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Frequently Asked questions

General Informationclick to expand
Who is a good candidate for distance learning?click to expand

Taking courses online sounds like an exciting alternative to traditional face-to-face classes, however, online classes are not right for everyone. Online classes are very different from traditional classes in terms of the presentation of materials and the overall learning experience. Even excellent students in traditional classes may find online classes are not compatible with their learning style. Some students may lack the essential computer skills to take courses online. Before enrolling in any online classes, students should make sure that online learning is right for them.

Qualities of successful online learners:

  1. Self-disciplined – the ability to work independently and not be easily distracted.
  2. Self-motivated – doesn't rely on stimulus from other students or face-to-face interaction.
  3. Time management skills
  4. Willingness to commit time and effort to online courses (at least five hours per week per course)
  5. Good writing and communication skills
  6. Good reading skills
  7. Study skills to get the most from course study materials, such as note taking skills
  8. Ability to use teacher feedback
What can I do to stay safe while taking online courses over the internet? click to expand

Mesa Public Schools: EdTech has a collection of internet safety videos available to view. They cover topics such as cyberbullying, digital footprints, protecting personal information and site awareness.

How do I register for courses?click to expand
I attend a traditional schoolclick to expand
Determine the courses to be taken by meeting with a counselor. Students currently enrolled in a Mesa Public school will need to seek advisement from their school counselor before registering with MDLP. The counselor or other designee will submit course approval to the MDLP office. Students currently enrolled in other districts should receive advisement from their home school counselor before choosing MDLP courses. This will help to ensure that all students are enrolled in courses that apply toward graduation requirements at their school. After advisement, part-time students need to complete the online registration form.
I will attend MDLP full timeclick to expand
Full-time MDLP students should complete the online registration form. After completing the online registration form, a counselor is available to review transcripts and advise full-time MDLP students and their parents about course selection as it applies to graduation requirements. In order to expedite the registration process, full-time students may want to contact the student's former school and have transcripts and high school AIMS scores sent to MDLP before registering. Transcripts may be faxed to 480-472-0887. Transcripts are not required for part-time MDLP students.
How many online courses can I take? click to expand

Full-time high school students should take at least four courses. Full-time junior high (grades 7-8) should take at least six courses.

What do I need to know about attendance for full-time distance learning students? click to expand

Parents can ensure that students log a minimum of five hours per week per course. That means a full-time distance learning student who is taking four courses should be logging a minimum of 20 hours per week.

Student attendance (shown in the timesheet calendar) is automatically updated at midnight, reflecting the previous day's work. Because automatic attendance entries use the time a student is logged in, the timesheet calendar does not reflect time spent working offline (reading, studying, doing lab work, bowling, etc.). Offline time may be added by selecting the date and time (use the arrows) in the timesheet calendar then clicking the 'Send' button. Parents of full-time distance learning students are asked to confirm attendance each week by clicking on a link in their Progress Report e-mail.

Parents may continue to monitor student attendance through the Parent page or through Monday progress reports. For more information, click on the 'Learn More' button in the timesheet calendar.

How are absences handled in the online setting?click to expand

Online learning is an attractive option for many students because of its flexibility. Because students can set their own schedule, attendance is not taken in the same manner as the traditional classroom. Students are expected to log in weekly and make regular progress in their online course(s). Students who will be unable to log in for a week or longer due to illness or vacation can be placed on extended absence status. The link to manage extended absences is accessed from the parent page. Please note that placing a student on extended absence status does not change the course end date. However, it does prevent a student from going inactive in a course, and alerts the teacher that the student will not be logging in.

Can my child take courses through MDLP as a homeschooled student?click to expand

Mesa Distance Learning is a publicly funded program. A child enrolled in a publicly funded distance learning or virtual school program is classified by law and the program as a public school student, and therefore cannot be classified as a homeschool student. For more information, contact your county superintendent of schools.

What if I already attend high school full-time? click to expand

If you attend school full-time, you may register as a dual-enrolled student. Dual-enrolled students need to see their home school counselor for advisement before selecting distance learning courses. MPS counselors will advise dual-enrolled students, help them select appropriate courses, and complete the online course approval form. This form must be sent to the MDLP registrar BEFORE Mesa Public School students submit the MDLP online registration form.

What if I do not attend a Mesa Public school?click to expand

MDLP is a distance learning program that provides courses to students from around the world. All students are welcome to register.

Are MDLP students required to take state mandated tests?click to expand

According to state law, students who do not pay tuition for online courses (which means the courses are state-funded) are required to take state mandated testing for their grade level. For more information, see our state testing page.

Course Deliveryclick to expand
Do I have to complete all of my work using a computer online?click to expand

Yes. Distance learning students will need a Windows or Macintosh computer and an Internet connection. Students use word processing software to complete homework assignments in all courses.

What if I do not have a computer?click to expand

New computers can be purchased at various stores. Used computers may be purchased from shops that sell refurbished computers. Check the yellow pages or ask others who have purchased computers. MDLP does NOT recommend the use of public computers such as those located in libraries for distance learning courses because time limits are placed on computer usage and test back up files are not saved. Click here for recommended computer specifications.

How does the program work?click to expand

MDLP is an online learning program. Students submit course work and communicate with teachers online. Teachers grade student work and provide assistance when requested. Students who wish to register should go to the registration page.

Are textbooks used with courses? click to expand

Most courses do not require textbooks. Refundable deposits are required for textbooks. Additional materials are outlined in the course catalog and on the course information page of each course. Questions about materials? Call your MDLP registrar.
Last Name A-L 480-472-0878
Last Name M-Z 480-472-0882.

Is distance learning difficult for courses without textbooks?click to expand

Courses without textbooks provide online content which is similar to information found in a textbook. Hands-on interactivities, videos, and tutorials assist students in learning course content.

Is an online course easier than traditional schooling?click to expand

Distance learning is different than a traditional classroom setting. Courses emphasize critical reading and writing, and require independent learning. They are designed for average to above average self-motivated students.

Are the classes the same as those offered in a traditional school?click to expand

MDLP courses are aligned to state standards and MPS curriculum maps. The program is open entry/open exit. Students can start anytime during the year and set their own schedule to work toward course completion. It is recommended students spend at least one hour per weekday (Monday - Friday) per course to complete the course on time if the course enrollment period is for 18 weeks. The amount of time required per day to complete the course by the end date depends upon the length of enrollment in the course.

How long do I have to finish?click to expand

Students typically have 18 weeks to complete a course, but then length of enrollment may vary depending upon individual circumstances.

What if I do not finish on time?click to expand

Students are eligible for one 30-day course extension. A link to request an extension will appear on the student main page when students are within ten days of their end date. Clicking the link will add 30 days to the end date. Students are expected to complete all course work and take the final exam by the end date.

Exceptions: NCAA guidelines for course enrollments prohibit prospective NCAA athletes from receiving any course extensions. You can click here to review our information on NCAA guidelines. Other restrictions on course extensions may apply.

How is student progress monitored in a course?click to expand

Parents receive weekly progress reports and are able to view student progress and grades online through a secure parent page.

Can students go at their own pace? Can they "get ahead" so they can graduate early?click to expand

Yes. However, parents and students should keep in mind that MDLP courses are full semester courses, designed to be completed in 90 hours.

Where does my student take the final exam, and how is it scheduled?click to expand

In order for earned course credits to have value, the school must ensure that the student did the work and gained knowledge and skills. Since online coursework is often completed away from the school granting the credit, midterm and final exams should be administered in a monitored environment. Exam proctors are used for this purpose. Some students will take the final exam in the MDLP office, while others may be able to take the final exam at a school in their district.

The student must complete all course requirements before requesting a midterm or final exam. When the student is ready to request a midterm or final exam, they should click on the "request final exam" link from the Lesson Checklist within the course. Final exams are not requested by calling the MDLP office.

Curriculum Informationclick to expand
What courses are offered? click to expand

MDLP 7-12 offers 85+ high-quality semester courses. More information can be found here in our online course catalog.

Do the courses follow a set curriculum?click to expand

Yes. All courses are aligned with Mesa Public School district curriculum, Arizona state standards, and national curriculum standards where applicable.

How were the courses developed? click to expand

Our courses were developed by highly qualified-certified teachers.

Who teaches the online courses? click to expand

Our courses are taught by highly qualified-certified teachers.

How do students get help? click to expand

A highly-qualified, certified teacher is assigned to each course. Teachers monitor student progress and interact with students through an internal messaging system. Homework help is available for students enrolled in a math course. Technical support is available by phone during the day or by e-mail on evenings and weekends.

Do the courses align with Arizona state standards? click to expand

Our courses are aligned to Mesa district, state of Arizona and national curriculum standards where applicable.

Is MDLP accredited? click to expand


Course Creditsclick to expand
How do my grades transfer?click to expand

Grades transfer in the same way as those taken at a traditional school. However, school districts receiving MDLP grades can decide whether or not to accept grades for distance learning courses. For this reason, we suggest that prospective students check with other school districts to see if they will accept our courses for credit. Mesa Public Schools accept all MDLP courses for credit.

Will credits from my previous school transfer to your program?click to expand

Your school counselor must first approve credits applied toward graduation. District guidelines for credit approval apply. All credits must come from an accredited institution. Students transferring from charter schools may not receive credit for all courses. Life experience, religious courses, or community summer programs do not qualify for credit approval. If you have additional questions concerning credit transfer, contact our registrar.

Do the courses count for high school credit? click to expand

Our high school courses count for high school credit in many school districts. Contact individual school districts for more information. If you are currently enrolled in a school outside of Mesa Public Schools, you will need to check with your counselor to ensure that course credits from MDLP will be accepted for graduation. Some schools limit the number of transfer credits accepted for graduation.

Will my diploma be accepted by a university?click to expand

Colleges and universities accept our courses, however, it is always recommended that you check with the college you are interested in attending. Arizona Universities do accept the MDLP diploma.

Do you offer courses for grade replacement? click to expand

Yes, but the original grade remains on the student's transcript. The grade received from MDLP will be recorded in addition to the first grade for the course.

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