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A small collection of FAQ

Registration Questions

If you go to the Navigation Bar at www.opententacademy.com and click on CALENDAR, you will see the entire year’s schedule posted. Please note the FALL 2017 dates, the WINTER 2018 dates. The FULL YEAR classes will meet both during the dates marked for FALL 2017 and WINTER 2018. Also, please note, if you are taking Eva Goldstein-Meola or Stephanie McCormick’s IEW Writing classes, please note the dates are slightly different. IEW Writing classes meet every other week…. on either “A Week” and “B Week.”

Yes, you are correct! Because Eva Goldstein-Meola, Director, is Jewish and she can’t work on the Jewish High Holidays, all students and teachers can benefit and enjoy this “little fall break” in the calendar. Teachers will provide an extended assignment during this “time off” to keep your children busy!

Our typical class sizes range anywhere from 10 – 15 students per section, with each teacher having the discretion to decide what class size works best based on the content and structure of the course, the age of the students, and other considerations. Should a class reach capacity, a wait list will be established. If space becomes available, the students on the wait list will be contacted in order of “wait list registration”. Each class has a minimum of five students for the class to be run. If the minimum is not met, the parents will be contacted by August 1, 2017.

That truly depends on the individual children. Please feel free to email the individual instructor. You can find their email on their profile page. You can also email Eva Goldstein-Meola. She would be glad to discuss your child!

Yes, OTA closes for Thanksgiving Week, Winter Break and Spring Break. You will see these incorporated into the schedule.

OTA’s classes are LIVE VIRTUAL; however, we know all students (and families) have very busy schedules! Because of this, OTA not only holds LIVE VIRTUAL classes BUT in addition, those classes are RECORDED and available after the class meets. This way if your child misses a class, they can watch the recording do the work and be on target for the next class. It is advised that students watch the recording as soon as possible.

Of course, they can! OTA has many students who “after school” with us. Most classes are during the day when your child is in school; however, some are later in the afternoon so they can join us live. With that said, if the class you want is during the day when your child is in school, of course, they can participate by watching the recordings, doing their assignments, being in contact with their instructors! We have many students who “after school.” I would suggest that the parent contacts the instructor prior to the start of the school year to let the instructor know that their child will be watching the recordings.

If a class doesn’t hit the minimum enrollment and the teacher chooses not to hold the class, the family will be notified by August 15th and a full refund including any fees will be refunded.

It is best if you submit both your child’s email and your email when registering. Your child’s email can be a gmail. It is best if it is their first name and last initial vs. a cute email. Your child’s name will NOT be put on any advertising list. The purpose of your child’s email is strictly for teacher communication and our Learning Management System.

The classes are blocked out for UP TO 90 minutes; however, it is up to the teacher’s discretion. For instance, a class for grades 3 – 6 will likely be just about 60 minutes because of their attention span; whereas, middle school and high school classes will last between 75 – 90 minutes. In addition, because of the nature of virtual classes, sometimes they run a bit shorter than planned and sometimes they run a bit longer than planned. This is why OTA blocks out 90 minute time slots to guarantee that the teacher will not run out of time.

Costs, Discounts & Refunds

Yes, OTA does!   If one family is taking more than five classes (either one child OR with any combination of siblings) the discount is 10% of off your entire tuition!  This is on top of the “early bird” discount.  Please contact Eva Goldstein-Meola at eva@opententacademy.com for the discount code.

No. Unfortunately, once a class begins we cannot replace your seat. Each lesson builds on the previous lesson. Since students can’t enroll mid-year, your child’s seat cannot be replaced. However, you will have access to the class notes and recordings so you can have your child work at their own pace.

To register for a class, you will click on the ADD TO CART button of the course on the COURSES link. Parents will fill out the registration form that pops up. You will fill out one form per student per class. Upon completion of this step, parents will be sent to PAYPAL to pay for classes. If you need special financial arrangements, please contact Eva Goldstein-Meola at eva@opententacademy.com prior to registering for classes.

Yes, we do! We offer a two week “early bird” discount! This is $50 off each class you register for. We highly suggest that you register early to take advantage of this amazing deal!  In addition to the “early bird” we are offering a multi class/multi siblings discount, a military family discount, OTA-Winter 2017 student discount as well as a former student of Landry Academy discount.   These discounts can be combined with the “early bird” discount; however, can not be combined with one another. Please contact Eva at eva@opententacademy.com for discount codes.

You will be in the “regular registration” period fee. Please take advantage of this because on August 1, 2017, the cost of classes will be increased as we enter our “late registration” period.

OTA is happy to arrange something with you. Please contact Eva Goldstein-Meola at eva@opententacademy.com prior to registering and speak with her.

When you register for a class, you prevent other families from taking a seat; therefore, we must have this policy. Registration means commitment. The policy is stated below.

If a student must withdraw from a course before June 1, 2017 AND the class is full with a wait list for the class  AND your child’s seat can be filled by a student on the waiting list, any tuition paid will be refunded, less an administration (processing) fee of $100.00.  If the seat cannot be filled, or the withdrawal is made on (or after) June 1, 2017, the parent is responsible for the entire tuition amount due, and no refund will be issued.

High speed internet and a functioning computer installed with Microsoft products will create a strong foundation for your student’s participation. Students with dial-up access or without processing software often struggle in online classes.

Your computer should operate with Windows 8 or higher as our classroom will not operate on a previous version.

Students should purchase a headset/microphone combo so that they can participate in class discussion. These can be purchased for around $15.

Each class will also require the purchase of various books, which are listed on the syllabus that you can download from the Class Descriptions page. Because reading comprehension is a critical component of skill development, we do not recommend using an e-reader for any of the work. Studies have shown that such tools/technologies decreases student learning. Additionally, often certain passages or components of a book used by the teacher may not be present in other editions of a book. For this reason, we encourage you to obtain the exact resources required. Most of the can be found via Amazon.

NOTE: Some teachers may assess a supply fee instead of a textbook. This fee may cover the cost of user licenses for your student’s access to various online materials including pdfs of textbooks, access to websites used for the class, or actual physical materials deemed necessary by the teacher. Such materials would be emailed to your student.

Yes!  Open Tent Academy is more than happy to work out a payment plan.   An initial deposit of 25% must be put down with registration; however, after that, OTA is happy to split the remainder up into one, two, five or ten payments.   Please email eva@opententacademy.com to discuss.

OTA has many different options of classes.  Semester long classes either meet once a week or twice a week for up to 90 minutes per class.   Year long classes either meet once a week or twice a week for up to 90 minutes per class.  If a year long class meets twice a week, it is because OTA feels to give it high school credit and complete what needs to be completed in a calendar year, we must meet this often.   The twice a week year long classes are mostly high school math and high school foreign language; however, there are some high school history/social science and English mixed in.  All prices are priced independently based on the frequency of the class.   Please note the frequency of their meetings so you clearly understand why they are more.   Our goal is to give your children the BEST education we can while paying our teachers fairly; instead of undercutting the competition.

 

 

Class Policies

Yes. Parents are more than welcome to sit alongside your student during any one of OTA’s classes; however, it is expected that they are silent observers. Parents may ask questions at the end of the class, email the instructor or request a phone or Skype conference.

They should join the class quietly and blend into the discussion. They are responsible for going back to the recording to find out what they missed. It is NOT up to the teacher to stop the class to review what was missed.

It is expected that each student comes to class prepared, ready to participate and that they act in a respectful manner of the teacher and classmates. If a student disrupts a class or attends class not prepared, the teacher will contact the parents. If this continues, Eva Goldstein-Meola, Director, will set up an appointment between teacher, student, parent and herself.

The teacher will contact the class immediately via email AND the LMS (Learning Management System). Every semester has one make-up day incorporated into the schedule for this purpose.

Students are expected to conduct themselves with appropriate classroom behavior even in a virtual environment.  Teachers will contact parents if the students fail to behave properly.  Examples of reason teacher’s might contact a parent:  inappropriate language, “chatting” in the chat log when they are not supposed to or fooling around/disrupting class.

Open Tent Academy is an all-inclusive environment open to all faiths, races, genders etc. We are a secular program with no religious affiliation. All faiths are welcomed and encouraged to attend. Absolute respect and tolerance for others is expected.

Although classes are virtual, ALL students are expected to conduct themselves in proper classroom behavior. Open Tent Academy has a zero tolerance policy towards cyber bullying. Students will not receive a second chance. Please make sure that your student clearly understands that they are expected to be respectful of all students as well as the teacher. Students who are disruptive during class will receive an oral warning from the instructor at the time of the incident. If the disruption continues, parents will receive an email following class. If it happens a third time, there will be a phone call from Eva Goldstein-Meola, Director of OTA. If it happens a fourth time, the student will be removed from the class and continue taking the class via the class recordings.

Class Dates

Some classes are full-year classes, but there are also fall and winter semester classes, and each class may have a different start date depending on the term. Please check the academic calendar or the start dates on the registration pages to find when the class you are interested in begins.

Supplies

It depends on the course! On the website, under COURSES, you can search the class. On the right, you will see a link that says SYLLABUS. Download this PDF file. This will give you the information that you need for supplies and/or a textbook for your course. There will be a link to AMAZON or another vendor for the exact book you need; however, please first see if you can borrow it or buy it used.

Please note some teachers do not have textbooks and will provide PDFs of the information / notes / materials for your child. This will be posted on the LMS (Learning Management System).

In addition, some teachers may assess a supply fee instead of a textbook. This fee may cover the cost of user licenses for your student’s access to various online materials including pdfs of textbooks, access to websites used for the class, or actual physical materials deemed necessary by the teacher. Such materials would be emailed to your student.

Every student should have some type of notebook (spiral unless otherwise noted by teacher) and a pen/pencil at class meetings.

Some teachers have a “supply list” on their syllabus. It is expected that parents purchase these supplies. On the website, under COURSES, you can search the class. On the right, you will see a link that says SYLLABUS. Download this PDF file. This will give you the information that you need for supplies for the course.

First, you should see if you can locate a copy of the textbook used or borrow from a friend. Try to save money! If that is not possible, it is best for you to make sure your child has the textbooks and requested supplies prior to the first day of class. If you have questions or concerns, please email that individual instructor.

Tips & Preparation

About two weeks before class begins, you will receive via email with specific direction on how to log into our LMS (Learning Management System), Canvas. Your child (ren) will all have their own canvas account. Parents will also be able to sign into Canvas to check on their children. All the information they will need will be up and running by mid-August. It is suggested you and your child explores CANVAS (our LMS) together once we release the information.

Classes meet live and online using our virtual online platform. Students will have a link to the meeting emailed to them as well as posted in the LMS (Learning Management System).

Your computer should operate with Windows 8 or higher as our classroom will not operate on a previous version.

Teachers can interact with students during class using a chat feature as well as dialoguing with students. Away from class, our Learning Management System (LMS) allows your student to take quizzes, tests, submit papers or other work, and discuss in small groups with the teacher or with other students. The teacher will assign grades, and you may view the gradebook at any time by logging into the LMS as the parent. You will receive this information approximately two weeks before classes begin. In addition, at the end of the semester or year, you may print out the gradebook. The teacher will post and/or send a final grade to you via pdf at the end of the course.

Class recordings are posted in our LMS (Learning Management System).

Each student will be provided with an amount of work equivalent to the other four days of the “work week.” The amount of time each day will vary, based on either the student and/or class level. However, it is reasonable to assume that anywhere between 30 minutes and 1.5 hours will be required to complete each homework assignment. The assignments for the upcoming week are posted prior to class on a weekly page in the Learning Management System (LMS). You can gauge what each teacher will expect by reading the syllabus for the class, which can be downloaded from the COURSES section of the website.

Each instructor will handle this individually; however, you can typically expect turn over to be about one week for assignments unless the instructor notifies the students. The evaluated work will be released to the student on CANVAS (LMS). Students will receive a notification when they have graded work. Teachers will offer written comments, an audio commentary, a video commentary or a combination of any of these.

The parent should provide general oversight of the student’s work. Ensuring that the student attends class, has the proper materials, and is progressing is very helpful. Teachers will do the grading of quizzes, tests, and other projects. If parents ever have any questions, they should immediately email the instructor. It is also extremely helpful if parents provide the textbook (if needed), print out PDF, provide supplies and a quiet environment for the child to participate in class.

Teachers are responsible for setting their individual late work policies and for due dates. If a student must miss work due to illness or death in the family, please notify the teacher as soon as possible. If the student will miss due to vacation or other school opportunities, please notify the teacher well in advance. Basically, teachers will set their own policies; however, teachers are flexible if there is communication.

Teachers provide online instruction, feedback, grading, and testing for the course. Our teachers will treat your student with respect and in an encouraging manner. All teachers provide an email and a phone number and are available for brief meetings in the classroom by appointment with enough notice.

Teachers are not private tutors. Although we want all students to succeed, please understand that it is up to each individual teacher as to how much extra time they provide for a student. Again, communication is the key.

Other Questions

If you are interested in joining the consortium at Open Tent Academy, we’d love to hear from you! Please email Eva Goldstein-Meola at eva@opententacademy.com. Please attach your CV with your teaching history, homeschooling experience and what you would like to teach. We are always looking for amazing teachers!