How TPS Courses Work
Academic Workload and Pace
- We design our courses so a diligent student can carry 5-6 TPS courses and at least one major activity (music, sports, debate) — plus family and church activities — working six days per week and taking one “Sabbath” day off.
- We design our High School courses so that an average student working 8-10 hours per week total work (includes class time, exams, papers, homework, study time) will earn an average grade (around 85%, or a high B).
- We design our Middle School courses to take 6-8 hours per week.
- We design our Elementary School courses to take 4-6 hours per week.
- We design our AP courses to take 10-12 hours per week (includes time for AP exam study at a steady pace during the course).
- Stronger students in that subject, or students who work harder, will see higher grades.
- Laptop or desktop computer (Windows, Mac, Chromebook with at least a 13 in screen — the larger screen is required for live and recorded classes, so a tablet or phone is not sufficient)
- Wired headset (preferably USB)
- Stable internet (5+ Mbps)
- More information (e.g., required document apps)
- We expect parents to supervise their students as necessary for each individual student in all aspects of our courses and social features, including time management, assignment management, and grades and feedback progress.
- We expect parents to remain aware of and responsible for their children’s behavior during class time and in any correspondence with their teachers or school staff.
- TPS provides all teaching, evaluation, and feedback. Parents are never expected to have expertise in the course content or to grade their student’s work.
- For students taking a High School or Middle School course for TPS transcript credit, we require that a parent or designated adult proctor each exam using our guidelines. For Elementary School courses and any High School or Middle School courses taken in No TPS Credit (i.e., no TPS transcript) status, there is no proctoring requirement.
- TPS credit for a TPS course assumes regular live attendance and participation.
- Occasional absence may be excused by parent notification to TPS and the teacher.
- To accommodate the occasional missed class, we make every effort to record each live class session. In the rare event where a recording is not successful, we will provide an alternative if one is available. If no recorded alternative is available, we do not create a special recording or provide a live alternative.
- Excessive consecutive or recurring absences may result in loss of TPS transcript credit for the course (unless the course is being taken as No TPS Credit (i.e., no TPS transcript) status).
- TPS College and AP courses may be taken with relaxed or waived attendance (i.e., by recorded classes) to accommodate time zone or schedule constraints.
Course GPA Protection
- One of our standards is that no single assignment should determine a course GPA. We design our courses with ample opportunities for grades and feedback, and with reasonably distributed grade weighting of assignments and exams.
- If a student reaches the end of the school year and one assignment is found to be sufficiently inconsistent with all the other assignments and it results in a drop of a “letter grade” (e.g., A to A-) for the final course grade, TPS will consider a request to waive the outlier assignment of concern.
Academic Sources for Evaluated Work
- All work submitted by a student must be original to that student to receive evaluation and credit.
- Any work submitted — including essays and written work, visual arts, calculations, programming code, translations, or any other — that is substantially derived from another source — including texts, web sites, peers, parents, or any other — cannot be evaluated or credited.
- We commit that every assignment will provide sufficient equitable opportunity for every student in the course to complete the assignment outside of a break or personal Sabbath.
- Students are expected to plan and manage their work schedule, internal milestones, and individual completion dates to submit all work by the due dates (an essential skill for college and career).
- We may assign a due date that allows (but does not require) a particular assignment or exam to be carried over into a school holiday.
- Some assignments (e.g., mid-term and final exams) are cumulative, and students should prepare for them by planning review time spread out during the weeks or months prior (another essential skill for college and career). We do not provide extended dedicated time to prepare for cumulative exams or projects.
Due Dates and Lateness
- Students are expected to submit assignments correctly and timely (on or before the due date).
- Assignments may be submitted up to five days (120 hours) late. Assignments submitted later are not evaluated.
- Middle School and High School courses have small daily grade penalties for lateness. Lateness that is entirely unavoidable is not penalized.
- Lateness penalties are not applied when the course is in No TPS Credit (i.e., no TPS transcript) status.
- Assignments submitted later than five days (120 hours) after due date are not evaluated.
- A score of zero is applied to the assignment after five days if the course is being taken for TPS Credit.
- In cases of extended humanitarian crisis (e.g., sudden illness or injury, death in the immediate family), we provide humanitarian waiver for assignments which cannot be submitted within the five days (see below).
- The unsubmitted assignment is waived (No Score) if the course is in No TPS Credit (i.e., no TPS transcript) status.
Evaluation and Feedback
- Timely effective individual feedback is a hallmark of TPS, and this is where our teachers put most of their time. The amount and quality of teacher feedback is one of the hallmarks that distinguishes TPS from other programs.
- The teacher evaluates all major work, including reports, papers, projects, and exams. Teacher evaluation includes an objective grade plus individual feedback for improvement.
- Students can usually expect feedback within one to two weeks after the teacher receives the work in the correct format. For large assignments (e.g., major papers, long lab reports) or during busy periods (e.g., mid-terms, finals) it may take teachers longer to provide feedback. In principle, our intent is to provide feedback before the next evaluation on the same material or skills.
- TPS Credit (TPS transcript) and No TPS Credit (i.e., no TPS transcript) enrollments receive the same instruction, evaluation, and feedback.
- Engaged parent-led exam proctoring provides significant benefits for the student.
- For students taking a High School or Middle School course for TPS transcript credit, we require that a parent or designated adult proctor each exam using our proctor guidelines.
- Elementary School courses do not require formal exam proctoring.
- Exam proctoring is not required for any course taken in No TPS Credit (i.e., no TPS transcript) status.
Grade Reports and Records
Weekly Email Reports To Parents
- TPS emails a weekly assignment report and a weekly grade report for every student every Friday.
- Receipt and processing of these reports are entirely the responsibility of the family, with no requirements from TPS.
- For every course successfully completed, TPS provides all information necessary for listing the course on a homeschool transcript, including course description, list of all textbooks, individual assignment grades and feedback, and a cumulative grade calculation.
- Families are welcome to use this information to prepare their homeschool transcript and apply any final grade they deem appropriate.
- The homeschool transcript should not reference TPS by name or logo.
Official Transcripts Issued By TPS
- TPS provides the option of an official transcript for every course successfully completed in TPS Credit status.
- An official transcript must be ordered by the family or student, and it is sent directly to the receiving school or college(s).
- The official transcript also includes the TPS School Profile and GPA calculation.
- No official transcript is available for a course taken in No TPS Credit (i.e., no TPS transcript) status.
Academic Help Outside Class
- Teachers will respond timely to occasional short email questions.
- Teachers may occasionally provide an extra help sessions (individual or group) outside class.
- Teachers cannot provide recurring or regular assistance outside class to any student for any reason.
- Requiring a student in crisis or recovery to negotiate extensions or “catch up” past work adds to the crisis and may also be impossible to recover.
- In cases of extended humanitarian crisis (e.g., sudden illness or injury, death in the immediate family), we provide humanitarian leave with waiver of assignments rather than extension of due dates.