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Current MHSA by-laws require that a student be enrolled in twenty hours per week, and in "regular attendance" ten hours per week at the school where the student participates. Regular attendance is defined as the actual physical presence of the student in the “brick and mortar” building.
The number of online versus in-person courses a student takes is not the issue when it comes to eligibility, but the location where the student takes the course is important. During the school year, students can take online classes at the school (in the computer lab, at the back of a classroom, etc.) and still be meeting the “bricks and mortar” requirement. The important thing to note is that students still must be physically attending school (in the bricks and mortar) for ten hours per week and be enrolled in twenty hours per week at the school for which the student participates.
In other words, a student could be enrolled in two hours per day in person and be enrolled in two more hours per day in online courses, working on those at home.
A very important distinction!
GFPS high school classes are 52-53 minutes in duration per day. Montana Digital Academy courses are considered 60 minutes in duration per day. The description above does not reference “periods” or “classes,” but instead “hours.” Please be sure to be thinking in hours and minutes rather than counting courses when figuring eligibility.
Article II; Section (2) - page 10: http://www.mhsa.org/Handbook/2014-15Handbook/2014-15-By-Laws.pdf
Currently high school tuition is $1,338.20 per year ($669.10 per semester). That fee is prorated for students who attend less than full time.
For students who live outside our district boundaries, tuition is used to offset or replace the portion of taxes that the person would pay to our district if they lived within our district boundaries. Families who live in-district pay their local taxes to support the school. If a student lived outside the district and didn’t pay tuition, s/he would be using our school services for free and our local taxpayers would be bearing the expense.
All students who are enrolled in 180 hours of coursework per year (1 hour per day) are required to test. 180 hours amounts to one or more MTDA course(s) for the year or two or more in-person courses per year.
When a student tests is based on his or her grade designation. A student is a freshman when s/he has 0-5 credits; sophomores have 6-10 credits; juniors have 11-15 credits; seniors have 16+ credits.
CRT (Criterion Referenced Test) Science is taken in grades 4, 8, and 10
SBAC (SMARTER Balanced Assessment Consortium) Math and ELA (English/Language Arts) is taken in grades 3-8, and 11
Office of Public Instruction testing information page: http://opi.mt.gov/curriculum/MontCAS/index.html
Please be aware of academic calendars. Generally, high school students do not add classes more than five days after the beginning of the semester. Getting the registration process underway at least a couple of weeks prior to the beginning of the semester is encouraged. The GFPS master calendar is here: http://www.gfps.k12.mt.us/calendar.
The “At a Glance” calendars are the snapshots of the academic years. Montana Digital Academy has its own academic calendar and their deadlines are absolute. Please see the MTDA links below for more information.
All high school students are eligible for discounted college tuition. GFPS has negotiated an agreement with the local colleges to extend the same discount (of roughly 50%) to home school students.
High school music groups are formed by an audition process each spring. However, music teachers are happy to meet with new students at any time to listen and determine appropriate placement in the music program.
Some GFPS courses have prerequisites. Please see the course catalogs to be sure the student has the requisite skills to take the course. Based on the skills and the previous experiences of individual students, prerequisites may be waived.
The reason the school gets state funding (commonly referred to as ANB or Average Number Belonging) for a student who attends school here is that ANB is part of the State’s school funding formula. One of the main components for school funding is that it is based on the number of students in attendance. Local taxpayers pay a portion of the bill, the other portion (which is based on a number of things including the number of students who attend) comes from the State.