Greetings to all School/District AO Users!
I hope that all of you had a lovely and relaxing holiday weekend! As we approach the second semester, there are a variety of developments here at the SDE that I’d like you to be aware of. I realize that this email is lengthy, however please bear with me as it includes critical information for the upcoming weeks.
AO Portal Updates:
· Build Your Menu: If you have not already, this is the time that you should build the drop-down menu of courses for Semester 2. This can be done by the District Manager user. In the portal, select the Administration tab, then select Course Assignments. Use the drop downs to select the institution through which the course is provided. Select Populate Grid and a catalogue from the institution will populate. Use the filters to find the course. Click on Disallow and change the cell to Allow in the appropriate term.
· Tips & Tricks: In this link, you will find a helpful timeline and cheat sheet for all of the most common concerns for the portal. Please take a look at the timeline to better understand the expectations, various “windows” and processes. This also includes a snapshot of activities that should be occurring at your school related to Advanced Opportunities during certain times of the semester.
· Spring Deadlines: In the spring semester, the student access and data entry window will be January 2, 2017- February 24, 2017. This means that ALL eligible data for the spring semester course must be entered by February 24th. Please note that any corrections or edits to data made after this date cause significant delays, and issues for course providers, counties and the SDE. Entries after that date are reserved for corrections; only with permission by the course providers.
Payments & Data:
· Payments Sent: All payments for Fall semester and Trimester 1 have been sent to our finance department for processing. Your district should expect to see this payment within a week or so. If you need a receipt of where funds should be applied, District Managers can find this under the Reimbursements tab in Billing Statements.
· ACTION REQUESTED: During our verification process there were a handful of courses that were denied by the SDE for various reasons. Prior to entering/approving new data, please look through any data in the Courses Awaiting SDE Submission that may belong to previous terms (i.e., Summer, Fall or Tri 1). When you select the course, you will find the reason for the denial in the notes section. Please read notes carefully and act accordingly:
· Portal Webinar: Wednesday, January 11, 2017, 9:30-10:30 (MST). There have been a number of updates to the portal recently. I will be hosting a live webinar to go over these updates. During this time we will go over new features, share shortcuts, and take questions about various functions of the portal. An invitation for this event will be sent out in the near future.
· Advanced Opportunities Conference: Save the date for the 2nd annual Advanced Opportunities Conference on September 7-8, 2017 with pre-conferenced on September 6th. The event will be at Boise State University in the Student Union Building. More information to come!
Advanced Placement (AP) Info:
· Advanced Placement Fee Reduction Program: Due to changes from NCLB to ESSA, the federal grant for AP free reduction will no longer be available. Instead, these funds will be distributed directly to district through Title 4A which includes funding for curriculum enrichment, college/career readiness, safe schools, and technology. Each school district can choose to mirror the federal program with these funds. However, because it is a small amount, most will choose simply to use Advanced Opportunities funding instead. College Board has agreed to continue offering a discount of $31.00 to low-income students, bringing the cost to $62.00. In these cases they also ask that schools contribute by forgoing their $9 rebate, bringing the exam cost to $53.00. In short, regular AP exams should be charged to Fast Forward accounts at $93.00, and exams for low-income students should be charged at $53.00.
· AP Teacher Grants: College Board is also offering grants for teachers to become AP credentialed. If you are looking to increase the number of AP offerings at your school, please let me know and I will connect you and your teachers to the proper channels to begin this process.
· Updated Document: In the link, you will find the updated version of the High School Graduation Requirements, which includes that civics test. We are in process of getting the Spanish version of this document updated as well and will post it to our website.
· Algebra 1 Requirement: During our last round of College and Career Readiness trainings a question came about eighth grade students who are taking Algebra 1 and whether or not the student must re-take it in high school if they choose not to have it transcribed in eighth grade, and I informed folks that I would include this guidance in this update. In such cases that student does NOT need to take Algebra 1 a second time. IDAPA code states that: A student will have met the high school content and credit area requirement for any high school if…
o the student completes it with a C or higher
o the course meets the same content standards
o the course is taught by a teacher who is credentialed to teach the high school equivalent course
If the student chooses not to transcribe the Algebra 1 credits in eighth grade, they need not retake Algebra 1 in high school, however they still must earn six math credits while in high school.
I hope that this information is helpful to all of you as you enter another busy time of year. If you have any questions, please remember that our support team is available to help. On behalf of the Superintendent and the Advanced Opportunities team, I would like to say thank you for your work and dedication to Idaho’s kids!
Coordinator of Advanced Opportunities