FAQ ~ Athena’s

Getting Started

Although parental participation is essential at Athena’s Advanced Academy, it is important that the child be able to fully participate in class. Children should know how to:

  • Use the computer and the Internet. (Parental assistance is required if your child has emerging computer and typing skills.)
  • Use a microphone to communicate verbally. This is especially important during the weekly webinars. (A headset is recommended for clarity and to reduce echo.)
  • Work at a quick pace (e.g. complete a year-long curriculum within a 16-week semester).

Athena’s Advanced Academy classes are appropriate for learners new to the online classroom experience, as well as the seasoned online learner.

At Athena’s Advanced Academy, we understand that gifted and talented children learn and mature at different rates. Except for classes geared specifically for teens, our classes do not have age requirements. Rather, each course has a minimum ability requirement that allows parents to select the most appropriate courses for their children. Some classes tend to attract certain age groups. The age groups will be noted on the class description page when applicable.

We feel parents are the best assessors of their children’s abilities. We require only that children meet the prerequisites for each course and have a desire to learn.

Parental participation is highly encouraged at Athena’s Advanced Academy. We view the instruction of your child to be a collaboration between you, your child, and the Athena’s Advanced Academy educator. We encourage parents and students to make the class their own.

Parents are free to document their child’s learning according to their educational plan. Assisting your child with technical requirements, weekly assignments, and classroom participation will help to ensure that your child gets the most out of each class.

Many assignments require Internet access, and we believe that this is best done under parental supervision. Athena’s Advanced Academy is not responsible for inappropriate content that your child may access on the Internet.

The educator’s role is to inspire, excite, and engage students through the learning process. We view the instruction of your child as a collaboration between Athena’s Advanced Academy educator, you as the parent, and your child.

We want our students to be excited about learning. We encourage students to take ownership of their learning with the guidance of their instructor and their parents. We love hearing their thoughts, ideas, and perspectives. We ask students to actively participate, communicate politely, stretch their minds and keep their minds open, and have fun!

  • If you are having trouble logging in to Athena’s, begin by clicking on “Forgotten your username or password?”
  • Type in your Username or your Email address in the corresponding field and press Search.
  • Wait for a while then check your email for directions on how to reset your password.
  • If you don’t receive an email, check the spelling of your username or email address.
  • If there is an issue, it is usually because an incorrect email address is inputted.
    The email address is usually a *student* email address.

Our educators’ qualifications can be found linked on our Educators webpage.

Please see our Junior Instructor webpage for information about our Junior Instructors.

Athena’s Advanced Academy is not affiliated with any religion. Athena’s courses are secular and taught from a secular standpoint. We welcome students of all beliefs into every class. In courses where religion is discussed, it will be discussed as it pertains to the subject being covered, the historical significance, or the literary significance. The discussion will only occur from a secular viewpoint.

At Athena’s Advanced Academy, we are focused on building a respectful and friendly community of gifted learners. It is extremely important for everyone to communicate in a polite, kind way.

Cyberbullying, harassment, spamming, and the like are prohibited. We reserve the right to remove or withdraw a student exhibiting such behavior from a webinar or course. No refund will be given to students removed for inappropriate behavior.

Once a student is registered, they may choose and enroll in courses linked on our Courses webpage.

Students need to be registered at Athena’s and have an active profile to enroll in our courses.

Please see Step 1 on our Registration & Enrollment webpage to register.

Please see our Junior Presenters webpage for information about our Junior Presenters and Junior Presenter Seminar Series.

The Academic Calendar is linked in several places on our website including:

  • The main navigational bar: Home > Courses > Academic Calendar
  • On every Course Description page under the Enrollment Options section.
  • On a tab on the current Webinar Schedules webpage.
  • In each classroom in the Information section.
  • In the footer of the Classroom website.

At Athena’s, our rules and regulations are spelled out in our Athena’s Handbook located on our Courses website.

Both students and parents are bound by Athena’s policies and must electronically sign our Athena’s Handbook Acknowledgement Form.

  • The link for the Athena’s Handbook is located in the Introduction and Welcome Activities sections in every classroom as well as the Athena’s Resources Room.
  • The link for the Acknowledgement Form is located at the end of the Handbook.

Families will receive an email notification upon completion of the Acknowledgement Form.

Most educational schools and organizations place students by age– limiting learning opportunities for gifted students working above their grade level. At Athena’s, parents are able to place their student into Athena’s courses according to their ability or learning level not their age– opening learning opportunities for their gifted student!

At Athena’s, an eight-year-old could be taking Middle School level courses, or higher! In the case of asynchronous development, the same student may take courses aimed at different grade levels. Our courses span ability ranges (e.g. 6th-8th grade), so courses can be adapted to lower or higher level learning, depending on a student’s educational need. Families are able to tailor the courses to fit their student’s level and educational plan!

If you do not know which courses line up with your student’s ability level, review and discuss the course descriptions with your student. Students know what they know and what they are excited to learn about! Discussing the options with your student can help pique their interest and determine which placement would be best.

Are you still unsure if your student is ready for a course? Email the course instructor with your questions–they will be able to help you. Instructor email addresses are linked on each course description webpage.

Each course at Athena’s is priced separately based on course length, instructor preference, and overall Athena’s course pricing.

Course cost is located on each course description webpage.

If a Specialized Receipt is required, parents should fill out Athena’s Specialized Receipt Request Form.

  • Athena’s charges a non-refundable $5.00 processing fee to cover processing the Specialized Receipt Request Form. 

   Athena’s Student Success Plan:

Click the photo to view.

Athena’s educators work with families to adjust the content to fit the student’s ability level. Athena’s Student Success Plan begins after students are introduced to the class and have settled in.

Quick Quarter Check-In (QQCI): During Athena’s 16-week and 32-week courses, students are asked to fill out the QQCI after the fourth webinar. The results of the QQCI Form provide Athena’s Educators with early feedback so they can help families make sure their students’ educational needs are being met at the quarter mark of the semester. If necessitated, educators reach out to families to help select a course of action.

Mid-Semester Check-In (MSCI): During Athena’s 8-week, 16-week, & 32-week courses, students are asked to fill out the MSCI at the mid-course point. The results of the MSCI Form provide Athena’s Educators with detailed information so they can help to make sure their students’ educational needs are being met at the halfway point of the course. If necessitated, educators reach out to families to help select a course of action.

Working together, families learn to adjust the course content to make sure their student’s educational needs are met.

Registration

Once a student is registered, they may choose and enroll in courses linked on our Courses webpage.

Course Adjustment: 

  • Athena’s educators work with families to adjust the content to fit the student’s ability level as described in our Student Success Plan. If the course needs to be adjusted to fit your student’s level or learning style, contact the instructor as soon as possible. If after working with the course instructor, you find the course is not working for your student, email Dr. Kirsten at at least 24-hours before the third webinar. Students are welcome to move to another course before the course’s third webinar or before the first webinar of the third week.

Families paying by PayPal, credit card, or debit card: 

Course fees include:

  • 5.07% non-refundable portion is added to courses over $100.00
  • 6.14% non-refundable portion is added to courses under $100.00

Examples:

  • 32-week $628.30 courses: $30.30 is non-refundable.
  • 16-week $314.15 courses: $15.15 is non-refundable.
  • 8-week $157.07 courses: $7.57 is non-refundable.
  • 6-week $120.00 coures: $5.76 is non-refundable.
  • Junior Instructor $63.63 courses: $3.68 is non-refundable.

Of the refundable portion of the course cost, 90% is refundable if a refund request is submitted to Dr. Kirsten at :

  • At least two weeks (14 days) prior to the first live webinar.
    • In the case of a course that does not have a webinar, before the content classroom is accessed.

After that date, of the refundable portion of the course cost, course fees are 50% refundable if a refund request is submitted to Dr. Kirsten at :

  • Before the third live webinar begins or before the first webinar of the third week.
    • In the case of webinars occurring every other week, this would be six days following the second webinar.
    • In the case of a course that does not have a webinar, after the first week of information is posted.

After that time, no refunds are available for any reason.

  • Families accidentally submitting a duplicate charge for a course (e.g. signing their child up for the same course twice) may receive a 95% refund for the duplicate charge only. The other 5% is retained to cover PayPal’s refund charge.

Families paying by voucher: 

Please note:

  • Non-refundable fees are non-refundable and may not be used for or transferred to any other application.
  • Fees received for Independent Study and Self-Paced courses are non-refundable. However, students may move and apply the course funds to another course within five days of enrollment provided less than 75% of the course has been accessed.

Athena’s currently accepts vouchers from several schools and programs. Athena’s is an approved vendor for, or has worked with, the organizations listed on our Participating Schools webpage. If your organization is not listed and you would like to use vouchers from your school, please email us. Please note that special arrangements must be made to use vouchers for year-long classes.

Please refer to the Pay by Voucher section (Step 4) on our Registration & Enrollment webpage to learn how to enroll your student using funds from charter schools or educational organizations.

Students need to be registered at Athena’s and have an active profile to enroll in our courses.

Please see Step 1 on our Registration & Enrollment webpage to register.

The Academic Calendar is linked in several places on our website including:

  • The main navigational bar: Home > Courses > Academic Calendar & Weekly Schedules.
  • On every Course Description page under the Enrollment Options section.
  • On a tab on the current Webinar Schedules webpage.
  • In each classroom in the Information section.
  • In the footer of the Classroom website.
  1. If your child is registered, log into our Classroom Site with their username & password.
  2. Click on the “My Courses” label.
  3. If the course in their list, they are enrolled!

If the course has not started, you will see the Temporary Classroom in the course list. Your student will be moved from the temporary classroom as soon as the permanent classroom is ready– at least one week before our first webinar.

Most educational schools and organizations place students by age– limiting learning opportunities for gifted students working above their grade level. At Athena’s, parents are able to place their student into Athena’s courses according to their ability or learning level not their age– opening learning opportunities for their gifted student!

At Athena’s, an eight-year-old could be taking Middle School level courses, or higher! In the case of asynchronous development, the same student may take courses aimed at different grade levels. Our courses span ability ranges (e.g. 6th-8th grade), so courses can be adapted to lower or higher level learning, depending on a student’s educational need. Families are able to tailor the courses to fit their student’s level and educational plan!

If you do not know which courses line up with your student’s ability level, review and discuss the course descriptions with your student. Students know what they know and what they are excited to learn about! Discussing the options with your student can help pique their interest and determine which placement would be best.

Are you still unsure if your student is ready for a course? Email the course instructor with your questions–they will be able to help you. Instructor email addresses are linked on each course description webpage.

Each course at Athena’s is priced separately based on course length, instructor preference, and overall Athena’s course pricing.

Course cost is located on each course description webpage.

If a Specialized Receipt is required, parents should fill out Athena’s Specialized Receipt Request Form.

  • Athena’s charges a non-refundable $5.00 processing fee to cover processing the Specialized Receipt Request Form. 

Athena’s Advanced Academy is an independent provider of online courses. The overseeing primary institution (e.g. charter school, homeschool, etc.) is responsible for maintaining the student’s school record and for ensuring courses taken fit with the student’s learning plan. Upon request, Athena’s will assist in recommending a final grade for the course.

Athena’s does not maintain a record of student enrollment or student work after the culmination of the current school year. We recommend parents keep track of the courses their students take at Athena’s.

  • Standard Certificate of Completion: When a course culminates, the course Certificate of Completion will be available in the course’s virtual classroom.
  • Specialized Course Completion Report: Families who need a specialized report for documentation, beyond the Course Completion Certificate located in every Athena’s classroom, should fill out the Athena’s Specialized Course Completion Report Form. Athena’s charges a non-refundable processing fee for this form.

Live webinars begin at the top of the hour, and most webinars are 50 minutes in length. Check each Course Description webpage to confirm the webinar length. Refer to our most current webinar schedule for dates and times.

All webinar times are listed for the Pacific Time Zone. You may want to check webinar compatibility with your local time zone. Please note the Pacific Time Zone observes Daylight Saving Time.

We recognize the necessity for flexibility, which is why we offer several Enrollment Options for most of our standard courses. Our Enrollment Options include:

  • Synchronous – students attend (or have the option to attend) the live weekly webinars.
  • Asynchronous – students listen to the recorded webinars only; students do not attend the live weekly webinars.
  • Independent for Archived Courses – students listen to recorded webinars only; students do not attend live weekly webinars.

To determine the flexibility of a course, click on a Course Description webpage, scroll down to the Enrollment Options section. To enroll, click on the corresponding link.

Sample:

Visit our Enrollment Options webpage for more information.

Each class and workshop requires specific materials. A list of required materials for each class is listed on its Course Description webpage.

Live webinars are held each week to increase interaction between students and instructors, build enthusiasm for learning, and to further discuss the weekly topic. Students are encouraged to interact with their classmates and instructor via live audio and text chat while viewing educational material displayed on the virtual whiteboard.

Many courses are discussion based and rely on verbal participation to create a rich learning experience. Students enrolled in these courses must be able to participate verbally in the online group discussion. Discussion-based courses are noted on the What to Expect tab on the Course Description page.

Courses with live webinars proceed on a fixed timeline. Students may choose to move at a slower pace than the rest of the class, but they are unable to work ahead. Students with time constraints may follow the pace of the class and watch the recorded webinar instead of attending live.

All courses include real-time and asynchronous discussions each week. In each virtual classroom, students will find Required, Highly Suggested, and Optional activities. Students may view online videos, complete interactive activities and use Internet tools to synthesize new information and creatively express learned ideas. Specific course activities and assignments can be found on the What to Expect tab on the Course Description page.

  • Visit our Course Components webpage for more information about our virtual classrooms.

We offer the opportunity to make the classes fit your family’s educational plan. In each virtual classroom, students will find Required, Highly Suggested, and Optional activities. Students may view online videos, complete interactive activities, and use Internet tools to synthesize new information and creatively express learned ideas. Specific course activities and assignments can be found on the What to Expect tab on the Course Description page. Students and parents should work together to determine how much work students should complete each week.

Athena’s students often have emerging writing and typing skills. Students are encouraged to grow in these areas. We offer activities that are meant to challenge, not overwhelm. Our courses focus on appreciating elements of effective writing across subject areas. Although students may use written discussion forums to share ideas with classmates, formal writing assignments are not required except in formal writing classes. We encourage parents and students to make the class their own to fit with their child’s learning plan. Please refer to the individual Course Description pages for more information about each course.

Athena’s assists parents in evaluating their student’s performance. Parents can log in to Athena’s with their student’s username to view completed work and student assessments. Families working with a charter school, educational organization, or another school of record should share the student information with their cooperating school or educational organization.

The role of the Athena’s educator is to inspire, excite, and engage students through the learning process. Primary instruction and guided discussions are provided during live webinars, while asynchronous assignments are designed to promote interaction between students. The educator assesses the work in the classroom based on a completion scale or a scale included in the course syllabus.

Current families, please see the Athena’s Handbook, linked in the Athena’s Resources Room for general policies. Please see each course’s syllabus (posted in the Introduction section of each classroom) for a course’s grading policy. Parents are encouraged to email the instructor when questions about performance arise.

Our self-paced, Independent Learning – Archived courses include tutorial or webinar recordings and may be started at any time. Students may move through the material at their own pace.

Archived Courses for Independent Learning

The Academic Calendar is linked in several places on our website including:

  • The main navigational bar: Home > Courses > Academic Calendar & Weekly Schedules.
  • On every Course Description page under the Enrollment Options section.
  • On a tab on the current Webinar Schedules webpage.
  • In each classroom in the Information section.
  • In the footer of the Classroom website.

The virtual classrooms (including the webinar recordings) are available to students through the end of July of the academic year. Students taking a fall, spring, or summer course will have until July 31 of the current academic year to enter their classrooms. Having access through July 31 gives students the flexibility to refer back to their classrooms even after the live webinars have culminated. Courses archive on August 1 to make room for the upcoming academic year.

Each course at Athena’s is priced separately based on course length, instructor preference, and overall Athena’s course pricing.

Course cost is located on each course description webpage.

Technical requirements for Athena’s courses are found on our Technical Requirements webpage.

Please refer to the video on our Course Components webpage which illustrates how our classrooms and webinars are run.

In addition to our course slides to provide visual references, we use audio and text-chat for communication during our course webinars. The absence of webcams helps to keep the focus on the content of the lesson.

Legally, we are required to keep webcams off so we can provide services to students working with charter schools insisting on having webcam-free webinars. Charter schools set this criterion as an important legal precaution protecting instructors and students. We also accept this criterion because we are very cognizant about student privacy and protecting our students.

In addition, active webcams create more lag for students who are on slow connections and can also be distracting for some students–too many visual inputs can make it challenging to focus on the content. Additionally, by not having a webcams feed, students (and teachers) are free to wiggle around, be any age, wear whatever they feel comfortable in, and be in various locations that may distract others.

If the family desires, webcams may be used during one-on-one tutoring webinars. Students are also invited to record webcam responses in the classrooms and forums if desired.

To register for classes, a student profile must be created by our team. Each profile must contain an email address not linked to another profile at Athena’s.

We encourage each students to have their own email address and check their email frequently. Often parents set up an email account that is linked to their own, to provide parental control (e.g. Gmail).

The Academic Calendar is linked in several places on our website including:

  • The main navigational bar: Home > Courses > Academic Calendar & Weekly Schedules.
  • On every Course Description page under the Enrollment Options section.
  • On a tab on the current Webinar Schedules webpage.
  • In each classroom in the Information section.
  • In the footer of the Classroom website.