See below for answers to frequently asked questions regarding Kolbe’s online programs.
How do I enroll my student at Kolbe Academy? How do I register for courses?
Families new to Kolbe Academy should create a family account in the Kolbe Portal. The enrollment form and course registration are made available to families who have created their Kolbe Portal family account.
Can my student register for a single online course?
Yes, parents of 6-12 students can register their students in a single online course. It is not possible to register for a single online course in the PK-5 online program. Please see our enrollment options.
What is the cost for your various programs?
Please see our tuition and fees.
How can I pay for tuition?
Kolbe utilizes Blackbaud Tuition Management to facilitate the payment of tuition. Families will be prompted at the end of enrollment to create a new Blackbaud account or to renew their account. Read more about our payment options, including payment plans.
When do online classes begin?
See the current school calendar for exact dates.
Note: Before live classes begin, a welcome folder is posted in every Schoology course by the instructor to welcome students and prepare them for their first week of school.
What applications and platforms are used in online programs?
- Adobe Connect is used to conduct live courses between the virtual instructor and students. Kolbe Academy provides an Adobe Connect account for each online student.
- Schoology is used to access assignments, assessments, and the student’s gradebook. Kolbe Academy provides a Schoology account for each online student and one parent.
- Microsoft Office grants students access to their myKolbe email address (for 6-12 students) and their suite of applications.
- Power School allows parents to view their enrolled student’s course schedule, final quarterly or semester grades, high school graduation progress, homeschool course plans, and update contact information. Kolbe Academy provides a Power School account for the parent.
- The Kolbe Portal hosts enrollment and course registration.
Are any preparations needed for the online courses?
Yes, we do suggest completing the following preparations:
- Discern your student’s readiness for online classes.
- Review how to be successful in online courses.
- Review our technical requirements.
- New students should attend Tech Check Week before live classes begin to test their headset and computer compatibility with Adobe Connect. Kolbe’s Tech Support Representatives will be available should you run into any issues.
- Print and hang up a copy of the school calendar in your home.
- Complete the Schoology Orientation Course before the first day of live classes. PK-5 students should complete the course with their parent. The Schoology Orientation course is made available to students beginning August 1st or as soon as their course registration is finalized if registering after August 1st.
- Implement your daily school routine a week before online courses begin to assist your child with transitioning from summer into a new school year.
- Ensure you have the required books, which are available through our Kolbe Bookstore. It is highly recommended that you use Kolbe’s bookstore to make sure the correct edition is purchased.
- Review the welcome folder posted in each Schoology course the week before school begins.
- All Kolbe parents are invited to attend Parent Orientation Webinars. Attendance is required for new families.
Are there any prerequisites?
There are prerequisites, and occasional corequisites, for a few math, science, and language courses at the high school level. Please see the course catalog for details.
How many students are in an online class?
PK-5 classes have between 6-18 students, depending upon the subject. 6-12 classes have between 16-22 students, depending upon the subject.
How often do students attend PK-5 online courses? What happens in online class time?
Please see the Full-Time Online Elementary Scheduling article for more information.
How often do students attend 6-12 online courses? What happens in online class time?
All online classes are scheduled between Monday-Thursday. Fridays are always free for co-ops, other family functions, or for further study, but assignments still come due. Online courses meet once or twice per week, depending on the subject:
- Theology, Literature, and History courses meet once per week for 80 minutes.
- Lower-level Math, Science, and Language courses meet twice per week for 65 minutes.
- Upper-level Math, Science, and Language courses meet twice per week for 80 minutes.
- 6-12 Homeroom and Labs follow a different schedule.
Please see the course catalog for more information. Live class time consists of lecture and discussion for Theology, Literature, and History. Math and Science courses consist of lectures and problem solving. Language classes are heavy on grammar instruction while including oral recitation and conversation.
What are the Kolbe course designations (K, O, H, AP)?
Kolbe Academy’s transcripts utilize course designations for High School level Homeschool, Self-Paced, and Online courses taken with our curriculum as well as courses taken at a college. The designations indicate the level of rigor at which the course work was completed and is as follows:
- Kolbe Core (K), Kolbe Honors (H), Kolbe Online Core (OK), Kolbe Online Honors (OH), and Kolbe Online Advanced Placement (AP).
- All liberal arts (Theology, Literature, History and English) courses are offered at the Kolbe Core (OK) level.
- Almost all liberal arts courses are also offered at the Kolbe Honors (OH) level, meeting at the same time as the Kolbe Core (OK) levels. Of Kolbe’s English courses, only English 12 is available for Kolbe Honors (OH) credit.
- Most math and science courses will be offered at both the Kolbe Core (OK) and the Honors (OH) levels as separate sections meeting at different times.
- Foreign Language courses are currently only available at the Kolbe Core (OK) level except for Latin 4, which is AP Latin.
- Kolbe also offers courses at the AP level including AP Literature, AP Biology, AP Calculus AB, AP Computer Science A, AP Latin, AP Chemistry, and AP Statistics.
Read more information on course designations in the Parent and Student Handbook.
Can 7th and 8th grade students take high school online courses for high school credit?
Eighth grade students can earn high school credit for any Kolbe Academy high school level courses in the subject areas of foreign language, math, and science. Seventh graders enrolling in high school level courses(s) will not receive high school credit, however, they will appear on their report card. In addition, middle school students registering in high school level online courses is at the discretion of Kolbe Academy.
Note: Most colleges and universities will not allow courses completed in 8th grade to count toward admission requirements.
How do online students interact?
The world today uses online and social media tools for collaboration, education, and communication. Kolbe Academy recognizes the need to balance exposure to these tools with providing high quality education in a safe environment. Students will find opportunities to safely interact with one another in the following ways:
- Students are encouraged to login to their classroom up to 10 minutes early to complete a microphone check with the online instructor. Once the mic check is complete, students present in the room can chat with one another using the chat box feature in Adobe Connect.
- Students interact in an academic way throughout the live class session during discussion and other class activities.
- Students will find several opportunities to interact using Schoology.
- Students can join clubs in early September, meeting with fellow students with shared interests.
- Students may partake in the annual Advent and Christmas Concert, Bake-Off Challenges, Catholic School Week celebration and competitions, and more!
Who are the online instructors?
Kolbe Academy places talented and experienced instructors in our online classes to teach the truth, beauty, and goodness of the Catholic faith. Since we’re not limited by geography, we can find the best instructors regardless of their location. All instructors and staff take an Oath to Fidelity to the Magisterium.
We work hard to ensure that every teacher we hire is highly qualified. Many of our instructors have master’s degrees, and the rest have at least one bachelor’s degree. Also, a few have completed or are working on their PhD. We have a high population of alumni from strong Catholic institutions such as Franciscan University, University of Dallas, Holy Apostles College and Seminary, and St. Thomas Aquinas College. Uniting all our instructors is their dedication to the ministry and vocation of teaching. With each year of online teaching experience, they have become well versed in the nuances of bringing a classical education to the online format.
Read more about our instructors and their backgrounds here.
How do I contact my online instructor?
Every Schoology course page lists the instructor’s email address. Email is the primary avenue to communicate with the instructor. Instructors begin monitoring their email on August 1st and are expected to respond to student and parent emails within 24 hours on business days, not including holidays, feast days, or other non-school days. Phone communication should not be expected.
Who assigns grades for the class?
The online instructor grades the assignments, which are tracked and submitted electronically through Schoology.
How do I see the grades for my child’s online courses?
Online instructors are required to maintain their gradebooks in a reasonable time frame. Families are encouraged to review the student’s Schoology grades at regular intervals, including at the end of each quarter or semester. If a student’s grade is at or below 70% at the midpoint of a semester, the instructor will notify the student’s parent via email.
Report cards for K-5 students and unofficial transcripts for 6-12 students can be requested after grades have been finalized by emailing the assigned family advisor or requesting them through Parchment. Official transcripts for high school courses can only be requested through Parchment.
What type of support is offered to online students? Do you have tutoring?
Yes, we offer various support for our online students, from our homeroom program to academic support labs, along with individualized support such as accountability mentoring and tutoring. Read more about our Instructional Support Services.
What support do you offer students with special needs?
While Kolbe Academy has offered limited support to online students needing accommodations in live classes, we are expanding these services in the new Student Support Services Department. If your student has a suspected or diagnosed learning need, please read about our available services here.
Whom do I contact with questions and concerns about my child’s performance in the online course?
Your first point of contact regarding an online course is the online instructor. Please contact them through their email, located on their Schoology course page. If the online instructor cannot offer help regarding the student’s performance, or if there is an issue that cannot be resolved, the online instructor will forward the email to the respective Online Dean.
Can the online instructors help me with my course selection or diploma planning?
Online instructors are not meant to give homeschool, diploma or transcript advice. Questions pertaining to these topics should be directed to your family advisor. Likewise, the advising staff at Kolbe Academy does not know all the inner workings and assignments given by instructors. Questions pertaining to grading and assignments should always be directed to the online instructor.
Our math and science instructors will recommend course placement for your student in the spring of every school year, allowing you to know which math or science course to select in the next school year. Your family advisor will have access to these recommendations to assist you with course selection.
Can an online class be viewed later? What happens if my child misses a class?
Yes, all classes are recorded and can be viewed later. Often, students will find it beneficial to review a class recording at a later time as a study aid. Online classes are not meant to be done at the student’s own pace, however, but at the pace set by the instructor.
Part of the grade for online courses includes the student’s online class participation. Students who miss an online class are expected to watch the recording of that class and submit a missed class assignment to make up the participation grade. Make sure to communicate with your instructor when situations arise that do not allow a student to attend class, especially if they will be absent for more than a few days or for exigent circumstances. Please review the Parent and Student Handbook to view our detailed attendance policy.
What is the parent’s role in online courses?
Parent partnership, built upon the principle of subsidiarity, is a key part of our educational model at Kolbe Academy. Since Kolbe Academy is not a physical school, and online courses are not held as frequently as a regular school, it is especially important that both parents and students have a handle on the assignments, timelines, and grades of the student. To help ensure success of your child in online courses, parents should adhere to the “Parent Role in an Online Course” section of the Parent and Student Handbook. Families who do not have students enrolled at Kolbe Academy should also refer to the “Discerning Student Readiness for Online Classes”.
Level of Overall Involvement: As with any homeschool or traditional school course, parents are expected to have a level of involvement that is appropriate for their child. Students who have never taken an online class before should be monitored closely by a parent to ensure that deadlines are being met and technology is not hindering the student. Once mastery of the online environment and flow of the class has been achieved, parents can feel confident in letting an independent learner take the reins. Other students, who may require constant help with time management and focus, should have a parent involved as needed to achieve maximum success in the course.
Grading & Teaching: While parents are not expected to grade or teach material from the online course, reinforcement of concepts or additional emphasis and discussion may be important for many students to succeed in the online course environment.
Are the online classes moderated?
Yes, our tech support team is on call during class to ensure that the class runs smoothly. Students should visit www.kolbe.org and click the “Chat Now” button to the bottom, right-hand side of the website page to chat with a live tech representative if technical issues occur during class or if an instructor is missing from the Adobe Connect room.
What if I need technical help?
Kolbe’s Tech Support Representatives can assist with finding out your computer’s connection speed and technical requirements for the online environment. Issues with Adobe Connect, Schoology, or any other technical issue can be directed to [email protected].
When contacting tech support, please describe the problem effectively. Emails to tech support such as “I don’t know my login” or “I can’t login” are not helpful for getting you quick and fruitful help. Make sure to include the following information when requesting help:
- Include your first name, last name, and username in your email.
- Describe the problem you are having and what you have done so far to troubleshoot.
- Include the exact URL where the problem is occurring (i.e. kolbe.adobeconnect.com or https://www.kolbe.org/).
- Take screenshots of the problem to show exactly what you are seeing. That will help our tech support team recreate the issue.
- Remember not to be tempted to write things out of anger or frustration. We know that tech problems are frustrating, but they are part of learning online. We will help you as soon as possible!
What if I have a question that was not answered here?
Currently enrolled families should contact their assigned family advisor. Non-enrolled families can schedule a pre-enrollment appointment or email generic academic questions to [email protected].
Admissions related questions regarding the Kolbe Portal, the enrollment process, and tuition should be emailed to [email protected].