Tift Academy Handbook
**This handbook is currently being reviewed and revised for the 2019-2020 school year.
Tift Academy is a program of Tift County Schools. Tift Academy offers rigorous, state accredited, online courses. The Tift County Board of Education maintains that face to face instruction remains irreplaceable; however, students today need choices and flexibility. Tift County Schools is proud to provide Tift Academy as an option. Tift Academy utilizes a virtual program, Edgenuity, for course delivery.
Tift Academy’s mission is to produce graduates who have the skills necessary to think analytically, communicate clearly, and perform independent tasks effectively. Tift Academy offers students of all abilities and learning styles the opportunity to cultivate their individual talents and interests. We believe it is essential to introduce our young people to a variety of educational experiences to prepare them to live in a rapidly changing environment.
Tift Academy follows all rules and regulations of the Georgia Department of Education, Tift County Policies/Procedures, and the Tift County Code of Student Conduct.
Students currently enrolled in Tift County Schools may schedule a meeting with their counselor to determine eligibility. Students not currently enrolled in Tift County Schools may contact the school registrar to enroll and schedule a meeting with their counselor.
Admission to Tift Academy is contingent upon an eligibility screening. This screening includes, but is not limited to: previously earned grades, previously attempted online courses, student motivation, student recommendations, student needs, and student behavior. Tift County Schools reserves the right to deny admission and access to Tift Academy.
Participating in Tift County Schools’ Tift Academy means:
· You are enrolled in two or more online courses off campus.
· You work independently and are responsible for completing all assignments and tasks.
· You spend an average of 120 minutes per subject, per day working online. (This replaces a 90 minute block course, and 30 minutes of homework daily.)
· You arrange to come on campus for any mandatory, proctored exams, to meet with counselors, and take all required state exams
· Student must utilize school provided email for all electronic communication.
· Your parent or guardian must provide a valid email address.
Tift Academy’s courses can be used for on-campus courses at the base school administrator’s discretion and are subject the base school’s policies and procedures.
Admission screening applications are completed by the counselor, submitted to the base school principal, and will be subject to approval by the base school administrator and the Online Learning Coordinator. Tift County Schools reserves the right to restrict access and admission to any student. Entrance or denial to Tift Academy will be based upon what is in the best interest of the student. Students denied admission into Tift Academy may appeal in writing to the Online Learning Coordinator. All appeals will be reviewed by a panel that may include the Chief Academic Officer and the 6-12 Curriculum Director, and Chief Information Technology Officer.
Since Tift Academy is an extension of the local school, a student is allowed to participate in all clubs and athletics offered at the local school provided the student takes a minimum of one on-campus course (face to face or online) for the duration of that academic year. Students who wish to participate in clubs and athletics must attend the initial meeting for that activity. Once the club or athletic group begins, if all prior forms and requirements have not been met, participation will not be allowed. While on campus, at all functions, students are expected to adhere to all school rules and the code of student conduct. Failure to do so can result in dismissal from the club or athletic group.
Admission to Tift Academy does not guarantee eligibility for athletics. Students must meet the requirements set forth by GHSA (pg. 14 of the GHSA Constitution). Contact Rusty Smith, Athletic Director, for further information.
Each student enrolled in Tift Academy and site based online courses is solely responsible for the content posted through his/her login and account activity. Sharing or using your username and password with others or using other’s usernames and passwords is strictly prohibited and is against Tift County Procedure and Policy.
The following are strictly prohibited:
· posting personally identifiable information in any format other than a private message;
· antagonism or prejudice of any kind with respect to race, religion, gender, intelligence, age, orientation, disability, or socioeconomic status;
· posting material including language, photographs and videos that are inappropriate;
· any criminal or other illegal activity including encouraging the unlawful use, illegally posting, distributing, uploading, or downloading copyrighted work (whether music, video, words, images, drawings, pictures, software or otherwise);
· sharing assignments, quizzes, tests, assessments, essays, term papers, questions/answers, or any other action that would violate any code of conduct, expectations or rules in regards to academic honesty;
· spam or unauthorized, unsolicited, commercial promotion; and disruptions of the server or host software.
Failure to comply with these strictly prohibited standards of participation will result in temporary or permanent removal of user access to Tift Academy and possible expulsion from Tift County Schools.
When students report to a campus of Tift County Schools, they must adhere to Tift County Schools’ dress code listed in the Code of Student Conduct and school Student Handbooks, including wearing an ID at all times.
Tift Academy is designed and intended to be a virtual learning environment. Instruction is primarily computer-based. Therefore, students can work anywhere there is an internet connection. Tift Academy requires that students work on their online courses daily. Student progress will be monitored closely. Although flexibility in choosing the time of day of instruction is a huge advantage with virtual school, students must maintain adequate progress in all courses.
All virtual students must meet attendance conditions. Students that are consistently not on pace and that do not spend the recommended amount of time on courses will be considered absent. Tift Academy will track attendance weekly. Students with excessive absences according to Tift School’s truancy guidelines will be subject to the truancy process. Students with excessive absences may be required to return to the base school campus.
· Students are recommended to spend an average of 120 minutes per subject per day. (Replacing 90 minutes of in-class time and 30 minutes of homework.)
· Students MUST spend a minimum of 4 hours per course per week or be on pace. Each week this requirement is not met, the student will receive 1 absence.
· Students MUST complete work in each subject area weekly, unless permission has been granted by the Online Learning Coordinator.
· Seat-time in tutoring does not count towards time in a course.
Note: If a student is unable work in his/her course(s), it is the parents’ responsibility to notify the Tift Academy Online Learning Coordinator either by phone or email. Inactivity can be approved provided that student progress is satisfactory in all courses or when prior notice is given to the Online Learning Coordinator. Extended periods of inactivity, coupled with unsatisfactory student progress, may be considered grounds for removal from the virtual school and/or a truancy proceeding.
Certain components of Tift Academy require students to report to their base school. These components include, but are not limited to: final exams and state exams, and mandatory meetings with their guidance counselor
Tift Academy courses are comprised of assignments, quizzes, unit tests, and exams. Courses that do not have a state exam will require that the final exam or last test be proctored. This can be scheduled by the Online Learning Coordinator. State exam dates and times are predetermined and can be found on the base school website.
Students must attend an initial orientation session with his/her assigned counselor, the Online Learning Coordinator, and a parent or guardian. Students and parent/guardian are required to meet with the Online Learning Coordinator on days 25/50/75 of the semester. In the case of unsatisfactory student progress, Tift County Schools reserves the right to revoke off campus online permissions at any time and online permissions in the future
It is the student’s responsibility to request tutoring. Tift Academy students taking online courses in a lab setting may request tutoring through the lab facilitator. Tift Academy students taking online courses off campus may request tutoring through the Online Learning Coordinator.
In order to get the fastest service possible, students and parents/guardians should report all needs through the Tift Academy Helpdesk. This includes: requesting assignment reattempts, technical issues, requesting tutoring, requesting final exam proctors, etc. Tickets created through the Tift Academy Helpdesk should include the selection of the appropriate category, a precise subject, and as much detail about the need as possible. Failure to submit needs through the Helpdesk may result in delayed assistance. Tift County Schools is not responsible for equipment that is not property of TCS or for providing equipment.
Please note, Tift Schools does not provide devices, internet services, or transportation for Tift Academy students.
Course completion deadline for students in grades 9-12 will occur with the end of the semester; except for the final semester prior to graduation. . Extensions may be given and are subject to an appeal. (See extension of courses.)
Students that complete courses early may be allowed to complete an additional course depending on availability.
A student may make a request for an extension through the Tift Academy Helpdesk. Requests are subject to approval by the base school principal. Denied requests may be appealed to the Online Learning Coordinator and may be subject to approval by the 6-12 Curriculum and Instruction Director and/or Chief Academic Officer. Extension appeals are time sensitive and must be made at least two weeks prior to the end of the semester.
Students who voluntarily choose to withdraw from Tift Academy, but not from Tift County Schools will be placed based upon availability and administrator discretion. Students withdrawn from Tift Academy prior to day 15 of the semester may be placed in a traditional classroom upon request. Students withdrawn after day 15 of the semester will be placed in an on-campus lab.
Tift County Schools reserve the right to revoke permissions to participate in Tift Academy at any time. Placement of involuntarily withdrawn students from Tift Academy will be at the discretion of his or her base school.
We encourage help from family, friends, Tift County Schools’ staff, etc. However, when an assignment is scored, the work must be the student’s work. Scored assignments and assessments are a reflection of student knowledge.
All scored assignments and assessments must be the student’s original work, whether completed at home or in our lab. If a student is on a Tift County Schools campus to take a supervised unit exam or standardized exam they will follow Tift County testing protocols.
Each student is expected to honor the following guidelines while completing assignments and assessments.
As a student of Tift Academy I will:
· complete assignments and/or assessments alone;
· not copy or redistribute any part of the assignments and/or assessments in any way, electronically, verbally, or on paper;
· take the assessments without any aids – I will not use textbooks, references, or other materials (printed or electronic) – unless otherwise instructed to do so;
· be allowed to use personal notes to takes quizzes (no screen shots or previous quizzes);
· not log in to a second course or open course related materials on another browser on another computer; and
· not confer with others (students, family members, teachers, or acquaintances) either in person or through electronic communication, during assessments.
Failure to meet the academic integrity policy will result in consequences found in the system Code of Student Conduct.
Edgenuity will send a progress report to the provided parent/guardian email. Students are able to review grades and percent completion of courses at all times using the online course dashboard. Parents/guardians may request access to the Family Portal through the Tift Academy Helpdesk. The Family Portal provides real-time information and details regarding each course the student is completing.
Tift County Schools Tift Academy staff will not print and mail quarterly progress reports. Only the final course grades will be provided upon completion of each course. It is the responsibility of the parent/guardian to provide the lab facilitator or the Online Learning Coordinator with a valid email address; failure to do so will result in a breach of the Tift Academy Policy.
Final grades will be determined based on the 100-point scoring. Grading will follow the Tift County Schools Grading Scale and Policies:
A = 100 – 90
B = 80 – 89
C = 70 – 79
F = 69 and below
Tift Academy determines an online average by the “Actual Grade” in the grade report. “Actual Grade”, as provided by Edgenuity, reflects time spent on the course, as well as all completed assignments. In-progress grade reporting of Tift Academy or site based online courses will be provided through Edgenuity. Only final grades will appear in Infinite Campus.
Student records will be maintained by the lab facilitator or Online Learning Coordinator. Final grades will be reported to the student’s base school.
Course credit will be given to students who earn an actual grade of >70%. Students who earn an actual grade of <70% will not be awarded credit for the course. Promotion of grade level will be awarded as outlined in the base school handbook.
Students wishing to participate in the practice and ceremony must complete all course work 15 days prior to graduation. Students must follow all rules and requirements set forth by the Tift County Board of Education and the State of Georgia. Students earning credits at an accelerated pace will be required to graduate with their cohort. Please note that this requirement of graduation will affect Move on When Ready and courses taken once a student graduates do count towards Hope awards. Students who have earned all requirements are allowed to graduate early. **Failure to progress in a timely fashion could cause a student a delay in graduation.
Tift Academy students must adhere to the same requirements and deadlines for recognition and awards as students at their base school. Awards that require an average from the first nine weeks grade will use the “actual” grade reported by Edgenuity at the time the grade is requested. Students graduating early with a DIFFERENT cohort are eligible for honors but ARE NOT eligible for valedictorian or salutatorian.
Tift Academy is currently in Pilot Phase II. We reserve the right to change or modify any policies at any time. Changes in policy will be posted to the Tift Academy website. It is the student’s responsibility to check the website regularly for updates.
All Tift Academy students must have a signed copy of the last page of the Tift Academy Handbook submitted in the Tift Academy Helpdesk for each academic school year.