How It Works

How Online Middle School Works

The Alabama Destinations Career Academy (ALDCA) middle school program serves students in grades 6–8 who reside in the state of Alabama.

Because ALDCA is a public school program, it’s tuition-free. Enrolled families receive the K12 curriculum, and qualified students may receive a loaner computer and printer.

Middle school is a time when students become more independent, taking on more responsibility and ownership for their learning and working more directly with their teachers. But parent involvement is still critical to student success. As a parent, you (or another responsible adult you choose) serve as your child’s Learning Coach.

While teachers set the pace of instruction, the Learning Coach helps their student stay on track. Parent/Learning Coach involvement is essential for at least 20 hours a week, and roughly 50–60 percent of this time is online. The initial 4–8 weeks can be intensive as your family settles into a routine.

Father and son doing homework together

In middle school, student learning changes to a semester-based approach where students are required to earn a passing grade on their assignments and online lessons. Due dates are assigned to lessons to encourage consistent, steady progress for academic success.

While online lessons can usually be completed at any time of day, students are required to attend teacher-led, direct-instruction, online synchronous Class Connect sessions. During Class Connects, students receive online instruction from teachers and have opportunities to interact virtually with classmates.

Attending Class Connects and completing coursework according to the assigned pacing schedule, will help set up your student for success.

Teachers provide individual and small group assistance via online synchronous sessions called “Class Connects.” Students are expected to attend all required Class Connects and meet with their teacher to receive course assistance, tutoring, and instruction. Class Connects vary by grade level and are scheduled by your teacher.

According to the Chickasaw City School District calendar, attendance is logged Monday through Friday; however, academic progress can be achieved during the weekends or holidays as well. Students are expected to make up any missed assignments and watch or listen to recordings of any class sessions they miss. Middle school students are expected to spend approximately 5–7 hours on schoolwork per school day.

Email is the primary form of communication between the school and families. Learning Coaches and students are required to check and respond to emails on a daily basis.

Our testing is purposeful and meaningful and drives our instructional practices to best serve your child’s individual needs. The school year begins with benchmark testing to measure students’ baseline knowledge. These results will drive their personalized instruction. Mid-year and end-of-year benchmark testing measure each student’s growth toward mastering all state standards.

ALDCA students must comply with all Alabama-mandated testing requirements.