Frequently Asked Questions


Click on a question below to see the answer:

Home Schooling
Because every home school curriculum can be different, we will need to review any documentation you have of your child's grade or middle school work so we can compare it with the requirements of iQ Academy Minnesota and give credit for as many courses as possible, and put together a plan to graduate. Scantron Diagnostic Assessments (grades 3–5) in English and math pinpoint proficiency levels, guide the creation of your student's Individualized Learning Plan, and allow us to measure progress over the school year. Contact us by phone or email for more information.
Students enrolled in iQ Academy do their learning at home, but they are participating in a public school program of Independent School District 544. The curriculum is approved by the district for earning credits that can lead to a high school diploma through iQ Academy Minnesota and Independent School District 544. Unlike homeschooling, there are certified teachers to guide the learning, daily lesson plans, and an entire support system—including principals, guidance counselors, an online attendance tool, assessments, and a progress-tracking system.
Diploma
Students who complete all the district requirements for graduation will receive a Minnesota high school diploma from Independent School District 544.
Special Needs
Acceptance of students with special needs is determined on a case-by-case basis. Just like the brick and mortar school is not the best fit for every student, online school may not be the best fit for every student either. The main issue to be considered is whether or not the independent nature and emphasis on reading and writing skills inherent in any online program will be the best fit for a student with special needs. iQ Academy has specially trained staff who will need to review every IEP and will be in contact with families as to the results of their review.  Contact us by phone or email for more information.
Online Learning Environment
Your teachers will provide feedback on any assignments or projects you complete. You can also contact your teacher via email or through the course message center. In addition, each teacher has regularly scheduled online office hours. During the scheduled time, students interact with the teacher and other students in a virtual classroom.
The K–5 program is mastery-based, which means your child won’t move on to the next lesson until he or she has mastered the current one. We measure proficiency through lesson, unit, and semester assessments. In grades 6-12, progress is measured through quizzes, exams, written essays, assignments, projects and semester exams. Every course contains information on specifically how the students' work will be evaluated. Parents and students are free to contact the teachers at any time to discuss the evaluation process.
Course tools are provided for each course on the online school platform. These charts will help you plan your work so that you will complete the course by the end of the school year. For grades 6-12, Pace Charts are typically found in the Course Information tab. For grades K–6, Planning and Progress Tools are found within the Online School.
iQ Academy Minnesota runs on a school year calendar, and all coursework should be completed by the last day of the school year. A one-credit course is designed to take 36 weeks or about 180 hours. As a general guideline, in addition to the time you spend online, you should also count on spending time reading, completing assignments, and studying for tests and exams. Therefore, you may need to spend approximately 180 hours to complete a course. This time is a guideline and will vary according to course, study habits, etc. You should assume that a half-credit course will take half as much time as a one-credit course.

The teachers play an important role in the iQ Academy program. It is the role of the teachers to meet individual learning needs of their students. Teachers hold "office hours" and provide weekly online course instruction via Elluminate where students can ask questions and have discussions with their teacher and classmates. Teachers are also available by phone and e-mail, and parents and students are encouraged to contact their teachers with questions. In grades 6–12, more of a students' course work can be done independently, but they are definitely never "on their own."

There are some things that you can do as a Learning Coach to help your child to be successful in iQ Academy:

  • Help them set up a schedule for school to follow every day. Students should plan on approximately one hour of work per day for every class they are enrolled in, plus some extra time for outside readings or writing papers. Bear in mind that children in grades K–6 can expect to spend less than half of their school day online and the rest offline working on workbooks, printed lessons, and other activities. Middle and high school students spend an increasing amount of their time online.
  • Provide an area for them to work that has limited distractions and where all their materials are available to them.

Encourage them to discuss their work with you. These discussions can give you clues as to whether they understand the materials and the assignments, and potential problems can be headed off before they turn into bigger problems.

As long as internet access is available, students can log into iQ Academy and get to their courses. For trips during which internet access may not be available, students can print off their assignments ahead of time and work from those in order to keep up with their work. Students should notify their teachers by email if they will be unable to access the Internet for a period of time.

Some of the qualities that we have seen in our most successful students are:

  • The ability to work independently.
  • A willingness to seek out answers to their questions, or to move on to a different subject until the necessary help is available.
  • The willingness to ask for help when needed. There are many opportunities to get help from teachers, from other students or from technical support. Students have to be willing to make use of those resources and let someone know if they don't understand something.
  • Some internal motivation to succeed in the program. Students who are forced into an online learning environment will be less likely to be successful.

There are some things that you can do as a parent/guardian to help your child to be successful in iQ Academy:

  • Help them set up a schedule for school to follow every day. Students should plan on approximately one hour of work per day for every class they are enrolled in, plus some extra time for outside readings or writing papers. Bear in mind that children in grades K–6 can expect to spend less than half of their school day online and the rest offline working on workbooks, printed lessons, and other activities. Middle and high school students spend an increasing amount of their time online.
  • Provide an area for them to work that has limited distractions and where all their materials are available to them.
  • Encourage them to discuss their work with you. These discussions can give you clues as to whether they understand the materials and the assignments, and potential problems can be headed off before they turn into bigger problems.
Clearly, this varies both in terms of the age of the child and also that child’s specific needs. Typically, being at home full-time is important for the Learning Coach of younger children, but is not required for students in the higher grades; however it is important for your older student to know that you are interested in how he/she is doing in school. It is unrealistic for most middle school and high school-aged students to handle the total responsibility of an online learning environment without any parental intervention.

As in all educational endeavors, students with an active and interested parent are at a distinct advantage for success. Most students need a certain amount of structure, at least initially, in order to flourish in the flexible online environment. iQ Academy provides parents with some very specific tools to stay informed of their child's progress and time spent working in their courses.
The main content of iQ Academy courses is available directly through our secure, online student classroom area. In some cases, links provided by teachers direct students to other websites so students can take advantage of the wealth of educational information available online. In addition to limiting the sites to which students must visit to do their coursework, we have added software to all student computers that filters out sites that are not appropriate for children. Beyond that, good parental supervision and setting some guidelines for internet use that match your family values will go a long way in protecting your children from unwanted information on the Internet.
No, although high speed internet access definitely makes the experience of learning online much more satisfying, it is not absolutely necessary. Some areas of Minnesota unfortunately do not have high-speed access available yet. For those areas that have high-speed access available, however, it is definitely the preferred type of internet access for the program.
Yes! Based on financial need and eligibility, iQ Academy may loan a desktop computer to support the learning process. In certain cases based on financial need, iQ Academy may provide a stipend to offset the cost of the Internet service. This determination will take place during the enrollment process.
Enrollment
Although we work very hard to make iQ Academy a positive experience for all of our students, if you feel that iQ Academy is not the best choice for your child you always have the ability to return to your local school or to regular home schooling.
Student Life
We have a feature in our secure, online student classroom area that enables middle and high school students to participate in discussion boards with other iQ Academy students. Topics of discussion may include music, books, movies, politics, sports, etc. These discussion boards are monitored by iQ Academy staff and provide a great way for students to talk about their talents and interests.

Children in grades K–6 have the opportunity to join a variety of clubs in a safe, secure, online environment (please see the Online Community section).
Parent Tools
Parents are assigned a secure login to enter the iQ Academy site (grades 6–12) or the K¹² Online School (grades K–5) and to monitor their children's progress and online activity. Using this account, parents can go directly to their child's classes and see what assignments have been completed and what their child's grades are at any time. A progress report is also emailed to parents' iQ email accounts weekly.
General
We invite you to contact us and learn as much as you can about what iQ Academy has to offer you and your child. Getting as much information as possible is the best way to make an informed choice.
No, iQ Academy Minnesota is a public school serving students in grades K-12. It is a program of Independent School District 544.

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