Frequently Asked Questions

School Calendar

Is there a school calendar?

Spring 2019:

  • Last day to register for spring semester classes is January 2; Emergency Registration begins January 3  (there is no financial penalty for registering during this time)
  • Spring classes begin January 7
  • Emergency Registration closes January 12
  • Mid-winter break week of February 18
  • Spring break week of March 25 (Note: This is not the week prior to Easter, which  is April 21, 2019.)
  • Final week of classes week of April 29

 

Fall 2019:

  • Last day of Regular Registration for classes is August 14; Late Registration begins August 15 (there is no financial penalty for registering during this time)
  • Fall classes begin August 19
  • Late Registration closes August 24
  • Fall break week of October 7
  • Thanksgiving break week of November 25
  • Final week of classes week of December 9

 

Spring 2020:

  • Last day of Regular Registration for spring semester classes is January 1; Late Registration begins January 2  (there is no financial penalty for registering during this time)
  • Spring classes begin January 6
  • Emergency Registration closes January 11
  • Mid-winter break week of February 17
  • Spring break week of April 5
  • Final week of classes week of April 26
What about school holidays that fall on Mondays?

In order to finish our 15 week school schedule, we do not take off for holidays that fall on Mondays. Teachers may, at their discretion, reschedule the class, or students may always watch the recording the next day or at their earliest convenience.

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How Does Excelsior Classes Work?

What can I expect from the class and the teacher?

Students attend a live class once per week for a 15 week semester (30 weeks for full-year courses). We use Zoom for our live classroom experience. It is a highly interactive platform. If students cannot attend class in person, they are able to watch a recording of the class. Students turn in work to their teacher via the learning management system; all work is submitted electronically. We use PowerSchool for our LMS. Teachers provide lecture and instruction as well as grading. Your student will receive feedback from someone with significant subject matter expertise. At the end of the course, teachers send a final grade verification as a PDF file. Parents can also print out the gradebook if desired.

What if my student cannot attend all of the classes?

Classes are recorded and can be viewed on a computer or a smartphone. The chat is not recorded in the main viewing recording, but a transcript of “chat” is available. Students are responsible for the material covered in class, so the recording should be viewed as soon as possible.

What can I expect from the teacher?

Teachers provide online instruction, feedback, grading, and testing for the course, as well as accountability. Our teachers will treat your student with respect and interact with them in an encouraging manner. All teachers provide an email and a phone number and are available for brief meetings in the classroom by appointment, with enough notice.

Teachers are not private tutors, so we ask both parents and students to understand that teachers are not able to provide unlimited amounts of time for outside-class meetings.

How will the teacher know if my student is mastering the concepts and work?

Teachers are able to interact with students during class using a chat feature to answer questions and ensure student understanding. Away from class, our Learning Management System (LMS) allows your student to take quizzes and tests, submit papers or other work, and discuss in small groups with the teacher or with other students. The teacher will assign grades, and you may view the gradebook at any time by logging in as your student. At the end of the semester or year, you may print out the gradebook. The teacher will send a final grade to you via PDF at the end of the course.

Where can I purchase textbooks?

All books and textbooks are available via Amazon or Barnes & Noble, as well as other vendors such as Christian Book Distributors. In some instances, a teacher may provide PDFs of work for the students.

What is required of the parent?

For junior high and high school students, the parent should provide general oversight of the student’s work. Parents should ensure that the student attends class, has the proper materials, and is progressing. This is easily done by logging in as your student and checking the gradebook on a weekly basis. Teachers will do the grading of quizzes, tests, and other projects. Providing class materials and a functioning computer and microphone is crucial as well.

For students taking classes in the Young Learning Center, we advise that a parent or older sibling with a measure of keyboarding skills sit with or near your pupil for the first several classes to see what works best for your student. Your student may need a few small assists navigating the technology. Please see the Young Learning Center description and the individual course descriptions for more information and to find out whether teacher guides are recommended as part of your student’s experience.

How much time is required by the student each week?

For junior high and senior high students, each student will be provided work equivalent to the other four days of the “work week.” The amount of time each day will vary based on the student and based on the class level. However, it is reasonable to assume that anywhere between 30 minutes and 1.5 hours will be required to complete each homework assignment. The assignments for the upcoming week are posted prior to class on a weekly page in the Learning Management System (LMS).

For students taking classes in the Young Learning Center, each week the teacher will provide a suggested schedule of work for the student to work on away from class. There are no graded or timed assignments. Parents may do as much or as little as they wish to do with their child during the week. If a student misses class, there is no problem as you may watch a recording of the class at your convenience.

For students involved in Independent Study, this will vary and must be addressed by the individual teacher.

How do teachers handle late work?

Teachers are responsible for setting their individual late work policies and for due dates, and teachers wish to provide firm accountability for your student. If a student must miss work due to illness or death in the family, please notify the teacher as soon as possible. If the student will miss due to vacation or other school opportunities, please notify the teacher well in advance. In order to keep our grading turnaround timely, most teachers do not typically accept or grade late work, but work may be acquired in advance. Some teachers are able to drop grades, so checking with the teacher in advance is recommended.

If your student runs into a technical problem, a screenshot is helpful and should be sent to the teacher immediately. Some teachers may require parent verification.

We are not Christians. May we take these courses?

Absolutely, you may take courses with Excelsior Classes! All teachers must sign a statement of faith, but students and parents are not required to do so. We welcome the opportunity to interact and work with your student. You should know that many teachers do pray with their students at the beginning of class and that the courses are couched in a Christian worldview. If you have specific questions for a particular teacher or class, please feel free to contact the teacher directly or write to registration@excelsiorclasses.com.

My child has learning difficulties. Do teachers make accommodations for that?

This answer to this question is dependent upon individual teacher capability, knowledge set to work with the student, parent involvement, and our learning management system limitations. It is best to contact specific teachers prior to enrollment to make sure the class, pace, and teacher are a good fit for your student. Teachers do want to know about any special circumstances your student may face prior to paying the deposit and enrolling. A proper fit and placement are foundational for a good educational experience.

What is auditing?
Auditing a course means that the student participates in the course to the best of her ability but will not receive a formal grade for the course. Work done according to the class timeframe will receive feedback, but no formal final grade will be assigned.
 
We do allow auditing; however, in the case of foreign language classes, we do ask that auditing students not attend live class because students must be able to work on pace and converse with each other to make the experience optimal for all students. Auditing foreign language students will still have access to all class materials including recordings and assignments in PSL.

Technology Questions

How will my student attend class?

Classes meet live and online using our virtual online platform, Zoom. Students will have a link to the meeting emailed to them and posted in the classroom.

Your computer should operate with Windows 8 or higher if you think your student may need to access recordings. See here for more information on technical requirements for Windows and Mac. Phone users will not be able to fully participate in class, so this is not recommended.

Some classes (e.g., foreign language courses) do require a functioning headset microphone; the computer’s built-in microphone is not sufficient for these courses. This will be noted in the class description.

The primary thing your student will need for both the live classroom and the Learning Management System (LMS) is reliable internet service: the faster, the better!

How will my student access the class recordings?

Class recordings are posted in our Learning Management System (LMS). The recording is the video of the class presentation only; chat messages are not recorded within the video.

Your computer should operate with Windows 8 or higher if you think your student may need to access recordings. See here for more information on technical requirements for Windows and Mac. Phone users will not be able to fully participate in class, so this is not recommended.

What do we need to purchase or have in order to attend class and to effectively work in the LMS?

High speed internet and a functioning computer installed with Microsoft Office products (or similar software) will create a strong foundation for your student’s participation. Students with dial-up access, with satellite access in remote areas, or without processing software often struggle in online classes.

Students should use Chrome, Firefox, or Safari as browser access for our Learning Management System PowerSchool. We have found that Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer are not as reliable and may cause your student problems.

Computer requirements for using the classroom platform are here. Windows 7 Media Player sometimes has trouble playing class recordings. A work-around solution is detailed here.

Students need to purchase a headset/microphone combo so that they can participate in class discussion. These can be purchased for around $15.

Each class will also require the purchase of various books, which are listed in the class description.

Some teachers may assess a supply fee. This fee may cover the cost of user licenses for your student’s access to various online materials, including pdfs of textbooks, access to websites used for the class, or actual physical materials deemed necessary by the teacher. Such materials would be mailed to your student.

Registration & Financial Questions

How do I register for classes?

To register for a class, please first create a family account. After creating your family account, you will be able to purchase classes, clubs, or studies for individual students, one shopping cart at a time. You will be charged 30% of the tuition total for classes and studies; there is no charge to reserve for a club. This deposit holds the seat for your student. Please see below regarding financial arrangements. You may login to your account at any time to see your class memberships. For a detailed explanation, please see How to Register.

How Do I Renew My Parent Account/Membership?

If you are a returning member, your membership for the previous year expired on January 31, 2019. When you log in after that date, you will immediately be taken to a screen to renew your membership. After January 31, you may renew using the following discount code: aprilmembership2019.

If you decide not to renew immediately, you will still be able to log in and use the site; however, you will not see course pricing or be able to add items to the shopping cart until your membership is renewed.

Once you are ready to renew your membership, click on the “Purchase a Membership” button that appears on any course or visit your Account Details and click on the “Renew” option under “My Membership.”

What are class minimum and maximum numbers? What if the class I want is full?
All classes have a minimum of 5 students. If the minimum is not met a few weeks before classes, you will be notified by Registration and provided with options or a full refund.

Class maximums are set by individual teachers, but they do not usually exceed 28 students.

Should a class reach capacity, a wait list will be established in some cases. Spaces will be allocated to the waitlist as openings become available. To join the waitlist, email registration@excelsiorclasses.com with your student’s name and the course requested. Frequently space does become available, even in August!

What are the financial arrangements for classes and studies?

Parents pay a family registration fee of $40 per school year. See How to Register for any current discount codes for the family registration fee. (We do not charge a registration fee to overseas missionaries. Please write registration@excelsiorclasses.com for a registration code and include your service area and organization.) Class and study sign up entails a 30% tuition deposit to Excelsior Classes, LLC to hold the seat.  The remaining tuition balance is billed by and is due to the individual teachers by August 14, 2019 for full-year and fall semester classes, or by January 1, 2020 for spring semester classes.

If the tuition is for dual credit one-semester courses, then the deposit and tuition should be paid in accordance with Excelsior Classes’ timeline (see above). Dual enrollment students will also enroll with LETU, paying $90 per credit hour for the class. Dual credit fees will be billed by LETU and are payable directly to them. If you have questions, please email dualcredit@excelsiorclasses.com.

What is the refund policy for family registration, classes, and independent study?

The family registration is nonrefundable as is the deposit paid to Excelsior Classes for classes and studies. When a family registers, we take the commitment seriously as the spot is reserved for that student and may prevent others from registering

The refund policy and dates for SY 2018-2019 are:

  • Student drops between registration and Saturday, August 18, 2018 (fall and full-year) or Saturday, January 5, 2019 (spring only) = 100% refund of funds paid to teacher; deposit to Excelsior is non-refundable.
  • Student drops during the first week of class (by Friday, August 24, 2018 or Friday, January 11, 2019) = 50% refund of funds paid to the teacher; the deposit is nonrefundable.
  • After the first week of class (by Saturday, August 25, 2018 or Saturday, January 12, 2019), there is no refund due as it is unlikely the teacher will fill that classroom seat.  (Full-year courses with two teachers are considered full-year courses.)

The refund policy and dates for SY 2019-2020 are:

  • Student drops between registration and Saturday, August 17, 2019 (fall and full-year) or Saturday, January 4, 2020 = 100% refund of funds paid directly to teacher; deposit to Excelsior is non-refundable
  • Student drops during the first week of class (by Friday, August 23, 2019 or Friday, January 10, 2020) = 50% refund of funds paid directly to the teacher; the deposit to Excelsior is nonrefundable.
  • After the first week of class (by Saturday, August 24, 2019 or Saturday, January 11, 2020), there is no refund due as it is unlikely the Teacher will fill that classroom seat.  (Full-year courses with two teachers are considered full-year courses.)

Please contact registration@excelsiorclasses.com and your teacher when dropping from a class.

If the class is canceled due to the minimum not being met, you will receive a full refund for the class.

If you are changing to a different class, the deposit is transferable to a different class within the same family for the current school year only.

What if I cannot pay by credit card or PayPal?

If you are unable to pay by credit card or by PayPal, please contact registration@excelsiorclasses.com to pay by check or money order. Your class seats are not held, however, until the check has been received and cleared.

What are the financial arrangements for clubs?

The tuition for Clubs is $140 for two students within a family and is paid in full upon registration to the teacher. Students who may join a Club start date has begun may be charged pro-rata tuition, as determined by the teacher. Some clubs may be quarterly and bill accordingly. Please see the Course Catalog and filter by “Clubs” for specific details.

What is the refund policy for clubs?

There are no refunds for clubs, but you may be able to change to a different club. See below on switching classes or clubs.

May I transfer or switch classes or clubs?

If a parent wishes to transfer a class registration to another Excelsior teacher before the end of the first week of classes, the parent should inform both Registration (registration@excelsiorclasses.com) and the teacher of the class from which the student will be transferred. Parents will make a payment of $20.00 to the transferring teacher to cover costs.

Do you offer discounts or scholarships?

Excelsior Classes takes financial matters seriously. We realize that all are called to be good stewards of finances, and our promise is to treat your commitment to Excelsior Classes’ services with the respect it deserves.

For this reason, we typically do not offer deep discounts. Our experience has been that deeply discounted classes do not produce long-term sustainability for families or for teachers; however, we do have two ways member families may experience cost savings.

Overseas missionaries and active duty military personnel may write to registration@excelsiorclasses.com for a discount code.

Method One – REBATE OR BUNDLE

We offer a rebate on junior high bundles. See more details here.

Courses with the word “Experience” in the title are a bundled package and represent a discount for registering for the year instead of by the semester. (See Computer Programming Experience as an example.)

Method Two – SEASONAL DISCOUNT

In December and June of each year, we offer a 30% discount for a few specific classes. These classes are available to any Excelsior Classes member family. We cannot offer a discount on any seats already sold for the class, and we do not know in advance which classes will be offered in such a package. Award of spaces and discounts will be provided on a first come, first served basis until spaces are taken. Use this form to sign up for notifications.

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Method Three – SCHOLARSHIP & BENOVOLENCE FUND

In June of each year, we distribute scholarship funds raised through our affiliate shopping portal, Edu Click Thru. Simply shopping online by first clicking on the portal provides much-needed revenue to fund such scholarships and contribute to our benevolence fund at no additional cost to the consumer. Scholarships are available for 70%-85% funding through a scholarship application process. Awards are based on financial need, ministry service, medical or military service, or other extraordinary circumstances. Contact Jess Woods, Scholarship Board Chair for more information.

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Other

What is your Statement of Faith?

All teachers are Christians with a strong walk with the Lord who agree to teach from a Christian worldview and who believe the tenets of the Apostles’ Creed or the Nicene Creed. Parents and students are not required to sign a statement of faith.

Apostles’ Creed
I believe in God, the Father almighty,
creator of heaven and earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit
and born of the virgin Mary.
He suffered under Pontius Pilate,
was crucified, died, and was buried;
he descended to hell.
The third day he rose again from the dead.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of God the Father almighty.
From there he will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit,
the holy Christian church,
the communion of saints,
the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body,
and the life everlasting. Amen.

Nicene Creed
We believe in one God,
the Father almighty,
maker of heaven and earth,
of all things visible and invisible.
And in one Lord Jesus Christ,
the only Son of God,
begotten from the Father before all ages,
God from God,
Light from Light,
true God from true God,
begotten, not made;
of the same essence as the Father.
Through Him all things were made.
For us and for our salvation
He came down from heaven;
He became incarnate by the Holy Spirit and the virgin Mary,
and was made human.
He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate;
He suffered and was buried.
The third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures.
He ascended to heaven
and is seated at the right hand of the Father.
He will come again with glory
to judge the living and the dead.
His kingdom will never end.
And we believe in the Holy Spirit,
the Lord, the giver of life.
He proceeds from the Father and the Son,
and with the Father and the Son is worshiped and glorified.
He spoke through the prophets.
We believe in one holy catholic and apostolic church.
We affirm one baptism for the forgiveness of sins.
We look forward to the resurrection of the dead,
and to life in the world to come. Amen.

How can I join in the fun and teach?

If you are interested in joining the consortium, we’d like to hear from you. Please visit this page for more information.

Ready to get started?

Sign up today.

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