Policies and Conditions
Notice of Nondiscriminatory Policy
The CiRCE Academy admits students of any race, color, national, or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students through the Academy. It does not discriminate on those bases in the administration of its programs, and admissions policies.
Complaints, concerns, and other problems should be handled in the following order:
1. Begin with the source of the grievance. This generally means speaking directly with the tutor, or if the grievance is with another student, then you should contact the other parent.
2. If the grievance is not resolved, then you should contact the Headmaster.
When addressing a tutor concerning a grievance, proceed in the following manner:
- Respect the tutor’s responsibility to other families.
- Understand that tutors will have information that the parents are not privy to.
- Be concrete and specific. Do not ask tutors to understand or act on your feelings as a parent.
- Do not spread rumors or criticisms behind a tutor’s back, or post inflammatory statements online (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc.).
- Address the tutor respectfully and in a professional manner.
Failing to abide by these general guidelines may result in student dismissal.
Age & Admission Requirements for Courses
Unless given specific permission from the Headmaster, all students must be 14 years old upon entering The CiRCE Academy.
Admission to the Lost Tools of Writing Level II course will be by permission or invitation from the Headmaster or tutor, and is only open to students who have completed Level I.
Students may be asked to submit a writing sample prior to admission.
Note on Age & The Lost Tools of Writing
The Lost Tools of Writing (LTW) is a writing curriculum that teaches, in Level I, the first three canons of classical rhetoric - invention, arrangement, and elocution. It teaches students how to think of something to say, how to organize his thoughts, and how to express those thoughts in a clear and appropriate way.
The first part of this writing process teaches students to think of something to say. In that process it teaches them to think, in general. This thinking process requires students to have matured to the point where they have developed abstract thinking skills.
We have found with distance learning that students need to begin with a bit more readiness than they might need for Lost To in a regular classroom. The lack of the tutor's ability to see the students’ eyes requires that the students quickly pick up abstract ideas. The tutor has fewer means to assess whether the students are following, so the students need to be better equipped to keep up on their own.
When students hit the age of 14 they are usually developmentally ready to use the kind of abstract thinking required in the material logic portion of this curriculum. Students who reach that point are able to complete the work and enjoy the satisfaction it brings. Students who are not developmentally ready for this kind of abstract thinking often struggle, and will need lots of extra support time, outside the classroom, from a parent or tutor. These students often become overwhelmed and frustrated, some coming to believe that they are not capable of doing the work when the truth is, if they would attack these lessons ten months later, they would be able to complete them with joy.
Given the “virtual” platform of the Academy, the importance of communication cannot be overstated. Following these procedures will help eliminate miscommunication and confusion:
- Visit the class website daily for any news updates.
- Check your e-mail daily to receive the steady stream of feedback. This enables you to stay caught up with correction and course work.
- Written homework assignments are posted weekly and students are expected to read them and follow directions. Students also need to read all forum posts (received via e-mail).
- Please be prompt with replies to your tutor(s).
- Remember that CiRCE tutors are available through e-mail and, if needed, by phone. They will willingly and patiently answer any and all questions from students and from parents.
- Grievances should be addressed with the person towards whom the grievance is directed (see “Grievance Policy” above).
- Gossip and slander are strictly forbidden by both Scripture and CiRCE policy (see “Grievance Policy” above).
Most courses require 75 − 90 minutes of class time once a week unless you take a course that meets twice a week. Time requirements to complete course work outside of class will vary based on the tutor, the course, and the ability of the student. A general rule of thumb is to assume 3 hours of work for every hour of class. Each week, after a student completes his initial work of 1-2 hours of homework, he will need to spend about 15 minutes a day checking his e-mail (or the website) to find comments/feedback on his work and correcting his initial homework submission.
Should a student require assistance from a tutor, beyond normal instruction, class time, and feedback, it may be deemed necessary to establish tutoring sessions. If the parent(s) of the student and the tutor agree to such sessions, the tutor should be paid $35 per half-hour session. These tutoring fees are not included in student tuition.
All assignments are to be completed by students in the time frame given by the tutor. Students are responsible for knowing the course work requirements a tutor may administer for any given class, and to accept the consequences for not meeting those requirements. The tutor retains the right to reject assignments that are not submitted by the given deadline.
Attendance and Absences
General Requirements Regarding Attendance
Regular attendance in the online classroom is necessary for a student’s progress. Each new class period builds on the previous class, making it important to attend every class offered during the term. Irregular attendance prevents students from learning the ideas and concepts taught in a course.
Arriving to class late or unprepared is considered tardy. Be punctual. Tardiness can be a hindrance to learning and a disruption to the class. Penalties for tardiness are determined by the tutor.
Absences and Make-up Work
Attendance is marked as either “present” or “absent.” Your child’s absence will not be marked “excused” or “unexcused.”
In the event of unintended absences due to illness or unforeseen circumstances, the student must contact the tutor to collect notes and assignments from the missed class. It is the student’s responsibility to gather this material and make-up any missed work.
Parents, if you know that your child will miss a class due to recreational travel or other events that conflict with class time, please notify the tutor 2 weeks in advance. Assignments will be due when the student returns to class, unless otherwise directed by the tutor.
Any student wishing to withdraw from a course must do so by notifying the tutor first (if the class has already begun meeting), and then notifying the Headmaster. Please take note of the “Refund Policy.” Failing to attend a class is not the same as withdrawing from a class, and may result in the forfeiture of any refund.
Students are hurt when they fall behind. The tutor cannot complete the student's work, understand for him, or force him to complete assignments. Tutors will, however, send encouraging reminders to students, notifying parents if the student does not respond. If neither responds to these repeated communications, and the student becomes two weeks behind in his work (for reasons not due to family emergency), we reserve the right to change his status to "Audit" or take other measures, such as no longer assessing the student’s work, requiring tutoring fees for the student, or removing the student from the course.
The CiRCE Academy does not provide textbooks for any class. It is the student’s responsibility to view the course syllabus and purchase the required texts.
Homework is assigned in order to (1) apply the ideas taught in a class, and (2) prepare for the next class meeting.
Homework may be assigned by a tutor at his or her discretion. It is important that students complete the work in a timely manner and according to the parameters given by the tutor. All homework is to be done by the student.
Principles & Form
The purpose of assessment is to motivate diligent effort to achieve known objectives. Assessment must be objective, clear, known, and fitting.
In every course, the tutor will assess content (or tradition), ideas (or truths), and skills (or virtues).
Tutors assess informally and formally. At the end of each term, students receive an evaluation that outlines whether they pass or fail a course. Tutors shall provide immediate feedback on all student work for the duration of a course.
Evaluations are issued to the parent at the end of the term. The evaluation indicates whether the student has passed or failed the course. It provides a narrative that outlines what the student understands, knows, and has learned how to do during the course.
Tests and Exams
Tests and exams serve to appropriately assess the student’s understanding of the ideas and concepts taught in a course. Therefore, cheating and plagiarism are strictly forbidden by the Academy. Students are not permitted to communicate with other students during a test or exam, or to submit work that is not their own. Any violation of this policy may result in removal from the Academy.
We believe in the pursuit of wisdom and virtue, and maintain the standards of respect, order, unity, diligence, and honesty as our commitment to personal excellence.
All staff, faculty, and students of The CiRCE Academy will commit to pursuing excellence (Phil. 4:8). In addition, all members of the Academy will comply with the honor code: respect, order, unity, diligence, and honesty.
All students must enroll through the online registration process. Once accepted, the Headmaster will notify the student and family via e-mail, followed by an invoice for the class deposit or tuition. Registration/application, deposit, and tuition information is available on the CiRCE website, and is subject to change without prior notice.
The Academy expects parents to fulfill their payment obligations in the time frames allotted. Failure to make full payment will forfeit the student’s seat or access to the class. The seat will remain closed to your child until a full payment has been received.
If you decide to drop a class, tuition will be refunded according to the following schedules:
One week before the first day of class: 100%
Before the end of the first week of class: 50%
After the end of the first week of class: no refund
No refund will be made for the deposit or application fee.
Please note: these policies are subject to change without prior notice.
Dr. Brian Phillips, Headmaster – firstname.lastname@example.org
Customer Support Line: 704-794-2227
Please note: this document is subject to change without notice.