Frequently Asked Questions

Is Tech Trep Academy a Public Charter / District School or a Private School?

Tech Trep Academy acts as a bridge between school districts and families who want to educate at home.

In Idaho, our partner is Idaho Home Learning Academy, through the Oneida School District. Students throughout all of Idaho are invited to apply and receive FREE resources and support as they learn from home.

How much does the Tech Trep program cost?

An education through Tech Trep Academy is personalized and FREE. In addition, parents also receive access to a supplemental learning fund which can be used to select customized learning resources for their children.

What does the school calendar and daily schedule look like?

Students follow a traditional school year calendar. Students are not required to login every day or keep track of seat time.  We understand that students are learning at home all day, every day.  Parents decide what they want their daily schedule to look like.  

Does my child's schooling need to be done on a computer if we are part of this program?

No, we believe parents should have the flexibility to choose the best format for their student’s learning. Some families prefer a technology-based curriculum while others want to do learning using textbooks. Others prefer hands-on activities and real-world learning and many choose a mix of all three. It is our goal to support parents as they choose the ways their student learns best. It is the parents who will decide how much time the student spends on the computer, if any.

Families in Tech Trep Academy are required to have access to a computer/tablet and internet to be able to fulfill the state testing requirements that are part of the program.

What curriculum is provided?

Free Online Curriculum

Tech Trep Academy will provide comprehensive online curriculum resources to all students at no cost to families. These include:

  • Learn 360 
  • Brainpop and Brainpop Jr.
  • Epic (during school hours)
  • Generation Genius
  • Khan Academy
  • Salsa Spanish
  • Tangy Tuesday
  • Teach Your Monster to Read

Additional Free Resources for Idaho

  • BrainingCamp
  • EdHelper.com 
  • Happy Numbers
  • Imagine Math and Math Facts
  • Istation

Opt-in Programs for 2022-23 (Optional Homeroom Resources)

Students will have the following additional direct curriculum options available as opt-in programs. The funds for each program will be deducted from the student’s learning funds. Parents can opt into any of these programs. Additional information about each resource can be found in Infocenter. 

Comprehensive Standards-Aligned Curriculum:

  • Education.com Premium
  • Evan Moore Toolbox
  • Exact Path
  • IXL 
  • Moby Max
  • Study Island
  • Tech Trep Academy teacher-led online classes

Language Arts:

  • ABC Mouse
  • Adventure Academy
  • Accelerated Reader
  • Amplify Reading/ ELA
  • Dreamscape
  • Exact Path
  • Flocabulary
  • Hairy Reading 
  • Headsprout/RAZ Kids
  • Lexia Core5
  • Lexia Power Up
  • MIWrite (grades 3-6)
  • Moby Max 
  • Nessy Reading and Spelling
  • Night Zookeeper
  • Reading Eggs/Eggspress
  • Quill
  • Squiggle Park
  • Vooks
  • Waterford

Math:

  • ALEKS
  • Beast Academy Online
  • CTC Math
  • Dreambox
  • Frax Math
  • Mathletics
  • Mathseeds
  • My Math (Included with ABC mouse)
  • Mr. D Math
  • Prodigy Math
  • Reflex and Frax Math
  • ST Math
  • Sumdog

Social Studies and Science:

  • Amplify Science
  • IXL
  • Kids Discover Online
  • Moby Max
  • Mystery Science
  • Time/Edge

Electives:

  • Adobe Creative Cloud
  • Centervention
  • Code Monkey
  • Edutyping
  • IXL Spanish
  • Kiwi Crates
  • Microsoft 365
  • Prodigies Music
  • Sign it: ASL!
  • Tech Trep Direct Elective Courses (computer programming, minecraft, photography, etc.)
  • The ULAT
  • Touch-type, Read, Spell
  • Tynker
  • Typing Club

What happens if my preferred curriculum is not part of the provided free curriculum?

We believe parents should have the flexibility to choose the curriculum that fits their student best.  If you prefer something other than the curriculum provided, you can still receive this curriculum through a direct order or through reimbursement.

As Tech Trep is in partnership with the public education system, only secular materials are approved for reimbursement or direct orders.

Can I select religious-based curriculum as part of my approved program?

Parents are free to supplement their child’s education with religious materials using their own private funds. As this program is in partnership with the public education system, only secular materials are approved for reimbursement or direct orders.

What if I need help choosing a curriculum that is best for my child?

We would love to help!  We have several curriculum specialists who meet with parents to help them navigate through the curriculum options.  They are both seasoned educating-at-home moms and certified teachers. 

What is Dual Enrollment? Can my student be enrolled in public schools?

Dual enrollment means a student is enrolled in two different schools. This can mean a student is taking college classes which also count for high school credits or that a student is taking classes at another school, usually a local brick-and-mortar school. College-level dual enrollment classes can count toward a student’s full enrollment if the student fills out the advanced opportunities form to qualify for fast forward funding. In this situation a student will receive high school and college credit for that class. Regular reporting is also required throughout the semester to allow us to help support the student in those classes.

For students who want to take one or more classes at their local school, we allow it, but the other school does not have to. They may refer to it as dual enrollment or open enrollment. When you talk to someone from the school, it is important to let them know your student is enrolled in Idaho Home Learning Academy, a virtual public school. Students in our program are legally NOT homeschoolers and IHLA is not a charter school. Idaho laws specifically talk about dual or open enrollment with charter and private schools with a public school, but there is nothing in the law requiring schools to allow public-public dual/open enrollment. Many schools are willing to work with families and us for students to dual enroll. In those cases, the funding is split between the different districts and your supplemental learning funds from us is reduced as the number of classes taken through us is reduced. If you take one full-year class with a local public school, that will use $340 of your supplemental learning funds. You have to take at least 2 classes through us and may take a maximum of 4 classes at a local school. You do have to designate one school as primary– usually, that is us– the primary school is the one where you are taking core subjects and the one responsible for state testing.

Again, we allow students to take classes at their local schools, but we cannot force your local school to allow your student to take classes there. They make their policies. Some allow homeschool students and others on a space-available basis, but legally they do not have to. Some are very easy to work with, others have lots of hoops you have to jump through. Each district should have a policy in writing about open/dual enrollment and you can request a copy of that policy. If you then feel your student is being discriminated against, you can take it to the local school board. For example, if the school allows students from other neighboring public schools to open/dual enroll, our students should be treated the same. In some cases, their public school/public school policy may only allow out-of-district students who enroll full time, but you are entitled to the same treatment as any other public school student. You will indicate that you are choosing dual enrollment on your student’s schedule and IHLA will have a form you will need to fill out as well.

What is the supplemental learning fund?

Each student in grades 1st through 11th grades will receive $1700 in supplemental learning funds each year. Kindergarteners receive half that amount each year ($850).

These funds can be used to supplement the free resources that are already provided.  Educational items such as curriculum,  online subscriptions, computers/tablets, internet fees, extracurricular classes, tutoring, museum passes, tech items and so many more things can be purchased with the supplemental learning funds.  A parent gets access to these funds through direct purchases and/or reimbursements. 

Do we get to keep the learning resources we receive through the supplemental learning fund?

Yes, as long as you meet all program requirements for the year and do not withdraw, the learning resources are yours to keep. Program requirements include state testing and bi-weekly reporting.  If a family does choose to withdraw from the program before the end of the school year, or does not meet program requirements, all materials, curriculum, and technology must be returned (and all reimbursements repaid).

NOTE: Any new computer, Chromebook, or iPad/tablet which is fully reimbursed with a student’s Technology Allowance funds remains property of the school’s program for three years.  If a student withdraws from the program after year one or year two, the parent will be asked to return the computer, Chromebook, or iPad/tablet or re-pay the depreciated value of the device.

How do I access the supplemental learning fund?

Each child is wonderfully unique and with the supplemental learning funds parents can choose the resources that will benefit their child the most. Students in grades 1-12 have access to $1700, kindergarteners have $850. Half of that amount can be used per semester ($850/semester for grades 1-11 and $425/semester for Kindergarten).

Supplemental Learning funds can be accessed in multiple ways:

Direct Tech Trep Courses – Tech electives, virtual clubs, online teacher-led courses, and the on-site and virtual Bridge program all have fees associated with them. When parents sign-up their students for these resources the fees will be deducted from the students’ supplemental learning fund.

Optional Homeroom Resources – Parents will find a list of optional homeroom resources at greatly discounted group-buy prices in InfoCenter once enrolled. Through InfoCenter these resources can be requested at greatly discounted rates. The purchase price will be deducted from the student’s 2nd-semester supplemental learning fund.

Reimbursements – Beginning in May, of the upcoming school year, parents can begin purchasing learning resources and classes. Receipts can be submitted for reimbursement at the appropriate time. Reimbursements for 1st-semester begins in September and reimbursements for 2nd-semester in February. All reimbursements must be requested by April 30th of the current school year.

Direct Order – Tech Trep Academy can purchase your approved supplemental learning resources from either Amazon.com and/or Rainbow Resource and have the items shipped to you directly, bypassing the reimbursement process. This service is FREE. 

Close to the beginning of the school year, usually in July or August, direct orders will become available. Parents can create a wishlist on Amazon.com or RainbowResource.com and then set up an appointment with the direct ordering team to have the school purchase learning resources. Direct orders can be placed all year long, until the end of March.

Parents can find additional information about the supplemental learning fund, how to access direct ordering, and a list of items that are NOT approved for reimbursement in the InfoCenter Parent Link after they are enrolled in Tech Trep.

NOTE: Any new computer, Chromebook, or iPad/tablet which is fully reimbursed with a student’s Technology Allowance funds remains property of the school’s program for three years.  If a student withdraws from the program after year one or year two, the parent will be asked to return the computer, Chromebook, or iPad/tablet or re-pay the depreciated value of the device.

What subjects or classes are required?

Students in grades 1-8 will have the four core classes:  Math, Language Arts, Science, Social Studies as well as two electives.  The electives can be PE, fine arts, foreign language, technology, or anything the student is interested in. 

Students in 7th or 8th grade are required to take one semester of health and one semester of P.E. either in 7th or 8th grade. These classes will fit in the elective spots.

Students in kindergarten will take the four core classes and can select one or two electives.

Students in High School will need to take the courses that are required for graduation. 

How often do students/parents turn in student work?

Students in grades 1-8 grade will turn in work every two weeks for the four core classes. There are also work samples/reporting on electives twice a year. Submissions consist of a learning sample which can be in the form of a worksheet, test, paper, picture of a project, or video of your student explaining what they have learned. Our goal is to keep reporting very simple and easy!

For high schoolers, the frequency of homework submissions depends on which courses they are taking. 

Are students required to participate in State testing?

Yes.  All students are required to participate in State tests.  The IRI is a reading test that is given virtually in the fall and the spring for students in grades K-3.  Students take this test from home.  For students in grades 3-12, the ISAT is given in the spring.  We provide testing at many on-site locations throughout the state. 

Do you offer field trips?

Yes!  We offer FREE field trips in many regions throughout the state EVERY month!  These activities are free for our students and at least one parent.  Most of the time, additional siblings or parents can attend at a discounted rate.  These field trips are such a fun benefit of our program! In the 2018-2019 school year, we provided over 100 field trips throughout the year.  Field trips included outdoor activities, educational opportunities, and fun entertainment for the family. Students can attend any field trip in the state! 

Tech Trep Academy also offers virtual field trips. This year a few of the events our families have enjoyed include attending online book clubs and tea parties, viewing exotic reptiles, learning about severe weather and the constitution, meeting authors, touring a TV station, and enjoying a virtual tour of Jamestown!

What courses or clubs are offered as electives?

Students in grades 1-8 are required to have 2 electives each year. Kindergarteners can select 1 or 2 electives. There are SO MANY fun ways to fill these elective requirements. Families are welcome to create their own custom elective plan – gathering their own resources using the supplemental learning fund.

Tech Trep Academy offers virtual teacher-led clubs that students can participate in. There are also many virtual tech elective classes offered through Tech Trep Academy. Fees for virtual clubs and Tech electives can come from the student’s supplemental learning fund.

Tech Trep Academy virtual clubs provide opportunities for youth to participate in activities, interact with peers in a positive and supervised setting, as well as pursue interests and develop skills. Many students fulfill elective requirements while participating in these virtual clubs.

View the latest information on virtual clubs.

View the many fun Tech Electives offered through Tech Trep Academy.

 

Do you offer teacher-led courses or classes?

Yes, absolutely! Many parents prefer that some subjects be taught to their student by a certified teacher.

Virtual teacher-led classes are part of the optional resources parents have access to for their students. There are classes offered in science and social studies for many grades. Some courses are free while others include a minimal fee which can come from the student’s supplemental learning fund.

Another fun opportunity many Tech Trep families enjoy is the Bridge program. The Bridge program offers teacher-led classes to students. Parents can choose to have their students attend classes that cover core subjects and assist with student work sample requirements, elective classes that allow students to socialize and learn skills they are interested in, or both! Fees for the bridge program can come from the student’s supplemental learning fund. Students can attend the Bridge program virtually or on-site in some parts of Idaho. On-site programs are offered in areas with large student populations where an acceptable location and staff can be found.

Many families also enjoy the virtual clubs which are teacher-led and cover a wide variety of interests.

View the latest information on virtual clubs.

 

Do you offer on-site or drop-off programs?

Yes, we do!

Tech Trep Academy offers a fun on-site program for students called the Bridge program. Classes in this program are taught by certified teachers and provide students the opportunity to participate in a classroom setting with their peers.

Parents can choose to have their students attend classes that cover core subjects and assist with student work sample requirements, elective classes that allow students to socialize and learn skills they are interested in, or both! Fees for the bridge program can come from the student’s supplemental learning fund.

The Bridge program is only available on-site in some parts of Idaho and students not in close proximity have the ability to attend virtually.

Does every student need to take a Tech or Entrepreneurship course?

No. Our goal is to help students gain valuable skills to be successful in college, career, and life, while encouraging them to pursue their interests. When selecting electives students may choose one of the courses we offer or they may pursue some other skill they are interested in!  The sky’s the limit!

Families are welcome to create their own custom elective course designed specifically for their student.

View the latest information on virtual clubs, which many students use as electives.

See the many fun Tech Electives offered through Tech Trep Academy.

Is the recommended age for the Tech courses flexible?
Yes – absolutely.  We believe the parent knows their child best and can decide if he/she would be able to handle a course that may be designed for older students.
Which Minecraft course would be best for my child?

The Minecraft STEAM course is broad and touches on Art, Engineering, Entrepreneurship, Math, Language Art / Social Studies concepts.  The course can be applied at multiple levels, depending of the skill level of the student.  Since it is very open, it allows students to do projects at their own level.  Experienced Minecraft players may know some of the Minecraft techniques already (how to make a character skin and how to use redstone), but will discover new concepts  such as basic art techniques, making scale models, and learning about circuitry with redstone.

The Minecraft Modding with Java course is fairly technical and focuses exclusively on creating and adding custom modifications to Minecraft using Java. The course is appropriate for any student 11+ that has a basic foundational grasp of coding and is comfortable with a little bit of troubleshooting.

There is also a Minecraft Optional Homeroom Resource available in InfoCenter – Multiplayer Minecraft Servers. Teacher-moderated worlds exclusively for Tech Trep Academy students and siblings. Moderating teacher is available for office hours each week. 

Can parents or schools purchase individual tech and entrepreneurship courses?
Yes!  Visit TechTrep.com, and private pay parents and schools can purchase individual courses for students. Note:  Several partner schools and programs across the country are pre-approved to purchase via Tech Trep.
If / when my child is accepted, will I receive additional information?

Yes!  Once accepted into the program, parents will have access to Parent Link, a secure site with extensive details regarding all aspects of our personalized education program. 

What is the enrollment process?
  • Parents submit an application for each child in the Tech Trep Academy InfoCenter.
  • Once accepted, parents submit a complete enrollment packet to Idaho Home Learning Academy (IHLA) which includes proof of residence, birth certificate, and immunization information.
  • After completing the IHLA enrollment packet, return to InfoCenter to confirm that you have completed the enrollment and that we can share information with IHLA.
  • Both student and parent need an active email account (see video for help with younger children).
  • After the packet is approved, you will receive a confirmation email letting you know your student is fully enrolled.
  • Once enrollment is complete, there is nothing else to do until summer when the student schedule can be created and learning resources are ordered.
  • You will be able to access Parent Link and Announcements in InfoCenter for additional information.
  • If you have questions about the process, please reach out to [email protected] for help and support in enrollment.
Can I read about other people's experience in the program?

Absolutely! Go the parent testimonials to read what other families have experienced while enrolled in Tech Trep Academy.

I have additional questions. How do I get more answers?

Contact Us with your questions and/or check out the live Parent Information Meetings. We look forward to speaking with you!

How did the Tech Trep Academy program begin?

In 2008, a full-time public school program called My Tech High was created to provide students in Utah with a personalized education experience focused on technology and entrepreneurship.  Interest in the Utah program has continued to grow each year with thousands of students now participating.

Tech Trep Academy (‘trep’ is short for entrepreneur) started in 2015 to help part-time students outside of Utah to access the amazing technology and entrepreneurship curriculum.

Beginning in February 2017, a full-time Tech Trep Academy program became available in Idaho for students in grades K–8! Starting in the fall 2020, Tech Trep Academy has added programs for grades 9–10 with grade 11 being added in fall 2021 and grade 12 in fall 2022.

As of fall 2022, Tech Trep Academy has also added programs for Arizona, Indiana, Tennessee, Wyoming, and North Dakota.