The MOVE UP Mentor

kickoff issue for 2013 - 2014

Welcome Back Students and Parents!

The Student Services Department at Advanced Academics, which includes the Admissions, Registrar, Counseling, and Retention Departments are excited to bring you the Kickoff issue of the MOVE UP Mentor newsletter. This newsletter will give you tons of information you can use to make the most of your online education experience!

2013-2014 CHANGES

We are excited that you will be joining us for your next year of high school. We wanted to make you aware of a significant change this year that will affect your experience with MOVE UP.


Previously, you most likely were enrolled in 2 courses at a time for 45 days each. This year we are moving to a quarter-term system! This means you will be taking 3 courses for 60 days (All PE courses are 120 day enrollments and may, upon request, serve as a 4th class enrollment during any term). We are excited about this change and the opportunities it will bring for you to earn 6 credits per year, thus keeping you on track for graduation. Below, please see the specific dates for the MOVE UP terms this year.

2013-2014 MOVE-UP School Calendar

Term 1 begins September 4th and ends on November 6th

Term 2 begins November 7th and ends January 28th

** HOLIDAY BREAK is December 23rd - January 5th **



Term 3 begins January 29th and ends April 4th

Term 4 begins April 5th and ends June 13th

**SPRING BREAK is March 31st – April. 6th **

Graduates who plan to “Walk” will need to complete courses by June 5th.

EXTENSIONS AND ATTENDANCE POLICY CHANGES


In addition to the changes noted above, your previous experience with MOVE UP may have included date extensions when your course term ended and was not complete. This year, we will be issuing those extensions on a case by case basis, and only when special circumstances warrant them. Additionally, it will be the your responsibility to contact your counselor to make arrangements for additional time on a particular course, should an unforseen circumstance occur. Offering you an extension for a course you didn’t finish may prevent you from using the full amount of available time and/or the concentration necessary for you to complete your other courses on time before the next quarter term begins. We realize this may be different from what you have experienced previously, but we feel it is important for you to follow the specific course term end dates in order for you to stay on track for graduation.



Though some students and their families may face unique challenges throughout the school year, one of the most important concerns we share is the need for consistent and timely school attendance for all students enrolled with the Marysville Online MOVE UP program. The consequences for failing to attend school are serious and well documented. Truancy has been identified as a potential predictor of criminal behavior, drug use, and is often associated with lowered academic achievement, self-esteem, and even employment potential. Online high school is one option that supports students and families with a flexible schedule in order to help them find success and reach the goal of high school graduation.



You (parents and guardians, as well as students themselves) have the statutory responsibility to ensure that attendance at school is regular and timely. If we identify you exhibiting an attendance problem, we are required by law to address that problem. This could be as simple as notifying your parent or guardian and working together to improve your attendance. However, if you fail to log in and make progress in your courses for 20 consecutive school days, we are legally mandated to report you for truancy and drop you from the MOVE UP Program. Your local school district and any state agencies will be notified of your program status immediately.



Please listen to the summary of the MOVE UP policies pertaining to attendance in the short webinar below. Please feel free to contact our principal, Dawn Bechtholdt, at 360-653-0623 should you wish to discuss this information further.

CHECK YOUR MILEAGE

MEET THE MOVE-UP ADMINISTRATION

We all share the goal of supporting you to reach your full potential, and that begins with your regular and timely attendance at school. Thank you for your anticipated cooperation. We look forward to a successful school year!

MEET YOUR COUNSELORS

Course Enrollment and Graduation Checklist

As soon as your counselor (Ms. Rasmussen or Ms. Huber) has access to your Graduation Checklist which lists all of your academic career courses and credit, she will select courses for your enrollment. In general, students are required to take Math, Science, English and Social Studies courses that are set out in state law and by your school district. Counselors will assign the courses they believe fulfill these requirements and then fill in with art and elective courses. Course changes are allowed and your counselor looks forward to hearing from you and discussing your academic career.


As soon as Ms. Rasmussen or Ms. Huber have all the information they need to enroll you in your courses, an email will be sent to the email address you provided in your application and will contain your Graduation Checklist with pre-enrollment course selections for 2013-2014. If we have not received all of your transcripts or your application for 2013-14 is not complete, then Ms. Rasmussen or Ms. Huber will not be able to complete this task.


When you receive your Graduation Checklist, review it closely to insure that you agree with the courses and credits listed and that you are satisfied with your pre-enrollment course selections. If you wish to make changes or you have questions about the Graduation Checklist, please contact your assigned counselor above.

MEET YOUR ADVISORS

From Your Advisors

Please look out for our welcome classmail message to you once school begins!! Starting the week of September 9, please start responding to our classmails whenever you can early each week. Remember, you are required to have direct personal contact with your assigned advisor either by phone or through classmail to discuss progress and goals each week! If for some reason you did not get your welcome classmail, please contact your assigned advisor above or call Brooks McMullan, your Student Achievement Coordinator at 1-866-235-3276, ext. 4.

MEET YOUR STUDENT ACHIEVEMENT COORDINATOR

Student Achievement Coordinators are a source of support and motivation for MOVE UP students. Student Achievement Coordinators play a major role in a student’s positive experience with MOVE UP by providing the support necessary for successful completion of their courses and in attaining their high school diploma. Brooks McMullan will be your Student Achievement Coordinator. You can reach Mr. McMullan during regular business hours (CST) by contacting him at 1-866-235-3276, extension 4.

TEACHERS AND TUTORS

Education Hours

Please check out the teachers' and tutors' hours for this upcoming school year. Please note that the hours listed are in Central Standard Time.

TEACHERS

You can contact teachers three ways:

Class-Mail, Chat, or by Telephone (1-866-235-3276, ext. 2)

TUTORS

You can contact tutors by chat.


CROSSWORD PUZZLE CONTEST

MOVE UP Crossword Puzzle

Below is a crossword puzzle. You can find the answers to this puzzle within this newsletter. If you would like to be entered into a drawing for a $15 Itunes gift card, please complete the crossword puzzle by sending your answers to bmcmullan@advancedacademics.com. Along with your answers, please make sure to include your name, phone number, and address in the email. Send your answers in by September 10th. You will be notified if you are the winner!

Crossword questions

Across

2. The first name of your Student Achievement Coordinator

3. The first name of one of the advisors

4. The number of courses most students will need to complete every 60 days

6. Who do you contact for homework questions?

7. Who sends out graduation checklists?

8. Who must you communicate with each week?

Down

1. Parents can get course information through the parent __________

3. The first name of one of the counselors

5. Given on a case by case basis at the end of the term

WHAT PARENTS SHOULD KNOW

It would be a perfect world if all students could easily adjust and perform well in an online educational environment. Some students will have no problems, and they will acclimate easily into new learning circumstances. However, at MOVE UP, our experience tells us that for many students the transition to online education is not always easy. We also know that there are many misconceptions about how online education works, what to expect from your student, and how to help your student be successful.


It is important to grasp that even though there are teachers, teaching assistants, or tutors available from whom your student can get help; the reality is that your student has a huge amount of responsibility on their shoulders. Your student has to login daily, organize their day, complete reading and daily assignments, study for tests, take tests, and more, all on their own. It is a completely different model than they are used to. The ROADS system, in which your student’s courses are delivered, is intuitive and provides many tools to help your student accomplish these tasks. However, it cannot do the work for them nor can it reach out and communicate with Teachers, Student Achievement Coordinators, or Counselors. Your student must do these things themselves to stay on track and be successful in their courses.


There are many things that parents can do to help their student. Put these tips and ideas into action, and make sure your student knows their responsibilities for learning and succeeding.


Login to the Parent Portal daily to track your student’s progress. The Parent Portal is a password protected site where parents can see their student’s progress online. Parents can login anytime, anywhere there is an Internet connection. Parents can view:



  • Course Assignments and Test Grades
  • A Student Calendar showing the assignments students should complete each day
  • A Progress Report
  • Attendance Reports showing time logged in to the system
  • Plus more



If a valid parent email address is provided on the student application, parents will receive an email with login information for the Parent Portal. Make sure to check your Junk or Spam mail as sometimes the email is delivered to the junk mail folder. If you do not receive a login to the Parent Portal, call Brooks McMullan, Student Achievement Coordinator at 1-866-235-3276, extension 4.


Here's a short tutorial about the portal. Please check it out when you have the time.

PARENT PORTAL TUTORIAL

Provide a dedicated online school work environment for your student at home or wherever they will be completing their school work. It is risky to think that students can sit in front of the TV or at a different spot each day and believe that work will be completed. It is too easy for students to become distracted and be wooed off task. See the section “Get Ready, Get Set, Go!” below to read more about setting up an appropriate online school work environment.


Be involved in your student’s progress and check their school work daily. Do not assume or believe that because your student is sitting at the computer that they are doing their school work. Also, do not be deceived if you see your student is spending hours on the computer. Students can explain away time on the computer that is not really academic in nature. We have seen many parents who took their student’s word for it that they were working, only to find it was not school work on which they were spending time. Even good students who have always done what they are supposed to, can find themselves procrastinating and then get behind. They are then too scared to let parents know this has happened. Stay on top of their coursework. If you don’t login to the Parent Portal, go with your student to their computer, have them login and show you what they are doing, what work they have completed and have them show you their grades and their student calendar.


Keep your students motivated by instituting rewards and penalties, and by setting goals for completing their coursework on time. Make your expectations known up front and be specific about what you will require. It is very doable for students to finish their coursework on time and even early and to do so while making good grades. Give students an incentive to accomplish this by setting weekly goals and providing rewards if they accomplish them. Also, let your student know that you will be logging into the Parent Portal and tracking their progress.


Call any of your student’s teachers or Student Services staff members to help or give input. We are here to help if there are questions we can answer or concerns we can address. We look forward to assisting you.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Do I need to do anything this summer while I wait for the first semester to start?

Make sure you know how many credits you currently have before school starts on September 4. If you know you are behind for graduation, make a plan with your counselor on ways you can catch up. Also, prepare your at-home online school environment (see below) to make sure your computer and Internet are up to speed, and call your Student Achievement Coordinator, Brooks McMullan, at 1-866-235-3276, option 4 to go over your Goal-Setting Worksheet (you will see that in the "homework" section of the newsletter).


Who will issue my high school diploma?

You will receive a Marysville School District Diploma. The diploma will be issued when you have fulfilled the graduation requirements for the school.


Will I attend a graduation ceremony?

Participation in this event is completely up to you. MOVE UP students are welcomed and encouraged to attend one of our graduation ceremonies in Marysville. Each year, we have students who choose to participate, and those who do not choose to participate. Either way, your high school diploma will be mailed to you after you have fulfilled the graduation requirements for the school. Please contact your counselor for more information.


When do I begin my classes?

Classes begin on September 4th!! Please be watching your email closely for additional information. If for some reason you are accepted to the program later in the first term, you must still finish your courses by the last day of that term. Please contact your Student Achievement Coordinator, Brooks McMullan (1-866-235-3276, ext. 4), if you have not heard anything close to the first day of school.


Do I have to login to my courses every day?

We ask that students login daily in order to stay on track and keep consistent progress each and every week. Weekly communication with your advisor will allow you to know how long you will need to study and how many assignments you will need to turn in to stay on track to finish your courses. It's up to you, however, to set your own schedule that works best for you to get the most work accomplished and the expected amount of progress completed each week of school.


How quickly can I move through a course?

This is one of the great things about online learning! There are no stopping points! You can move through your assignments as quickly as you would like. However, we do ask that you take the time needed to really learn all of the material in each course (your grades should be good). In addition, we ask that you complete assignments and tests in sequential order so that you build upon that knowledge and you are able to successfully answer questions on upcoming assessments. Please let your assigned counselor know if you finish a course early in the term so a new course can be assigned to you quickly.

MORE QUESTIONS TO CONSIDER

In order to get ahead, can I get another course during the semester after I finish my assigned courses?

Additional courses are typically not available to students. However, this is on a case by case situation and needs approval by our principal. You do have the option of purchasing a course (or courses) through alternative programs to take alongside your MOVE UP courses to get ahead or make up for lost credits. Please talk to your assigned counselor for more information.


Who is my teacher?

To offer students the greatest flexibility and availability to highly qualified teachers for the greatest number of hours a day students can solicit the help of any teacher in any subject area. There is not one specific teacher assigned to a student for any one course. Instead, students can engage and get help from any available teacher in a subject area.


How do I communicate with my teachers?

You can send instant messages throughout the day and evening to available teachers using our Talk to Teacher feature. This option provides a Whiteboard and other helpful elements to enhance this type of communication. You may also use the internal email system called Classmail and teachers are also available via telephone.


Who do I call if I have a question and don’t know who to ask?

During regular business hours (CST), please don't hesitate to call Brooks McMullan, your Student Achievement Coordinator, at 1-866-235-3276, extension 4. In addition, our customer support hotline is available around the clock at 1-866-235-3276, extension 1.

GET READY, GET SET, GO!

Get Your Computer & Technology Needs Ready

Repeated surveys of students have shown that one of the biggest obstacles to student success is not having the computer resources they need and a consistent high speed Internet connection. It is crucial that students have daily, reliable access to a computer that meets the system requirements for MOVE UP courses and a high speed Internet connection. Courses are doable with a dial-up connection but it does result in longer load times and student frustration with the program. Click here to see System Requirements and if you have questions about whether your computer or Internet connection will meet your needs, call our Customer Support line Toll Free at 1-866-235-3276, extension 1.

Get Your Study Environment Set

A desk or table that has a space for both a computer and room to take notes and to place other items is important. L-shaped tables or two tables placed in an L-shape allows for computer work in one area and writing, reading, or studying in another. The table or desk should be at a height that makes it comfortable to use a computer for hours at a time. A too tall or too short desk will cause poor posture and will become uncomfortable after a short while. Being uncomfortable will encourage students to spend less time working online.


An ergonomic or good desk chair is an excellent investment. A swivel chair can be useful for ease of movement. A proper desk chair will have good back support, arm rests, and the height should be adjustable. Click here to read more about the benefits of a proper desk chair and computer posture or watch this video about how to sit properly in front of a computer.


Find a quiet place to study and work online that is not in a public room of the house. It is difficult to stay focused in a room where there is a lot of activity. Or, if it is not possible to have a private area, invest in a pair of good noise cancelling headphones that you can wear if other things are going on in the space. If at all possible, keep distractions out of the room or the immediate online study area. It is best if the temptation of a television or game console is not in the same room.

Go! Go! Go!

It is important to be prepared to login and begin

your courses the first day of the semester.

Getting started and finishing coursework the first day gets you started on the right foot and encourages you to initiate good work habits. If you cannot start working the very first day for some reason; it is critical to begin working as soon as possible. We have found over and over again that students who login the first day and are on track the first 21 days of the semester; pass their courses and are successful.


The short video below will give additional success tips that should get you starting on the right foot this year. Check it out!!!

STAY ON COURSE

HOMEWORK ASSIGNMENT!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS?

Setting goals helps increase your motivation, gives you purpose and direction, and helps you organize your time and resources. We encourage you to set academic and life goals throughout the year. To assist, we have created a Goal-Setting Worksheet. Please click here to see the worksheet. Once it is completed, contact your Student Achievement Coordinator, Brooks McMullan (aka "the goal guy"), at 1-866-235-3276, extension 4 to review your goals! Parents, we ask that you help your student set goals and discuss them often to ensure your student is taking the proper steps to accomplish each goal. Please make sure you talk with Mr. McMullan before school starts on September 4!


Coming Soon...

Please look out for our next MOVE UP Mentor edition in October. The Student Services staff wants to provide students and parents with information and resources to help students stay in school, be more motivated to complete courses, and to plan for graduation and life after high school. It is important for online students to be surrounded by a community of people who will support them and be invested in their success. We are committed to providing this information for our students. We embrace the opportunity to work and help you achieve your dreams.


We welcome you back to MOVE UP and we wish you the best in 2013-2014!!!