How It Works
Online Elementary School
ISPA is a public school, so there is no tuition. We provide a Pennsylvania-certified teacher and instructional materials. Students and families will be responsible for providing some common household materials (such as printer ink and paper).
Who can attend?
The ISPA elementary program serves students in grades K–5 who reside in the state of Pennsylvania.
What's my role as a parent?
Parents serve as their child's Learning Coach. As a Learning Coach, you will
Communicate progress with your child's teacher
Monitor mastery of lessons and assessments
Review your child's work
What will my child study?
Coursework is a mix of online and hands-on work, which caters to a wide variety of learning styles. Unit and course assessments are built in to each subject, and easy-to-use online planning and progress tools keep you and your student on track.
K–5th graders take courses in the core subjects listed below. Beginning in grade 3, they also take a self-guided elective course in music or a world language.
In the elementary grades, students are required to show mastery of each lesson by achieving 80 percent or better on all lesson assessments. If your child is having difficulty mastering a lesson, let their homeroom teacher know as soon as possible. Teachers offer many support sessions to help students gain mastery.
Your student will receive quarterly ISPA Academic Standards-Based Progress Reports that include:
- Student mastery designation for each standard that was covered:
- Basic, Below Basic, Proficient, Advanced
- Adequate Course Progress
- Assessment Completion
Working with Your Teacher
Students work with their teachers and other classmates during "Class Connect" sessions. In "Class Connect" sessions, students
- Receive live instruction from teachers
- Interact with classmates
- Ask questions and receive real-time support
Students can interact with their teachers and classmates by
- Typing in the chat
- Speaking over their microphone
- Typing and drawing with online whiteboard features
- Joining small group breakouts to work on projects or receive targeted instruction
K–5 students are expected to spend between 4–7 hours on schoolwork per school day, including both online and offline work.
- 4–5 hours daily
- 30-40% online
- 5–7 hours daily
- 50-60% online
To find out more about time commitments or attendance requirements, please review the attendance policy in our Student and Parent Handbook.
What happens if there's a system failure or power outage?
Don't worry. We have a plan. In the event of outages or other difficulties, follow the instructions in the ISPA Plan for System Failures and Power Outages.
In addition to quizzes and tests within online courses, students will take Star360 assessments upon enrollment and at several interim points throughout the year. The Star360 assessment will:
- Provide insight into academic strengths and weaknesses in math and reading
- Track student growth in these subjects throughout the year
Students are required to take the annual Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA), a standards-based assessment providing students, parents, educators, and citizens with an understanding of student and school performance.
Based on their grade level, students will take the following PSSAs:
3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th
|3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th
Learning Coaches are responsible for ensuring their student participates in mandatory state and benchmark testing.
A Day in the Life of Online Students
Want to learn more about the daily life of an online elementary student? Meet Micah and Sarai!
Get answers to the most common FAQs.
Ready to Join Us?
Get the process started by creating a Parent Portal account or logging in to your existing account.