Frequently Asked Questions
Director: Mr. Paul Schaeffer
Assistant Director: Mr. Mitchell Holley
Administrative Assistant: Ms. Jessica Gardner
Toll-Free: (877) 745-8866
Office Hours: 8:00am – 5:00pm Eastern
Because of busy schedules and potential conflicts with the class times, some people may find that they have to drop a class. All drop requests must be received via a refund or exchange request on your student account at www.memoriapressacademy.com/my-account.
Drop Policy: Once registration opens for the school year, if it is necessary to drop a course there is a $25 drop fee per Summer course, $50 per Semester course, and a $75 drop fee for every year long course. The drop fee will always be assessed per course and covers administrative costs. You will receive a full refund minus the drop fee.
A student is allowed to attend two weeks of class and if he or she needs to drop the course only the drop fee will be assessed. After two weeks no refunds will be issued. If a student registers mid-year or some other time during the school year, the student/family still has two weeks within which the course may be dropped with a refund, minus the drop fee.
Transfers: Starting in the 2021-22 school year, MPOA will handle transfers through the “Transfer” functionality in the student account at www.memoriapressacademy.com/my-account. Upon requesting a transfer, the MPOA administration will either approve or cancel the request. You will be notified by email. Any difference in price will be either refunded via store credit or paid once the exchange is approved.
Summer Classes: All drops must be requested by 5:00pm Eastern on 7/9/21
Full Year Classes: All drops must be requested by 5:00pm Eastern on 9/24/21.
Fall Only Classes: All drops must be requested by 5:00pm Eastern on 9/24/21.
Spring Only Classes: All drops must be requested by 5:00pm Eastern on 2/11/22.
*This includes Diploma Program students. No partial refunds or credits will be issued for drops beyond these dates.
Yes. The Memoria Press Online Academy (MPOA) is accredited by the Classical Latin School Association (CSLA). The CSLA is an association of elementary and secondary schools working to promote the transmission of the culture of Western civilization to the next generation. After teaching the mastery of basic skills and classic children’s literature in the primary grades, the curriculum has a dual focus on the intellectual skills of the liberal arts and the cultural content of the great books in grades 3-12. CLSA academic accreditation is a way for schools to internally document their viability as academically successful classical schools, hold themselves externally accountable to an outside body, and to verify that they are offering their students a superior classical education.
CLSA Accreditation is designed to help schools further their classical educational mission through a focus on academic standards, practices, and results. Part of its purpose is to dispense with all unnecessary expenditures of staff, time, and resources on meeting accreditation requirements that do not contribute in a direct and meaningful way to the academic success and mission of the school. As a result of this focus, there are clear, rigorous standards that result in a significantly shorter schedule for school accreditation. The following are the requirements for CLSA:
- Philosophical requirements: Evidence of a clear understanding among staff and board members of the nature and purpose of a classical education
- Academic/Curricular requirements: Verification that the school possesses a clearly articulated statement of the academic goals at every level and a clear process of ensuring the achievement of those goals
- Instructional requirements: Traditional, teacher-directed instruction in a classroom environment conducive to learning and a process by which those methodologies are communicated to teachers and verified by administrative staff
- Assessment requirements: Demonstration of the value-added benefit of the school’s academic program through standardized test scores.
- Professional development requirements: Participation in professional development programs that contribute to the understanding of classical Christian education and the ability of teachers and staff to implement it
Due to the rigor of each MPOA course, a student should take no more than 7 full year courses in one academic year. This standard would also apply to the equivalent semester courses.
Payment for your courses is required to register and reserve your spot in the course. Our year-long courses have one payment for the year rather than two for each semester, and you are signing up for the entire year when you register. We also have an automatic ACH payment plan for those taking multiple classes.
Many other online academies allow 20+ students to register for any given section. However, we think this seriously sacrifices the quality of a live online class. It is very difficult for even very experienced teachers to engage with 20 individual students in a live class. Because of this, we intentionally keep our class sizes small. Our principle: Quality over Quantity. Here are our class size limits:
Normal Classes: 15-16 in each section. For example, First Form Latin, Literature, etc. We typically leave one spot as a buffer, just in case a special situation arises.
Writing Classes: 14-15 in our Classical Composition classes.
AP and Other Classes: 12-13 in AP Literature and Composition and Informal Fallacies.
Senior Thesis: 10 in each section.
All students are required to have a functioning microphone. A USB headset microphone is highly recommended. Adobe has a full set of specifications and recommendations here. Essentially, what you need is a reliable computer, a high-speed connection, and the most recent version of Flash Player. Please Note: Chromebooks normally work fine but are not officially supported by Adobe Connect. So, if you already have a Chromebook it will probably work just fine. However, if you are looking for a new device for online classes we do not recommend Chromebooks since the operating system is non-standard (i.e. it is not Windows or Mac).
Yes. We already have several students with special needs enrolled in our online academy. The most common special needs we see are mild degrees of dyslexia, dysgraphia, and ADHD. Please note: Parents must notify Memoria Press Online Academy if a student has some kind of special need, so that we can make a determination if the class is a good fit.
How do we adapt for diagnosed learning difficulties? When possible, we adapt on an individualized basis for students with diagnosed conditions. For example, we may offer deadline extensions, extended time, or the elimination of time requirements altogether.
Who determines the nature and number of accommodations provided? We welcome specific recommendations from those who know the student best (parent, physician, therapist), but the teacher must determine whether the requested modifications will be suitable to the course. The academy reserves the final decision. We do not want to sacrifice content. For this reason, to date we have never lessened the pace or number of assignments in a course. Our courses require sequential content with learning enhanced through the completion of each assignment.
What other options do I have? What can I do if my student requires more than minor modifications to succeed in the Memoria Press Online Academy? Many parents have found success with the in-person, tutorial method for their students with significant special needs, whether through homeschooling or with a private tutor. You will find free 24/7 support for such endeavors here: SimplyClassical.com. If you have not yet read the guidebook to bringing a classical education to students with special needs, we recommend the Memoria Press resource Simply Classical: A Beautiful Education for Any Child by Cheryl Swope.
Will online classes work for every special-needs student, even those facing moderate to severe learning challenges? No. A classical education benefits all students, including those who have special needs; however, not every format can help all students. At this time, the online academy is not equipped for the uniqueness of every situation.
Tips for success: How can I help my special-needs student succeed at Memoria Press Online Academy?
- Plan to complete each assignment. This may require a great deal of time for the struggling student, so you may wish to reduce his other coursework while he is enrolled in the online academy. You may also need to minimize his extra-curricular activities during the online course. Plan to spend extensive time outside of class on the online course, so every assignment can be completed.
- Plan to listen to lessons more than one time. The student with auditory processing, comprehension, or memory difficulties may need more than one period of exposure to the content, especially as the pace quickens in any given class. Allow time for the material to become understood.
- Be the teacher’s aide for your student. “Shadow” the class and assist by providing accountability with assignments, visual aids, and added explanations to promote understanding.
- Express a respect for the teacher. Even if differences arise, communicate respect for the teacher in front of the student. Provide a “unified front” at all times for the sake of his education and character training. Encourage the student to express gratitude to his teacher.
- Keep a portfolio for the student. Note his progress frequently! The student may become discouraged if he compares himself to other students. Help him measure his success based on his own accomplishments.
- Stay the course. Even if you decide that the student will not re-enroll, help him finish what he starts. This will provide valuable lessons that will help him in any endeavor.
Yes. Official Grade Reports are automatically issued by the teacher at the end of the year for year-long classes and the end of the semester for semester long classes. If you work with an umbrella organization or school that requires something different we can normally accommodate. Email email@example.com if you have questions about your situation. Official transcripts are available by request and will include classes taken with Memoria Press Academy. Requests for official transcripts should be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org with the email address and/or physical address of the university/college where the transcript is to be sent.
Yes. We are an approved by the College Board as an Online Provider of AP classes. The school code that our students should provide when they register for the exam is 564.
When you sign your student up for an online class with Memoria Press there are several things that you need to know. Memoria Press views this relationship as a partnership between The Academy, the parent, and the student. Given that our academy is online, and not a physical school, this means that student’s successful experience with Memoria Press Online Academy depends, in large part, on open communication between students, parents, teachers, and The Academy. In view of this we ask that the following guidelines be followed:
- Please make sure that you have both a parent e-mail address and telephone number on file with us. These information fields are located in the student profile when you create your user account and you need to make sure it is kept up-to-date. In each class there is a News Forum that the instructor uses to send out announcements, reminders, etc. The parent e-mail address on file, in each student profile, will receive copies of this correspondence.
- Students are given access to what we call the Ask A Teacher Forum in each class. This is the primary means of communication between student, parent, and instructor. In the event that there is a personal issue that you would not like to share on the forum you can request the instructor’s personal e-mail address, but you need to make sure to copy the director on any communication sent to the instructor. His e-mail address is email@example.com.
- One of the things our instructors do is keep students accountable, both through in-class instruction and checking on grades outside of class. However, it is not just the instructor who needs to do this. Parents play a crucial role in keeping students accountable, and need to ensure that they have their student’s username and password. We require parents to log-in to their student’s account every two weeks to check up on their grades in each course. This adds a double-layer of accountability and will ensure that students do not fall behind.
- In some cases an instructor will require a parent to proctor quizzes and/or exams. If this is the case then the instructor will let your student know and parents will need to send an from their personal e-mail address (to the instructor) to verify that the student has completed the assignment with integrity.
To meet the varied needs of our families, we try to be really flexible with age range, and thus what we do in our online school does not always match up with what we have specified in our Curriculum Package Lesson Plans, for a variety of reasons. In many cases, this is like comparing apples to oranges.
Take the Famous Men of Rome course for example. We normally have some students in 3 grade who register, some who are in 4th, and some who are in 5th grade. Famous Men of Rome is included as Classical Studies in our 4th Grade Curriculum package, but not everyone starts their classical education at the same point. We have many students who start earlier or even later.
Along with each online class description there is an age range, which allows a variety of students to take the class. With other classes it matches more closely but still allows for flexibility with age range. For example, Latina Christiana in the online school is recommended for grades 3-5, but we have some 6th graders who take it so they can gently ease into Latin. Upon completion of Latina, they progress to First Form Latin the next year. The other consideration that we have to account for the cost of the class. We try to make the classes as affordable as possible. Using Famous Men of Rome as an example again, we’ve found that offering it as a year-long class is simply not as economical for most families as a semester-only class. These classes have been offered like this for many years, and in no case have we received feedback from families that moving more quickly was burdensome.
Our full year courses are 38 weeks in length, with four weeks of break throughout the school-year. Each semester includes 17 weeks of instructional time. To see our 2019-20 Academic Calendar, go here.
There is a one week Fall Break over Thanksgiving week, a Christmas break of 2 weeks, and a one-week Spring Break that normally corresponds to Holy Week. Please note that given the way the course is structured, if you have a break that does not correspond with our course calendar, you can take these breaks whenever you like as long as the course work is completed in a timely manner and by the end of the term.
This varies from course to course. Typically each class session lasts 90 minutes and meets once per week at a designated time and day. Other classes meet twice per week for a 75 or 90 minute period. The times and days of each class session are listed on the course description of each class and all times are Eastern Time. It is normal for there to be several available times and it is very likely that one of these will fit your schedule. We do ask that when signing up for a particular section, that your student attend only that time. However, we realize there are times when schedules change because of a previously scheduled appointment, vacation, or if your student is sick one day. In that case, your student may attend any of the available class sections with instructor approval. In the rare event that you sign up for a class and the day and time have to be changed because of an instructor conflict you are eligible for a full refund. This is very rare and we take precautionary steps to try and keep this from happening.
Yes. The instructor will be available during the class and through the question and discussion forum. Typically instructors answer questions for a short time at the beginning or end of each class session. The instructor will also be available by e-mail at any time via the Ask A Teacher Forum, which will then be sent directly to the e-mail inbox of the instructor. Our instructors are allowed 24-48 hours to provide a response to forum posts, but most are answered before the 24 hour mark. If you have an emergency and are having technical trouble getting into class, please call 877-745-8866 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Typically the answer to this is located on the individual course description for each class. The time necessary for the online course will vary from student to student, but we shoot for “challenging-but-not-insurmountable” when we design online classes. The recommendations for the time spent on any given subject includes the time to complete book work, with the addition of time needed to complete the online quizzes and to participate in the weekly class. You should allow 2-6 hours a week for most high school classes, depending on the course. As a general rule, courses for younger students should take less time than those for older students, and work is lighter at the beginning of a course.
If there are prerequisites to the course you are interested in, they will be listed on the course description.
We use Adobe Connect Pro Meeting rooms to host our classes. All classes are live, real-time, audio and video classes. Essentially, there are two main modes of communication: microphones and written text. Instructors use their microphone to teach the course material and students have microphone capabilities as well, and only requires that a student have either a built-in or external microphone. Our teachers have complete control over the microphones and frequently call on students to participate. Student can also use written text to communicate with an instructor and is used for answering simple questions and for things like form drills in Latin. Our instructors also utilize such things as virtual Whiteboards, Powerpoints, and more.
Quite often, when parents begin looking through the various programs which seek to integrate Christian studies, questions about the specific methodological approach of each program arise. These questions are worthwhile, admirable, and ought to be asked by every parent. Some are looking for an explicitly Protestant, Catholic, or Orthodox program, or even a supposedly ‘neutral’ program. Memoria Press is no different, in that we have a specific method of teaching Christian studies. We believe wholeheartedly in our general pedagogical approach to teaching Christian studies and the Bible, and we commend it to you. From the very beginning Memoria Press Online Academy has had students from Catholic, Orthodox, Lutheran, Baptist, Presbyterian, Christian Reformed, and Anglican backgrounds. How is it possible? How does one foster an intellectually rigorous and faithful approach to Christian studies amidst such fragmentation? The key is our method.
Our approach to Christian studies is along the lines of what C. S. Lewis meant by the phrase ‘mere Christianity’. Some of what might be difficult to understand about a ‘mere Christianity’ approach to teaching Christian studies concerns the need to differentiate between very distinct but related things. The first is the teaching of the Old and New Testaments, which is essentially the sweeping storyline of Scripture and what is contained therein, in terms of general history and theology. The second is the the development of Christian doctrine, or, that which God’s people have believed, confessed, and taught down through the centuries. For example, there is no explicit statement in either testament that states “God is one in essence but three in person.” That this teaching is supported in the Scriptures is without question. The full theological and philosophical, however, was not until much later, when the questions being posed to the Church required as much. This is what we mean by the development of doctrine.
Our approach to teaching the Scriptures is to teach the development of doctrine, with all of its contours, say, from the time of Jerome, through the Lutheran and Reformed controversies, the Council of Trent, and down through Vatican II until today. Our general approach is to teach the larger historical story of the Old and New Testaments, focusing on major themes, which typically unite students rather than divide. Quite obviously, this includes some doctrinal teaching on a general level. For example, the notion that God created the world, by implication, means that the philosophical doctrines of materialism (all that exists is matter and its movements) and naturalism (everything arises from purely natural causes) are false. When issues that involve the development of doctrine arise, ‘mere Christianity’ takes precedence. This is the ideal which we strive to maintain, quite successfully thus far, anytime these issues surface.
Lastly, all of this does mean that the distinctive elements which differentiate Christians are of no consequence. What it does mean is that we refrain from teaching the things which we think are more properly taught in the home or local parish/church. One example of this might be the different theories about Communion/Eucharist/the Lord’s Supper, be it transubstantiation, consubstantiation, spiritual presence, sign/symbol only, or something else. That, we think, is best taught in another context. Are issues like this important? Yes, and of course. Is cordial discussion and debate about an issue like this encouraged if it arises? Again, yes. But does Memoria Press Online Academy think that issues like this are best handled in great depth and detail outside the home and local church? No.
We commend this approach to you, and we heartily welcome students from the Catholic, Orthodox, and Protestant traditions, as well as others outside the faith. Our teachers are required to adhere to both the Apostles’ and Nicene creeds.
We’re glad that you are ready to preview a class to see if the Memoria Press Online Academy might be a good fit for your student. All of our classes are recorded and archived for playback, so to help you get a better feel for what the online classroom is like, we’ve listed some samples here.
Some of the confusion results from the fact that many programs that contain more translation tend to be inductive in their approach. They attempt to immerse students in the actual language, much like they would have learned English when they were young. This is similar to the whole language method used to teach reading in many public schools. If you have an experienced teacher and you are able to spend several hours a day on Latin with a group of students who are able to converse together, this method can work. But the immersion method is harder to use if you don’t have that luxury. Immersion approaches do not tend to emphasize grammar or present it in a systematic way, and therefore do not give the student the grammar knowledge and mental training that result from more grammar-based approaches. The benefits of Latin go beyond the mere ability to translate or even speak Latin: the grammar knowledge and mental skills one acquires in Latin study are at least as important. First Form Latin teaches the grammar, vocab, and syntax in a logical, systematic, and grammar-based way, just like Henle Latin does. Currently, there are no universal standards as to the content of a high school foreign language course, like there are, say, for mathematics. Most of the folks that use First Form Latin are home school parents who are preparing their own transcripts, and when one compares what many private and public schools are covering in their foreign language courses, we usually exceed what is covered. This is one of the reasons why we recommend that First Form Latin can be counted as a year worth of high school language credit, especially if one puts in the time and completely masters the material in First Form Latin.
As far as completing the Henle I text in one year, it is not impossible to cover that much Latin in a year, but we have always preferred an approach that ensures that the student has fully internalized the knowledge and skills of each aspect of the grammar. It is analogous to different Bible study methods: you may have a choice between covering the Bible in a year or studying one book of the Bible for a year. They are both equally challenging, but they do two different things. Covering the Bible in a year will give you a good overview, but does not allow you to study any one thing deeply; whereas studying one book of the Bible over a longer period of time will allow the student to have a fuller and deeper knowledge of that one text. One method is deep and the other is wide. Many seminaries and graduate schools offer both of these kinds of classes, but give the same course credit to both. The same is true of philosophy, history, and many other courses. For example, one can take an Introduction to Philosophy course that covers everything from logic, ethics, epistemology, history, and metaphysics. Or, you can take a course solely devoted to each one of these subjects. In both cases, the same amount of credit is awarded though one is a survey and one is more focused. This is only an analogy, but it illustrates the point. To cover Henle Latin First Year Text in a year is indeed a great accomplishment, but we prefer a slower approach that allows for full mastery at every level. Different programs simply vary with respect to what they accept as a high school credit. This is no slight on others who do it differently than we do, just a difference in criteria and methodology.