Spring 2022 Middle School Briefing Page

MTDA Microphone Graphic 600 Wide

Spring 2022 Middle School Briefing
for
Counselors, Administrators, and Site Facilitators

Late Updated 12/6/2021

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 and 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 middle school programming.  Before enrolling any student for the upcoming term, please review our information page regarding payment: link.

Covid-19 Statement

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

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.

Middle School Program Webinars

In December and January, MTDA will offer webinars to middle school administrators, counselors, and others to briefly introduce the program and answer questions.  Pre-registration is required here: link.

Please Sign Up Now for Announcements/Enrollment Accounts

If your middle school/junior high program is new to MTDA, we strongly encourage you to get set up in MTDA systems now to make sure that you are able to enroll quickly should the need arise.  Please get in touch with the MTDA support desk (support@montanadigitalacademy.org) to discuss how to get enrollment accounts in our system and sign up for our facilitator announcement list.

Middle School Options

We are very excited to announce the expansion of MTDA middle school course offerings with the Spring 2022 middle school field test.  Courses include core courses, world language, and several electives.  These offerings are intended to be used by schools for individual student enrollments (not whole group or grade) that are vetted by local schools for appropriate inclusion in the program.  This is in line with the MTDA Governing Board policy that our program is intended to supplement, not supplant, local school programs.

All MTDA courses are one-semester in length and follow the MTDA academic calendar.

New: Middle School Core Courses

For Spring 2022, MTDA will offer MTDA core courses aimed at 6th, 7th, and 8th students.  The classes are keyed to Montana state standards and designed to provide students with grade-level appropriate instruction to prepare for future learning in that content area.  Our courses may or may not match your local school’s curriculum and scope and sequence.  MTDA is a “course access” program and provides students with courses at the advertised grade level.  If you have a student who is substantially behind grade level, please consider enrolling students at the grade level they can navigate the content.

In social studies, each level has a “focus area,” including the ancient world (6th grade), US history (7th grade), and government/civics (8th grade).  In science, focus areas are life science (6th grade), earth science (7th grade), and physical science (8th grade).

New: Middle School Electives

For Spring 2022, MTDA will offer six elective courses.  MTDA staff chose these course titles based on a review of curriculum assets, feedback from focus groups, and teacher availability.  We hope to expand elective offerings in the future based on feedback and needs.

Still Available: Middle School World Language

MTDA will offer middle school Spanish for Spring 2022.  This is the same course first offered in first in Fall 2020.   We anticipate being able to provide service for as many students that are interested in signing up.

Registration

  • Please review our student registration page for information on data collection, entrance counseling, and student registration in the site facilitator handbook.
  • 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 Spring 2022 courses is open now.  We will enforce an “Initial Course Request Deadline” on Wednesday, January 19, 2022.  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 Monday, January 24, 2022, 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.  The late enrollment deadline is Friday, January 28, 2022.  MTDA is not able to accept enrollments after the late enrollment deadline.
  • 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 Spring 2022 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):
    • Middle School Spanish will continue to use the one-semester format adopted Fall 2020.  However, we anticipate the capacity to take all students enrolled before the initial course request deadline.
  • 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)

Contact Us

If you have any thoughts to share or would like to discuss the program’s implementation, please contact us to schedule a consultation.

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

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