Digital Academy FAQs
Columbus City Schools Digital Academy Plan
Frequently Asked Questions
Q - How do I enroll my child in the Columbus City Schools Digital Academy?
A - Registration is now open for Columbus City Schools Digital Academy closed on August 1.
Q – If my child joins the Columbus City Schools Digital Academy, how long is the commitment?
A - It is important for families to keep in mind that registering for the CCS Digital Academy is a semester-long commitment. Once school begins on September 8, students must remain in the CCS Digital Academy through at least the first two quarters of the school year.
Q – Will students lose their spot at their school if they enroll in the digital academy?
A - Students will be permitted to return to their original school upon withdrawing from the CCS Digital Academy. Students will not lose their lottery spots for the 2020-2021 school year if they choose to attend the Digital Academy.
Q - What is the difference between the two online-only options for high school students?
A - The CCS Digital Academy is a new program available to students in grades K-12. For high school students, the curriculum is provided through Apex Learning and allows students to go at their own pace to complete the work. The Digital Academy will have CCS staff supervision but is not teacher-directed.
In comparison, the CCS online learning option will be facilitated by CCS teachers who will provide pacing and instruction on the District’s standard curriculum.
If a student does not enroll in the CCS Digital Academy, they will automatically be enrolled in the standard online curriculum through their high school.
Both options allow students to maintain athletic eligibility and earn course credits that meet college or post-secondary requirements.
Q - What are the online-only options available for K-8 students?
A - Students in grades K-8 can choose the blended learning option that allows for two days per week of in-person instruction and three days per week of online instruction at home. This model is led by CCS teachers and staff.
Students in grades K-8 can choose the CCS Digital Academy as their sole online-only option. For K-8 students, the curriculum is provided through Edgenuity and allows students to go at their own pace to complete the work. The Digital Academy will have CCS staff supervision but is not teacher-directed.
Q - Is there an online-only option for preschool students?
A - No, the online-only options are available for K-12 students. Pre-K students will use the blended learning model:
- Full Day Classrooms - 2 days of in-person learning at school and 3 days of remote learning at home
- Half Day Classrooms - 4 days of in-person learning at school with option for virtual learning at home on the fifth day
- Additional considerations for students with special needs
Q - Is this the plan for the entire 2020-2021 school year?
A - Yes, but this plan could change based on the factor listed in the question above and as more information becomes available about the COVID-19 global pandemic. For high school students, the current recommendation is for remote learning only for at least the first two quarters of the school year.
Q - If this plan is tentative, how do I make plans for how my student will return to school in the fall?
A - Families can consider their options between the blended learning model and online-only CCS Digital Academy for students in Kindergarten through eighth grade. Registration for the Digital Academy begins July 13 and runs through August 1 via the Infinite Campus Parent Portal. More information about the blended model, including when students would attend in-person, will be available later this summer.
Families of high school students will choose between two online-only options: one that is led by CCS teachers with guided instruction and pacing and another that is self-paced with supervision from CCS staff. Our Academic Services team will be providing further clarity on the two options available for high school students.
As is common during the current global pandemic, uncertainty is something we all live with every day. We understand that families are waiting for more answers and more information, and we will provide that as it becomes available.
Q - This plan requires access to technology, including a computer and the internet. What is CCS doing so that all students have access to the necessary technology?
A - CCS continues to explore funding options in order to provide computers and internet access to all students who need it. We distributed more than 19,000 Chromebooks to students last spring, and we are committed to providing more devices this fall. We are also working with our community partners to explore ideas around internet access.
Q - How will students participate in extracurricular activities such as band, orchestra, choir, dance, sports, theater?
A - Specific decisions for each of these areas have not been determined, and the Reopening Task Force continues to review guidance as we receive it to make these decisions. For example, the task force is examining the most recent information around school sports to identify opportunities for students to participate safely.
Q - Will my child be required to take state testing according to their grade level?
A – Yes. All online public school students must complete the state testing according to their grade level that is required in their state or district. State testing will be completed in person throughout the year. Specific times and dates and locations will be provided in advance. Failure to attend my result in your student being withdrawn from the Digital Academy. The Digital Academy can also provide test preparation courses to develop the skills that students will need in order to perform well on many types of assessments.
Q - How will schools take attendance for the Digital Academy?
A - The Digital Academy will use the Clever single-sign-on system and will monitor students’ access to digital content to count students as present. The platforms for the CCS Digital Academy -- Edgenuity for K-8 and Apex Learning for 9-12 -- track student attendance and computer idle time. One of the benefits of online learning is that students are self-paced and can work on their own schedule.
A recommendation would be as follows:
- Kindergarten students would require an average of 2.5 hours daily.
- 1st - 8th grade students are recommended to spend 4-6 hours a day totaling 920 hours for the year.
- 9th - 12th grade students are recommended to spend approximately an hour a day per subject and are required to attend a minimum of 4 (four) synchronous sessions per week. According to APEX, it is recommended that students complete approximately 4.5 hours per course per week. Students that adhere to this guideline should be on track for course completion for most courses.
Q - Will my student receive a bad grade if they do not sign in each day or meet as a class on the computer?
A - Grades will be assigned based on students demonstrating learning and mastery of the content. This may include specific rates of completion of online activities; however, specific details regarding grading are forthcoming.
Q - If I enroll my student in the CCS Digital Academy and withdraw them, can they automatically return to the last school they attended even if they went through the lottery?
A - Families who register their students for the CCS Digital Academy will be permitted to return their students to their original school upon withdrawing from the Digital Academy. Students will not lose their lottery spots for the 2020-2021 school year if they choose to attend the Digital Academy.
UPDATED (July 13): It is important for families to keep in mind that registering for the Digital Academy is a semester-long commitment. Once school begins on September 8, students must remain in the CCS Digital Academy through at least the first two quarters of the school year.
Q – What is a typical day like for CCS Digital students?
A - Columbus City Digital Academy Students often lead busy lives, and this online opportunity allows the flexibility to arrange schedules to fit children’s needs and family lifestyles. There will be regularly scheduled online classroom sessions and teacher conferences, however it allows families the freedom from the traditional school schedule.
Q - Is there a cost to attend?
This is a public school there is no cost to attend. However, students will need to have internet access.
Q - How does the digital academy actually work for the students, especially those students with special needs?
A- The CCS Digital Academy is a flexible learning environment that is student-directed. Edgenuity and Apex target the National and State Learning Standards and do not address the Ohio Extended Learning Standards. All families should consider if their student is a self-starter, independently driven and also reflect on the level of support that their student required during 4th quarter closures. Accommodations and modifications will be reviewed and provided as appropriate. For students who receive therapy services through their IEP, these could be provided by live video conferencing with the student in small group and one-on-one sessions. Therapy services could also be provided by giving students exercises to practice or a prerecorded video to watch on their own, and then following up with the student at a later date.
Q – Can students enrolled in CCP classes also take courses in the CCS Digital Academy at the same time?
A - Yes, your student is able to take CCP classes and participate in the digital academy. The number of CCP courses/credit hours that she is able to take will depend on how many credits she is earning through the digital academy. For example, if she takes 6 high school credits through the digital academy she is then eligible to earn 12 college credit hours through CCP for the school year.
Q – Will families have access to Edgenuity and Apex?
A- We are working with each provider to have parent informational meetings and demonstrations. More info to follow.
Q- If a parent misses a parent meeting or training, will they be able to get the information session that was missed.
A- All parent informational sessions and training will be recorded and placed on the CCS Digital Academy website for parents to review if they miss the live sessions.
Q - How can the district effectively train teachers in time for the beginning of the school year?
A - The two-week summer professional development(PD) is the beginning of our PD plan for the school year. This is in addition to the PD that we already had planned for the year. Teachers will participate in on-going PD that will include 6 additional full professional development days throughout the school year in which teachers will continue to reinforce skills introduced in the beginning of the school year. In addition, we have department chairs and content specialists who participate in regular PD sessions with curriculum leaders throughout the year. These instructors provide additional assistance to their colleagues that is specific to the content they teach. Lastly, instructional coaches, professionals who support instruction and the implementation of curriculum materials will be available to the CCS Digital Academy. They are participating in leadership training this summer and will participate in monthly PD as well.
Q - What are some of the best practices that will be used in the Columbus City Schools Digital Academy?
Courses will have an established schedule and outline as well as the teachers will have assigned and posted office hours.
Clear expectations will be established to guide students as they engage in non-classroom based learning.
Clear lines of communication will be in place with parents and families to ensure the whole school community understands the CCS Digital Academy plan for the 2020-2021 school year.
Q- What hours will the teachers be available to my student?
A- Generally teachers will be available during daytime hours during the week. Teachers can be contacted through their email and they will be required to hold scheduled office hours. Their office hours will be posted and that information will be provided to the students and families before the beginning of school.
Q – Who teaches in the Columbus City Digital Academy?
A – Columbus City Schools will employ trained licensed teachers. We will provide ongoing teacher training and professional development opportunities, starting with a two-week training session when teachers return and throughout the school year as well.
Q- What subjects do Columbus City Digital Academy offer?
A -The Columbus City Digital Academy offers core academic courses in language arts/ English, mathematics, science, and social studies. The curriculum also includes art, physical education, music, world languages, technology literacy, and other enrichment courses. Advanced Placement courses may be available for students who qualify.
Q- What is the school calendar for the Digital Academy?
A.- The CCS Digital Academy will follow the traditional school calendar posted on the CCS website.
Q- Will I need to purchase books or materials for my courses?
A- All curriculum will be provided for the CCS Digital Academy. Basic school supplies such as paper and pens etc. will be the responsibility of the student.
Q- Will students be able to participate in the free lunch program?
A- Yes each student will be able to pick up 10 meals each week. Pick up locations to be determined.
Additional questions can be emailed to Director Pegeen Cleary Potts.