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Cost Sharing Information for Schools

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. The legislature continues to provide an appropriation to MTDA at the level established in 2015. 

This decision, which was not taken lightly, was made to continue to offer a wide variety of supplemental courses to all Montana students while maintaining our commitment to deliver highly responsive customer service and support to students, parents, and school communities.

In order to continue to best serve the students of Montana into the future, school districts are now asked to share in the subsidized costs of enrollment: 

  • $123 per semester enrollment for original credit 
  • $61.50 per quarter enrollment for credit recovery

This fee represents only a small portion of the overall cost of each student enrollment in MTDA courses. 

As you navigate this new model, we are sharing a few resources for your reference:

  • View recorded informational webinar 
  • One-pager with key details
  • FAQs on the cost-sharing model

Dual Credit Courses will remain at no cost share to districts, per an agreement with the Board of Regents, for the 2021-22 school year.

Informational Webinar recorded May 13th, 2021:

Cost Sharing Informational One-Pager

MTDA Cost Sharing One Pager FINAL 7-21-2021
MTDA Cost Sharing One Pager FINAL 7-3-2021

 

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the cost-sharing amount?

Original Credit: $123 per semester course enrollment.

Example: Sally Student is enrolled in Oceanography and Mythology for the Fall 2021 semester. The school district will be billed for $246 ($123 x 2 courses) for that student enrollment.

Credit Recovery: $61.50 per quarter course enrollment

All credit recovery courses will now be broken down into quarter lengths (identified at Part 1 & 2) to give schools maximum flexibility. All credit recovery enrollments will begin with Part 1 of the semester-based course.

Dual Credit Courses will remain at no cost share to districts, per an agreement with the Board of Regents, for the 2021-22 school year.

Can MTDA cost-sharing fees be paid by parents?

MCA 20-7-1202 provides the following guidance:

“Funding — rulemaking authority. (2) A school district is prohibited from charging a fee to a student who enrolls in a class provided by the Montana digital academy that the school district requires for graduation.” https://leg.mt.gov/bills/mca/title_0200/chapter_0070/part_0120/section_0020/0200-0070-0120-0020.html

Does MTDA have a cost estimate based upon our past enrollment?

Yes, please email support@montanadigitalacademy.org requesting a cost estimate using your district’s enrollment data from the 17-18, 18-19, and 19-20 school years.

How can I enroll a student?

MTDA requires districts to identify “Site Facilitators” to enroll students in the program. These “Site Facilitators” are authorized by the district to incur cost-sharing fees associated with enrolling students on behalf of the district. MTDA maintains a list of authorized site facilitators approved by the district. MTDA requires either the district superintendent or school principal to designate authorized staff responsible for enrolling students.

MTDA will annually contact the district with the current authorized Site Facilitators for review. 

In order to facilitate smooth student enrollment, districts are encouraged to contact MTDA to change or review their approved Site Facilitator List by emailing support@montanadigitalacademy.org

Can other staff have access to the system without enrolling authority?

Yes, MTDA provides the role of “Local Support” to be able to view current enrollments, check grades, monitor communications. The Local Support role does not have the ability to enroll students in MTDA courses.

How is billing handled?

Original Credit: 

During student enrollment, MTDA will require a PO number to be referenced for each student enrollment. This can be the same or a separate PO number for each enrollment. 

Upon enrollment, the Site Facilitator will be asked to confirm they have the authorization to complete the enrollment process.

For Fall 2021, courses begin the day after Labor Day, September 7th.  Students may be dropped from enrollment until September 28th without the district being charged a cost-sharing fee. After the drop deadline has passed (September 28th) all enrollments by the district will be invoiced a cost-sharing fee of $123 per course enrollment. Districts will be mailed an invoice, with a detailed report of the students enrolled, PO number(s), and the enrolling Site Facilitator. 

If a school decides to request a drop after the drop period, MTDA will honor the request and report a W/F back to the district. MTDA does not issue refunds for drops initiated after the drop deadline (Fall 2021 – September 27th).

Credit Recovery: 

During student enrollment, MTDA will require a PO number to be referenced for each student enrollment. This can be the same or a separate PO number for each enrollment.  Upon enrollment, the Site Facilitator will be asked to confirm they have the authorization to complete the enrollment process.

Students have 10 weeks from enrollment to complete the quarter course. Students may be dropped up to one week after enrollment without incurring a fee from MTDA. One week from enrollment, the $61.50 per course enrollment fee will be invoiced. MTDA will be invoicing schools after the drop period has passed.

Districts will be mailed an invoice, with a detailed report of the students enrolled, PO number(s), and the enrolling Site Facilitator. 

If a school decides to request a drop after the drop period, MTDA will honor the request and report a W/F back to the district. MTDA does not issue refunds for drops initiated after the drop period. Students that do not complete the course after 10 weeks from enrollment will be considered to have failed and be dropped from the course.

What are the enrollment periods?

Original Credit: 

For Fall 2021, original credit enrollment will open Tuesday, July 20th. The initial course request deadline is Wednesday, September 1st. The late enrollment deadline is September 10, 2021.

Detailed enrollment information is available in our Site Facilitator handbook mtda.link/sfhandbook

Credit Recovery: 

For Fall 2021, credit recovery enrollment will open Wednesday, September 1st.

How are drops going to be handled?

MTDA will maintain its standard drop periods.  

Original Credit: 

For Fall 2021, courses begin the day after Labor Day, September 7th.  Students may be dropped from enrollment until September 27th without the district being charged a cost-sharing fee. After the drop deadline has passed (September 28th) all enrollments by the district will be invoiced a cost-sharing fee of $123 per course enrollment.

If a school decides to request a drop after the drop period, MTDA will honor the request and report a W/F back to the district. MTDA does not issue refunds for drops initiated after the drop deadline (Fall 2021 – September 27th).

Credit Recovery: 

Students have 10 weeks from enrollment to complete the quarter course. Students may be dropped up to one week after enrollment without incurring a fee from MTDA. One week from enrollment, the $61.50 per course enrollment fee will be invoiced. MTDA will be invoicing schools after the drop period has passed.

If a school decides to request a drop after the drop period, MTDA will honor the request and report a W/F back to the district. MTDA does not issue refunds for drops initiated after the drop period. Students that do not complete the course after 10 weeks from enrollment will be considered to have failed and be dropped from the course.

What is the maximum number of courses a student can be enrolled in?

Students can be enrolled in a maximum of 3 original credit courses per semester. A student can be enrolled in 1 credit recovery course at a time but can be enrolled in additional credit recovery courses throughout the school year.

Will MTDA take enrollments directly from students or parents?

No, MTDA will continue the enrollment through a student’s local public school. Any direct calls MTDA receives from students or parents inquiring about enrollment will be referred back to the student’s local public school. MTDA will continue to honor local school board enrollment policy as it pertains to MTDA supplemental enrollments.

What courses will MTDA be offering for Fall 2021?

Please refer to our course catalog.

 

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Summer 2021 High School Original Credit Briefing

MTDA Microphone Graphic 600 Wide

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.

Registration

  • 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.

12/2/2020: Open Enrollment Pending

Good afternoon from MTDA offices in Missoula!

MTDA enrollment is open; however, there are certain instances in GeniusSIS where a student is limited from enrolling without cause.  We are working on resolving the issue.

In the meantime, please review our released briefing documents regarding the Spring 2021 program.

11/23/2020: Spring 2021 Enrollment Announcements Coming Next Week

Good day from MTDA offices at the University of Montana in Missoula.

MTDA continues to work on Spring 2021 planning finances and logistics and is preparing to open enrollment on or before Wednesday, December 2, 2020.  We will send out an email over our site facilitator announcement list when ready.

We do ask any school that plans to utilize MTDA’s program in a different manner (more enrollments, less enrollments, change in local enrollment philosophy) than Fall 2020 to drop a quick like to the support desk (support [at] montanadigitalacademy.org) and let us know.  If need be, we would appreciate the ability to connect on a brief conference or consultation call.

In the meantime, if you have questions, please reach out to us via the support desk!

06/30/2020: MTDA Independence Day Schedule

Fireworks

Hello from MTDA central offices in Missoula!

Per our academic calendars, MTDA academic programs will be closed on Friday, July 3, 2020, and Monday, July 6, 2020, for the Independence Day weekend.

For our original credit programs, this means that teachers might not be reachable via email or other means.  Online classrooms will remain open.

For our credit recovery programs, there will be no live grading service either Friday, July 3, or Monday, July 6.

Our help desk services will be lightly monitored for emergencies throughout the weekend, and our office staff will be available for service on Monday, July 6, 2020.

Have a great Independence Day weekend!

01/21/2020: Enrollment is Open Through 1/24

The Spring 2020 High School Original Credit initial course request deadline has passed and we have sectioned off courses and assigned teachers. Enrollment remains open for Spring 2020 with remaining course capacity. The majority of our courses have additional capacity for enrollment. You can see an always-updated list of available courses by clicking on our live course availability list: here.

For the handful of courses that have hit capacity, that course will no longer appear for enrollment in GeniusSIS. We don’t have a means of keeping a waitlist, however, we will process any drop we receive at 9:59 am each weekday so that you can check for open slots at 10:00 am each morning, first come, first served.

Please don’t hesitate to contact our staff if you have any questions!

Enrollment will remain open for high school original credit classes until Friday, January 24, 2020, with the exception of classes that fill. At this point, we have room in the vast majority of courses, however, we strongly advise that you enroll before classes start on Tuesday, if possible, for the best likelihood of a good student outcome.

10/16/2019: MTDA Closed Thursday-Friday!

Hello from MTDA offices in Missoula!

Per our academic calendars, MTDA will be closed October 17-18, 2019, for the statewide professional development and teacher conference week.  Closed means that:

  • The MTDA offices in Missoula are closed until 8 am, Monday, October 21, 2019.
  • The MTDA support desk will be lightly monitored for emergencies.  Helpdesk services will be fully active again at 8 am, Monday, October 21, 2019.
  • Teachers are not expected to answer emails during the break. However, some/many will likely track email.
  • Grading services for credit recovery will not be available.
  • The online classrooms will remain open, 24/7.

Thank you!

MTDA Offices Closed for Independence Day

Attention all users: Per our academic calendar, MTDA offices are closed from July 4 to July 7 for Independence Day.  During that time, teachers will be delayed in returning emails and the office staff will not be available.

MTDA staff will lightly monitor the MTDA helpdesk, however, users should expect to receive answers on July 8th, when offices reopen.

Online classrooms will remain open during the entire break.

We wish you and yours a wonderful Independence Day weekend!

05/24/2019: MTDA Closed for Memorial Day Weekend

Attention all users:

Montana Digital Academy’s offices will be closed from 5:00 pm, Friday, May 24, 2018, until 8:00 am on Tuesday, May 28, 2017.  During that time, there will be no teacher services or help desk services available.

Please send any questions to the support desk, support@montanadigitalacademy.org.  Questions and concerns will be answered when the offices open on Tuesday.

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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