In Grades 3 - 5, students are required to complete 135 minutes of structured physical activity each week. Credit will be received by submitting a weekly activity log. Students are also required to submit a PE Standards checklist indicating the skills and knowledge mastered by the student.
In Grades 6 - 8, students are required to complete 3 semesters of physical education. Each semester requires students to participate in an online course that covers topics such as fitness, nutrition and a variety of physical activities. One requirement of the course is that students submit a weekly activity log detailing 120 minutes of structured physical activity.
In 9th grade, students are required to complete 1 year of physical education. Each semester requires students to participate in an online course that covers topics such as fitness, nutrition and a variety of physical activities. One requirement of the course is that students submit a weekly activity log detailing 120 minutes of structured physical activity.
There are a variety of activities that are considered structured physical activity such as martial arts, soccer, baseball, volleyball, tennis, dance classes, yoga, etc.
The school counselor will review all student records prior to approving course selections for students enrolled in iQ Academy Texas. Criteria for determining appropriate placement include transcripts of previous course and grade completions, results of standardized tests which are part of a student's permanent records, notes and grade report cards from previous teachers where available. Where there are questions regarding placement in the correct grade level in various subjects, students will be given access to placement tests to better assess student academic levels.
There are opportunities for students to be placed in different levels of courses for different subject areas depending on individual student needs. Every student's course schedule will be individually approved by the school counselor based on a review of these factors and communication with parents.
Families must have internet access in order to participate in iQ Academy Texas. High-speed internet access is always a better experience, but many iQ Academy students only have dial-up internet as an option for them, and they are still able to successfully complete all the course work.
Students can use any computer to access their courses. Many families already have a home computer they are familiar with and prefer to have their child use for school. No special software is required to be loaded on computers for the online program. All courses are contained within the secure learning management system (LMS).
Families that do not have a home computer or prefer not to use it for their child to participate in eCP can request iQ Academy to provide a loaner laptop computer for them to use while enrolled in the program. iQ Academy Texas has a variety of brands of PC laptops available for this purpose. All are in good working order when they are shipped out to families, and each family using a school-loaned computer is required to sign a Technology Use Agreement prior to receiving the laptop. This agreement specifies that the school is responsible for any hardware failure, but that the parent or guardian is financially responsible for any damage to the computer due to abuse or neglect beyond that which is considered to be normal wear and tear. School-loaned laptops are imaged with Windows XP, and parents/students may not download any additional software to the laptop computers without school permission. Internet filtering software is also standard on these loaner laptops.
Students in grades 3, 4, and 5 are required to have a printer/scanner for completing assignments such as handwriting, cursive and math problems. Upon completion of one semester, students may be eligible for financial assistance to help defray costs.
Technical support is available to parents and students 24/7 through telephone, e-mail, or web ticketing. Complete information about accessing technical support is provided in a resource guide given to all students and parents at orientation prior to starting the school year.
Parents will have real time access to information about their child's progress in the program with their own login to the learning management system to view their child's grades and pace in each course.
Parents will also receive regular progress reports which will be e-mailed to them on a weekly basis containing detailed information about the time their child spent in each of their courses in the previous week, and the quality and quantity of work submitted to the teacher for grading.
Parents will also be scheduled to participate in a quarterly phone conference with their child's teacher (grades 3-5) or their home room teacher (grades 6-8) to address student progress and any parent concerns. These phone conferences will be scheduled by each teacher and communicated via e-mail to parents. Parents will have an opportunity to reschedule their appointment for a more convenient time if necessary by communicating directly with the scheduling teacher. The Program Manager of iQ Academy Texas is responsible for ensuring that these meetings occur. Contact the Program Manager at the school office at any time during normal office hours with questions.
In addition to these formal contacts, parents are encouraged to contact their child's teacher(s) at any time they have questions or concerns, and iQ Academy staff will be reaching out to parents by phone throughout each quarter as necessary to support student success. Teachers are required to return messages within 1 school day.
All students participating in the eCP must take the appropriate Texas Assessment of Knowledge and Skills (TAKS) statewide student assessment according to the standard administration schedule. This information will be available to all families at orientation, and it will be made a focus of attention throughout the school year through benchmark testing, newsletters, e-mail communication, classroom postings, and phone calls.
In addition to the TAKS, each course has its own assessments built-in to measure student understanding of the concepts and knowledge included in each course. Assessment takes place in the form of quizzes and tests, projects, and other assignments as included in each course.
In the elementary grades (3-5) parents will need to be more involved with their child's learning than they will for the middle and high school grades (6-9). All courses are designed with a teacher-created pacing guide for students and parents to follow as they work through their lessons. Based on the individual characteristics of each student, parents may need to be involved at varying levels in keeping their child working at the appropriate pace to complete the course on schedule.
As students show more of an ability to be independent with completing and submitting their assignments, parents can step back and check in with their child less frequently. Knowing that the teacher is very involved with students also, and will be in touch with parents if they see issues or areas of concern with a student's work.
Teachers will post regular "office Hours" of availability in their courses for students and parents to see. During these hours, teachers can be contacted by phone or through Elluminate, the synchronous tool iQ Academies use to facilitate real-time communication online. In addition to these hours, students or parents can contact the teacher(s) by telephone or by e-mail with any questions or concerns. Teachers are required to respond to all inquiries within a maximum time of 24 hours during the school week, but many teachers respond much more quickly than that to questions.
Teachers in iQ Academy Texas are highly qualified in their subject areas, and meet all the same requirements for teachers as for any other public school in Texas.
In addition to those basic qualifications, all teachers in iQ Academy Texas receive a minimum of 16 additional hours of training specifically in using the online tools and the instructional techniques that are proven to be most effective in online learning. This training includes specific instruction in the skills needed to effectively use the learning management system (LMS) where students access their course materials as well as instruction in using the synchronous tools that allow students and teachers (and parents) to work together in real-time over the internet. Much of the teacher support and instruction occurs one on one with teachers providing instruction as needed to support the online materials.
Teachers in iQ Academy Texas do many of the same things that teachers do in a regular classroom. Their main responsibility is to provide direction and instruction to students, to grade student work, and to be a guide to students in achieving proficiency in the knowledge and concepts for each grade level.
In the Elementary grades (3-5), students will have one teacher for all of their subjects, and in the Middle school grades and High school grades (6 - 9) students will have a different highly-qualified teacher for each of their core subject areas and for their elective courses.
Student participation and progress are monitored carefully by program staff and teachers. iQ Academy staff review regular reports documenting amount of time each student spends in their courses, the amount of work completed, and the grades received by students. Follow up is done by teachers and academic advisors who work with students and their parents to provide support and assistance as needed to ensure student success.
All students enrolling in iQ Academy Texas must attend the program full-time.
Grades 3-5 Full-Time Participation: The minimum participation expectation for students in elementary Grades 3 through 5 enrolled full-time in the eCP will be an average of six (6) hours per day; thirty (30) hours per week. It is expected that the student will spend a minimum of one quarter of this course participation time online.
Grades 3-5 Participation Per Course: The minimum participation expectation for students in Grades 3 through 5 per eCP course is one (1) hour per day; five hours per week. It is expected that the student will spend a minimum of one quarter of this course participation time online.
Grades 6-8 Full-Time Participation: The minimum participation expectation for students in Grades 6 through 8 enrolled full-time in the eCP will be an average of six (6) hours per day; thirty (30) hours per week. It is expected that the student will spend a minimum of one half of this course participation time online.
Grades 6-8 Participation Per Course: The minimum participation expectation for students in Grades 6 through 8 per eCP course is one (1) hour per day; five hours per week. It is expected that the student will spend a minimum of one half of this course participation time online.
Grades 9-12 Full-Time Participation: The minimum participation expectation for students in Grades 9 through 12 enrolled full-time in the eCP will be an average of six (6) hours per day; thirty (30) hours per week. It is expected that the student will spend a minimum of one half of this course participation time online.
Grades 9-12 Participation Per Course: The minimum participation expectation for students in Grades 9 through 12 per eCP course is one (1) hour per day; five hours per week. It is expected that the student will spend a minimum of one half of this course participation time online.
Important Note: Not all courses compare equally in terms of number of lessons, duration of instruction and required assignments. The participation descriptions have been averaged. While these baselines are minimums, it is anticipated that some courses may require higher levels of participation resulting in more online and offline time per day and per week.
The courses available through iQ Academy Texas offer a high degree of rigor and are aligned to Texas state academic standards. Students enrolling in iQ Academy Texas should expect to spend approximately the same amount of time working in their courses as they spend in a traditional brick and mortar school.
Students enrolled in iQ Academy Texas participate in courses offered online, and receive instruction from highly qualified, Texas certified teachers. Students are required to complete all the required course work, to participate in regular online class sessions, and to submit work to their teachers for grading in all their courses. Students are given weekly pace charts in order to track the assignments due each week in order to stay on pace in each course. One of the major benefits to students enrolled in iQ academy Texas is the ability to set their own daily schedule in order to complete their course work and submit it online to their teachers for grading.
The teachers play an important role in the iQ Academy program, just as they do in traditional schools. In iQ Academy, however, teachers do much more individualized one-to-one instruction and support, allowing them to meet individual learning needs of the students enrolled in their courses. 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 email, and students are encouraged to contact their teachers with questions.
Some of the qualities that we have seen in our most successful students are:
There are some things that you can do as a parent/guardian to help your child to be successful in iQ Academy Texas:
It is not necessary or even desirable for parents to "hover" over their student while they are working online, but being present and near by will likely be necessary for many new online students. In addition to the need to provide support, parents of students in the elementary and middle grades have varying comfort levels with leaving their children at home for even short periods of time. Parents are the best decision-makers for the safety of their own children.
In addition to safety, students will need parental supervision to create and stick to a school schedule, to help them identify when to contact their teacher for help, and to enjoy the experience with them. The iQ Academy program does not require students to do all of their coursework during the traditional school hours, so it may be beneficial for some families to schedule some of their school time at non-traditional times of the day if it best fits their family.
It is important to keep in mind that student/teacher ratio does not translate in the same way in the online classroom that it does in the brick and mortar classroom. Because the engaging content in the learning management system guides students through their work, the teacher has more time to work individually with students as they have questions or need assistance. Even in this different model, however, the student/teacher ratio will be similar to that in a traditional classroom. Teachers will be working with approximately 25 students per course in the elementary grades and with approximately 35 students per course in the middle school grades.
Students will be given numerous opportunities to connect with each other. iQ Connect and Counselor's Corner each host monthly informational sessions for students and parents. iQ Live offers weekly live interactive sessions where students visit and take part in fun activities on-line. Club iQ offers a variety of clubs for students to participate in with other students of similar interests.
Parents are assigned an Observer login and password to enter the iQ Academy site. By using this login, parents can go directly to their child's classes and see what assignments have been completed and what their child's grades are at any time. A progress report is emailed to parents' iQ email accounts weekly. Parents can also e-mail or call their child's teachers at any time just as students can.