School Polices and Procedures
- Nonsectarian Policy and Anti-Discrimination Policy
- Teacher Responsibilities
- Student Responsibilities
- Parent Responsibilities
- Academic Accountability
- Academic Integrity
- Student Eligibility
- Participation in Florida’s Statewide Assessment Program
- Attendance and Participation Requirements
No person shall, on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, religion, gender, sex, national origin (including English language learners), marital status, disability or any legally protected class, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity, or in any employment conditions or practices conducted by this School, except as provided by law.
The School shall comply with all state and federal laws, which prohibit discrimination and are designed to protect the civil rights of applicants, employees, and/or students, or other persons protected by applicable law.
The School shall admit students to programs and classes without regard to race, color, national or ethnic origin.
Online teachers are expected to:
- Grade work in a timely manner
- Provide detailed feedback on student work
- Monitor student performance and suggest methods for improvement
- Conduct office hours to provide instructional support to students
- Attend faculty and team meeting
- Stay current with educational trends
- Maintain teacher certification
For more information on Professional Growth and Professional Development please see the Disclosure Document.
Student Centered Communication
Online teachers are expected to:
- Communicate effectively (student-focused) with students, parents, and administration.
- Monitor the tone of communication to be clear and professional.
- Present subject-matter expertise and demonstrate best practices.
- Utilize differentiated methods of communication to reach all types of learners (email, phone, Engage VR platform, Canvas, and Zoom).
Student Learning and academic growth are at the forefront of our priorities. This requires that we have an effective teacher in every classroom and effective leadership within the online school. Teachers' performance will be reviewed on an annual basis.
The organization believes that children learn in a variety of ways, and that our teachers provide an environment that meets the needs of our students. Utilizing our approach to education we believe that through student engagement we reduce the number of behavioral concerns within the classroom. However, we realize that when dealing with children, issues may arise which may require the school to address student behavior. In doing so, the school believes behavioral correction should be a learning opportunity, where students are given the opportunity to learn and demonstrate appropriate behavior, and cooperatively accept responsibility and be accountable for their actions. The organization believes we have a unique partnership with like-minded parents who share this philosophy of behavioral management and positive parental role modeling.
For more information regarding the Student Code of Conduct, Bullying and Harassment, damage or loss of school property, please reference the Disclosure Requirements.
Optima Domi will facilitate the monitoring of all student progress. Students and parents will have online access to student grades on a real-time basis. Interim report cards will be distributed to students earning below a C. Quarterly report cards, including teacher comments, will be provided to parents. Also, regularly scheduled parent-teacher conferences will be offered. Parents will have online access to all graded assignments and teachers will communicate reminders to parents to review assignments on a regular basis. FSA and other standardized assessment results will be provided to parents on a timely basis.
The dean of students will regularly analyze student performance data and will meet with teachers to review data and create plans and strategies as needed to improve students at all levels of achievement. Teachers, who are daily interacting with students and assessing their performance, are the first line in identifying potential areas of need, and are expected to proactively raise concerns so student performance deficits can be mitigated and remediation maximized. Optima Domi also recognizes the importance of sharing assessment results with parents and the general community. The dean of students will be responsible for the effective dissemination of this information to parents.
Optima Domi will verify authenticity of student work. Central to maintaining the academic integrity of the online program is the interaction between grade-level teachers and students facilitated by the Canvas learning management system (LMS), which may be the most advanced, reliable and user-friendly central hub available. Over the past 10+ years, Canvas has been tested and refined in hundreds of educational environments. Because of its robust design and capabilities, Canvas functions as both an LMS and a content management system (CMS), which simplifies the interface for all users. Canvas contains an incredible array of features that allow the teacher to verify the authenticity of student work and integrate seamlessly with other tools that Optima Domi finds essential to delivering a high-quality classical education equivalent to what is provided in established Optima academies. Communication on how to submit assignments will be clear and accessible to all students through Optima Domi’s online platform.
Technology applications will be used in addition to Canvas to test for authenticity, including the use of cameras for assessment security and online plagiarism search engines. Academic integrity will be enforced with consequences as explained in the student handbook and code of student conduct.
The schools operated by the organization are primarily public charter schools which receive their charters from the local school district, and as such, comply with all applicable requirements of state law and the public-school system as well as their charters. Federal law may also apply if the school is the recipient of federal grant funds. Schools will admit all students based on space availability through use of the lottery process described below.
As per Florida Statute 1002.33, a lottery will be conducted using a specialized randomizing student lottery software for each grade level to select students for enrollment. All lotteries will be conducted in a manner that ensures each eligible student receives an equal chance of being selected. Applicants will be selected in random order until all applications have been ordered. In order of selection (with consideration of any applicable preference), applicants will be offered admission until all seats have been filled. The remaining students’ names will be placed on a waiting list in the order in which their names were selected.
The provider shall develop an enrollment schedule each year to establish the enrollment deadlines. The initial student selection lottery will be conducted at least six months prior to the opening of the school year. The initial application period must be at least 60 days and be advertised on the provider’s website and through other methods allowed for within the budget. The initial application period will have a beginning and end date.
After the initial application period, the provider shall establish a regular schedule of application windows for the random selection of applications, and post this along with the enrollment schedule. Each subsequent application period will have a beginning and end date. Registration periods will also be posted on the school website.
The deadlines and processes shall be clearly explained on the provider’s website.
Consistent with the school's Non-Discrimination Statement, state and federal statutes, the school will not discriminate against any student on the basis of race, ethnicity, color, religion, gender, sex, national origin (including English language learners), marital status, disability or any legally protected class. All students who are eligible to apply shall be included in the student selection lottery and have an equal chance of being selected.
Publication of the enrollment process will include a non-discrimination statement.
The following students will be given a priority in the admission process under state law:
- Students who were enrolled with the organization the year before.
- Students whose parents are staff members with the organization.
- Students whose parents are on the governing board of the organization.
- Students who have siblings enrolled with the organization.
- Students residing in the school district.
The selection process will be conducted using third-party software to ensure all students have an equal chance of being selected for enrollment. On the dates specified within the enrollment schedule, the school shall abide by the following selection process.
All Applicants will be Placed into the Lottery
In the event that more students apply to a specific grade at the school than openings are available, all completed applications received within the enrollment period up until the enrollment deadline will be included in the lottery for the applicable grade.
The provider will determine the number of openings to be filled within the lottery process. The number of openings will be determined based on the contractual limits of the charter contract, staffing limits, and enrollment limits. The board will approve the capacity of each charter school.
The Florida Department of Education requires that all virtual students enrolled in Optima Domi must participate in the Florida Statewide Assessment program. This program includes participation in end-of-course exams.
Some Florida school districts may also require that students participate in the Florida Assessment for Instruction in Reading (FAIR). As an Online Course Provider, Optima Domi does not administer Florida’s statewide assessments, but instead works directly with school district partners to ensure that students and parents are provided with information about the testing and testing schedules.
Optima Classical Academy’s secondary education program will adhere to all district school calendar days for all students enrolled in the District Virtual Instruction Program. Since our virtual program is available 24/7 secondary students will be allowed to work at any time.
Both the LMS (Canvas) and the Student Information System maintain student usage information and display that usage on a daily basis. Attendance records will be continually kept and may be downloaded or printed for record keeping purposes. Therefore, there is no need for online teachers or parents to keep daily attendance records. Optima Classical Academy teachers will have the responsibility of monitoring the students’ daily work. Optima Classical Academy has policies that call for teachers to closely monitor student attendance/work to make sure students are on track and on task.
Through our agreement with any school district, Optima Classical Academy will strictly adhere to any district guidelines regarding attendance that the district virtual school administration establishes as district policy. All our records can be monitored and will be maintained for the purpose of auditing.
For full Optima Classical Academy Student Policy Guide & Student Code of Conduct please refer to the Family Handbook.
Optima Classical Academy VIP Attendance Policy
Attendance is an important component of a successful virtual school experience. In order to maximize academic growth, students must remain engaged in their classes. Attendance is measured at EdOptions Academy in two ways:
- Log Activity recorded in the Student Information System (SIS).
- Participation by way of assignment completion.
Students must log into their accounts and access their classes each day. A log in to class is the equivalent of attending school each day. Any designated school day where the student does not log into a class will be considered an absence.
In order to earn credit for a class at EdOptions Academy, students must complete all course work and pass the Final Exam (End of Semester Test). A pacing guide is set up for each course listing the assignments to be completed each week by the student. If a student fails to complete any assignments for a class during the week, regardless of whether the student logged in, the student will be considered absent from that class for the week.
Reporting to Home District
At the completion of each nine week period, EdOptions Academy will report to the home district the attendance and participation for each student.
The state of Florida defines truancy as follows:
Florida law defines "habitual truant" as a student who has 15 or more unexcused absences within 90 calendar days with or without the knowledge or consent of the student's parent or guardian, and who is subject to compulsory school attendance.
Students who are determined to be habitual truant, either by not logging into classes each day, or by not participating in each class weekly, will be reported to the home district as truant and removed from the EdOptions Academy VIP school after consultation with the home district. Warning letters will be sent to the student, parent, and district after 5 unexcused absences, and again after 10 unexcused absences in an attempt to successfully intervene and preserve the student’s enrollment.