See below for answers to frequently asked questions regarding Kolbe’s online courses.
Online Course FAQ
For the summer term, generally there are no prerequisites and no preparation is needed, except enthusiasm, the desire to learn and the commitment to the schedule of the online courses. Exceptions are Intro to Latin 2 (completion of Latin 1) and Algebra 2 readiness (completion of Algebra 1).
For the full school year term, yes. Some of the math, science, and language courses have pre-requisites or co-requisites for enrollment. Please see course descriptions for details. All students are required to take advantage of one (or more) of the following Study Skills opportunities:
- Attend the Summer Study Skills course
- Attend the St. Max Study Skills Seminars offered via Kolbe during the early part of the school year. See calendar for dates and times.
- Watch 5 short study skills webcasts prior to the orientation week. Information on viewing these webcasts will be given to you after you apply for enrollment.
- New 2017-18 – complete student orientation training.
Kolbe Academy offers almost all of Kolbe’s grades 6-12 homeschool courses. The only courses that are currently NOT offered from these levels are Anatomy & Physiology, Astronomy, Italian I and II, German I and II, Third Form Latin, Fourth Form Latin, Harcourt Science 6, Land of Our Lady History series (Catholic Textbook Project offered), and Sacon Math (Sadlier/Foerster Math offered).
Yes, there are just a few.
- English 9-11 do not correspond exactly to the Kolbe home school course plans.
- Spanish III
- All online AP courses
Eighth graders can receive credit for any Online high school courses. This is true for only the Online Academy. Eighth graders may not receive credit for a Kolbe high school homeschool courses except in the areas of math, science, and foreign language.
Seventh graders enrolling in high school level courses do not receive credit on a Kolbe high school transcript.
Please note: We highly recommend that students continue their pursuit of the subject areas from which their 8th grade high school credit subject came at a higher level even if their diploma requirements are complete. Most colleges and universities will not allow courses completed in 8th grade to count toward their admission requirements.
All students who would like to take online courses must first will out an application for enrollment. Once approved, the enrollment form will be emailed to the parent to complete course enrollment. The application for enrollment will be available on March 4th. Enrollment in courses will be opened to returning families on a first come, first serve basis beginning March 6th. New families will be allowed to complete their child’s enrollment in Online Courses beginning March 18th.
Generally, yes. However, the instructor has the flexibility to modify the course plan as necessary. All instructors have a Kolbe Academy mentor that approves and oversees any major changes to the Kolbe course plans.
Kolbe online instructors can and should adapt the course plan to their particular class in order to ensure that students grasp the material to the fullest extent possible. While Kolbe’s homeschool course plans are not provided outright to Online Academy students, instructors are encouraged to share the portions of the course plan with their students via the Schoology course page.
Once the student is enrolled in the course, a welcome packet with information will be emailed to the student and parent email addresses. The name of the instructor and the instructor’s email address is included in the packet. Email is the primary avenue to communicate with the instructor. Phone communication should not be expected except in a rare instance.
Beginning in the 2015-16 School year, instructors are required to hold at least one weekly office hour for studentsto pop-in for additional help or questions.
The instructor grades the assignments, which are tracked and submitted electronically through Schoology.
Teachers are required to maintain and their gradebooks on a reasonable time frame. Parents should login at least every other week to monitor student progress in each course. Unofficial transcripts are sent out by Kolbe Academy at the end of each semester after teacher’s have submitted final grades. Mid-semester progress reports are sent to students who are receiving failing grades.
First, always start with the online instructor. The instructor’s email address is included in the student welcome packet. If the online instructor cannot offer help in regards to the student’s performance or an issue can not be resolved, families should contact the Dean of Students for the Online Academy.
The live portion is taught through Adobe Connect, an online meeting space. The login information and link to the Adobe Connect meeting space for the class is included in the welcome packet email. Live classes meet 1-2x per week, depending on the subject.
Additional interaction between the teachers and students may occur throughout the week via email and the class Schoology page. Students are expected to check the Schoology page for their class for updates daily.
In Adobe Connect, there is a public chat area that is enabled before class begins where students interact. Some teachers will use this chat area throughout class to faciliate discussion. Private messaging is disabled in Adobe Connect to help students stay focused during their live classes. Additionally, students will be expected to interact with the teacher and other students using their microphone audio enabled by using a headset.
Outside of class, the Schoology site allows students to interact using messaging. Parents may request this messaging function by turned off for their child if it becomes a distraction. Kolbe has administrative permissions to view and log all student messaging done through Schoology. Messaging is a privilege and not a right. Kolbe can turn it off for any student caught abusing the system.
The Schoology site also has several methods for communication between students and teachers. Teachers may or may not use this functionality (such as forums or discussion boards), but many teachers do use it as a way to engage with students throughout the week.
All of the classes are recorded. The student is expected to view the class to catch up on the assignments. Keep in mind that part of the grade comes from participation. The more the student misses, the more the participation grade is impacted. The instructor is not required to allow students to make up participation grades from missed classes, but may choose to do so if the student alerts them of an absence before class begins. Make sure to communicate with your instructor when situations arise that do not allow a student to attend class.
Students who miss more than 3 live classes per semester are at risk for being made an “inactive” student in the class. Inactive students are no longer allowed to attend live class or submit assignments to the teacher for grading.
Yes, all classes are recorded and can be viewed later. Often, students will find it beneficial to review a class recording at a later time as a study aid. However, classes are not meant to be done at the student’s own pace but at the pace set by the instructor. Missing class will impact the participation grade. It is important that the time commitment for the live online class is set aside in the child’s schedule. Below is Kolbe’s attendance policy.
Attendance and Participation Grade Policy
Kolbe Academy realizes that there are times when a student has a legitimate reason for missing school (illness, family circumstances, etc). However, students who are absent an excessive number of days should not expect continuous compensation from their teachers concerning out-of-class help, and certainly put their grade, and overall learning, in jeopardy.
To encourage live attendance, which Kolbe Academy deems a very necessary part for success in the online classes, the following attendance grade policy is in place:
- All teachers are required to include a 7-8% attendance grade in their grading scheme. The method in which a student obtains the attendance grade within the live class may vary from teacher to teacher, but overall will be an objective measure of the student attending and being engaged in live class.
- If a student misses class, FOR ANY REASON (sickness, traveling, funeral, wedding, internet outage, or stubbed toe), they may make up the attendance grade by watching the recorded class and writing a two paragraph summary on the missed class. To receive the full attendance grade for the missed class, the summary must be turned in within 7 days from the missed class. The teacher is not required to remind the student of this deadline.
In cases of extended absence due to a difficult illness or accident, the Dean of Students should be contacted by the parent to arrange accommodations. Teachers are not allowed to make arrangements for such extenuating circumstances.
Kolbe seeks to place solid Catholic teachers into our Online Academy. We have teachers who have graduates from all over the US from different 4 year institutions, with a high population of teachers from strong Catholic institutions such as Franciscan University, University of Dallas, Holy Apostles College and St. Thomas Aquinas College. Over half of our teachers have masters degrees, and a few have PhDs or are currently working on PhDs. All of our teachers are dedicated to the ministry of teaching, and with each year of online teaching experience, have become well versed in the nuances of bringing Classical Education to the online format.
Online Instructors are not meant to give homeschool, diploma or transcript advice. Questions pertaining to these topics should be directed to the advising staff at Kolbe Academy. Likewise, the advising staff at Kolbe Academy does not know all of the inner workings and assignments given by instructors. Questions pertaining to grading and assignments should always be directed to the online instructor.
To read more about our instructors and their backgrounds, click here.
Parent Role in an Online Course
Since Kolbe Academy is not a physical school and online courses are not held as frequently as a regular school, it is especially important that both parents and students have a handle on the assignments, timelines, and grades of the student. To help ensure success of your child in online courses, parents must adhere to the following guidelines:
- Always know the login and password information of your child including their Schoology account, Adobe Connect account, and their personal email.
- Make sure updated email addresses and phone numbers of both the parent and student are on file with Kolbe.
- Read all Kolbe Academy communication that is emailed out on a periodic basis.
- One parent in each family will receive a login to Schoology which will be associated with their child(ren)’s Schoology account. During Orientation Week and the first four weeks of class, you MUST login to your parent Schoology account to check on assignment status, grades, and student communication.
- During the remainder of the year, you MUST login to your parent Schoology account at least every other week.
- Exams should be proctored by a parent or guardian. Be sure to adhere to exam and testing guidelines as outlined by each individual instructor. Proctoring is defined as a parent or guardian (college age sibling is ok) physically checking in on the student while an exam is being taken to help deter the student from the temptations of academic dishonesty. The proctor should be in the same household of the student and be aware of all honesty statements that the student and/or proctor must sign at the beginning or end of the exam. The proctor should be aware of whether an exam is open book if any outside resources are allowed by the teacher. While proctor is not required to sit next to or be in the same room as the student during the entirety of the exam, periodic physical check-ins while the student is taking the exam are required.
Level of Overall Involvement: As with any homeschool or traditional school course, parents are expected to have a level of involvement that is appropriate for their child. Students who have never taken an online class before should be monitored closely by a parent to insure that deadlines are being met and technology is not hindering the student. Once mastery of the online environment and flow of the class has been achieved, parents can feel confident in letting an independent learner take the reins. Other students, who may require constant help with time management and focus, should have a parent involved as needed to achieve maximum success in the course.
Grading & Teaching: While parents are not expected to grade or teach material from the online course, reinforcement of concepts or additional emphasis and discussion may be important for many students to succeed in the online course environment.
Yes. There is a technical moderator on call during class to ensure that the class runs smoothly. Students should visit kolbe.org and click the “Chat Now” button to the bottom right side of the website page to chat with a live representative if technical issues occur during class OR if a teacher (or another adult) does not show up into the Adobe Connect room.
Kolbe’s Tech Support Representatives can assist with finding out your computer’s connection speed and technical requirements for the online environment. Issues with Adobe Connect, Schoology, or any other technical issue can be directed to techsuppor(at)kolbe.org. The link to the technical help form is here and a number of places on the home page for Kolbe Academy.
When contacting tech support, please describe the problem effectively. Emails to tech support such as “I don’t know my login” or “I can’t login” are not helpful for getting you quick and fruitful help. Make sure to include the following information when requesting help:
- Include your first name, last name, and username in your email.
- Describe the problem you are having and what you have done so far to troubleshoot.
- Include the exact URL where the problem is occurring (i.e. kolbe.adobeconnect.com or www.kolbe.org).
- Take screen shots of the problem to show exactly what you are seeing. That will help our tech support team recreate the issue.
- Remember not to be tempted to write things out of anger or frustration. We know that tech problems are frustrating, but they are part of learning online. We will help you as soon as possible!
The world today uses online and social media tools for collaboration, education, and communication. Kolbe Academy recognizes the need to balance exposure to these tools with providing high quality education in a safe environment. Students will find opportunities to safely interact with one another in the following ways:
- Students are encouraged to login to their classroom up to 10 minutes early to do a microphone check with a technical moderator or teacher. Once the mic check is complete, students present in the room are able to chat with one another using the chatbox technology in Adobe Connect. The chatbox is typically hidden or cleared once the teacher officially begins class.
- Students will interact in an academic way throughout the live class session during discussion and other class activities.
- Students will find several opportunities to interact using Schoology, the LMS that Kolbe uses for course landing pages, submitting assignments, and student grades. Teachers will often use the forum feature in Schoology to hold class discussions outside of the live class events.
To keep a safe and quality environment for students, please read or adhere to the following.
- Private messaging between students is not enabled on Adobe Connect or Schoology to help students stay focused during their precious live classroom time but especially to diminish the temptation for academic dishonesty.
- While private messaging is not turned on in Schoology, groups are formed based on graduating class so that students can interact with one another in a public discussion format.
- Students who abuse discussion privledges on Schoology will be denied access to the Schoology groups they are part of.
- Parents may request at any time that their child’s membership to a Schoology group be revoked if it has become a distraction to the student.
- Parents should always know how to obtain login information to student Schoology, Adobe Connect, email, and other social media accounts.
- Parents should caution their children not to share personal information, such as their address, with other students.
- Students who are interested in corresponding with one another may ask a parent to contact the Dean of Students & Families to put students in touch with one another via email.