Frequently Asked Questions

Who can enroll in Tonka Online?

Tonka Online courses serve any Minnesota high school student or incoming high school student who is interested and self-disciplined for learning online. The courses are available to any student seeking to take a course to get ahead in their studies or to increase flexibility in scheduling. This includes public/charter school students, private school, and homeschool students.

How much does Tonka Online cost?

If Tonka Online is selected as a part of students’ regular schedules within the six-period day, there is no charge for a Tonka Online course. However, if you are taking a Tonka Online course as a 7th class, there is a fee. The course fee is $ 325.00 for a one semester course. Tonka Online Lifetime Fitness and Activities course fee is set at $199.00 per semester.

Will I receive credit for courses I take online?

Yes. Tonka Online courses count just the same as a traditional course. Minnetonka Public Schools students will receive a letter grade and credit for courses completed through Tonka Online on their transcripts.

How many courses can I take online through Tonka Online?

Being a successful online learner requires time and dedication to your studies. During the school year, students may take one online course per semester. For summer school, it is strongly recommended students take no more than one course due to the intensive timeline.

How does online learning work?

Each course is led by a Minnetonka High School teacher who guides students through the curriculum. Tonka Online courses provide a highly personalized learning path that aims at empowering you to manage your time while providing a structure to keep you motivated and on-track to complete the coursework.

Course curriculum includes modules or units. Students have some flexibility time-wise to complete the units/modules, but are expected to meet the targeted deadlines. Because the coursework requires an ongoing effort on the part of the students, you need to spend time working in Schoology at least 3-4 times per week.

As you navigate through the units/modules of the course, you will engage with the instructor and other students in a highly collaborative environment that includes the thoughtful use of discussion boards, Google Docs and online virtual conferencing.

Why would a public school offer online courses?

The intent of Tonka Online is not to replace the rich learning experience that takes place in a traditional classroom, but rather to supplement this experience with new opportunities for students. Our goal is to provide a world-class online experience that provides you with more course options and increased flexibility in scheduling.

Tonka Online is well positioned to provide a rigorous curriculum that empowers student ownership while having a rich, engaging learning experience.

Tonka Online teachers know their students and Tonka Online students know their teacher in a way that is critical to a successful learning environment. This sets Tonka Online apart from other online learning platforms in the market.

Why should I take an online course?

Becoming a successful online learner is an integral skill set that you must master to thrive in the 21st Century. Many students will take online courses in college or post-secondary careers and find themselves with no preparation for success. Online learning through Tonka Online allows you to experience online learning with the guidance of an on-site instructor that is dedicated to ensuring your success in the course.

Will I have an instructor from Minnetonka High School?

Yes. Tonka Online courses are designed and taught by experienced Minnetonka High School teachers. Having the instructor on-site provides you with added support that sets Tonka Online apart.

Academic support is available by these experienced teachers either virtually or in-person. In addition to zero hour support, instructors also hold weekly office hours for students.

How does grading work in Tonka Online?

Grading will closely align with traditional Minnetonka classrooms, and have both formative and summative assessments. Some Tonka Online courses may require you to complete your summative assessments in a classroom environment. Feedback will be continual and timely in an effort to maintain high levels of student success.

If I sign up for a summer course and do not finish, can I work on the class in the fall until it is completed?

No. You will be expected to stay on pace with the course and will complete the course on schedule and receive the grade you have earned.

Why would I choose PE in Tonka Online instead of a less expensive online provider?

Tonka Online’s Summer PE is only 11 weeks compared to the typical 15 week window required by other providers. At $199, the Tonka Online rate for PE is lower than the typical semester rate. The cost is still slightly higher than other online providers, but the quality experience with Minnetonka staff and curriculum makes the Tonka Online course a better experience for students.

How do I enroll in an online course through Tonka Online?

Fall 2016 registration is aligned with regular school registration and the same procedures are followed. Course fees (if applicable) are collected through the Bursar and will appear in Skyward Family Access.

Where do I go for my online course if I am taking it during the school year?

If you attend Minnetonka High School, Tonka Online students work in the Media Center during their scheduled online course period. Provided it is not distracting to others, juniors and seniors who are scheduled for a Tonka Online class can utilize any space in the building for their study time.

Students enrolling in Tonka Online from outside the District select a space and time best suited to your learning needs.

Why is orientation an important part to being a student in Tonka Online?

Being a student online will be a shift for many learners. Our goal is to provide every necessary resource to support your academic success.

There are two parts to orientation for students in Tonka Online. The first part involves a student completing the required documentation that is outlined in the Tonka Online Information Center Schoology site. The Information Center will introduce you to the expectations as a learner and all necessary forms and documentation.

The second part of the orientation process is the meeting that is held face-to-face, on-site with the teacher and other students in the class. Parents are strongly encouraged to attend this orientation meeting as well.

Our family travels in the summer, can I still participate in Tonka Online?

Yes, one of the unique qualities about Tonka Online is that provides a vehicle to extend learning through the summer months, but it also provides a mobile learning environment. All that is needed is a dependable internet connection. Students who are planning to travel and will not be able to access the internet consistently during that time, must make a plan with the instructor in advance of their departure. In order to stay current in coursework, you should not be away from an internet connection for more than a week at a time. You may work ahead to avoid missing important due dates, or discuss an adjusted time frame with the course instructor.

How can I support my child in online learning?

Encourage students to use help-seeking strategies if he/she doesn’t understand something. This includes contacting the teacher, requesting a time to meet during virtual or office hours, asking peers for clarity, conducting research to learn more, or rereading the instructions for clarity. To create good study habits, students should set a schedule, set aside uninterrupted time to focus on coursework, and actively participate with their classmates and the instructor. As a general practice, students should be encouraged to login at least 3-4 times a week to Schoology.

Being a successful online learner means that students also understand the importance of digital citizenship. Parents can take advantage of free resources to help promote responsibility and ethical use of technology. Plagiarism is never acceptable and could result in an automatic failure of the course. Help your child understand the seriousness of plagiarism. (To learn more about plagiarism, please visit Plagiarism.org.)

When will I pay for a Tonka Online course?

For summer courses, parents/guardians will be notified electronically via email and Skyward on June 1, 2016 regarding the payment procedure for Tonka Online courses. The preferred method of payment is online via Skyward Family Access; however, checks will also be accepted. For classes during the regular school year, fees will be placed in Skyward Family Access after the beginning of the class.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Payment for summer courses is due in full by June 19, 2016 in order to hold a student’s place in the course. Please note that this payment is non-refundable (unless the course has been cancelled). Should the student decide not to participate in Tonka Online courses over the summer, refunds will not be distributed.

Will there be any additional course offerings?

The curriculum for Tonka Online is developed entirely by Minnetonka Public School teachers. We have increased the availability of courses in many departments and the list of available courses continues to grow. For more information about courses available, visit the “Courses” tab on the Tonka Online website.