Your teachers will provide feedback on any assignments or projects you complete. You can also contact your teacher via e-mail or phone. In addition, each teacher has regularly scheduled online office hours. During the scheduled time, students interact with the teacher and other students in a virtual classroom.
The K–6 program is mastery-based, which means your child won’t move on to the next lesson until he or she has mastered the current one. We measure proficiency through lesson, unit, and semester assessments. In grades 7–12, progress is measured through quizzes, exams, written essays, assignments, projects and semester exams. Every course contains information on specifically how the students' work will be evaluated. Parents and students are free to contact the teachers at any time to discuss the evaluation process.
Course tools are provided for each course on the online school platform. These charts will help you plan your work so that you will complete the course by the end of the school year. For grades 7–12, Pace Charts are typically found in the Course Information tab or in a tab specifically labeled "Pace Chart." For grades K–6, Planning and Progress Tools are found within the Online School.
A one-credit course is designed to take 36 weeks or about 180 hours. As a general guideline, in addition to the time you spend online, you should also count on spending time reading, completing assignments, and studying for tests and exams. This time is a guideline and will vary according to course, study habits, etc. You should assume that a half-credit course will take half as much time as a one-credit course.
The teachers play an important role in the iQ Academy program. It is the role of the teachers to meet individual learning needs of the students enrolled in their courses or assigned to them. Teachers have "office hours" and hold weekly sessions during which students can ask questions and have discussions with their teacher and classmates. Teachers are also available by phone and e-mail, and parents and students are encouraged to contact their teachers with questions. In grades 7–12, more of students' course work can be done independently, but they are definitely never "on their own."
As long as internet access is available, students can log into iQ Academy and get to their courses from anywher, anytime. For trips during which internet access may not be available, students can print their assignments ahead of time or pack their offline materials, and work from those in order to keep up with their work. Keep in mind that the iQ Academy-provided laptops have wireless internet capability, so finding a place to get online is usually not difficult. Students should notify their teachers by e-mail if they will be unable to access the Internet for a period of time due to travel, illness, or other unavoidable issues. Regular login to iQ Academy constitutes "attendance," and students are required to be in attendance while enrolled in iQ Academy Los Angeles.
Some of the qualities that we have seen in our most successful students are:
- The ability to work independently
- A willingness to seek out answers to their questions, or to move on to a different subject until the necessary help is available
- The willingness to ask for help when needed. There are many opportunities to get help from teachers, from other students, or from technical support. Students have to be willing to make use of those resources and let someone know if they don't understand something
- Some internal motivation to succeed in the program. Students who are forced into an online learning environment are less likely to be successful
There are some things that you can do as a parent/guardian or Learning Coach to help your child to be successful in iQ Academy Los Angeles:
- Help your student set up a schedule for school to follow every day. Students should plan on approximately one hour of work per day for every class they are enrolled in, plus some extra time for outside readings or writing papers. Bear in mind that children in grades K–6 can expect to spend less than half of their school day online and the rest offline working on workbooks, printed lessons, and other activities. Middle and high school students spend an increasing amount of their time online.
- Provide an area for them to work that has limited distractions and where all their materials are available to them.
- Encourage them to discuss their work with you. These discussions can give you clues as to whether they understand the materials and the assignments, and potential problems can be headed off before they turn into bigger problems.
Clearly, this varies both in terms of the age of the child and also that child’s specific needs. Typically, being at home full-time is important for the Learning Coach of younger children, but is not required for students in the higher grades; however it is important for your older student to know that you are interested in how he/she is doing in school. As in all educational endeavors, students with an active and interested parent are at a distinct advantage for success. Most students need a certain amount of structure, at least initially, in order to flourish in the flexible online environment. iQ Academy provides parents with some very specific tools to stay informed of their child's progress and time spent working in their courses.
The main content of all of iQ Academy courses is available directly through our secure, online student classroom area. In some cases, teacher-provided links direct students to other websites, where they can take advantage of the wealth of educational information available online. In addition to limiting the sites to which students must visit to do their coursework, we have added a piece of software on all iQ Academy-provided computers that filters out sites that are not appropriate for students to view. Beyond that, good parental supervision and setting guidelines for internet use that match your family values will go a long way in protecting your children from unwanted information on the internet.