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Summer 2020 High School Credit Recovery Briefing

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Summer 2020 High School Credit Recovery Briefing
Counselors, Administrators and Site Facilitators

Updated 07/29/2020

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 credit recovery 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.  Credit recovery courses are not available to students independent of a school-based credit recovery program.

(Looking for original credit information?  Click here.)

Program Details

After gathering data from districts across the state it is clear there are diverse needs for summer credit recovery programming. MTDA will expand our credit recovery formats this summer to address both face-to-face and remote only options for students. This requires a significant financial and staffing investment to pull this off successfully so we would ask that you read and consider the data and information on this page carefully. As a state supplemental program with finite resources, we need mindful implementation of the program to ensure we can continue to receive funding from our state legislature. If you are looking at a summer program that is significantly different from past summers we would like to arrange a phone call to consult on how MTDA can fit successfully.

PLEASE NOTE: We are not able to facilitate moves between the two different credit recovery formats.  Once a student is enrolled in one, they will need to stay in that format for the remainder of the term.  PLEASE CHOOSE CAREFULLY if you are in a school attempting to serve students with both formats.

The Reality about Remote Only Credit Recovery

When the stay at home order was given this spring MTDA modified our credit recovery program to allow a remote student experience. These adjustments were necessary as the face-to-face program requires an adult locally to proctor exams and act as the “boots on the ground” to be a supportive friendly face while at the same time pushing the student to make daily progress. This local support role has been a major key to the success of the program. Historically, 65% to 70% of credit recovery enrollments successfully make it to the finish line of the course. Three key things changed this spring with modifications:

  1. Remote proctoring was added to the final exam – Remote proctoring services are expensive and not as comfortable for students but a necessity to ensure legitimate completion of the final exam in a remote environment. MTDA purchased these services to allow currently enrolled students the ability to complete their course.
  2. Lesson Quizzes and Post Assessments were removed from the learning path – The addition of remote proctoring to lesson quizzes and post-assessments would have increased our costs by 40% per course meaning we would have had to cut back summer and 2020-21 school year offerings. Completion activities and Mastery Assignments remain in the courses. This provides our MTDA teacher the opportunity to assess each lesson and give student feedback to prepare them for the final. We are comfortable with this balance during emergency times to provide a credit recovery option for districts.
  3. Local Support engagement dropped statewide – As previously stated, the local support role is critical to the success of the program. Without daily engagement from a local adult, many credit recovery students disengage or disappear completely from the program. Generally, during the stay at home order, the daily connection between the credit recovery student and the local support adult was reduced or eliminated entirely. 

The direct outcome of the drop in local support has led to significantly reduced student completion. During the stay at home order 10 previously enrolled spring credit recovery students completed their course. Compare that to 147 that completed their course during the first 3 months of the semester. Another data point of direct comparison is during the same time period last year 174 students successfully completed their course.

The bottom line is that Remote Only Credit Recovery should be a last resort option, carefully consider for each individual student enrollment. The MTDA summer credit recovery program is much more effective in a school-based setting. 

If Remote Only Credit Recovery is the only option

We strongly advise that you consider serving students in the Fall, as opposed to attempting to recover the credit this summer. We understand the need this summer for remote only credit recovery and our prepared to offer the service with the following requirements:

  • Each school that is adopting Remote-Only Credit Recovery must identify an administrator (principal, assistant principal, or superintendent) that reviews all enrollments before they are requested in GeniusSIS.  You will need to identify this administrator (including email address and cell phone) to MTDA as part of your application to offer services this summer.  They must be regularly available for contact during the Summer CR term.
  • A local support adult(s) are identified and willing to connect daily (video, telephone, or text)  at the beginning and end of the student work session to provide the support and accountability we know is necessary for successful student forward movement in a course. You will identify the local support adult(s) (including email address and cell phone) to MTDA as part of your application to offer services this summer.  They must be regularly available for contact during the Summer CR term.  Local support is also responsible for monitoring student engagement and dropping students that are inactive or unable to continue with the program this summer.
  • Enrolled students commit to daily engagement in their credit recovery course between the hours of 8 am and 1 pm Monday through Friday. (best practice is to have students engaged for 2 to 4 hours every day).
  • MTDA Live Tutoring services will be offered from June 15th** through July 31st. Your school/district needs to clearly identify when the program will run. (we suggest the entire 7 week period to give students the best opportunity to complete the course)

Traditional School-Based Face-to-Face Credit Recovery

The credit recovery program otherwise is delivered as designed.  Students must complete all of the requirements of the course for the recommendation of credit.  If you have a student that has a situation (COVID-related or not) that needs something that is more custom to their circumstance, please contact MTDA for reference to our Individualized Pathway Course program, or, consider providing a custom, low-tech solution locally.

Again, PLEASE NOTE: We are not able to facilitate moves between the two different credit recovery formats.  Once a student is enrolled in one, they will need to stay in that format for the remainder of the term.  PLEASE CHOOSE CAREFULLY if you are in a school attempting to serve students with both formats.

** We understand that many schools would like to start their credit recovery program before June 15. However, we are unable to start earlier as most of our teachers are under contract with their local school until June 11-12.  This means they cannot work live shifts during the school day.

Important Notes

  • SUMMER SURVEY REQUIRED FOR EITHER SUMMER PROGRAM: Before May 29th, PLEASE be sure to fill out our program survey if you are delivering credit recovery program options in your local school this summer.  This will assist us in planning and also allow MTDA to direct summer inquiries from our teaching and support staff to the appropriate person during the summer.  That survey is here:

Summer Program Survey

  • Summer does not lessen the requirement for local school support.  All assessments MUST be locally proctored to qualify for the delivery of credit, no exceptions.  If a student can’t not be present on your campus, they do not qualify for credit recovery services.


  • Enrollment begins May 18, 2020 (please note: The Summer Survey should be completed before enrolling students)
  • Summer staffing begins: June 15th
  • Summer courses open in both formats: June 15th
  • Enrollment ends in both formats: July 10th (open enrollment ends July 10th, after that day, contact support to discuss new enrollments)
  • Last day for Summer 2020: July 31th OR THE LAST DAY OF SCHOOL-BASED LOCAL SUPPORT (if earlier).  It is the school’s responsibility to communicate the calendar to your students and parents.  Please drop any student that is incomplete after your local school program ends for the summer.
  • Late finish deadline (to account for illness or other personal situations): August 7th (no extensions available after this date for any circumstances)


  • All students new to the MTDA credit recovery program must complete the mandatory Orientation program.  The program is called “Credit Recovery Orientation” in GeniusSIS and must receive a “pass” to be able to enroll in content specific programs.  The orientation is open now.  Once a student takes and completes the orientation, they do not need to complete it again.
  • The orientation program is approximately 2-3 hours of engagement time, dependent on student skill, reading level, and motivation.  Students that do not complete the orientation in a reasonable amount of time should be considered high need enrollments and provided additional direct support locally.


  • Please review our student registration page in the Site Facilitator handbook for information on data collection and student registration.  That document is here: link.

Program Information

To facilitate forward progression of summer program students, MTDA will adapt our labor model to provide live coaching services during most of the school day.  Our teaching staff will work to turn around mastery assignments as quickly as possible in the order they are received.

At this point, our intention is to provide those services from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday-Friday.

Course Availability

MTDA offers our core catalog of most-requested classes in the summer format.

English/Language Arts

  • English I A
  • English I B
  • English II A
  • English II B
  • English III A
  • English III B
  • English IV A
  • English IV B


  • Earth Science A
  • Earth Science B
  • Biology A
  • Biology B

Social Studies

  • Geography A
  • Geography B
  • World History A
  • World History B
  • US History A
  • US History B
  • Government A
  • Government B


All MTDA mathematics semester-long courses are divided into two parts, Part 1 and Part 2.  Students must pass both parts for a recommendation of credit.

  • Pre-Algebra A
  • Pre-Algebra B
  • Algebra I A
  • Algebra I B
  • Geometry A
  • Geometry B
  • Algebra II A
  • Algebra II B


  • Health (One Semester)

Program Planning Notes

Time Commitment: The summer program is the same format and curriculum as the school year, utilizing a mastery-based learning environment to provide a flexible but rigorous environment.  Based on statistics and analysis from Fall and Spring data, courses take the typical student 50-60 hours to complete the summer program and format, though we do see extremes in both directions.  Students that come to the program with low reading skills or lacking self-regulation may take much longer.  The course requirements are not negotiable.

End of Semester Information and Procedures

The Summer 2020 High School Credit Recovery program ends on July 31, 2020, at 1 pm.  Please view the steps below for local support and/or site facilitators to help MTDA close out the semester.

First, if you have any student enrolled in a credit recovery course that is no longer attending school, inactive, or otherwise not going to finish up, please put in a drop request for those students as soon as possible. This action helps the MTDA staff focus our attention on students that are active and attempting to finish up the course.

Second, if you have a student that is active and needs extra time to complete the course, you may request an extension beginning at Wednesday, July 29, 2020.  The extension request is due to us on Monday, August 3, 2020, at 11 am.  The extension form is located here:

Summer 2020 Extension Form

Please be mindful when utilizing requests. As there are just one week left, the extension is designed for students that are on track to finish with less than a module to complete. The program is not designed to be completed in a short amount of time. We will not check a student’s progress before granting the extension, but, ask you to be in communication with your local student.

Note: All extension requests are granted. However, you must request the extension by the deadline. Otherwise, enrollments will be dropped. Again, this helps our staff focus on active enrollments in active programs.

The final late-finish deadline for courses is Friday, August 7, 2020, at 11am.  There is no extension available beyond this date.  Facilitators should guide students to have all mastery assignments in 48 hours before the end of the final deadline to account for returned assignments.

Third, please note that a student must complete the entire course to qualify for credit. MTDA teachers or support staff are not able to excuse assignments due to pending deadlines.