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Summer 2021 High School Original Credit Briefing

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Summer 2021 High School Original Credit Briefing for
Counselors, Administrators, and Site Facilitators

Updated 04/26/2021

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

Montana Digital Academy is pleased to announce details about our Summer 2021 program for high school original credit.   If you intend to use the program, please take ten minutes and review the information below.  We encourage you to connect with MTDA staff right away if you have questions or unique situations you’d like to discuss.

Note: This information is accurate at the time of publication.  We will make changes to this page as details change.

Special Notes for Summer 2021

  • The MTDA Original Credit program is not intended to be a credit recovery program, and districts are advised against placing students in original credit programs if they aren’t able or willing to be active, independent participants in their MTDA courses.  If you are enrolling students that need additional adult assistance, you should have local adult resources available (tutors, facilitators, etc.) to provide extra support to high-need students.
  • Schools should take heightened notice of our entrance counseling forms, and vet students carefully to ensure that they have the appropriate access.  As a distance learning program, consistent Internet and computer access are a minimum requirement on the first day of the course.  Based on feedback from our last three terms under Covid, some students may lack alternative access options traditionally available as backups (public libraries, friend/family access, school-facilitated access) in light of building and program closures.  We are not able to renegotiate summer program requirements due to a lack of consistent Internet access.
  • We are sensitive to the time-sensitive credit needs of some students, especially Class of 2021 seniors.  We strongly recommend that local districts start to find low-tech alternatives for students who lack technical resources or opportunities due to their personal circumstances.

Summer 2021 Resource Kit

  • Summer 2021 academic calendar: link.
  • Summer 2021 entrance counseling form: link.
  • Summer 2021 parent checklist: link.  This is a newer resource for counselors and administrators discussing the summer program with parents.


  • Please review our student registration page for information on data collection, entrance counseling, and student registration for Summer.  That page is located here: link.
  • Registration for Summer 2021 courses is available NOW.  We will enforce our “Initial Enrollment Request” deadline on June 4, 2021, to have sufficient time for teachers to prepare materials.  We will guarantee placement for students enrolled on or before this date but will not add new sections after.  This deadline covers both summer sessions.  Please plan your local enrollment around this deadline, as we can offer no flexibility on these dates.
  • Two classes per session are considered “full-time” during the summer session.  This is a firm limitation for the summer program.
  • 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.  A quotation from one of our experienced facilitators in a recent semester… “The entrance counseling tool is perfect for communicating requirements to students and parents!” The entrance counseling form is especially essential for the summer original credit program as students and parents often report to MTDA that they felt unprepared for and unaware of the intensity of the summer schedule.

Summer Program Best Practices

MTDA strongly recommends these best practices for a successful summer program:
  • Students participating in the summer program must express interest and motivation to complete the summer course.  To help conserve resources, MTDA asks that districts do not place students into MTDA summer programs that aren’t interested in the program or supported either at school or home.  Please consider using tools like our student readiness survey to help determine if the student has enough support to succeed in an online course: link.  Students that are not up and running during the first three days of the class will be dropped, no exception.  The summer original credit program is NOT a good fit for a student that is retaking a course.
  • Enrollment officials should consider the availability of computer access in the homes of students taking courses.  Students will need access to a computer for an average of 3-5 hours per course, per day, for original credit courses.  As the lack of access will not modify course expectations or deadlines, we require that students secure multiple means of access.
  • Due to the tight schedule of the summer session, students must start and stop courses on schedule.  Local assistance may be required to help guarantee student success.
  • Please be clear to students that this program is not designed to work around camps or vacations if the student cannot work in each course for 3-5 hours per day.  The significantly compressed schedule is not as forgiving as a typical semester format.

Important note for districts: Don’t hesitate to contact MTDA staff in Missoula if you want to walk through setting up a summer program for your students.  We would love to chat with you about what you can expect and what you might consider setting up locally to help your students succeed!

Program Information

Summer Course Availability

Session 1 (June 9, 2021, to July 13, 2021)

  • Algebra I A
  • American Government Full Year A
  • American Government Single Semester (one semester)
  • Anatomy & Physiology A
  • Biology A
  • Criminology (one semester)
  • Earth Science A
  • English III A
  • English IV A
  • Geometry A
  • Health (single semester)
  • Personal Finance (single semester)
  • US History A

Session 2 (July 14, 2021, to August 13, 2021)

  • Algebra I B
  • American Government Full Year B
  • Anatomy & Physiology B
  • Biology B
  • Creative Writing (single semester)
  • Digital Photography (single semester)
  • Earth Science B
  • English III B
  • English IV B
  • Geometry B
  • Psychology (single semester)
  • Sports Officiating (single semester)
  • US History B

Other Details

  • Our Summer 2021 Academic Calendar is located here: link.
  • Students will be expected to get started in courses per the MTDA calendar, even if your local school is still in session.  Starting a week or two late in the summer program is not an option due to the tight timelines.  Please discuss this with interested students before enrollment.
  • Our course catalog is located here: link.
  • The drop deadline for the summer program is June 15 (session 1) and July 20 (session 2).  We understand that most programs do not have summer staffing available to facilitate drops through our typical process.  We will attempt to connect with programs with staffing but will otherwise drop at student/parent request.

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