Montana Digital Academy
at Lincoln County High School
WHAT IS THE ALTERNATIVE SCHOOL?
Located in a classroom in the main high school building, LCHS Alternative School was created to meet the diverse needs of our high school students. It is designed to be a place where students can successfully complete required high school courses outside the regular classroom. Students work independently which enables them to take ownership of their own learning.
The atmosphere at the alternative school is comfortable and conducive to learning. We
respect the rights of everyone to the best education possible. It is "a safe and respectful learning environment where students are proud of their achievements; where there is accountability for both students and teacher." We truly exemplify - "Whatever it takes!"
WHY DO STUDENTS ATTEND THE ALTERNATIVE SCHOOL?
Credit recovery: This is for students in the district to complete a course that LCHS requires for graduation. It also can include students that failed a required course.
Schedule conflicts: Sometimes students cannot fit a necessary course into their existing schedule. When this happens, the Alternative School can provide the opportunity for the student to complete the year.
New Students: Students that enroll during the middle of the semester cannot always fit into the mainstream classroom. The Alternative School enables them to retain their credits because of our individual study format.
Enrichment: Courses, such as Oceanography or Veterinary Science are not offered in the regular high school but are offered in the Alternative school through MTDA and NDCDE
Dual Credits: Through FVCC and MTDA some college course are being offered to high school students. The student will receive both high school and college credit for the same course. The courses are accredited through the Montana University System (MUS) and can be transferred to two year or four year colleges and universities. These courses require tuition to be paid.
Medical needs: Students with specific medical needs and have a 504 identification can be accommodated with a different attendance profile at the Alternative School.
WHAT THE ALTERNATIVE SCHOOL IS NOT
Alternative School is not a place for students who are not willing to
work. Even though the pace is
individual, a lesson a week is required.
They need to be a quarter done by first midterm and half done at the
quarter. Any course that is not completely finished by the end of semester will
result in no credit for the course and a possible "F" on their transcript.
The Alternative School is not a replacement for the regular classroom. Because a student doesn’t want to be in a certain classroom is not grounds for consideration. We work together with the classroom teacher to supply the best possible education for each student
WHAT IS TAUGHT AT THE ALTERNATIVE SCHOOL?
TheMontana Digital Academy – The MTDA is a Montana state-sponsored, online school that provides a large variety of courses for Montana high school students. Regardless of the size of their high schools, the MTDA enables students from rural schools to have the same access to courses that a large high school offers (and courses that are not offered elsewhere, such as Chinese) These classes are accessible 24 hours an day / seven days a week with a certified Montana teacher available for any questions. These courses are approved by the Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI) and transfer to any high school. There is no charge. Currently there are 200 courses available with over 4000 students enrolled.
CLICK to course list
study courses also supplement what is available through the
Alternative School. A high
school curriculum is available from core courses to electives. These courses are available, with permission from the guidance department, for sophomore through senior students
HOW DO THE COURSES WORK?
MTDA courses are available each semester. With parent’s approval, students need to fill out an enrollment form that can be obtained from the Alternative School or guidance office. It is necessary for students to have an e-mail address because all communication is done through this. There are enrollment and completion deadlines. Students also need to schedule a period for alternative school to take these courses. We have found that this overseeing is an important part of the success of online courses. MTDA Connect courses are just for credit recovery – for students who have failed to pass a course in the classroom. These courses are more flexible enabling students to enroll at various times throughout the semester; however, the semester completion deadline is the same as regular MTDA courses.
With the supplemental courses, every student will receive lessons, tests and books. The student will work independently on the courses with guided assistance from the classroom teacher. The student will receive his/her graded lesson no later than the next day to keep the continuity of the courses. Even though it is independent study and students work at their own pace, there are boundaries set for students to keep them on task. One lesson or test per week is the general requirement with room for exceptions. The lesson scores are worth 40% of the total grade with the tests equaling 60%. All lesson questions must be answered and all lessons completed by the end of the semester. Failure to finish at semester is just that – failure, no credit. Incompletes are not averaged into the total score.
DO I HAVE TO BE IN AN ALTERNATIVE SCHOOL CLASS TO TAKE THEIR COURSES?
Yes. We have found that having a teacher oversee the progress of the students is important to the success of both programs.