Frequently Asked Questions

Registration Questions

Who can enroll in Tonka Online?

Tonka Online courses serve high school students across Minnesota, including students from Districts outside Minnetonka, charter schools, private schools and students who are in homeschool.

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

  • Students from outside Minnetonka Public Schools should follow the online application process.
  • Minnetonka students can register through Skyward using the same procedures you would for regular courses.

What are the enrollment deadlines?

Students in the Minnetonka School District

  • In-District Students should sign-up for classes during the regular registration window
  • Minnetonka students should talk to their school counselor if they want to register after Skyward registration closes. Minnetonka students will still pay via Skyward Fee Management.

Students Outside of the Minnetonka School District

  • Deadline for Summer 2019 is June 3
  • Note: Depending on class size, we may be able to enroll students past the final deadline, pending approval. Please email tonkaonline@minnetonkaschools.org to inquire about late enrollment.

Important Dates

Course sessions align with the Minnetonka School District calendar.

  • Summer 2019 runs from June 10 - August 16
  • Fall Semester 2019 runs from September 3 - January 24
  • Winter Semester 2020 runs from January 28 - June 9

Can I drop a Tonka Online course?

  • You may drop a course with no record in Skyward in the first 20 days of the course.
  • If dropped after 20 days, your transcripts will show a record of the course and drop.
  • No drops are allowed in the last two weeks of any course.

Payment Questions

How much does Tonka Online cost?

If Tonka Online is selected as a part of a student's regular schedule, there is no charge to the family for a Tonka Online course.

However, if you are taking a Tonka Online course as a 7th class, or over the summer, there is a fee of $325 for Semester 0.5 Credit Courses (P1 = $325 and P2 = $325) with the exception of Fitness A and Wellness B Physical Education courses. They are $199 each.

Does my school pay the fees or do I pay the fees?

When you attend a public school and Tonka Online is part of your regular schedule within the school day during the school year, there is no charge for a Tonka Online course.

If you are taking a Tonka Online course as an extra class/over the summer, attend private school, or are homeschooled, there is a fee.

 

When will I pay for a Tonka Online course?

During the School Year
Payment is due before the first day of the course. An invoice and payment details will be emailed from our Business Office to the parent email address provided on the Pre-enrollment Form. After payment is received, access to the online course will be granted.

During Summer
Summer Course invoices will be generated by May 17, 2019 for enrollments received before May 13, 2019. Payment can be made upon receipt of the invoice. Please allow 3-5 business days to receive an invoice for enrollments processed after May 13. After payment is received, allow 2-3 business days to gain access in the course.

After June 3, 2019 course access is granted within two business days after Payment is received. Summer courses begin on June 10, 2019.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Payment for summer courses is due in full by June 12 for the summer courses. Please note the refund policy for more detail.

How do I make payments?

Minnetonka District families will pay through Skyward Fee Management or by check to the Bursar at the high school.

Out-of-District families will be sent an invoice from the Bursar at the high school. Additional payment information will be included in your Welcome Letter.

What is the refund policy?

Pro-Rated Refund*:

  • Full refund if course is cancelled
  • Full refund if course is dropped before the first day of the course
  • 50% refund if course is dropped between the first and end of the 20th day of class
  • No refund if course is dropped after day 20 of a class

*Note: Weekend days are included in the calculation of class days.

Program Questions

What are the course start and end dates?

Course sessions align with the Minnetonka School District calendar.

  • Summer 2019 runs June 10 through August 16 (10 weeks)
  • Fall 2019 runs September 3 through January 24
  • Winter 2020 runs from January 28 through June 9

Will I receive credit for courses I take online?

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

Some courses (Pre AP Chem, Pre AP Bio for example) are available to audit. Students who audit a Tonka Online course participate fully in the course, but a grade will not appear on their transcript, simply a record that they took the course.

How many courses can I take 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.

Will I have an instructor from Minnetonka High School?

Yes. Tonka Online courses are designed and taught by experienced Minnetonka High School teachers. Academic support is available by these experienced teachers either virtually or in person (if you attend Minnetonka High School).

How is instruction given in a Tonka Online course?

There are a variety of methods for instruction depending on the particular courses and their requirements ranging from digital textbooks, video lessons, online simulations, tutorials, readings, discussion boards, and Schoology quizzes.

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 possible 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 Schoology site. This 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 either held virtually (such as through Skype) or at Minnetonka High School with the teacher and other students in the class. Parents are welcome to attend this orientation meeting as well.

What is the workload?

This is a common question for students considering an online course. While the coursework and assignments can be done when they fit a student’s schedule, there is still an expectation of regular work in all courses. A general rule of thumb is about 5-7 hours per week for each course. Online PE is a less, with about 45 min of coursework (not including routine fitness activities).

Do students have to login every day?

Most Tonka Online courses are designed to be primarily self-paced, however the instructors may provide a recommended calendar and timeline to stay on track.  Typically, we suggest spending about the same amount of time each week that the student would be in class, 5-7 hours, to stay on track with course work. Students can choose a time that works best for them during the day, allowing flexibility in their schedule.  There is no daily attendance, however teachers will notify students that are not making regular progress to help them stay on track for course completion.

Can I use my own FitBit or a different fitness tracker for Fitness A and Wellness B Physical Education??

Yes, any model that can record basic fitness activity, including smartphone apps like Google or Apple Health, Garmin, Polar, and more can be used during the course. If you would like to check out a FitBit from school please pick one up from the Minnetonka High School Port.

How does grading work in Tonka Online?

Grading will closely align with traditional Minnetonka classrooms, and have both formative and summative assessments. Feedback will be continual and timely in an effort to maintain high levels of student success. Please review the grading policy on page 13 of the Student Handbook.

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 their learning needs.

Our family travels in the summer. Can I still participate in Tonka Online?

Yes. Tonka Online not only 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.

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.

What if students have questions or need help?

Tonka Online staff will be available during the first two weeks to help with logistical questions in the High School Port, Monday - Thursday 9:30 - 12:30.  For course specific help, the best way is to connect with the instructor through Schoology.

Questions About Online Learning

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. You have some flexibility in the completion of units/modules, but you are expected to meet the targeted deadlines. Because the coursework requires an ongoing effort, you will 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 students with more course options and increased flexibility in scheduling.

Why should I take an online course?

Becoming a successful online learner is an integral skillset that students should 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 a highly-qualified instructor that is dedicated to ensuring your success in the course and the support of a highly-structured program.

How can I support my child in online learning?

Encourage your child 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 health and wellness. 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.)

How does an online course look to colleges?

Credits earned in all Tonka Online courses will appear just like any other credit that students may earn while in high school. Minnetonka does not differentiate between an online and a traditional course in content or expectations, therefore there is no difference on a student transcript. In fact, students may take at least one online course as they continue their education after high school, so Tonka Online gives students a great opportunity to develop online learning skills.

Tonka Online students working at home