How It Works
What is my role as a parent?
As a parent, you (or another responsible adult you choose) serve as your child's Learning Coach. You'll work with your child's teacher to help record student attendance, monitor mastery of online lessons and assessments, and review student work.
Parent/Learning Coach involvement is vital to your child's success, especially at the elementary level. The typical Learning Coach time commitment in grades K–5 is 4–6 hours a day. The initial 4–8 weeks can be intensive, as your family settles into a routine.
Parent/Learning Coach daily involvement is critical and approximately 10–15 percent of this time is online.
Students begin to have increased independence, but parent/Learning Coach involvement is essential for about 70–80 percent of school time and approximately 15–25 percent of this time is online.
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
Teachers provide individual and small group assistance via online synchronous sessions called "Class Connects." Students are expected to attend all required Class Connects and meet with their teacher to receive course assistance, tutoring, and instruction. Class Connects vary by grade level and are scheduled by your teacher.
Learning Coaches log attendance Monday through Friday. But academic progress can also be achieved during the weekends. K–5 students will spend about 4–7 hours on schoolwork per school day
About 4–5 hours of schoolwork 5 days per week
About 5–7 hours of schoolwork 5 days per week
To find out more about 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.
Our testing is purposeful and meaningful and drives our instructional practices to best serve the individual needs of your child. In addition to quizzes and tests within online courses, students will participate in Star360 testing upon enrollment, and several additional times throughout the year. Star360 assessments in math and reading provide information regarding academic strengths and weaknesses and student growth in both subjects. Students in all grades will take the Star360 assessment at the start of the school year and/or upon enrollment and again at several interim points through the year. Each assessment will take about 20–30 minutes. These assessments will be taken virtually. Star360 is adaptive and adjusts questions to your child's learning level based upon responses. A student report will be sent to each Learning Coach.
The annual Pennsylvania System of School Assessment (PSSA) is a standards-based, criterion-referenced assessment, which provides students, parents, educators, and citizens with an understanding of student and school performance related to the attainment of proficiency of the academic standards. These standards in English/language arts (ELA), math, and science identify what a student should know and be able to do at varying grade levels.
Based on their grade level, students will take the following PSSAs:
3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th
|3rd, 4th, 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th
Individual student scores are provided only to their respective schools and can be used to help teachers identify whether a student needs additional educational opportunities.
School scores also provide valuable data to schools and districts to inform discussions and planning around curriculum and instruction improvement.
Learning Coaches are responsible for ensuring their student participates in mandatory state and benchmark testing. Failure to attend testing will result in accrual of unexcused absences and could result in truancy action.
Get answers to the most common FAQs.
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