Fall 2021 Original Credit Briefing Page

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Fall 2021 Original Credit Briefing
for
Counselors, Administrators, and Site Facilitators

Updated 09/20/2021

Notice to students and parents: This information is intended for distribution to schools and districts only and may contain details that do not apply to your local district’s participation in MTDA services. If you are interested in enrolling in courses with Montana Digital Academy, your first contact should be with the counseling department or administration of your local public school to discuss what is available locally.  MTDA does not take enrollments directly from students or their parents.

Cost-Sharing Statement

On June 14, 2021, the MTDA Governing Board exercised its authority granted by MCA 20-7-1202 to begin cost-sharing with districts in fall 2021.  This applies to the MTDA original credit program.  Before enrolling any student for the upcoming term, please review our information page regarding payment: link.

Covid-19 Statement

MTDA continues to monitor Covid-19 situation as it applies to educational services across the State of Montana.  At this point, MTDA plans to return to its pre-Covid service model in our program.

If you choose to enroll students that have any impact on their ability to learn or engage due to Covid-related circumstances, you must review MTDA entrance counseling forms with students and their families to help communicate the requirements and expectations of students to participate in MTDA services.

Registration

  • Please review our student registration page for information on data collection, entrance counseling, and student registration in the site facilitator handbook.  (Note: New handbook release pending.)
  • Please be mindful of course requirements and prerequisites.  We rely on local school officials to determine appropriate placement in MTDA programs and services.  If you are in doubt about particular course placements, please contact the MTDA support desk for guidance and advice.
  • As noted in our facilitator handbook, each student account must have an accurate, unique, and functioning email address for each student enrolled in the system.  If your district’s student email system blocks outside emails, please work with your IT department to unblock MTDA email addresses BEFORE enrolling.  Additionally note, Apple iCloud.com addresses do not allow access to many automated email systems; please use an alternative.
  • Registration for Fall 2021 courses is open now.  We will again enforce an “Initial Course Request Deadline” on Wednesday, September 1, 2021.  MTDA will finalize sections on that day and assign teachers.  We may or may not have additional slots open in any particular course after this day.  If you choose to enroll a student on or after the course start date on September 7, 2021, you must play an active role in helping that student get in the course and catch up to pace.  Students that are enrolled after the course starts have a significantly higher drop rate and ultimately lower success rate.
  • Please use the enrollment counseling forms when enrolling students and give a copy of the form to the student after enrollment.  This form helps decrease confusion on behalf of the student and their parents and opens up communication lines.  Our enrollment counseling page is here: LINK.

Program Information

  • Our course list for Fall 2021 is here: LINK.
  • Our 2021-2022 Academic Calendar is located here: LINK.
  • Our 2021-2022 course catalog and course offering lists are located here: LINK.
  • Significant program changes (please check back here for an up-to-date list):
    • New Courses
      • Public Health is a CTE/Health Science elective.
      • Hospitality and Tourism Marketing is a CTE/Business elective.
      • Photoshop Introduction is a CTE/Business elective.
      • US History I (Dual Credit) is a Social Studies/History course that covers the first half of US history (US History II will be offered in Spring 2022).
  • Course Enrollment Limitations
    • Latin I and II are limited to ONE section, due to teacher availability.  These slots are available first-come, first-served.
    • CTE/Agriculture Education courses are limited to ONE section, due to teacher availability.  These slots are available first-come, first-served.
  • Dual Credit Course Information
  • NCAA: If you are considering MTDA courses for a student that could be a future NCAA athlete, be sure to review our page regarding MTDA and the NCAA.
  • IEPs/504 information: If you have a student that has 504 or IEP accommodations, please review required procedures for sharing accommodation requests in our site facilitator handbook (short link to specific pages: link)

2021-2022 Advanced Placement™ Information

Thank you for entrusting your student with MTDA for an Advanced Placement™ course. We are very proud of our AP™ program, which has experienced growth in the past five years, outpacing the rest of our program. Our exam passage rates exceed the state average, and we continue to refine our delivery and engagement models. We have had positive and constructive feedback from our students and look forward to continuing to enhance and polish the student experience in the program. We, of course, also welcome your feedback!

Covid-Related Information

MTDA will offer our full complement of dual credit and Advance Placement™ courses for the 2020-2021 school year.  However, AP™ exam administration and registration are completely outside of MTDA.  Schools should keep a close eye on the College Board’s “AP Central” website for updates regarding testing in the Spring.

Resource: AP™ Central Webpage (link).

Test Administration/Ordering Exams

You must plan and take action now for students taking the Advanced Placement™ tests, May 2022.

As a distance learning provider, MTDA has no role in the administration of Advanced Placement™ exams. We will do our best to assist, but exam administration happens in face-to-face environments and not online.

Please refer to this excellent checklist from the CollegeBoard on setup, enrollment, and ordering tests:

Resource: AP Coordinator Checklist (link).

FOR SCHOOLS THAT ARE ALREADY REGISTERED TO OFFER AP EXAMS: In addition to the earlier fall deadline, the process for ordering exams changed for students Fall 2019.  You need to create “exam only” sections for your MTDA AP students, and then order exams for that particular section. Otherwise, the process is the same for your local students.

FOR SCHOOLS THAT ARE NOT REGISTERED TO OFFER AP EXAMS, your options are to register to do so, or, work with a neighboring district that offers AP testing. With new, short deadlines this year, we recommend that you start the process today to determine the best setup for your MTDA AP students.

The best resource to get started is the College Board’s “Start AP” page, located here: https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/start-grow-ap/start-ap

The page contains an excellent set of resources on how to get started, including a timeline and contact information for assistance at the College Board itself. The “Getting Approved to Administer Exams” page goes through that process step-by-step. Once that is complete, you will need to order exams, per the directions above.

Course Audits

As you may be aware, all schools and outside course providers must pass a rigorous “Course Audit” to qualify to appear on the College Board’s Advanced Placement™ Ledger.  All MTDA audits have been approved for the 20-21 school year.

Like past years, the College Board has asked all providers like MTDA to inform you in writing that you must take an additional step locally to have MTDA’s courses appear in the ledger associated with your school. With your local course audit account, you must explicitly choose the course and associate it with MTDA as an external provider. It is our understanding that you must complete this process by January. However, we would advise doing so as soon as possible.

Additional Assistance

We know that the processes involved can be challenging and that instructions aren’t necessarily clear. We suggest contacting the College Board first with questions. If you are not able to get a clear answer or if the answer conflicts with what we are advising above, please contact the support desk.

We sincerely appreciate working with you to help serve students across the state by delivering programs like Advanced Placement™ courses. Do let our staff know if we can be of any assistance!

Montana Digital Academy
Phyllis J. Washington College of Education
The University of Montana
32 Campus Drive – Room 315
Missoula, Montana 59812
Phone: 406-203-1812
Fax: 406-203-1815

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