Minnesota Online School FAQs
Is iQ Academy Minnesota (IQMN) a private school?
No. IQMN is an online public school program of Independent School District 544 (Fergus Falls Public Schools) serving grades K–12.
What does it cost to attend IQMN?
IQMN is a public school, so there is no tuition. We provide Minnesota-licensed teachers and instructional materials. Eligible families receive a loaner computer and printer. Students and families will be responsible for providing some common household materials (such as printer ink and paper). Our enrollment consultants can help address your technological and computer questions and needs.
Is IQMN the same as homeschooling?
No. IQMN is not the same as homeschooling. Students enrolled in IQMN do their learning at home, but they are participating in a public school program of Independent School District 544. The curriculum is approved by the district for earning K–12 school credits. Unlike homeschooling, there are licensed teachers to assign work and guide student learning, daily lesson plans, and an entire support system—including administrators, guidance counselors, assessments, and a progress-tracking system.
My child has been homeschooled up until now and will be in 11th grade next year. Can they graduate on time? How will IQMN count their homeschool work?
Because every homeschool curriculum can be different, we will need to review any documentation you have of your child’s grade or middle school work, so we can compare it with IQMN’s requirements. Contact us by phone or email for more information.
Will my child receive a high school diploma?
Students who successfully complete all the graduation requirements will receive an IQMN high school diploma from Independent School District 544.
How do I get teacher support if my child is having difficulty with coursework?
Your child’s teachers are available by phone and email. They provide live instruction throughout the week, when students and staff can interact in a virtual classroom. Teachers also will provide feedback on any completed assignments or projects.
How will my child be evaluated?
The elementary school program is mastery-based, which means your child won’t move on to the next lesson until they’ve mastered the current one. We measure proficiency through lesson, unit, and semester assessments. In middle school and high school, progress is measured through quizzes, exams, written essays, assignments, projects, and semester exams. Every course contains specific information on how a student’s work will be evaluated. We encourage parents and students to contact teachers at any time to discuss the evaluation process.
Where can I find course Pace Charts or planning/progress tools?
Pace Charts and planning/progress tools are provided to help you plan your child’s work, so they’ll complete the course by the end of the school year. For grades K–6, Planning and Progress Tools are found within the online school (OLS). For grades 6–12, Pace Charts are typically found in the Course Information tab.
How much time does it take to complete a one-credit course?
IQMN runs on a school-year calendar, and all coursework should be completed by the last day of the school year. A one-credit course is designed to take 36 weeks or about 180 hours. As a general guideline, in addition to the time you spend online, you should also count on spending time reading, completing assignments, and studying for tests and exams. Therefore, you may need to spend approximately 180 hours to complete a course. This time is a guideline and will vary according to course, study habits, etc. Half-credit courses generally require half as much time as full-credit courses.
What is the teacher’s role?
Teachers meet the learning needs of the students enrolled in their courses or as assigned to them. Teachers hold live online sessions throughout the week when students can work virtually with their teacher and classmates. Teachers are also available by phone and email, and we encourage parents and students to contact their teachers with questions.
How can I check on my child’s progress?
Parents are assigned a secure login to enter the K12 Online School (grades K–5) or the IQMN site (grades 6–12) and to monitor their child’s progress and online activity. Using this account, parents can go directly to their child’s classes and see what assignments have been completed and what their child’s grades are at any time. A progress report is also emailed weekly to parents’ IQMN email accounts.
How do students interact socially?
Students spend time with classmates online and through school outings, field trips, and other activities. Students can also participate in school and K12 online national clubs to connect with peers of like interests.
What characteristics do successful online students have?
Some of the characteristics we have seen in our most successful students include:
- The ability to work independently.
- A willingness to seek out answers to their questions, or to move on to a different subject until the necessary help is available.
- The willingness to ask for help when needed. There are many opportunities to get help from teachers, from other students, or from technical support. Students have to be willing to make use of those resources and let someone know if they don’t understand something.
- Some personal motivation to succeed in the program. Students who are forced into an online learning environment are less likely to be successful.
To help your child succeed at IQMN:
- Set up a school schedule for your child to follow every day. Students should plan on spending approximately one hour per day for every class, plus some extra time for outside reading or writing papers. Bear in mind, children in grades K–5 can expect to spend less than half of their school day online with the rest of their time working in workbooks, on printed lessons, and other activities. Middle and high school students spend an increasing amount of their time online.
- Create a student work area with limited distractions that has all materials easily available.
- Encourage your student to discuss his or her work with you. Discussions can give you clues as to whether your student understands the materials and assignments. Early detection can help you catch potential problems before they grow into large difficulties.
How much time does the Learning Coach have to spend with their student?
The amount of time a Learning Coach spends working on lessons with a student will vary based on the student’s age and specific needs. Learning Coaches spend more time in the early elementary years with their student but as students learn to read and gain more independence, the amount of time a student needs their Learning Coach will decrease.
Do I have to be at home when my child is doing schoolwork?
This depends on your child’s age and specific needs. Typically, being at home full-time is important for the Learning Coach of younger children but is not required for students in the higher grades. However, it is important for your older student to know you are interested in how they’re doing in school. As in all educational endeavors, students with an active and interested parent are at a distinct advantage for success. Most students need a certain amount of structure, at least initially, in order to flourish in the flexible online environment.
How much interaction on the internet is involved with online schooling?
The main content of all IQMN courses is available directly through our secure, online student classroom area. In some cases, teacher-provided links direct students to other websites, where they can take advantage of educational information online. In addition to limiting the sites students must visit to do coursework, we have added software on all IQMN-provided computers that filters out inappropriate sites. Beyond that, good parental supervision and setting guidelines for internet use that match your family values will guide your children from unwanted information.