Discussions initiated in interactive live sessions are continued throughout the week through discussion boards located in the private course site. Tools frequently used by instructors and students to maximize the learning experience include whiteboard, pre recorded video, breakout rooms and follow up email. FMA also provides a web-based student message center where students interact socially, posting comments and discussing a variety of subjects: favorite books, movies, apologetics, sports, politics, etc. Access to the message center is available only to registered students and their families.
Once enrollment in a program has occurred and a financial payment method decided upon (normally in early spring), students begin the first step of preparation by participating in automated tech orientation. At the completion of tech orientation, which is offered throughout the summer, an interactive computer audio check is performed to make sure the conferencing software is performing as expected. Access to course sites is emailed to the student the weekend before the first week of school.
The first week of school begins the last week of August with academic orientation. During the week-long academic orientation, students attend normally scheduled classes so the course instructor can review weekly lesson plans, class policy, procedures and class protocol, and online etiquette. In order to ensure that the students have ample time to understand course requirements, homework is not assigned during the week. Academic course work begins the following week, Academic Week 1.
A Week at FMA
Students generally meet Monday – Thursday from 8:30 – Noon although some older students meet on Friday for some courses. A typical daily schedule is:
8:30 – 9:15 – Latin, 15 minute break
9:30 – 10:15 – Mathematics, 15 minute break
10:30 – 12:00 – Literature, Science, or History
Afternoons are dedicated to individual study, extra curricular activities and family needs. Students email instructors Monday – Friday and receive an answer within 24 – 48 hours. Email received Friday morning is normally answered that day but may be answered first thing Monday morning. Quizzes and exams are available online Friday with a grace period through Tuesday. Most quizzes and tests are auto-graded and results are immediately available upon submission. During the last week of each quarter, known by students as “Mostly Dead but Not All Dead” week, classes do not meet and no new material is introduced in order to allow students to review and prepare for quarterly exams. All homework, quizzes, essays, and exams for each course are entered into the school grade book within two weeks of completion and are available for online viewing using personal access information.
End of the Year
The school ends the last week of May or first week in June. Final grades are posted by June 15th. Families which have not already preregistered for classes for the following academic year may do so at this time.
In order to provide flexibility within a structure, Fisher More Academy offers convenient full-time academic course offerings in three different time zones across the United States (Eastern, Central and Pacific). Schedules generally allow students to begin live class instruction at 8:30am, with appropriate breaks between courses; live class instruction is completed by noon in each time zone. Families have the option to enroll in any cohort in order to meet individual family preferences. For instance, an early rising family living in California may opt to enroll in a full-time academic schedule created for the Central Time Zone. This would allow the student to begin daily classes at 6:30am and complete all classes by 10:00am Pacific Time.
Students, parents, instructors and administrators all work together to insure that the best possible education is delivered in a wholesome Catholic environment. Visit our FAQ, Is the internet safe for my children?
Students enrolled in Fisher More Academy are responsible for logging into class on time, completing all assignments and turning in work when it is due. Students may email teachers for assistance Monday – Friday and receive a response within 24 – 48 hours but usually sooner. (Friday email is answered Friday or first thing Monday morning.) Of course, proper email and live class etiquette is always required in all communications with other students as well as with instructors.
Parents are responsible for providing safe, filtered, high-speed internet access and a quiet, monitored environment in which to study. In addition, parents play a key role in student success by providing organizational oversight of the learning process: checking completion of assigned work, monitoring quizzes and tests, and ensuring lesson plans are completed in a timely manner. Parents have online access to course content and grades, and may email teachers should they have questions regarding a student’s progress. Parent and teacher conferences may be requested if additional guidance is needed.
The first priority of FMA instructors is to provide clear and understandable course content that is faithful to the intellectual, moral and spiritual traditions of the Catholic Church. Our instructors are available to assist students in their understanding by answering questions and by providing more comprehensive feedback to students when requested. Instructors provide both traditional hand-graded assignments as well as machine-scored assessments that provide students immediate feedback and relieve parents or on-site tutors of the time-consuming chore of grading and record-keeping. Records are available online and quarterly reports routinely provided; when the need arises, interim reports are also generated.
Fisher More Academy administrators manage a number of student enrollment tasks. First, webinars are scheduled for new families with follow up phone calls to help determine appropriate class selections. Additional services include maintaining the master student grade book in order to generate transcripts, providing student training, and ensuring classrooms are accessible. Normally, students and parents communicate with instructors directly to determine a solution for extenuating circumstances (death in the family, illness, etc.); however, in the unlikely event that a situation occurs for which further arbitration is needed, administration acts as a liaison between student and instructor or parent and instructor.