Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Olympia Regional Learning Academy?

The Olympia Regional Learning Academy is a public alternative school of choice, and part of the Olympia School District.  It currently operates four programs – iConnect Academy, hConnect, ORLA Montessori and MAST 7-8 programs. iConnect and hConnect were started in November 2006, and currently serves over 400 students. ORLA's Montessori program began in September 2010 and will expand again for the 2016-2017 school year to about 170 students serving Pre-K - 6th grades, Math Arts Science and Technology MAST started in the 2015-16 school year with a pilot of a 7th grade cohort, these same students make up our MAST 8 cohort for the 2016-17 school year. 

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Why take blended learning courses through iConnect?

Nationally, this is one of the fastest growing areas in education. Taking courses using online curriculum provides students experience using online curriculum while being a part of an on-site school community. Whether you plan to go to college, receive technical training, or need to get additional training/education in whatever career you choose down the road, there is a very good chance that you will be receiving part of your ongoing education and training through online curriculum.

How does iConnect differ from other online programs? 

What sets iConnect Academy apart from other schools is that our teachers are located in your community. Students and their teachers get to know each other through weekly face-to face interactions. Students are also able to interact with peers, online and in-person, and easily get help from their teachers with especially difficult concepts or topics. 

We offer students the full range of courses needed to earn a high school diploma with the flexibility of working anytime day, or night, anywhere there is internet access. iConnect Academy is primarily a high school program, but we do offer some middle school level courses as well. High school students have the advantage of receiving individualized support with all their coursework from our teachers while earning a diploma that carries with it the excellent reputation of the Olympia School District. 

What courses are offered at iConnect?

Course offerings are primarily in the core subject areas of language arts, mathematics, science, and social sciences. Six world languages, Advanced Placement courses, health, and electives are also available. Most of the core subject areas are taught by Olympia School District teachers. Courses fall into the category of online learning courses, and Advanced Placement online courses.

How does taking online learning courses work?   

After meeting with the ORLA Assistant Administrator, a mandatory Orientation for new and current iConnect students and their parent/guardian is held on Mondays from 3-4-by invitation only.
 - iConnect Connect does not observe Teacher Collaboration late starts.
 - iConnect does not observe early release days.

After enrollment, students are able to access their classes at any time during the day or night, seven days a week whenever they have an Internet connection. Students can move through courses at their own pace and get face-to-face help from their online Olympia School District teachers through instant messaging, emails, or by phone at the ORLA campus. 

In-person help is available in the iConnect Room 203:  

Monday:  11:50 – 2:30 pm

Tuesday: 9:30 – 12:00 pm  (10:15 for Sheryl)  Or 2:00 – 4:00 pm

Wednesday: 11:50 – 4:00 pm

Thursday: 9:30 – 12:00 pm (10:15 for Sheryl)  Or 2:00 – 4:00 pm

Friday: 10:00 - 3:00 pm

For all courses, students must receive a “C” letter grade in order to receive credit for an online course. The “C” letter grade reflects mastery of all work (not a percentage of work completed or an average grade) at a minimum “C” level proficiency.

Can I earn a high school diploma from iConnect Academy? 

Yes – the graduation credit requirements are the same as the other Olympia District high schools. Meeting standard on state exams and the High School & Beyond Plan also apply. 

How many classes may I take at one time?

If the plan is for the student to be dually enrolled in two schools, the number of classes a student may take at a time is dependent on the student’s level of enrollment with us and with his/her resident school. Generally, students may take two or three courses at a time. To see how many online courses you may take at a time, contact the Office at 360-596-7730.

Where do I go to access my online learning courses?

The online learning classes are accessed anywhere a student can login to our secure online Internet program Moodle. iConnect does not require students to maintain specific schedules to work on courses except for disciplinary actions associated with lack of progress.

iConnect does not require students to maintain rigid schedules to work on courses unless progress in their courses becomes a concern. Students are provided with pacing guides to assist them in completing their courses in a timely manner. Students are expected to work on their courses without the direct supervision of a teacher, but are required to take their course exams in a proctored setting with one of our teachers. 

Exam times are scheduled through the teacher of the course and conducted at our location 2400 15th Ave SE, Olympia, WA 98501. Please download the following Technical Requirements for using a computer in iConnect Academy.

What type of student will find the most success through iConnect Academy?

Students will be the most successful if they have developed good habits in doing work at home. Self-discipline in accomplishing work each day is key to student success. Students retain flexibility as to the time of day, and amount of time each day they choose to work on their courses; however, students receive a pacing guide for course completion to better ensure timely progress. Course pacing guides are tailored to the student and are based on the student’s entire course load. iConnect courses are structured to require mastery learning at a “C” grade level minimum for each assignment, quiz, and exam in order for course credit to be awarded.

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How is student progress monitored?

Teachers can generate progress reports that show the dates and times students log-on and log-off the system and the amount of progress students have made in their courses. Lack of progress and logged sessions are viewed as absences. Students who do not show satisfactory progress or an effort to progress in their coursework may be subject to the filing of a petition for truancy.

What if I’m already a full-time student in a high school – may I pay for a class?

Yes – students may pay to take a course. Fees are: $275 for standard curriculum online courses; and $385 for World Languages. Some courses have additional fees for texts that are also the student’s responsibility. Olympia Regional Learning Academy follows the Olympia School District Cash Handling Policy. Please read the policy.

If I’m interested in enrolling in iConnect Academy, what should I do next?

Give us a call at 360-596-7730 if you have general questions. Our office staff will be able to answer most of your questions but if you have a situation you feel is unique and would like to talk to the Assistant Administrator directly, ask at the office to schedule an appointment. Students should not withdraw from their school until they have been informed that they may enroll into iConnect. For all the details please refer to our Enrollment Information page.