Bellefonte eLearning Academy
Thank you for your interest in Bellefonte eLearning Academy, also known as BeLA. This site includes answers to frequently-asked questions regarding Bellefonte Area School District's cyber education program and what it might look like in the 2020-21 school year. For more information, visit the BeLA website, here: BeLA. You may also learn more, here: BeLA info. Please note, information may change based on any new guidelines or stipulations that may be presented to our educational institutions, but we will make updates as necessary.
Question: How do I enroll my student in the BeLA program?
Answer: You will complete an online registration form. The form will be linked to the district website as well as this document by July 15. We will send out a notice when the registration form is available. The BeLA registration deadline is Aug. 11.
Q: Will my student's teacher be the same teacher that they would have at their current school?
A: No, your student will not be working directly with Bellefonte Area School District teachers. BeLA utilizes the learning platform Odysseyware, and the teachers who teach the classes are Odysseyware employees. The Odysseyware teachers will be the ones providing curriculum and grades for the assignments. They do provide office hours and support to all of their students through virtual means, as well as phone calls and emails when necessary.
Q: Will my student have any connection to the Bellefonte Area School District?
A: Yes! There will be district staff members who will be available to support your student. They will be checking in on attendance, academic progress, and making connections with you and your student on a regular basis. A BeLA student is still 100 percent considered to be a student of the Bellefonte Area School District.
Q: Are there any live classes?
A: High school and middle school – BeLA courses are all asynchronous, which means that there are not any live classes. Students are able to work on their coursework 24 hours a day, seven days per week. Students will not have an assigned time to log into their courses, as they may work at any time of the day. The direct instruction component is provided to students in lessons, and students have the flexibility to access it at their convenience.
Elementary school – BeLA courses at the elementary level are predominantly asynchronous, but students may be required to participate in weekly synchronous learning. Students still have the flexibility to complete work at their convenience, but may also be required to participate in live interactions with their teachers.
*Asynchronous learning means that the teacher and the students are not in a class at the same time. Students are assigned materials and are permitted to work at any point of the day.
*Synchronous learning means that students will have a virtual class in live time with a teacher such as when you are able to video chat with someone.
Q: Do I need to provide my own laptop?
A: No. A Chromebook will be provided by the school district for the student to use while they are enrolled in BeLA.
Q: How will my student know what to do the first time?
A: A tutorial video will be provided to all BeLA students. This will show the student how to log in to the program, as well as additional information to help support virtual learning. A student orientation will also be provided for the student to complete prior to starting their courses.
Q: How are classes chosen for my high school student?
A: High School students’ guidance counselors will be consulted regarding credit requirements. Students’ online courses will be selected based on their credit needs. Additional online electives can be selected by students. All courses will be selected from the Odysseyware course catalog. Students will only be permitted to attend a class at Bellefonte Area High School if that course is not offered online. If your student chooses to attend the high school for these exceptions, you will need to provide transportation to and/or from the high school for the student.
Q: How are classes chosen for my middle school student?
A: Middle School students will be enrolled in the 4 core classes for their grade level - Math, English Language Arts, Science, and Social Studies. They will also be enrolled in Health for the first semester and either Physical Education or Career Exploration for the second semester. Students will not be permitted to take additional Specials classes at BAMS at this time if they are enrolled in BeLA. However, the exception will be for Band, Choir, and/or Orchestra. If you child wishes to still participate in Band, Choir, and/or Orchestra, you will need to provide transportation to/from BAMS for the rehearsal during the last period of the school day.
Q: How are classes chosen for my Elementary student?
A: Elementary students will be enrolled in the four core classes for their grade level – math, English-language arts, science and social studies. Students will not be permitted to take additional specials classes at their elementary school at this time if they are enrolled in BeLA.
Q: What if I want my student to have different classes than the ones, which are assigned to them? Do we get to choose which classes my student has in BeLA?
A: K-8 students will be assigned to the same core classes that they would be taking at their home school. Students in high school will have the ability to pick their courses based upon their credit and graduation requirements.
Q: Are students enrolled in BeLA able to attend Central Pennsylvania Institute of Science and Technology?
A: Yes. Bellefonte Area School District students starting in their freshman year are given the option to attend CPI.
Q: How will my student's special education needs be met?
A: Your student will still be assigned to a special education teacher. Special education paperwork will need to be reviewed and/or revised as the paperwork was most likely be written to reflect the needs of a student who is learning in a brick-and-mortar school setting. There may be different accommodations to address needs of the student in the virtual learning environment. Your student’s special education teacher will be in contact with you at the start of the school year to determine how to best meet your student’s needs.
Q: Are there AP class options available for my high school student?
A: Yes, there will be Advanced Placement class options available. Student will have to access a different website to complete these classes. The following AP courses will be offered online through Edgenuity.
- Calculus AB
- English Language & Composition
- English Literature & Composition
- Environmental Science
- French Language & Culture
- Human Geography
- Spanish Language & Culture
- U.S. Government & Politics*
- U.S. History
- World History: Modern
* indicates a semester-long course. Students will earn .5 credits for this class.
Q: How do I help my student be successful in online learning?
A: This will differ depending on the age of the student. At the secondary level, students should be self-motivated and have the ability to advocate for themselves. For elementary students, especially parents and/or guardians will need to be able to support their students and help advocate for the student’s needs. Communication among the student and parent and/or guardian and the school is essential to success. As parents, you will be helping your student develop necessary skill sets and fostering their academic growth.
Q: How will my student’s attendance be tracked? What happens if my student does not work for the required hours each week?
A: Students will be required to work one hour per day per class. For example, if your student has five classes, the that is five hours a day or 25 hours per week, based on a five-day school week. Please note, cyber learning can take place at any time of day, seven days a week. If a student is not able to work on a Tuesday, then that time needs to be accounted for on another day. Attendance will count on a weekly basis. If your student does not meet the required hours of learning per week, we will follow the attendance procedures set forth by our district policies.
Q: Can my student still participate in extracurricular activities after school?
A: Yes, your student may still participate in extracurricular activities, such as clubs and sports, after school. The attendance of students involved in extracurricular activities is mandatory. Students must meet the weekly attendance policy in order to be eligible for participation in extracurricular activities. An exception will be made if the student has an approved educational, medical or legal appointment in which case the students must present documentation, such as a dated receipt, appointment card, return to school form or fax indicating the date and time from the place of the appointment. A parental note is not acceptable.
Q: How does my student receive support if my student is struggling in the program?
A: Bellefonte Area School District staff members will be able to help support students who are struggling. Students will also have the opportunity to work with their online teachers and will have access to the online learning academic hotline.
Q: When do I have to make a final decision about enrolling my student in BeLA for the fall semester?
A: The deadline for enrollment and registration for the 2020-21 academic year is Tuesday, Aug. 11.
Q: If we decide to remain in BeLA for the full year, what do we do?
A: We will reach out to all students in January to confirm their spring semester enrollment in BeLA. You can also contact the BeLA Coordinator Rebecca Leitzell.
Q: If my student chooses to return to the brick-and-mortar building, will it be an easy transition?
A: We have made every attempt to match our online curriculum with the curriculum of the district. At times, there may be differences in the scope and sequence of delivery of the content. We make every attempt to make the transition as seamless as possible for students.
Q: What is my responsibility as a parent/guardian?
A: A student’s education is more successful when there is parent and/or guardian involvement in the process. Online learning is no exception. Parents and/or guardians will need to be involved in the student’s learning and help to monitor their student’s progress. If your student is struggling, you may need to help advocate for your student by contacting the proper BeLA support system.
Q: How is BeLA different from homeschool?
A: According to the Pennsylvania Department of Education, “homeschooling” is defined as: “Home education programs (also known as homeschooling) are programs where the education of the student is directed by the parent or guardian or such person having legal custody of the child or children.”
For a home education program, the parent/guardian takes responsibility for providing education to your student.
BeLA is a Bellefonte Area School District cyber program where the courses are assigned to your student and BeLA teachers are the ones providing theeducation. The role of the parent and/or guardian is to support the learning of the student, which differs from “homeschool” where the parent and/or guardian is responsible for providing the education to your student.