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Student Highlight

Student Highlight: Ian Lafley

Lincoln County High School, Eureka
Class of 2022 

 

Ian took his first two credit recovery courses through MTDA two years ago as a sophomore. MTDA’s credit recovery courses are designed for students whose education has been interrupted, either by life’s circumstances or by failing a course, providing a pathway to high school credits needed for graduation. He’s back taking credit recovery– English and World History– this year in order to graduate on time this summer. The change in Ian as a student from then to now is what prompted Lou Ann Gay, the MTDA support person at Lincoln County High School, to nominate him for a student spotlight. 

“He’s a much different student now. Yes, he’s under pressure to graduate, but he’s also more engaged and has taken ownership of his education.” This maturity has moved him from a “guess and go” student to one that will identify what he missed on a quiz, go back to his notes and learn it. 

Ian admits to just getting by in his classes sophomore year. It was his first online learning experience so there were a lot of unknowns which led to some stress. He credits his success this year to his motivation to graduate but also to be seen as a student that pushes toward his goal. And he appreciates the support he feels he’s getting from his MTDA teachers and Ms. Gay. “It’s an interesting phenomenon, when people are supporting you, you want to try even harder to prove you are worth the support.”

MTDA’s credit recovery courses are getting Ian to the finish line. “It really proved that even if I fell behind, I could catch up. It may be a long road, but it is possible!” His advice to other students taking an MTDA course for the first time, is “keep your pace, slow down enough to learn, and not rush through. If you fail a quiz, learn from it. Things happen, but it isn’t impossible!”

After graduation Ian plans to work for a couple of years, saving money for a culinary program. Beyond that, he dreams of working as a chef, traveling the world, and creating signature dishes before settling down “for a bit” to open his own restaurant. 

We’ll be cheering all of those dreams on, Ian.

 

Student Highlight

Student Highlight: Maddie Griffiths

Maddie Griffiths

As an eighth-grader, Maddie came to Kristy Powell, the counselor at Three Forks High School and asked how she could get ahead. “She wanted to get started!” Maddie wanted to know if there was anything she could do over the summer before ninth grade. They wouldn’t typically place a freshman in MTDA courses, but Maddie’s focus and drive far exceed typical. After talking to her middle school teachers, Powell enrolled her in Geometry and Earth Science in the summer of 2020. Maddie earned A’s in both, before coming into the high school as a Freshman.

She has continued to take two-three MTDA courses each term, many in the sciences and health sciences as her future career interests lie in medicine. Maddie also enjoyed the chance to take creative writing and journalism, both helped her develop different writing skills from her regular English classes. “I was looking for more of a challenge from my classes, as well as a way to get ahead,” said Maddie. MTDA gave her the opportunity to take classes she wouldn’t have been able to take otherwise. “And the connection I had with teachers was like nothing I had ever had before.”

Maddie’s strategy, which she would encourage other students to do as well, is to email each of her teachers at the beginning of the term to introduce herself and tell them a little bit about herself. She has found the MTDA teachers to be very communicative with individualized responses. Other advice for students thinking about enrolling in a MTDA course would be to just try it. “Don’t be afraid to ask questions. It might feel intimidating but that’s what they’re there for and they are happy to help.”

In addition to her stellar academic performance, Maddie also competes for the school tennis and speech teams,  placing second in state in speech (class B) this year as a sophomore. 

Three Forks has a significant number (almost 20%) of their students enrolled in original credit courses with MTDA. Their administration is happy to be able to give students more academic options.

“Big picture, I am so thankful to MTDA for opening doors. My school only offers two or three AP courses, MTDA has put me a step ahead and better prepared me for college.” Maddie is interested in psychiatry and psychology and plans to study biology or health science in undergrad before going on to a physician’s assistant program.

 

Student Highlight

Student Highlights: Emma Beebe

Emma came to Gallatin High School in the fall of 2020 when her family moved from out of state. During Covid, she chose the fully virtual option taught by GHS teachers because of family risk. She was no stranger to online learning; prior to Gallatin, she attended JeffCo Virtual Academy in Colorado. “Being in our small local high school wasn’t great for me so I tried this option.” She went on to say, “it helped me overcome the immediate challenges, but even more importantly and longer-term it has helped me mature and become a better student.” This school year (2021-2022) when GHS went fully back to in-person learning, Emma petitioned and was granted fully remote status. She enrolled in three MTDA courses in the fall and is currently enrolled in five this spring.

Patty Maddock, the Online Learning Coordinator at Gallatin High School, nominated Emma for this student spotlight feature because of her exceptional academic performance. “Emma is a remote-only student who received A’s in all of her classes last semester even earning 100% in Native American Studies. I’ve never seen a 100% in any class! She is on top of her work all of the time and communicates well if there is any kind of an issue.” 

“I have become so familiar with online learning now it suits me better,” reported Emma recently. She has appreciated MTDA’s format and the teachers, finding them very willing and eager to help, and more than happy to fill in any gaps and/or jump on a google meet. In fact, Emma chose MTDA’s program over other online options for her most difficult courses because of the strong teacher support.  

Personally, Emma loves the flexibility it has given her to be more involved in family life, especially with her sister living with Downs Syndrome. She also recognizes how online learning has made her more independent and she feels it has better prepared her for college. “It has made me take ownership of my own learning and taught me how to advocate for myself. This has made me stronger not just in school but overall communicating with others.”

Emma’s advice to other students taking an MTDA course for the first time? “Communication is key. Reach out to your teacher when you need them, don’t be afraid to ask questions.” 

After graduation this year, Emma will be going to Montana State University to study nursing. Her end goal is to be a neonatal nurse practitioner.

Spring Final Exams May 2018

Proctoring Information

Students in many MTDA original credit courses are required to take final exams in a proctored, secure exam environment.

Rationale: Per the request of both MTDA teachers and participating school district administrators and teachers, MTDA will ask local districts to create a proctored environment for class finals should that be necessary in specific MTDA courses. You can see a list of exams that require proctoring starting April 13, 2018 on this page: PUBLIC Link.

Procedures for proctored exams:

  • MTDA will offer student finals during their final exam period, scheduled for May 21-23, 2018.
  • NEW this semester, expected exam time frame will be included with passcodes and other exam instructions.
  • Proctor exams must be monitored by an adult (for example, a counselor, teacher, administrator or paraprofessional) named by the local site facilitator or school.  We have created a document with “best practices” for test proctors (see below). It may not be proctored by a parent or another student.
  • The designated proctor must supervise the student for the entire duration of the final exam.
  • All proctored exams are passcode protected.  The passcodes will be sent to the primary contact from each school, and that person should distribute passcodes to the designated proctors the week of May 7, 2018.  It is the responsibility of the local site facilitator to share appropriate passcodes with designated proctors. Passcodes are to remain secure, and shared only with appropriate school personnel.
  • Proctored exams mean that students have access to no other materials during the exam, including notes, textbooks, translators or other course materials. Some courses ask for additional factors as noted on the digital passcode sheet.
  • Designated proctors must also monitor students to make sure that additional browser windows are not open and that electronic devices like cell phones, iPads, tablet PCs, etc are not being used during the exam.
  • No finals will be available before May 21, 2018, with the exception of prior arrangements made for early exiting seniors. All final exams must be completed by May 23, 2018.  There will be a makeup day for exams on May 24-25, 2018 for students with verifiable medical excuses only.

** Spring Tests Only: As in past semesters, some AP courses will require earlier final examinations based on the AP exam schedule for students. **

Finals Proctoring Information Best Practices

Please print this document for sharing with your named proctored linked HERE.

Please direct questions about proctoring to  Christen Cole, MTDA Instructional Registrar, christen.cole@montanadigitalacademy.org, 406-203-1812. Thank you for your cooperation.

Spring 2018 Original Credit Final Exams

ATTENTION MTDA Students!!

MTDA Spring 2018 Original Credit Semester Finals will be administered May 21-23, 2018. Final exams must be taken on one of these dates, without exception.  Semester finals should be complete by 5pm on Wednesday, May 23rd. The date of final exams cannot be changed.

Please locate your class(es): Exam Proctor Information If your course has a YES in the proctored final column, you will need to take your exam in the presence of a local proctor. That person will have the password for your exam and any other important exam instructions.

Arranging for a proctor and time to take your exam is your responsibility.  The exam time arranged by you and your proctor must take place on May 21st, 22nd, or 23rd. Your proctor can be a school administrator, counselor, site facilitator, or other school personnel. It may not be a parent or another student. Start this process now, as it is not something you want to leave until the last minute! Make sure you know far ahead of time who your proctor will be and the best date/time to take your exam.

If your course has a NO in the proctored final column, you may still have a semester exam for your course, but a proctor is not required. See your course page and instructor for more information and announcements.

FALL 2017 ORIGINAL CREDIT FINAL EXAMS

ATTENTION MTDA Students!

MTDA Fall 2017 Original Credit Semester Finals will be administered January 16-18, 2018. Final exams must be taken on one of these dates, without exception.  Semester finals should be complete by 5 pm on Thursday, January 18th. The date of final exams cannot be changed.

Please locate your class(es): Exam Proctor Information If your course has a YES in the proctored final column, you will need to take your exam in the presence of a local proctor. That person will have the password for your exam and any other important exam instructions.

Arranging for a proctor and time to take your exam is your responsibility.  The exam time arranged by you and your proctor must take place on January 16th, 17th, or 18th. Your proctor can be a school administrator, counselor, site facilitator, or other school personnel. It may not be a parent or another student. Start this process now, as it is not something you want to leave until the last minute! Make sure you know far ahead of time who your proctor will be and the best date/time to take your exam.

If your course has a NO in the proctored final column, you may still have a semester exam for your course, but a proctor is not required. See your course page and instructor for more information and announcements.

Fall 2017 Final Exams

Proctoring Information

Students in many MTDA original credit courses are required to take final exams in a proctored, secure exam environment.

Rationale: Per the request of both MTDA teachers and participating school district administrators and teachers, MTDA will ask local districts to create a proctored environment for class finals should that be necessary for specific MTDA courses. You can see a list of exams that require proctoring starting December 4, 2017, on this page: PUBLIC Link.

Procedures for proctored exams:

  • MTDA will offer student finals during their final exam period, scheduled for January 16-18, 2018.  The exam will generally take no longer than two hours, however special instructions may apply by individual course.
  • Proctor exams must be monitored by an adult (for example, a counselor, teacher, administrator or paraprofessional) named by the local site facilitator or school.  We have created a document with “best practices” for test proctors (see below). It may NOT be proctored by a parent or another student.
  • The designated proctor must supervise the student for the entire duration of the final exam.
  • All proctored exams are password protected.  The passwords will be sent to the primary contact from each school, and that person should distribute passwords to the designated proctors the week of January 2, 2018.  It is the responsibility of the local site facilitator to share appropriate passwords with designated proctors. Passwords are to remain secure and shared only with appropriate school personnel.
  • Proctored exams mean that students have access to no other materials during the exam, including notes, textbooks, translators or other course materials. Some courses ask for additional factors as noted on the digital passcode sheet.
  • Designated proctors must also monitor students to make sure that additional browser windows are not open and electronic devices like cell phones, iPads, tablet PCs, etc are not being used during the exam.
  • No finals will be available before January 16, 2018. All final exams must be completed by January 18, 2018.  There will be a makeup period for exams on January 19, 2018, for students with verifiable medical excuses only.

Finals Proctoring Information Best Practices

Please print this document for sharing with your named proctored linked HERE.

Please, direct questions about proctoring to  Christen Cole, MTDA Instructional Registrar, christen.cole@montanadigitalacademy.org, 406-203-1812. Thank you for your cooperation.

SPRING 2017 ORIGINAL CREDIT FINAL EXAMS

Proctoring Information

Students in many MTDA original credit courses are required to take final exams in a proctored, secure exam environment.

Rationale: Per the request of both MTDA teachers and participating school district administrators and teachers, MTDA will ask local districts to create a proctored environment for class finals should that be necessary in specific MTDA courses. You can see a list of exams that require proctoring starting April 12, 2017 on this page: PUBLIC Link.

Procedures for proctored exams:

  • MTDA will offer student finals during their final exam period, scheduled for May 23-25, 2017.  
  • NEW this semester, expected exam time frame will be included with pass codes and other exam instructions.
  • Proctor exams must be monitored by an adult (for example, a counselor, teacher, administrator or paraprofessional) named by the local site facilitator or school.  We have created a document with “best practices” for test proctors (see below). It may not be proctored by a parent or another student.
  • The designated proctor must supervise the student for the entire duration of the final exam.
  • All proctored exams are pass code protected.  The pass codes will be sent to the primary contact from each school, and that person should distribute pass codes to the designated proctors the week of May 2, 2017.  It is the responsibility of the local site facilitator to share appropriate pass codes with designated proctors. Pass codes are to remain secure, and shared only with appropriate school personnel.
  • Proctored exams mean that students have access to no other materials during the exam, including notes, textbooks, translators or other course materials. Some courses ask for additional factors as noted on the digital pass code sheet.
  • Designated proctors must also monitor students to make sure that additional browser windows are not open and that electronic devices like cell phones, iPads, tablet PCs, etc are not being used during the exam.
  • No finals will be available before May 23, 2017, with the exception of prior arrangements made for early exiting seniors. All final exams must be completed by May 25, 2017.  There will be a makeup day for exams on May 26, 2017 for students with verifiable medical excuses only.

** Spring Tests Only: As in past semesters, some AP courses will require earlier final examinations based on the AP exam schedule for students. **

Please direct questions about proctoring to  Christen Cole, MTDA Instructional Registrar, christen.cole@montanadigitalacademy.org, 406-203-1812. Thank you for your cooperation.

Finals Proctoring Information Best Practices

Please print this document for sharing with your named proctored linked HERE.

SPRING 2017 ORIGINAL CREDIT FINAL EXAMS

ATTENTION MTDA Students!!

MTDA Spring 2017 Original Credit Semester Finals will be administered May 23-25, 2017. Final exams must be taken on one of these dates, without exception. Thursday, May 25, 2017 is the last day of Spring 2017 semester.  Semester finals should be complete by 5pm on Thursday. The date of final exams cannot be changed.

Please locate your class(es): Exam Proctor Information.  If your course has a YES in the proctored final column, you will need to take your exam in the presence of a local proctor. That person will have the password for your exam and any other important exam instructions.

Arranging for a proctor and time to take your exam is your responsibility.  The exam time arranged by you and your proctor must take place on May 23rd, 24th, or 25th. Your proctor can be a school administrator, counselor, site facilitator, or other school personnel. It may not be a parent or another student. Start this process now, as it is not something you want to leave until the last minute! Make sure you know far ahead of time who your proctor will be and the best date/time to take your exam.

If your course has a NO in the proctored final column, you may still have a semester exam for your course, but a proctor is not required. See your course page and instructor for more information and announcements.

Fall 2016 Original Credit Final Exams

ATTENTION MTDA Students!

MTDA Fall 2016 Original Credit Semester Finals will be administered January 17-19, 2017. Final exams must be taken on one of these dates, without exception. Thursday, January 19, 2017 is the last day of Fall 2016 semester.  Semester finals should be complete by 5pm on Thursday. The date of final exams cannot be changed.

Please locate your class(es): Exam Proctor Information

If your course has a YES in the proctored final column, you will need to take your exam in the presence of a local proctor. That person will have the password for your exam and any other important exam instructions.

Arranging for a proctor and time to take your exam is your responsibility.  The exam time arranged by you and your proctor must take place on January 17th, 18th, or 19th. Your proctor can be a school administrator, counselor, site facilitator, or other school personnel. It may not be a parent or another student. Start this process now, as it is not something you want to leave until the last minute! Make sure you know far ahead of time who your proctor will be and the best date/time to take your exam.

If your course has a NO in the proctored final column, you may still have a semester exam for your course, but a proctor is not required. See your course page and instructor for more information.

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Montana Digital Academy
Phyllis J. Washington College of Education
The University of Montana
32 Campus Drive – Room 365
Missoula, Montana 59812
Phone: 406-203-1812
Fax: 406-203-1815