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The Grace Academy Frequently Asked Questions Table of Contents:

The Grace Academy Basics
Academic Schedule
Home Schooling Regulations
Attendance
Completion of High School
Special Needs
Tuition and Other Costs
Registration and Enrollment
Course Offerings and Selection
Curriculum Materials – Ebooks, CDs, and Supplemental Materials
Curriculum Overview
Grading and Grade Records
Academic Achievement
Using The Grace Academy System
Homeroom Features
The Social Center
Joy Directed Activities
The Raise Your Hand Feature
The Academic Counselors (Teachers)
Computer Requirements
Lesson Details
PE Requirements
Member Services

The Grace Academy Basics

What is The Grace Academy?   
Is The Grace Academy an accredited or licensed school?
Since your Academy is accredited, does that mean it offer credits?
At what age can my student start?
Does The Grace Academy adhere to any specific denomination?
What academic resources are included with my enrollment?
What is the parent's role?
What is meant by “teacher-led” or “teacher-supported”?
If we don’t like online learning, are we committed to the entire year?

Academic Schedule

When does the school year begin?
What are the details of the The Grace Academy’s flexible schedule?
What is a typical daily schedule at the academy like?
We live in a different time zone! How will this work?
Does The Grace Academy offer summer school?
If my student is not finished with his work by June 16th, 2014, can you grant an extension?

Home Schooling Regulations

How can I find out what my state’s homeschooling requirements are?  
Can the Grace Academy help me register with my local school district?  
My state does not accept your accreditation.  What do you suggest I do?

Attendance

What are the attendance requirements?
How will my student meet the attendance requirements?
Is there a specific time my student must be online each day?
How much time should my student spend online every day?  
Where can we track our student’s attendance records?

Completion of High School

What is the policy for a student graduating from your homeschool academies?
What is the policy for a student receiving a diploma?

Special Needs

Do you accept students with special education needs?
Does your program work well for gifted students?
Will your program work for my dyslexic student?
How do students with ADD/ADHD perform with your program?

Tuition and Other Costs

What is the tuition for the academic year?
When are tuition payments due?
How do the tuition fees change if I enroll more than one student?
What other fees do I have to pay?
What is the additional cost per student to attend your academy, in addition to tuition?
How do I remit my tuition?   

Registration and Enrollment

How do I register my student for The Grace Academy?
How long will it take to enroll my student?
How will I know if my student has been accepted at The Grace Academy?
How do I remit my application/registration fee?  
Is the application/registration fee refundable?
What is included when we enroll?
What if a student disenrolls after the first 30 days?
What does it mean to be a part-time student verses a full-time student?
If we withdraw after enrollment, but before the school year begins, which monies will be refunded?
I registered but have changed my mind. I did not pay any money yet. Do I have to disenroll?

Course Offerings and Selection

Where can we view all the available courses?
How is my student placed in a course?
What kinds of placement tests are available?
What is the cost of placement tests?
When is course selection for 6th – 12th grade?
Can we change a course once we have registered our student?
Can my student select courses from different grade levels?
What if my student finishes a course early and wants to move on?
Is there a time limit on completing a course or assignment?
Will my student fail if all assignments are not completed by the end of the year?
Can my student start at different quarters for different classes?

Curriculum Materials – Ebooks, CDs, and Supplemental Materials

What are the costs for the books and materials?
Where can I find books or materials that I need to purchase?
What are ebooks ?
Must I return the CDs if I drop a course?
Will I receive a refund of the CD Usage Fee if I drop a course?
What materials must be returned at the end of the year?
Where do I return the materials?

Curriculum Overview

What is online learning like?
What is the curriculum like?
How is your curriculum “Christ-centered”?  
Why do some of the lessons discuss viewpoints other than those that are Biblical?
Who writes the lesson plans?
Can we view all of the online learning coursework before we commit?
What kinds of assignments are there and how does my student complete them?
How do tests and quizzes work?
Can I print out the lessons for review while off the Internet?

Grading and Grade Records

What is the grading structure?
How can I track the academic progress of my student?
How can we view our student’s grades?
Who is responsible for grading my student’s work?
What is a grade record?
How do I receive a grade record?
Why doesn’t my student’s grade record have credits on it?
Will my student be sent a report card at the end of every quarter?
Will my student be sent a final report card grade at the end of the school year?
What are portfolios? Why would I need one?
How do I receive a portfolio?
What record will I have of my student’s work?
Do we still have access to the grade book, timelog, and the school record after the year is over?

Academic Achievement

Are all the assignments at The Grace Academy “Open Book”?
How does The Grace Academy work on an “Honors” system? What keeps my student from looking at past assignments while taking a test?
What is The Grace Academy’s policy on Plagiarism?

Using the Grace Academy System

What is the Parent password / username?
What should I do if I forget my password/username?
How will The Grace Academy contact me with important news and information?
I have a new e-mail. How do I change it in the system?

Homeroom Features

What is the Message Center?
What is Study Hall?
What is a Time Log?
What is the Family Handbook?

The Social Center

What is the Social Center?
What can students discuss in the Social Center?
How are students expected to get to know one another?

Joy Directed Activities

What is Joy-Directed Activity?
Do students get credit for participating in field trips?

The Raise Your Hand Feature

What is the Raise Your Hand feature?

The Academic Counselors (Teachers)

What is the function of an Academic Counselor?
Who is my student’s Academic Counselor?
What kind of certification do Academic Counselors have?
How may I contact my student’s Academic Counselor?

Computer Requirements

What are the minimum computer requirements?
What kind of computer and Internet access do we need?
What are the minimum computer requirements
Do I need to upgrade to DSL to view the lessons?
Will your program work with a Macintosh?
How can I read PDF (Acrobat) files?
If I enroll more than one student, do they each need their own computer?
Do I need a printer?

Lesson Details

What is the most efficient way for my student to complete his/her lessons?
What does it mean when an assignment is “weighted” or “unweighted”?
I have an objection to my student completing an assignment. Is there a substitution?
Where can I comprehensively track what assignments my student has completed?
What is The Grace Academy’s policy about doing assignments over?

PE Requirements

What are The Grace Academy’s PE Requirements?
My student took gym at their previous high school, but not health.  Do they still have to complete your Heath and PE class?
How can I receive credit for extracurricular activities?

Member Services

What is Member Services?
How may I contact Member Services for help?

The Grace Academy Basics

What is The Grace Academy?
The Grace Academy is a Christian curriculum provider and learning resource center, accredited with the National Private Schools Accreditation Alliance. The Grace Academy teaching teams are available every school day to help parents and students in every school subject. While The Grace Academy offers a stellar curriculum and instant access to teaching teams, it is strongly suggested that parents wishing to enroll their students communicate with their local school district to be sure they are meeting the minimum state requirements as well as adhering to any local school district laws. The Grace Academy does not award/transfer credits or high school diplomas. All attendance/graduation requirements are mandated by your local school district. For more information, please visit www.TheGraceAcademy.org. To compare academies, visit www.LearningByGrace.org, click on Online Academies, then Compare Academies.

Is The Grace Academy an accredited or licensed school?
The Grace Academy is accredited with the National Private Schools Accreditation Alliance. We are a fully registered organization and maintain the status of a homeschooling resource center and curriculum provider. Those who subscribe to The Grace Academy look to their state and local school district laws for oversight.

Since The Grace Academy is accredited, does that mean it offers credits?

Accreditation means that our program was approved by an official education agency.  Accreditation does not mean our academy can grant credits. Programs can be accredited and not grant credits for coursework completed. 

Offering credits means that the school is a registered school that has the authority from the state to give credit for successful completion of a course.  Since The Grace Academy is only a homeschool curriculum provider, and not a registered school, no credits are awarded for the completion of courses. 

At what age can my student start?
Students grow at different rates and the "starting" age should be different as well. If you feel your student(s) may benefit from The Grace Academy, they may enroll at any age. The average age to begin Kindergarten is 5 years old.  We encourage you to consult the mandatory attendance regulations in your state. 

Does The Grace Academy adhere to any specific denomination?

The Grace Academy is Christian and follows Protestant Biblical teaching.  It has no specific denominational or cultural focus and is doctrinally acceptable to a broad range of conservative Christian denominations. For more information, please see our Statement of Faith on our website at http://www.learningbygrace.org/LBG_who/statement1.php.

What academic resources are included with my enrollment?

Academic resources and features include:

Because regulations vary from state to state, we urge parents to participate in and adhere to local homeschooling regulations that may apply.

What is the parent's role?

The first and primary teacher of every student is their parent(s). We have taken all of the "busy work" out of homeschooling by providing a complete solution from which parents can pick and choose, including Academic Counselors available every school day via the Message Center and our online Live Operator system. Our goal is to allow parents the time to really enjoy teaching and learning with their students while being freed from the anxiety of having to create a comprehensive educational program from scratch.

What is meant by “teacher-led” or “teacher-supported”?

The Grace Academy is a teacher-supported homeschooling program.  Because The Grace Academy is a homeschooling program, parents have control over their student’s education.  We support their efforts by offering teacher-assistance.  Academic Counselors teach all subjects, assisting parents in guiding their students to successful completion. While many assignments are graded automatically, others are graded directly by the Academic Counselors. Parents are encouraged to remain fully active in their student’s day to day school activities. Parents must determine their state of residence’s rules and insure their student’s compliance. Therefore, parents must contact their local school district to determine any additional laws to which they must adhere.

If we don’t like online learning, are we committed to the entire year?
Families who withdraw within the first 30 days are obligated for the first tuition payment, registration fee and shipping charges. These charges are not refunded. However, the CD Usage Fee will be refunded when the CDs are returned. Those who withdraw after the 30-day period are obligated for the entire yearly tuition as well as the above outlined additional charges. The CD Usage Fee will not be refunded. This 30 day period is provided to give families the chance to see if online learning / homeschooling suits their needs.

Academic Schedule

When does the school year begin?

The Grace Academy access will begin at the start of September, and the first lesson is scheduled shortly thereafter.  

What are the details of The Grace Academy’s flexible schedule?

The Grace Academy has 180 lesson days that run from September through May.  We allow all families additional weeks of access, extending through June 16th, 2014.  We also have a summer extension available for a small fee that can extend access until August 24th, 2014.
We allow this flexibility to accommodate our anytime/any pace learning schedule so your family may take advantage of travel opportunities or desired break times. Students may work during traditional school hours or at more convenient times, such as evenings, early mornings or weekends. Some households prefer a traditional school schedule, while others prefer a very informal program. The Grace Academy curriculum and teaching programs have been developed to accommodate all styles of learning.

What is a typical daily schedule at The Grace Academy like?

All daily lessons are delivered online via our secure school site.  Students login 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. The Grace Academy has a mixture of online and offline assignments.  Middle and high school students typically spend 2-4 hours online per day and elementary students spend about 1/2 of 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 10 month period of September to June.
Distance education is quickly transforming education as we know it!

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

That’s the beauty of virtual schooling! Almost everything at The Grace Academy is available 24/7. You have access to your classes to complete your work anytime you are most comfortable, even at night! The Grace Academy students may e-mail Academic Counselors anytime. Of course, emails are only reviewed and teachers available during normal school hours:

Does The Grace Academy offer summer school?

Yes, The Grace Academy offers summer school classes.  We offer all of our academy courses throughout the summer. 

If my student is not finished with his work by June 16th, 2014, can The Grace Academy grant an extension?

From mid-May to June 16th, 2014, no new assignments are posted and students need only work on catching up on their assignments. This time period is provided to help students who are behind. If, however, your student needs more time past June 16th, 2014, The Grace Academy does offer an extension through August 24th, 2014 to complete work.  This extension costs a small fee.  More information on our Summer Program can be found on our website.

Home Schooling Regulations and Our Academies

How can I find out what my state’s homeschooling requirements are?

You should contact your local school district to learn about your state’s homeschooling requirements.


Can The Grace Academy help me register with my local school district?

The Grace Academy cannot participate in discussions with your local officials regarding local or state laws in your locality. This is the responsibility of a parent when they choose homeschooling for their student. A number of states require that parents submit samples of a home schooled student's work every year, called a “Portfolio”. Our system allows parents to keep full and complete records of both online lessons and offline activities, such as field trips and community service activities. Parents will have access to the time log and gradebook buttons on their parent page until August 24th, 2014, so that these records can be printed at any time during the calendar year. Parents may print out the gradebook and time log over the summer while school is closed (June 23rd, 2014 - August 24th, 2014), but during this time they will not have access to their student’s coursework or individual assignments (except for students enrolled in our summer extension).

My state does not accept your accreditation.  What do you suggest I do?

Your state cannot actually prevent you from homeschooling, so even though it may not recognize our academies, it has no authority to prevent you from choosing the curriculum provider you deem appropriate for your student.

Attendance

What are the attendance requirements?

Since The Grace Academy is a homeschool curriculum provider, you must adhere to your state’s attendance requirements.  We strongly encourage you to discuss these issues with your school district and make sure you are meeting any mandated requirements.

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?

The Grace Academy students enjoy a philosophy of any time, anywhere, any pace education. This allows students to work at their own time, speed and place.  However, all schoolwork must be completed by June 16th, 2014.  Since our academy is a homeschool curriculum provider, you must adhere to your state’s attendance requirements.  We strongly encourage you to discuss these issues with your school district and make sure you are meeting any mandated requirements.

How much time should my student spend online every day?

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 2 hours for Elementary students and 2-4 hours for Middle school and high school students.  Additional time is often spent on offline activities, such as volunteering at Church 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 and minutes you have accumulated thus far. You may also click on “grade book” and access “Your Timelog” from there.

Completion of High School

What is the policy for a student graduating from your homeschool academies?

The Grace Academy does not award/transfer credits, issue transcripts, or award high school diplomas. High school students who have completed the required work and met any attendance requirements may graduate under the provisions of their state-of-residence's home school laws. Some high school students choose to work with one of the private schools or homeschooling umbrella organizations that offer diplomas.

What is the policy for a student receiving a diploma?

The Grace Academy does not award/transfer credits, issue transcripts, or award high school diplomas. High school students who have completed the required work and met any attendance requirements may graduate under the provisions of their state-of-residence's home school laws. Some high school students choose to work with one of the private schools or homeschooling umbrella organizations that offer diplomas.

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, 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 The Grace Academy's curriculum and work together to decide whether our academy 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 academy. 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 whether it may be helpful.

Tuition and Other Costs

What is the tuition for the academic year?

Please visit www.TheGraceAcademy.org and click on the “Cost” tab to learn more about our tuition.

When are tuition payments due?

If you choose the single payment plan, your full payment is due at the time of enrollment.  If you choose the installment payment plan, your down payment is due at the time of enrollment, and the installments will be due in 30 day increments. 

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.
   
What other fees do I have to pay?

The other fees are registration, shipping and handling, and material fees.
The registration fee supports the process of setting up a new homeroom for each student, selecting and specifying course selections, and coordinating the selection.
The shipping and handling fees cover the cost of the delivery of curriculum materials included supplemental textbooks and the CDs. 
Most courses have CDs that you are required to rent for the year.  The CDs fees vary with each course.  Some courses may have only one CD, while others have many.  You can find the number of CDs a course by looking at the course description on the website.

What are the approximate costs per student to attend The Grace Academy, in addition to tuition?

The additional cost per student to attend one of our academies is $50.00 - $250.00 because of the CD rental fee for individual courses. High school course are usually the most costly because of the greater number of CDs necessary for each course.

How do I remit my tuition?

Tuition can be paid by check, money order, Visa, or MasterCard. Please be advised that mailed payments can take up to two weeks to process.
To remit with a check or money order, simply mail to:

The Grace Academy
Attn: GA Member Services
Box 210 24 North Bryn Mawr Ave
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

To pay with a credit card: Browse to http://www.TheGraceAcademy.org/parent and enter using your user name and password, and then click on "Make a Payment".  Our online payment form is a secure and encrypted payment facility.

Registration and Enrollment

How do I register my student for The Grace Academy?

Log on to our website, www.TheGraceAcademy.org, click on Enroll Now, 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 (beginning in late summer to accounts that are in good standing). 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 most ebooks if they prefer to study from paper, rather than a computer screen.

How will I know if my student has been accepted at The Grace Academy?

All enrollment steps are verified through email confirmations.

How do I remit my application/registration fee? 

Enrollment/registration fees can be paid by check, money order, Visa, or MasterCard. Please be advised that mailed payments can take up to two weeks to process.
To remit with a check or money order, simply mail to:

The Grace Academy
Attn: GA Member Services
Box 210 24 North Bryn Mawr Ave
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010 To pay with a credit card: Browse to http://www.TheGraceAcademy.org/parent and enter using your username and password, and then click on "Make a Payment".  Our online payment form is a secure and encrypted payment facility.

Is the application/registration fee refundable?

Normally your enrollment/registration fee 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?

The Grace Academy offers a comprehensive academic program for families schooling at home.  Upon enrollment, you will have access to a nationally accredited program with over 150 Biblically-based 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.  

What if a student disenrolls after the first 30 days?

If a family disenrolls at anytime during the active academic year after the 30 day trial period, they are fully responsible for all fees and tuition owed for that school year.

What does it mean to be a part-time student verses a full-time student?

A part-time student takes five or less courses per year; a full-time student takes six classes or more per year.  Part-time student will pay by the course, while full-time students will be charged the yearly tuition.

If we withdraw after enrollment, but before the school year begins, which monies will be refunded?

The first 30 days begins from the student’s first login to the school system.  If the school year hasn’t begun, then you are still technically within the first 30 days.
You are responsible for the registration fee, shipping fee, CD Usage Fee (unless the CDs are returned) and either 1) the first tuition installment if paying on the installment plan or 2) 25% of the total tuition amount paid if initially paid in full at registration; 75% of the tuition paid will be refunded.

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.

Course Offerings and Selection

Where can we view all the available courses?

1. Log on to https://www.thegraceacademy.org/
2. Click on the “Courses” button.
3. Choose your area of interest for a full description of all available courses.

How is my student placed in a course?

Parents select courses for their 6th -12th grade students. K-5th  grade students receive a standardized curriculum, although parents may make grade level adjustments to suit the educational abilities of their student; for example, a 3rd  grade student may take 4th  grade Math.

What kinds of placement tests are available?

The Grace Academy offers 8 placement tests, which are:

What is the cost of placement tests?

Placement tests are free of charge.

When is course selection for 6th – 12th grade?

Students in 6th – 12th grade must select courses from our online listing during the enrollment or re-enrollment process. Course descriptions can be found under the "Course" tab above.

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 30 days in which to “try on” the selected courses and make changes. After 30 days, there is a $25 fee for changing a course. There is no fee to drop a course.

Can my student select courses from different grade levels?

Yes.  For instance, it would be perfectly acceptable for a 7th grader to take 6th grade English and 8th grade Math, simply because these are the levels where they would best perform.  If your student is in K-5th grade, you will need to contact member services in order to change their standardized curriculum. 

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?

The Grace Academy adheres to an "anywhere, anytime, any pace" learning environment. Students have up to 10 months, September through June, 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?

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. 

Can my student start at different quarters for different classes?

No, you cannot start at different quarters.  You may begin your schooling at the quarter you are in upon enrollment, or an earlier quarter, but you may not choose a later quarter or have different courses in various quarters throughout the year.

Curriculum Materials – Ebooks, CDs, and Supplemental Materials

What are the costs for the books and materials?

All courses have accompanying materials including textbooks, workbooks, ebooks, CD-ROMs and other learning materials. The cost of materials is clearly listed on each course page. Many of the materials are included in the tuition, but a number of courses require additional offline materials that are essential to the course. Students who withdraw before the end of the year must either return all curriculum materials or pay for them. There are a very few courses in which the parent is required to purchase a textbook or workbook, and in these rare cases, that information is posted in the Course Descriptions.
 
Where can I find books or materials that I need to purchase?

There are a few items that parents must purchase. These items are clearly marked in the course catalog and can be purchased in advance of the course from a retailer of your choice (we usually have some retailers listed, but the choice is yours). Materials that you are required to purchase (if any) are clearly marked when you register for courses.  Many of the books you need may be found at your local library. 

What are ebooks?

The term “ebooks” means electronic books. The Grace Academy student’s ebooks are the lessons we provide.  You do not have to download special software to access the ebooks.

Must I return the CDs if I drop a course?

Yes, if you drop a course you are obligated to return all curriculum materials, including the CDs.  You will be refunded for the cost of them once they are returned, received and processed by our Shipping Department.

Will I receive a refund of the CD Usage Fee if I drop a course?

CD usage fees will not be refunded until CDs are returned. The CDs must be unused and unopened for a refund to be processed.  As soon as we have received the unused and unopened materials from the course being dropped, we will refund that charge.

What materials must be returned at the end of the year?

No materials need to be returned at the end of the year. The books, workbooks, and software are yours to keep.  The video CDs time out after 1 year of use, and therefore do not need to be returned either.

Where do I return the materials?

If you need to return materials, please send them to:

The Grace Academy
Attn: GA Member Services
Box 210 24 North Bryn Mawr Ave
Bryn Mawr, PA 19010

Please be sure to include your name, your student’s name, and the Academy you attended.

Curriculum Overview

What is online learning like?

Learning happens everywhere!  Online education is a way of learning via the Internet.  At The Grace Academy, lessons are delivered through our school site to students.  They login to complete these lessons whenever their schedule permits.  Most online schooling families set up their own schedules that the parents monitor.  Offline learning is a vital part of education too!  The Grace Academy credits each student with attendance time for all offline learning activities, such as watching an educational video or taking a trip to the museum.

What is the curriculum like?

No other academy offers such a diverse array of courses!  The Grace Academy is proud to offer over 150 Biblically-bases courses that range from Web Design to Creative Writing.  The Christ-centered curriculum uses state-of-the-art technology to provide a challenging and engaging experience for each student.  The Grace Academy 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.  Our Curriculum Team is dedicated to ensuring all lessons follow Biblical principles and teachings, and that they are all age-appropriate.
 
How is your curriculum “Christ-centered”?

The Grace Academy program is founded on the belief that we live in a created universe, in which all truth emanates from God. The materials are intended to support instruction that establishes Christian truth as the complete truth and a real, dependable guide for life.  Our Bible-based curriculum expresses that knowledge is both discovered and revealed. Thus, the Bible is presented as the inspired, inerrant Word of God and the only true authority. The Christian courses underscore our belief that humankind is specially created in God’s image, man’s "sub-creative" imagination and powers are inherent from that creation, man is fallen and there are consequences from the Fall.

Why do some of the lessons discuss viewpoints other than those that are Biblical?

The Grace Academy attempts to offer the finest Christian education available online. One of the markers of a high-quality education is that it produces citizens, knowledgeable in a variety of subjects (including world affairs) and capable of seeing all sides of an issue to make an informed decision. Jesus himself was very well educated in the tenets of those who opposed Him, so that he could “speak their language” while making a solid defense for His beliefs. Other viewpoints may be addressed occasionally to give the students the opportunity to see all sides of a subject or issue. The Jubilee Academy does not advocate a particular viewpoint and strive to give the parents as much control over their student’s educational experience as possible. Please keep your beliefs in mind when choosing which subjects you will enroll your student in to minimize having to make many changes later on. To assist you, our course catalogs offer vivid course descriptions to help you choose courses best suited to the spiritual and educational goals you have set for your student.  Course selection begins in 6th grade. K-5 students receive a standard elementary curriculum.

Who writes the lesson plans?

We have a team of curriculum developers who research and write our curriculum with input from out 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 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?

Test and quizzes are a common part of learning at The Grace Academy. 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.

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

Lessons and ebooks can be printed for reference and study. They can only be used by the person enrolled and may not be copied and/or redistributed for use by others.

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 on 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 grade book Details. 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 on 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 grade book Details. From here, you can view specific information about each of your student’s courses.

Who is responsible for grading my student’s work?

Your student’s academic counselors are responsible for grading your student’s work.

What is a grade record?

My School Record is a written record of your students courses for the year, their grades in both letter and number form, their grade point average for each class, and their overall grade point average for all your classes combined.

How do I receive a grade record?

In order to receive a grade report, you must contact Member Services.  A copy of your student’s grade report is available at anytime to accounts in good standing. There is a fee for grade reports. They are mailed via First Class mail to a third party. Delivery of grade reports can be refused or delayed at any time if the staff suspects fraudulent use or manipulations by students or family members. Students in their first year at our academy are not be eligible to order a grade report until they have completed at least one full school year at our academy.  Grade reports take from two to four weeks for their completion and delivery. 

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

Since The Grace Academy is a home school curriculum provider, the courses that we offer are not worth credits, therefore, no credits will appear on your student’s grade record. 

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 their “School Record” on their 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 their “School Record” on their homeroom page at no cost. 

What are portfolios? And why would I need one?

Portfolios are an in-depth report of the student's learning year including a grade report, samples of completed assignments from each course, and a detailed attendance log outlining the amount of time spent working online and in offline activities. This is available for a record retrieval. Portfolios are a great way to show some of the work your student has complete over the course of the year.
A number of states require that parents submit samples of a home schooled student's work every year, called a “Portfolio”.

How do I receive a portfolio?

To receive a Portfolio, you should contact Member Services.
You can contact Member Services on our toll free line at (484) 383-3900.


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

Our academy online learning system will keep accurate records of your student's progress throughout the year. Our system allows parents to keep full and complete records of both online lessons and offline activities, like field trips and community service activities.
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.  Parents can print out these materials from the Student Homeroom anytime during the school year at no cost. 

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

Parents and students will have access to the “Gradebook & Timelog” and “School Record” buttons on the student’s homeroom page until August 24th, 2014. They will be able to print out the gradebook, timelog, and grades until this date.  After this date, they are no longer available.

Academic Achievement

Are the assignments at The Grace Academy “Open Book”?

Unless otherwise noted, tests and quizzes are NOT open book. As a Christian Academy, 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 The Grace Academy work on an “Honors” system? What keeps my student from looking at past assignments while taking a test?

As a Christian Academy, 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. Remember that the goal of the academies is to build students into thinking, reasoning Christian adults. Your student may choose to go on to college, where traditional note taking skills and solid study habits will be expected. This is the time for your student to be learning these valuable skills, while also perfecting his or her “internal honors system” as befitting all young Christians. Please review the information on Plagiarism as a supplement to this information.

What is The Grace Academy’s policy on Plagiarism?

Our plagiarism policy is outlined below.  Plagiarism offenses accumulate for the entire year, not for an individual course.
First Offense:
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
In order for the student to resubmit the assignment, a parent must request a rest.
Disciplinary action will be left up to the discretion of the parent.

Second Offense:
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
In order for the student to resubmit the assignment, the assignment will be reset. 
Disciplinary action will be left up to the discretion of the parent. 

Third Offense:
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
In order for the student to resubmit the assignment, the assignment will be reset. 
Disciplinary action will be left up to the discretion of the parent. 

Fourth Offense and Higher:
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
In order for the student to resubmit the assignment, the assignment will be reset. 
Disciplinary action will be left up to the discretion of the parent. 

Using The Grace Academy System

What is the Parent password / username?

The Parent Password/Username is a private access code chosen by the parent in order to gain access to our system. Students also receive these codes, but they are different from the parents, and they access the system from a different area.

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

If you forget your password or username, contact Member Services at Monday- Friday 9am-5pm EST at 1-484-383-3900

How will The Grace Academy 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 academy 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.

I have a new e-mail. How do I change it in the system?

You can change any of your personal information by logging into your Parent Page.

Homeroom Features

What is the Message Center?

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 your 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 Study Hall?

Study Hall is used to accurately monitor student work time. When the student logs into school, their active online time is automatically counted towards attendance. If the student is working, but not actively on the computer, Study Hall must be kept open so their work time continues to be logged. Some examples of this would be if they are reading a book or watching a movie. To open Study Hall, students should double click on the Study Hall button. A new window will open and it will say, "You are currently logged into your Study hall." Students can then minimize the Study Hall window when it opens. Make sure this stays open the entire time your student is doing their offline school work. As long as this window remains open, their time spent on schoolwork will be properly counted and stored as part of your school record.
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 Grace Academy 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.

What is the Family Handbook?

The Family Handbook contains a wealth of information designed to answer a wide variety of questions. We place it on the student’s desktop so that students and parents may have immediate access to answers to commonly asked questions about curriculum and procedures.  We suggest you read the family handbook at the beginning of the school  year to familiarize your family with the many aspects of our academy.

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 Academy 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 Christian 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 Grace Academy, but we must insist that students adhere to the Social Center rules. The social activities of our students must be governed and managed by the student’s parents, not the school. Our obligation lies in maintaining each student’s safety and each family’s privacy.

Joy Directed Activities

What is Joy-Directed Activity?

Joy Directed Activity 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

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 Joy Directed Activity log. The activity will then become a part of the student's permanent record.

The Raise Your Hand Feature

What is the Raise Your Hand feature?

The “Raise-Your-Hand” feature, or Live Chat, is an exciting and unique way for our families and staff to communicate throughout the school day. Some may recognize this feature as “instant messaging”. However, it is so much more than that. When a student logs on to a classroom, they will see an icon of a hand along the right side of the page, with the words “Raise Your Hand”. Clicking on the hand, they will be shown a box wherein they can write a message to their Academic Counselor, who is their teacher. The Academic Counselor will respond and the student may ask their questions. This feature is strictly for communication betweens students, their parents, and Academic Counselors in an effort to answer questions quickly and efficiently. This allows the student to move forward with their schoolwork, without the downtime associated with waiting for an answer to an e-mail. Students are free to ask as many questions as needed, as often as necessary. As you can imagine, this is an extremely popular feature! Therefore, we request that students be prepared to ask their question and absorb the answer in a non-distracting environment, as the Academic Counselors receive many, many requests every hour. They are not able to wait for the student while the student attends to a personal matter. The Academic Counselor will end the communication if this occurs, and the student may log on again when they are free to focus on the discussion at hand.
Additionally, the use of slang, internet language or internet writing is not acceptable when communicating with teachers on Live Chat.

The Academic Counselors (Teachers)

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 academies employ 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 the Grace Academy. 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

What kind of certification do Academic Counselors have?

Learning By Grace hires Academic Counselors who are experts in their field and they posses strong language skills since all of their communication with students and parents is done in writing.  Many teachers possess state certification in the area they are teaching and many have degrees in their fields.  Our teachers must be technically proficient and understand online education.  Learning By Grace is reinventing education, which means finding new ways of doing things, and we are pleased to be able to examine closely the applicant's strengths and personality, in addition to knowing they have passed a test designed for teachers who teach in a traditional system.

How may I contact my student’s Academic Counselor?

There are two ways to contact your student’s Academic Counselor:  through the Message center and by the “Raise your Hand” feature.

Computer Requirements

What are the minimum computer requirements?

Here are the recommended minimum system requirements:

Will your program work with a Macintosh?

We do not guarantee Mac compatibility, although a lot of the software and videos work on Macs. In order to make certain everything is accessible, the student should have a Windows-based computer.  

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.  http://get.adobe.com/reader

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

Not necessarily, but it is recommended.  Each student gets their own username and password with which they log in to school with.  It is possible for them to share a computer as long as they use their individual logins 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

Do I need a printer?

Yes.  Some assignments have worksheets to print out and complete on paper.  Also, some students prefer to print their lessons and work on them offline rather than being on the computer all day. 

Lesson Details

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

All students learn and process information differently.  Many students complete do all work online.  We suggest, however, that all written assignments are done in a Word Processor and SAVED before submitting them to The Grace Academy.  Many students have found success in printing tests first, working through the problems on paper, revising them, and then submitting the answers online as a final step.  We suggest you try different methods at the beginning of the school year to find what works best for your student, which is most likely dependent on their learning style.
 
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?

The Grace Academy does not advocate a particular specific viewpoint and strives to give the parents as much control over their student’s educational experience as possible. Parents can choose to skip assignments they do not want their student to complete. Since students’ grades are compiled only on the actual assignments completed, and no zeros are given for incomplete assignments, parents need not fear their student’s grades will suffer from skipped assignments. Please keep your beliefs in mind when choosing which subjects you will enroll your student in.
When deciding whether to skip an assignment, keep in mind:

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

You can view your student’s Gradebook Details page by clicking “Student Gradebook” in the Student Tools bar on the right side of your Student Home Page (reached by clicking your student’s name from the Parent Tool Home page).

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

Resets may be used in cases where there is a technical error with the program if, the enter key is hit before the student is finished, and in other technical cases. Resets can only be requested by parents.  Parents need to email their student’s teacher through their Parent Page, or call Member Services to explain the situation.  Everyone makes mistakes and we trust parents will ensure the student has “learned their lesson.”  The Grace Academy is willing to reset any assignment back to “not completed” status at the request of a parent.  Reset assignments may then be resubmitted by the student. 

Physical Education Requirements

What are The Grace Academy’s PE Requirements?

Because The Grace Academy is a homeschooling curriculum provider, you need to follow your local area’s homeschooling laws regarding this. Since all states and localities have different requirements, there’s no way for us to answer this for you.  Talk with your state board of education or your local school district about this and attendance requirements for homeschoolers.

My student took gym at their previous high school, but not health.  Do they still have to complete your Heath and PE class?

This depends on the local homeschooling requirements of your area.  Please check with your state department of education or your local school district to ensure you are taking the proper courses.

How can I receive credit for extracurricular activities?

Because The Grace Academy is a homeschool curriculum provider and NOT a registered school, The Grace Academy does not grant credits for school work completed.

Member Services

What is Member Services?

Member Services assist our families 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.

How may I contact Member Services for help?

You can contact Member Services on our toll free line at (484) 383-3900.

or

contact one of our representatives through our Live Help Chat at www.thegraceacademy.org