Frequently Asked Questions concerning:


1. Academic Schedule
2. Attendance
3. Special Needs
4. Tuition
5. Registration and Enrollment
6. Course Offerings and Selection
7. Curriculum Overview
8. Grading and Grade Records
9. Academic Achievement
10. Using the School Systems
11. Homeroom Features
12. The Social Center
13.Experiential Activities
14. The Academic Counselors (Teachers) With Teacher Support:
15. Computer Requirements
16. Lesson Details
17. Member Services

1. Academic Schedule

When does the school year begin?

INSOTUS has rolling enrollment of 365 days of the year.  There is no set beginning to the school year.  Students will have 365 days from the date of enrollment to complete their assignments.

What is a typical daily schedule at the school like?

All daily lessons are delivered online via our secure school site.  Students log in to the computer each day to their Homeroom, which stores all of their classes and lessons.  They go into the Classroom (course) that they would like to work in, and then click on the lessons they need to complete.  Lessons are written to the student (not the parent, or class, etc.) and contain about 45 minutes of work.  Lessons are comprised of content readings, engaging activities, colorful graphics, animated materials, and the infusion of multimedia, such as digitized sound and videos. 
Families are in charge of their own daily schedule. Students can do all their work at one time, or can space it throughout the day. Some students enjoy working on one subject each day, while others enjoy moving though all of their subjects every day. INSOTUS has a mixture of online and offline assignments.  Middle and high school students typically spend 2 to 4 hours online per day and elementary students spend about half that time. The student’s schedule can be easily adjusted to accommodate family matters, extracurricular activities and unexpected events such as illness, still leaving plenty of time for the student to complete all courses within the 365-day period. Distance education is quickly transforming education as we know it!

We live in a different time zone! How will this work?

With Teacher Support:
That’s the beauty of virtual schooling! Almost everything at the academy is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You have access to your classes to complete your work anytime you are most comfortable, even at night! INSOTUS students may email Academic Counselors anytime. (Of course, emails are only reviewed during normal school hours, 8:30 am to 5:00 pm, EST) Please note that the Live Operator (or Raise-Your-Hand) feature is available from 9:00 am to 5:00pm, EST.

Without Teacher Support:
That’s the beauty of virtual schooling! Almost everything at the academy is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. You have access to your classes to complete your work anytime you are most comfortable, even at night!

2. Attendance

What are the attendance requirements?

INSOTUS students are expected to work diligently and consistently on their school work.
Typically 110 hours per course are required.

How will my student meet the attendance requirements?

Our system will automatically keep track of the time that students spend online.  If they are working on offline activities, they must click on the “Study Hall” button at the top of their course or homeroom page in order to keep an accurate time.  Other activities can be noted in the “Joy Directed Activities” log.

Is there a specific time my student must be online each day?

With Teacher Support:
Our academy students enjoy a philosophy of “any time, anywhere, any pace” education. This allows students to work at their own time, place and speed.  However, all schoolwork must be completed by their 365th day of enrollment and all students must meet their attendance requirements.

Without Teacher Support:
Our academy students enjoy a philosophy of “any time, anywhere, any pace” education. This allows students to work at their own time, place and speed.  However, all schoolwork must be completed by their 365th day of enrollment. 

How much time should my student spend online every day?

With Teacher Support:
Each student learns at a different pace, and these differences should be considered when determining if your student is spending enough time on schoolwork. A guideline would be two to four hours for high school students. Two hours of online work in a 24-hour period constitutes one “day” of attendance.  Additional time is often spent on offline activities, such as viewing videos or visiting museums.

Without Teacher Support:
Each student learns at a different pace, and these differences should be considered when determining if your student is spending enough time on schoolwork. A guideline would be two to four hours for high school students.  Additional time is often spent on offline activities, such as volunteering or visiting museums.

Where can we track our student’s attendance records?

Log on to your homeroom page, then click on Your Timelog on the right side of the page to view the number of hours you have accumulated thus far. You may also click on Grade Book and access Your Timelog from there.

3. Special Needs

Do you accept students with special education needs?

Yes, we do accept students with Individualized Education Programs (IEPs), although we do not offer Special Education Services. It is important for parents to review the offerings of our academy and determine whether they would meet your current needs. If our program appears to be able to meet your student's needs, you may wish to include our academy as a part of your special education program along with other resources in your community.

Does your program work well for gifted students?

Our program works extremely well for gifted students as we allow them the flexibility to move at their own pace through our curriculum. This prevents the common issue of boredom in a traditional classroom setting where gifted students feel they have already grasped all the material being covered yet have to wait for their instructor to teach everyone in the class. Gifted students benefit from our “any time, anywhere, any pace” system as they may opt to complete multiple assignments in one subject area per day versus traditionally doing one assignment per course per day. Gifted students can chose higher level courses from our 150 course offerings, add additional courses if they finish early, and challenge themselves through our lessons. 

Will your program work for my dyslexic student?

Dyslexia has so many forms and levels that it is difficult, if not impossible, to respond properly to this question. The best advice would be to show the diagnosing physician our academy's curriculum and work together to decide whether or not our school would be a good choice.

How do students with ADD/ADHD perform with your program?

Because of our online environment and multimedia-rich curriculum, students with attention disorders seem to do extremely well at our school. Our unique online learning system allows students to work quietly, accommodate rapidly changing energy levels and work at their own unique pace. Although we do not offer special education services, the very nature of our engaging curriculum has been a wonderful solution to many students with attention disorders. We suggest that parents of students with special needs consult their health-care provider about our academy’s learning environment to determine if it may be helpful.

4. Tuition

What is the tuition for the academic year?

Tuition is based on a, per course, per student basis.  The price per certification course is $895. Remember that INSOTUS does not offer credits per se it is used primarily as a learning model for existing schools and stand alone online platform for homeschoolers.

When are tuition payments due?

Your full payment is due at the time of enrollment.

How do the tuition fees change if I enroll more than one student?

Because of the low tuition rate, we do not currently have sibling discounts.

Are there any other fees?

There are no other fees.

How do I remit my tuition?

Tuition can be paid by check, money order, Visa, MasterCard, or PayPal. Please be advised that mailed payments can take up to two weeks to process.
 

5. Registration and Enrollment

How do I register my student for INSOTUS?

Log on to our website, www.insotus.com and click on Registration, and then follow the links to fill out the enrollment application.

How long will it take to enroll my student?

Once the initial application and registration fee are received, we are usually able to process an application within 2-3 school days. After courses are selected, we ship curriculum materials in 2-4 school days. Students are welcome to begin on the online assignments while waiting for their curriculum materials to arrive after their first school day. Students can print their notes if they prefer to study from paper, rather than a computer screen.

How will I know if my student has been accepted at INSOTUS?

All enrollment steps are verified through email confirmations.

Is the application/registration fee refundable?

Normally your enrollment deposit is not refundable, however if we are not able to accept your student for enrollment you will receive a full refund.

What is included when we enroll?

With Teacher Support:
INSOTUS offers a comprehensive academic program for families schooling at home.  Upon enrollment, you will have access to a nationally accredited program with over 30 courses to choose from.  Our teachers grade the assignments and answer student inquiries, while our system tracks all of your student’s academic records.  Your parent account information is accessible at all times.  

Without Teacher Support:
INSOTUS offers a comprehensive academic program for families schooling at home.  Upon enrollment, you will have access to a nationally accredited program with over 30 courses to choose from.  Our system tracks all of your student’s academic records and your parent account information, which are accessible at all times.

What are the Health Forms and why am I required to return them?

With Teacher Support:
It is a requirement of INSOTUS that all students submit their completed health form, a copy of their birth certificate (and Canadian citizenship when appropriate), as well as a copy of their immunization records within 30 days of primary enrollment.

I registered but have changed my mind. I did not pay any money yet. Do I have to disenroll?

If you have entered your information but have not paid the registration fee or any other monies, you need not do anything. If you have entered your information and have paid the registration fee or other costs, you must contact Member Services.

6. Course Offerings and Selection

Where can we view all the available courses?

Please visit the INSOTUS website, http://www.insotus.com.  You will find a list of the courses we offer under the heading “Our Courses”

Can we change a course once we have registered our student?

Yes! We want all students to be in the best course "placements." A student has 14 days in which to “try on” the selected courses and make changes. After 14 days, there is a $25 fee for changing a course.

What if my student finishes a course early and wants to move on?

Students may move at a pace that best suits their academic needs. If a course is finished "early," then the student has the option of moving ahead to another course. Students are permitted to be enrolled in up to eight courses at any given time. Tuition includes 6 courses, so additional courses cost an extra fee.  If you’d like to add an additional course, contact Member Services.

Is there a time limit on completing a course or assignment?

INSOTUS adheres to an "any place, any pace, any time" learning environment. Students have up to 365 days from date of enrollment to complete a course (although most are done in 6-9 months). A Daily Calendar of assignments is provided as a guide.

Will my student fail if all assignments are not completed by the end of the year?

With Teacher Support:
All incomplete assignments are given a “0” and averaged into your cumulative grade for a course. Depending on your grade average for the class and the number of assignments left incomplete that turn to “0” at the end of the year, you may or may not fail.

Without Teacher Support:
Incomplete assignments are not averaged into your cumulative grade for a course.  However, any requirements imposed by your local school district, in terms of their expectations for completion of a course, much be considered if assignments are not completed. 

7. Curriculum Overview

What is the curriculum like?

No other academy offers such a diverse array of courses!  The curriculum uses state-of-the-art technology to provide a challenging and engaging experience for each student.  INSOTUS lessons are student-driven, require about 45 minutes of time to complete, and contain content readings, engaging activities, colorful graphics, animated materials, and the infusion of multimedia, such as digitized sound and videos.
   
Who writes the lesson plans?

We have a team of curriculum developers who research and write our curriculum with input from our Academic Counselors.

Can we view all of the online learning coursework before we commit?

No, our coursework for the year is not posted all at once.  It is released systematically over the course of the year.  However, we do have some sample lessons on our homepage that you can review. 

What kinds of assignments are there and how do I complete them?

·        Online Reading assignments are the most common. They require you to read an assigned portion of a chapter, and usually include links to external websites and/or instructions for watching videos. Click “Please CLICK HERE to Submit Your Finished Assignment” when you have completed the required reading.

·        Multiple Choice assignments are quizzes or tests. Some Multiple Choice assignments may require you to watch a video or do lesson reading and/or additional reading on external websites before answering the questions. Click “Turn In Your Test” when all questions have been answered.

·        Fill In The Blank assignments usually contain a reading assignment and then a series of fill-in-the-blank questions. Click “Turn In Your Test” when all questions have been answered.

·        Free Response assignments require you to do some reading and/or research, and then type the required response, usually an essay, into the text box provided. Once the free response has been completed, click the “Send Free Response” button to submit the assignment.

·        Discussion Board assignments have assigned reading and may require you to visit external websites or watch videos, and then make a posting on the assignment’s  discussion board in response to assigned questions. After you click “Add Comment” to post your response, you will be able to view the responses of your classmates.

Online readings and discussion boards do not receive a grade. They are marked completed or not completed, and are unweighted. Graded assignments are weighted differently and therefore some assignments are worth more than others. 

How do tests and quizzes work?

With Teacher Support:
Tests and quizzes are a common part of learning at school. We work very hard to help students do their very best. There are many kinds of tests and quizzes ranging from multiple choice and true and false to essays and reports (called Free Responses). A number of tests and quizzes are graded automatically by our system, and students will receive their grades immediately. INSOTUS students enjoy individual assignment grading by Academic Counselors for those assignments not automatically graded by the computer, and the students often have the opportunity to receive positive feedback and suggestions to help them improve in their work and grow in their academic abilities.

What is a proctored final exam?

The final exam is closed book but written at a time of your choosing and at any place that you arrange. Resources cannot be used in the exam. You, the student must arrange for some person to observe you as you write the exam.  A proctored exam is one that is overseen by an impartial individual, the proctor, who supervises you while you take the final exam. The proctor ensures the security and integrity of the exam process. You, the student, arrange for the proctor following the general guidelines laid down by INSOTUS. Suitable proctors would be teachers, librarian, registered nurses, ministers, chartered accountants, etc. Unsuitable proctors would be peers, friends or tutors.

Can I print out the lessons for review while off the Internet?

Yes however they can only be used by the person enrolled and may not be copied and/or redistributed for use by others.

8. Grading and Grade Records

What is the grading structure?

The following chart outlines the grading structure:

100 – 97

A+

4.00

96-94

A

4.00

93-90

A-

3.67

89-87

B+

3.33

86-84

B

3.00

83-80

B-

2.67

79-77

C+

2.33

76-74

C

2.00

73-70

C-

1.67

69-67

D+

1.33

66-64

D

1.00

63-60

D-

0.67

How can I track the academic progress of my student?

You can track the academic progress of your student by logging into your student’s homeroom, and click on grade book at the top of the page. You will be taken to a page that shows an overview of all your student’s classes and grades. To see grades for individual assignments, or to view all the completed work in a course, click on Grading. From here, you can view specific information about each of your student’s courses.

How can we view our student’s grades?

Log into your student’s homeroom, and click on grade book at the top of the page. You will be taken to a page that shows an overview of all your student’s classes and grades. To see grades for individual assignments, or to view all the completed work in a course, click on Grading. From here, you can view specific information about each of your student’s courses.

Who is responsible for grading my student’s work?

With Teacher Support:
Your student’s academic counselors are responsible for grading your student’s work.

Without Teacher Support:
A peer or homeschool teacher is responsible for grading your student’s work. 

What is a transcript?

With Teacher Support:
Your student’s transcript is a written record of his/her courses for the year, grades in both letter and number form, the grade point average for each class, and the overall grade point average for all classes combined. Transcripts also show the courses the student has received for the year for each class, as well as combined courses for the year for all classes combined.

How do I receive a transcript?

With Teacher Support:
In order to receive a transcript, you must contact Member Services.  A copy of your student’s transcript is available at any time to accounts in good standing. There is a transcript fee for official transcripts (one that is signed and bears our embossed corporate seal) mailed via First Class mail to a third party. Students in their first year at our school are not eligible to order an official transcript until they have completed at least one full school year at INSOTUS.  Transcripts take from two to four weeks for their completion and delivery.

Without Teacher Support:
Students who attend INSOTUS do not receive transcripts.  Instead they receive Grade Records.

What is a Grade Record?

Without Teacher Support
A Grade Record is a written record of your student’s courses for the year, grades in both letter and number form, the grade point average for each class, and their overall grade point average for all your classes combined.

Why doesn’t my student’s grade record have credits on it?

Without Teacher Support:
Since INSOTUS is a school curriculum provider, the courses that we offer are not worth credits, therefore, no credits will appear on your student’s grade record.  Through an intermediary school a credit may be issued but that must be set up on a user by user basis. 

Will my student be sent a report card grade at the end of every quarter or semester?

No, students will not be sent a report card at the end of each quarter or semester.   However, you are able to print your student’s grades at any time during the year by accessing the School Record on the homeroom page at no cost.

Will my student be sent a final report card grade at the end of the school year?

No, students will not be sent a final report card at the end of the year.  However, you are able to print your student’s grades at any time during the year by accessing the Report Tab from a teacher’s account, requesting a report and printing/saving the report as a .pdf or .csv file. 

What record will I have of my student’s work?

INSOTUS’s online learning system will keep accurate records of your student's progress throughout the year.
All of these records, Academic Counselor comments, evaluations and transcripts/ school records are available to you online to be printed out as needed during the normal school year.  These can be kept as an important record for your own review.

Do we still have access to the grade book, timelog, and the school record after the year is over?

Teachers will have access to the “Gradebook & Timelog” until the 365th day. They will be able to print out the gradebook, timelog, and grades until this date.  After this date, they are no longer available.

9. Academic Achievement

Are the assignments at INSOTUS “Open Book”?

Unless otherwise noted, tests and quizzes are NOT open book. We rely on the honor of our students to insure they do not “cheat” in this way. We expect our students to utilize all forms of note taking and study skills to help them achieve the best possible grade. If a test or quiz is “open book” your Academic Counselor will inform you this is so. If you are unsure, just ask before you proceed. Of course, reviewing your past lessons is always encouraged, as this is one of the best ways to keep the information fresh in your mind.

How does INSOTUS work on an “Honour” system? What keeps my student from looking at past assignments while taking a test?

We rely on the honor of our students to insure they do not “cheat” in this way. We expect our students to utilize all forms of note taking and study skills to help them achieve the best possible grade. Please review the information on Plagiarism as a supplement to this information.

What is INSOTUS’s policy on Plagiarism?

Our plagiarism policy is outlined below.  Plagiarism offenses accumulate for the entire year, not for an individual course.

First Offense:
With Teacher Support:
An Academic Counselor will email the student and parent informing them of the plagiarized lesson. 
A note will be made in the student’s file stating the course, assignment number, a copy of student’s work and source plagiarized.
This will use one of the two resets in that class for the year. 

Second Offense:
With Teacher Support
An Academic Counselor will email the student and parent informing them of the plagiarized lesson. 
A note will be made in the student’s file stating the course, assignment number, a copy of student’s work and source plagiarized.
The plagiarized assignment will be given a 0. Students will not be able to resubmit the assignment. 

Third Offense:
With Teacher Support
An Academic Counselor will email the student and parent informing them of the plagiarized lesson. 
A note will be made in the student’s file stating the course, assignment number, a copy of student’s work and source plagiarized.
The plagiarized assignment will be given a 0. Students will not be able to resubmit the assignment. 
Student will be suspended one day. 

Fourth Offense and Higher:
With Teacher Support
An Academic Counselor will email the student and parent informing them of the plagiarized lesson. 
A note will be made in the student’s file stating the course, assignment number, a copy of student’s work and source plagiarized.
The plagiarized assignment will be given a 0. Students will not be able to resubmit the assignment. 
Student will face possible suspension for the rest of the year.  Length of suspension is up to the discretion of the Teaching Supervisor and Director of Academics.

10. Using the School System

What should I do if I forget my password/username?

If you forget your password or username, contact Member Services.

How will INSOTUS contact me with important news and information?

Upon registration, you will provide a valid email address. Email is the most common form of communication between the school and you. It is very important to check your email periodically to be sure it is operational. Some email accounts automatically reject INSOTUS mail as spam. If you have spam block set up in your email, be sure to add us to your safe sender list so you do not miss out on important communications in the future.

11. Homeroom Features

What is the Message Center?

With Teacher Support:
The Message Center is where students can send an email to their Academic Counselor to ask a question about an assignment or for any other concerns.  To email their Academic Counselor, students simply log into their homeroom page, select the class they have the question about, then click the Message Center button and send an e-mail to their Academic Counselor. Students should include the class they are asking a question about, the lesson number, and any work they have done for the assignment so our Academic Counselors can review it thoroughly. 

What is a Time Log?

The Time Log is a report showing all the hours your student has logged in completing your student’s schoolwork. Since The School has hourly requirements for the year, it is important to keep an eye on your Time Log to be sure you are accumulating the proper amount of hours.

12. The Social Center

What is the Social Center?

The Social Center gives students an opportunity to socialize during school hours, to discuss their schoolwork with their peers, and to develop a spirit of friendship with other INSOTUS students.

What can students discuss in the Social Center?

The Social Center is a monitored, safe environment for our students and, as such, students are not permitted to share personal information about themselves with other students. No Internet-based environment can be considered 100% safe; therefore, our first priority is the safety and well-being of our students. Addresses, phone numbers, screen names and personal family information should not be given out in the Social Center. Students are expected to observe all rules of etiquette and proper behavior befitting young men and women. Cursing, insults, excessive teasing, comments of a sexual nature and inappropriate language and expressions are all grounds for temporary suspension or permanent expulsion from the Social Center.  Students are not allowed to share websites of any kind in the Social Center, no matter what the content. 

How are students expected to get to know one another?

We understand that the desire for friendship among one another goes beyond the borders of the school, but we must insist that students adhere to the Social Center rules.

13. Experiential Activities

What are Experiential Activities?

Experiential Activities is the area for recording supplemental educational activities for which your student should be receiving attendance credit. For example, if your student is reading a specific book for school, and your local theatre is performing a play about the book, then time spent attending this play would be recorded here. Trips to the museum to learn about ancient artifacts, the duck pond to sketch the great outdoors, or your local botanical gardens to learn about plants in your area are all activities that might enforce school lessons. You may also include community service related activities and learning activities. This could be assisting the elderly, volunteer work, teaching a skill to someone else, performing, playing an instrument, or field trips to areas of interest. Learning a new skill, such as balancing a checkbook or baking/cooking something new could also be included here. These are educational opportunities and should be included in your student’s educational record. Physical Education activities, such as bowling, dancing, karate, fishing, hunting, swimming, walking, exercising on a treadmill, running for a cause or gardening can be entered here.

Do students get credit for participating in field trips?

Some assignments are field trips. They can be as simple as going outside for a walk to observe something or visiting a museum. Field trip assignments may require students to write a report on the trip, or the parent may simply enter the activity in the Experiential Activity log. The activity will then become a part of the student's permanent record.

14. The Academic Counselors (Teachers) With Teacher Support:

What is the function of an Academic Counselor?

Academic Counselors are responsible for accessing and handling student and parent communications about their classes and grading all free responses. They offer support to a student who is struggling, but students are not permitted to ask Academic Counselors to check answers to assignments or proofread a writing assignment before they submit it.
Additionally, Academic Counselors provide Class Announcements on topics of interest to their students.  Our school employs a progressive method of team teaching, enabling the student to receive the very best in team coverage for all questions and problems they may have in their classes. If a student wishes to speak to an Academic Counselor, they may contact him or her through the Message Center or the Live Operator System.

Who is my student’s Academic Counselor?

The terms “teacher” and “Academic Counselor” are used interchangeably at our school. Academic Counselors are highly familiar with the various courses and are the best equipped to deal with the questions and concerns of the students.  Many of our teachers have certification and degrees for the areas they are instructing.  They all share a love of education and are excited to be a part of online learning

How may I contact my student’s Academic Counselor?

The way to contact your student’s Academic Counselor is through the Message center.

15. Computer Requirements

What are the minimum computer requirements?

Here are the minimum recommended system requirements:

·  1.8 GHz Intel core duo Processor

·  2 GB RAM

·  160 GB Hard Drive

·  Windows XP, Vista or 7, Mac OS

·  Mozilla Firefox

How can I read PDF (Acrobat) files?

You will need the free Acrobat reader. Please go to the following link, and follow the download instructions. www.LearningbyGrace.org/downloads

If I enroll more than one student, do they each need their own computer?

Not necessarily, but it is recommended.  Each student gets his/her own username and password with which to log in to school.  It is possible for them to share a computer as long as they use their individual logs in when doing their school work.  We recommend they each have their own computer so they can do school work at any time rather than having to schedule school time with each other

16. Lesson Details

What is the most efficient way for my student to complete his/her lessons?

All students work is to be completed online unless otherwise noted.

What does it mean when an assignment is “weighted” or “unweighted”?

When an assignment is “weighted”, it means there is a grade for that assignment. Unlike a Discussion Board or Online Reading Assignment, which is completed by the student but for which no grade is given, weighted assignments are given a weight indicating to what degree the assignment will affect your grade.

I have an objection to my student completing an assignment. Is there a substitution?


Because we are a private school, students must complete all assignments in all courses. No assignments are optional. Those assignments that remain incomplete will be graded with a “0” until they are completed. If you have a concern with a specific aspect of a subject, contact the Academic Counselor for that subject to discuss your concerns.
When deciding whether to skip an assignment, keep in mind:

·        the student’s future college/occupational goals and how the lack of knowledge may relate to those goals

·        other assignments throughout the year may depend on knowledge gained from the assignment you are thinking of skipping.

Where can I comprehensively track what assignments my student has completed?

You can view your student’s Gradebook Details page by clicking “Grading” in the Teacher’s Homepage.

What is The Academy’s policy about doing assignments over?

With Teacher Support:
The Academy must uphold Academic Integrity and is responsible for holding students accountable for their actions.  We allow two assignments to be reset as “not completed” in each course during each academic year.  Reset assignments may then be resubmitted by the student.   Ultimately, Academic Counselors have the final say if and when an assignment is reset and able to be resubmitted by the student.  We reserve the right for the teacher to refuse a reset request. 

17. Member Services

What is Member Services?

Member Services assist our students with technical questions. Enrollment and tuition issues, missing curriculum shipments, changes to a student's roster, etc. are just some of the issues handled by Member Services.