, first-served.
  • Dual Credit Course Information
  • NCAA: If you are considering MTDA courses for a student that could be a future NCAA athlete, be sure to review our page regarding MTDA and the NCAA.
  • IEPs/504 information: If you have a student that has 504 or IEP accommodations, please review required procedures for sharing accommodation requests in our site facilitator handbook (short link to specific pages: link)

2021-2022 Advanced Placement™ Information

Thank you for entrusting your student with MTDA for an Advanced Placement™ course. We are very proud of our AP™ program, which has experienced growth in the past five years, outpacing the rest of our program. Our exam passage rates exceed the state average, and we continue to refine our delivery and engagement models. We have had positive and constructive feedback from our students and look forward to continuing to enhance and polish the student experience in the program. We, of course, also welcome your feedback!

Covid-Related Information

MTDA will offer our full complement of dual credit and Advance Placement™ courses for the 2021-2022 school year.  However, AP™ exam administration and registration are completely outside of MTDA.  Schools should keep a close eye on the College Board’s “AP Central” website for updates regarding testing in the Spring.

Resource: AP™ Central Webpage (link).

Test Administration/Ordering Exams

You must plan and take action now for students taking the Advanced Placement™ tests, May 2022.

As a distance learning provider, MTDA has no role in the administration of Advanced Placement™ exams. We will do our best to assist, but exam administration happens in face-to-face environments and not online.

Please refer to this excellent checklist from the CollegeBoard on setup, enrollment, and ordering tests:

Resource: AP Coordinator Checklist (link).

FOR SCHOOLS THAT ARE ALREADY REGISTERED TO OFFER AP EXAMS: In addition to the earlier fall deadline, the process for ordering exams changed for students Fall 2019.  You need to create “exam only” sections for your MTDA AP students, and then order exams for that particular section. Otherwise, the process is the same for your local students.

FOR SCHOOLS THAT ARE NOT REGISTERED TO OFFER AP EXAMS, your options are to register to do so, or, work with a neighboring district that offers AP testing. With shorter deadlines, we recommend that you start the process today to determine the best setup for your MTDA AP students.

The best resource to get started is the College Board’s “Start AP” page, located here: https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/start-grow-ap/start-ap

The page contains an excellent set of resources on how to get started, including a timeline and contact information for assistance at the College Board itself. The “Getting Approved to Administer Exams” page goes through that process step-by-step. Once that is complete, you will need to order exams, per the directions above.

Additional Assistance

We know that the processes involved can be challenging and that instructions aren’t necessarily clear. We suggest contacting the College Board first with questions. If you are not able to get a clear answer or if the answer conflicts with what we are advising above, please contact the support desk.

We sincerely appreciate working with you to help serve students across the state by delivering programs like Advanced Placement™ courses. Do let our staff know if we can be of any assistance!

Cost Sharing Information for Schools

On June 14, 2021, the MTDA Governing Board exercised its authority granted by MCA 20-7-1202 to begin cost-sharing with districts. The legislature continues to provide an appropriation to MTDA at the level established in 2015. 

This decision, which was not taken lightly, was made to continue to offer a wide variety of supplemental courses to all Montana students while maintaining our commitment to deliver highly responsive customer service and support to students, parents, and school communities.

In order to continue to best serve the students of Montana into the future, school districts are now asked to share in the subsidized costs of enrollment: 

  • $123 per semester enrollment for original credit 
  • $61.50 per quarter enrollment for credit recovery

This fee represents only a small portion of the overall cost of each student enrollment in MTDA courses. 

As you navigate this new model, we are sharing a few resources for your reference:

  • View recorded informational webinar 
  • One-pager with key details
  • FAQs on the cost-sharing model

Dual Credit Courses will remain at no cost-share to districts, per an agreement with the Board of Regents, for the 2021-22 school year.

Informational Webinar:

Cost Sharing Informational One-Pager

MTDA Cost Sharing One Pager FINAL 10-22-22
MTDA Cost Sharing One Pager FINAL 10-22-22 (1)

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost-sharing amount?

Original Credit: $123 per semester course enrollment.

Example: Sally Student is enrolled in Oceanography and Mythology for the semester. The school district will be billed for $246 ($123 x 2 courses) for that student enrollment.

Credit Recovery: $61.50 per quarter course enrollment

All credit recovery courses will now be broken down into quarter lengths (identified at Part 1 & 2) to give schools maximum flexibility. All credit recovery enrollments will begin with Part 1 of the semester-based course.

Dual Credit Courses will remain at no cost-share to districts, per an agreement with the Board of Regents, for the 2021-22 school year.

Can MTDA cost-sharing fees be paid by parents?

MCA 20-7-1202 provides the following guidance:

“Funding — rulemaking authority. (2) A school district is prohibited from charging a fee to a student who enrolls in a class provided by the Montana digital academy that the school district requires for graduation.” https://leg.mt.gov/bills/mca/title_0200/chapter_0070/part_0120/section_0020/0200-0070-0120-0020.html

MTDA is not in a position to interpret 20-7-1202 to clarify specific circumstances where you can or cannot hand a cost to a third party. We would suggest bringing in your school’s legal counsel, or alternatively, if your district is a member of the Montana School Board Association, they are prepared for your call to discuss specifics regarding this issue.

Does MTDA have a cost estimate based upon our past enrollment?

Yes, please email support@montanadigitalacademy.org requesting a cost estimate using your district’s enrollment data from the 17-18, 18-19, and 19-20 school years.

How can I enroll a student?

MTDA requires districts to identify “Site Facilitators” to enroll students in the program. These “Site Facilitators” are authorized by the district to incur cost-sharing fees associated with enrolling students on behalf of the district. MTDA maintains a list of authorized site facilitators approved by the district. MTDA requires either the district superintendent or school principal to designate authorized staff responsible for enrolling students.

MTDA will annually contact the district with the current authorized Site Facilitators for review. 

In order to facilitate smooth student enrollment, districts are encouraged to contact MTDA to change or review their approved Site Facilitator List by emailing support@montanadigitalacademy.org

Can other staff have access to the system without enrolling authority?

Yes, MTDA provides the role of “Local Support” to be able to view current enrollments, check grades, and monitor communications. The Local Support role does not have the ability to enroll students in MTDA courses.

How is billing handled?

Original Credit and Middle School: 

During student enrollment, MTDA will require a PO number to be referenced for each student enrollment. This can be the same or a separate PO number for each enrollment. 

Upon enrollment, the Site Facilitator will be asked to confirm they have the authorization to complete the enrollment process.

For Spring 2022, courses begin January 24th.  Students may be dropped from enrollment until February 14th without the district being charged a cost-sharing fee. After the drop deadline has passed (February 14th) all enrollments by the district will be invoiced a cost-sharing fee of $123 per course enrollment. Invoices will be emailed to the superintendent, principal, and district clerk on record. Invoices will include a detailed report of the students enrolled, PO number(s), and the enrolling Site Facilitator. 

If a school decides to request a drop after the drop period, MTDA will honor the request and report a W/F back to the district. MTDA does not issue refunds for drops initiated after the drop deadline (Spring 2022 – February 14th).

Credit Recovery: 

During student enrollment, MTDA will require a PO number to be referenced for each student enrollment. This can be the same or a separate PO number for each enrollment.  Upon enrollment, the Site Facilitator will be asked to confirm they have the authorization to complete the enrollment process.

Students have 11 weeks from enrollment to complete the quarter course. Students may be dropped up to one week after enrollment without incurring a fee from MTDA. One week after enrollment, the $61.50 per quarter course enrollment fee will be invoiced. MTDA will be invoicing schools after the drop period has passed.

Invoices will be emailed to the superintendent, principal, and district clerk on record. Invoices will include a detailed report of the students enrolled, PO number(s), and the enrolling Site Facilitator. 

If a school decides to request a drop after the drop period, MTDA will honor the request and report a W/F back to the district. MTDA does not issue refunds for drops initiated after the drop period. Students that do not complete the course after 11 weeks from enrollment will be considered to have failed and be dropped from the course.

Does MTDA accept credit card payments?

Currently, MTDA requires a PO number for enrollment only. Credit card payments are not supported at this time.

What are the enrollment periods?

Original Credit and Middle School: 

Spring 2022, original credit enrollment will open Monday, November 22nd. The initial course request deadline is Wednesday, January 19th. The late enrollment deadline is January 28th, 2022.

Detailed enrollment information is available in our Site Facilitator handbook mtda.link/sfhandbook

Credit Recovery: 

Credit Recovery is an open enrollment program and is available now to enroll for the 21-22 school year.

How are drops going to be handled?

MTDA will maintain its standard drop periods.  

Original Credit and Middle School: 

For Spring 2022, courses begin January 24th.  Students may be dropped from enrollment until February 14th without the district being charged a cost-sharing fee. After the drop deadline has passed (February 14th) all enrollments by the district will be invoiced a cost-sharing fee of $123 per course enrollment. Invoices will be emailed to the superintendent, principal, and district clerk on record. Invoices will include a detailed report of the students enrolled, PO number(s), and the enrolling Site Facilitator. 

If a school decides to request a drop after the drop period, MTDA will honor the request and report a W/F back to the district. MTDA does not issue refunds for drops initiated after the drop deadline (Spring 2022 – February 14th).

Credit Recovery: 

Students have 11 weeks from enrollment to complete the quarter course. Students may be dropped up to one week after enrollment without incurring a fee from MTDA. One week after enrollment, the $61.50 per quarter course enrollment fee will be invoiced. MTDA will be invoicing schools after the drop period has passed.

If a school decides to request a drop after the drop period, MTDA will honor the request and report a W/F back to the district. MTDA does not issue refunds for drops initiated after the drop period. Students that do not complete the course after 11 weeks from enrollment will be considered to have failed and be dropped from the course.

What is the maximum number of courses a student can be enrolled in?

Students can be enrolled in a maximum of 5 original credit courses per semester. A student can be enrolled in 1 credit recovery course at a time but can be enrolled in additional credit recovery courses throughout the school year.

Will MTDA take enrollments directly from students or parents?

No, MTDA will continue the enrollment process through a student’s local public school, as defined in law. Any direct calls MTDA receives from students or parents inquiring about enrollment will be referred back to the student’s local public school. 

What courses will MTDA be offering for Spring 2022?

Please refer to our course catalog.

What available funds can I use to support my school’s use of MTDA?

ESSER funds can likely help support many implementation scenarios for all of MTDA’s formats, including Original Credit, Credit Recovery, and IPCs. To assist with reporting, contact Jeff Kirksey, OPI ESSER Program Manager, at jeffrey.kirksey@mt.gov

Title IV-A funds (part of the ESEA/ESSA Consolidated Grant application for schools) can likely support many implementation scenarios for all MTDA formats, including Original Credit, Credit Recovery, and IPCs.  For assistance and/or more information, contact Tammy Lysons, OPI Title IV A, Student Support & Academic Enrichment Program Manager, at Tamara.Lysons@mt.gov or 406-431-2309.

 

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Summer 2021 High School Original Credit Briefing

MTDA Microphone Graphic 600 Wide

Summer 2021 High School Original Credit Briefing for
Counselors, Administrators, and Site Facilitators

Updated 04/26/2021

Notice to students and parents: This information is intended for distribution to public school districts and may contain details that do not apply to your local district’s program.  If you are interested in enrolling in courses with Montana Digital Academy, your first contact should be to the counseling department or administration of your local school to discuss what is available locally.

Montana Digital Academy is pleased to announce details about our Summer 2021 program for high school original credit.   If you intend to use the program, please take ten minutes and review the information below.  We encourage you to connect with MTDA staff right away if you have questions or unique situations you’d like to discuss.

Note: This information is accurate at the time of publication.  We will make changes to this page as details change.

Special Notes for Summer 2021

  • The MTDA Original Credit program is not intended to be a credit recovery program, and districts are advised against placing students in original credit programs if they aren’t able or willing to be active, independent participants in their MTDA courses.  If you are enrolling students that need additional adult assistance, you should have local adult resources available (tutors, facilitators, etc.) to provide extra support to high-need students.
  • Schools should take heightened notice of our entrance counseling forms, and vet students carefully to ensure that they have the appropriate access.  As a distance learning program, consistent Internet and computer access are a minimum requirement on the first day of the course.  Based on feedback from our last three terms under Covid, some students may lack alternative access options traditionally available as backups (public libraries, friend/family access, school-facilitated access) in light of building and program closures.  We are not able to renegotiate summer program requirements due to a lack of consistent Internet access.
  • We are sensitive to the time-sensitive credit needs of some students, especially Class of 2021 seniors.  We strongly recommend that local districts start to find low-tech alternatives for students who lack technical resources or opportunities due to their personal circumstances.

Summer 2021 Resource Kit

  • Summer 2021 academic calendar: link.
  • Summer 2021 entrance counseling form: link.
  • Summer 2021 parent checklist: link.  This is a newer resource for counselors and administrators discussing the summer program with parents.

Registration

  • Please review our student registration page for information on data collection, entrance counseling, and student registration for Summer.  That page is located here: link.
  • Registration for Summer 2021 courses is available NOW.  We will enforce our “Initial Enrollment Request” deadline on June 4, 2021, to have sufficient time for teachers to prepare materials.  We will guarantee placement for students enrolled on or before this date but will not add new sections after.  This deadline covers both summer sessions.  Please plan your local enrollment around this deadline, as we can offer no flexibility on these dates.
  • Two classes per session are considered “full-time” during the summer session.  This is a firm limitation for the summer program.
  • Please use the enrollment counseling forms when enrolling students and give a copy of the form to the student after enrollment.  This form helps decrease confusion on behalf of the student and their parents and opens up communication lines.  Our enrollment counseling page is here: link.  A quotation from one of our experienced facilitators in a recent semester… “The entrance counseling tool is perfect for communicating requirements to students and parents!” The entrance counseling form is especially essential for the summer original credit program as students and parents often report to MTDA that they felt unprepared for and unaware of the intensity of the summer schedule.

Summer Program Best Practices

MTDA strongly recommends these best practices for a successful summer program:
  • Students participating in the summer program must express interest and motivation to complete the summer course.  To help conserve resources, MTDA asks that districts do not place students into MTDA summer programs that aren’t interested in the program or supported either at school or home.  Please consider using tools like our student readiness survey to help determine if the student has enough support to succeed in an online course: link.  Students that are not up and running during the first three days of the class will be dropped, no exception.  The summer original credit program is NOT a good fit for a student that is retaking a course.
  • Enrollment officials should consider the availability of computer access in the homes of students taking courses.  Students will need access to a computer for an average of 3-5 hours per course, per day, for original credit courses.  As the lack of access will not modify course expectations or deadlines, we require that students secure multiple means of access.
  • Due to the tight schedule of the summer session, students must start and stop courses on schedule.  Local assistance may be required to help guarantee student success.
  • Please be clear to students that this program is not designed to work around camps or vacations if the student cannot work in each course for 3-5 hours per day.  The significantly compressed schedule is not as forgiving as a typical semester format.

Important note for districts: Don’t hesitate to contact MTDA staff in Missoula if you want to walk through setting up a summer program for your students.  We would love to chat with you about what you can expect and what you might consider setting up locally to help your students succeed!

Program Information

Summer Course Availability

Session 1 (June 9, 2021, to July 13, 2021)

  • Algebra I A
  • American Government Full Year A
  • American Government Single Semester (one semester)
  • Anatomy & Physiology A
  • Biology A
  • Criminology (one semester)
  • Earth Science A
  • English III A
  • English IV A
  • Geometry A
  • Health (single semester)
  • Personal Finance (single semester)
  • US History A

Session 2 (July 14, 2021, to August 13, 2021)

  • Algebra I B
  • American Government Full Year B
  • Anatomy & Physiology B
  • Biology B
  • Creative Writing (single semester)
  • Digital Photography (single semester)
  • Earth Science B
  • English III B
  • English IV B
  • Geometry B
  • Psychology (single semester)
  • Sports Officiating (single semester)
  • US History B

Other Details

  • Our Summer 2021 Academic Calendar is located here: link.
  • Students will be expected to get started in courses per the MTDA calendar, even if your local school is still in session.  Starting a week or two late in the summer program is not an option due to the tight timelines.  Please discuss this with interested students before enrollment.
  • Our course catalog is located here: link.
  • The drop deadline for the summer program is June 15 (session 1) and July 20 (session 2).  We understand that most programs do not have summer staffing available to facilitate drops through our typical process.  We will attempt to connect with programs with staffing but will otherwise drop at student/parent request.

12/2/2020: Open Enrollment Pending

Good afternoon from MTDA offices in Missoula!

MTDA enrollment is open; however, there are certain instances in GeniusSIS where a student is limited from enrolling without cause.  We are working on resolving the issue.

In the meantime, please review our released briefing documents regarding the Spring 2021 program.

11/23/2020: Spring 2021 Enrollment Announcements Coming Next Week

Good day from MTDA offices at the University of Montana in Missoula.

MTDA continues to work on Spring 2021 planning finances and logistics and is preparing to open enrollment on or before Wednesday, December 2, 2020.  We will send out an email over our site facilitator announcement list when ready.

We do ask any school that plans to utilize MTDA’s program in a different manner (more enrollments, less enrollments, change in local enrollment philosophy) than Fall 2020 to drop a quick like to the support desk (support [at] montanadigitalacademy.org) and let us know.  If need be, we would appreciate the ability to connect on a brief conference or consultation call.

In the meantime, if you have questions, please reach out to us via the support desk!

06/30/2020: MTDA Independence Day Schedule

Fireworks

Hello from MTDA central offices in Missoula!

Per our academic calendars, MTDA academic programs will be closed on Friday, July 3, 2020, and Monday, July 6, 2020, for the Independence Day weekend.

For our original credit programs, this means that teachers might not be reachable via email or other means.  Online classrooms will remain open.

For our credit recovery programs, there will be no live grading service either Friday, July 3, or Monday, July 6.

Our help desk services will be lightly monitored for emergencies throughout the weekend, and our office staff will be available for service on Monday, July 6, 2020.

Have a great Independence Day weekend!

01/21/2020: Enrollment is Open Through 1/24

The Spring 2020 High School Original Credit initial course request deadline has passed and we have sectioned off courses and assigned teachers. Enrollment remains open for Spring 2020 with remaining course capacity. The majority of our courses have additional capacity for enrollment. You can see an always-updated list of available courses by clicking on our live course availability list: here.

For the handful of courses that have hit capacity, that course will no longer appear for enrollment in GeniusSIS. We don’t have a means of keeping a waitlist, however, we will process any drop we receive at 9:59 am each weekday so that you can check for open slots at 10:00 am each morning, first come, first served.

Please don’t hesitate to contact our staff if you have any questions!

Enrollment will remain open for high school original credit classes until Friday, January 24, 2020, with the exception of classes that fill. At this point, we have room in the vast majority of courses, however, we strongly advise that you enroll before classes start on Tuesday, if possible, for the best likelihood of a good student outcome.

10/16/2019: MTDA Closed Thursday-Friday!

Hello from MTDA offices in Missoula!

Per our academic calendars, MTDA will be closed October 17-18, 2019, for the statewide professional development and teacher conference week.  Closed means that:

  • The MTDA offices in Missoula are closed until 8 am, Monday, October 21, 2019.
  • The MTDA support desk will be lightly monitored for emergencies.  Helpdesk services will be fully active again at 8 am, Monday, October 21, 2019.
  • Teachers are not expected to answer emails during the break. However, some/many will likely track email.
  • Grading services for credit recovery will not be available.
  • The online classrooms will remain open, 24/7.

Thank you!

MTDA Offices Closed for Independence Day

Attention all users: Per our academic calendar, MTDA offices are closed from July 4 to July 7 for Independence Day.  During that time, teachers will be delayed in returning emails and the office staff will not be available.

MTDA staff will lightly monitor the MTDA helpdesk, however, users should expect to receive answers on July 8th, when offices reopen.

Online classrooms will remain open during the entire break.

We wish you and yours a wonderful Independence Day weekend!

Montana Digital Academy
Phyllis J. Washington College of Education
The University of Montana
32 Campus Drive – Room 365
Missoula, Montana 59812
Phone: 406-203-1812
Fax: 406-203-1815

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