Frequently Asked Questions About PTRA

  • Why Choose Phoenix-Talent Rising Academy?

    Besides being a viable, safe learning option during the COVID-19 pandemic, PTRA is an excellent long-term educational solution for families considering homeschooling or charter schools. PTRA provides the high-quality, rigorous instruction that you expect from your local neighborhood school while maintaining the flexibility and parental control of at-home learning. Moreover, families stay connected to their neighborhood educational community and receive academic, social-emotional, and technology support from our friendly, local staff. Unlike in charter schools located in distant districts, our Phoenix-Talent Rising Academy students have full access to district extracurricular activities and interscholastic sports.

    What is the difference between Phoenix-Talent Rising Academy and Comprehensive Distance Learning?

    Last year (2020-21) our schools opened and operated in a comprehensive distance learning environment. This was always meant to be short-term, and students were returned to in-person learning as soon as conditions allowed. The PTRA is intended to be more long-term, for families that want a consistent virtual experience to meet their family's and/or their student's individual needs.

    My child is on an inter-district transfer? Will they lose their transfer if we choose PTRA?

    No, students attending PTRA on a transfer will not lose their spots.

    How will my child learn in the PTRA?

    Instruction and learning are both live and recorded. The recordings are accessible through Google Classroom.

    Students work virtually in small and large groups and will have some opportunity to work at their own pace.

    Kids will learn the same standards from certified teachers as their classmates who choose in-person learning.

    What courses will be offered?

    PTRA offers a wide variety of core and elective classes at all K-8 grade levels.

    What is the time commitment?

    Elementary students have small group instruction in reading and math with a licensed teacher during a Google Meet in 15-30 minute sessions (depending on the grade level of the class); for students in younger grades, parents may need to support the online experience (logging into the computer, maintaining attention, etc.) Students will also be expected to work on iReady Reading and Math (differentiated online intervention) for 15 minutes/3 times per week (a total of 45 minutes per week) for each subject. The teacher will create lesson plans and materials/resources for other subjects (i.e., health, social studies, science, etc.) and daily schedules, but these will be at the direction of parents. Online supplementary materials will be made available for most subjects.

    Secondary students are expected to take 2 online core classes and 1 elective (a total of 3 classes) at a time. Time commitment for the online portion is approximately 2 hours per day per course (or a total of 30 hours per week). During this time, students will be required to check in at least twice weekly with their teacher(s). Middle school students will also be required to participate in online math and reading intervention via iReady (45 minutes/week per subject).

    Who will teach my child?

    Licensed Phoenix-Talent teachers teach at PTRA. See our Staff page for more details on our educators.

    Will my child be on the computer all day?

    No, the amount of computer time will depend on the child's age, but there is time for learning activities on their own. Breaks, like lunch and time to get outside and play, are part of the daily schedule.

    Will I need to be with my child while they learn?

    It depends on the child and their age. Younger children may need more hands-on support than older kids.

    What kind of schedule does PTRA follow?

    The school day is similar to a traditional daily school schedule, although there is more flexibility than a traditional school model, as content is available 24/7. Students are scheduled in for Google Meet sessions with their teacher (at least two live sessions per week, which will be recorded).

    What electives are offered in middle school?

    Different electives will be offered online, which means some students will need to adjust their schedules. We are using PLATO software to deliver online courses; available courses are listed here.

    What about two-way immersion language programs?

    We do not offer Spanish-English immersion in the PTRA. Those programs will continue to be offered through Talent and Phoenix Elementary Schools.

    My child has an IEP or receives other specialized services, including English as a Second Language, special education and intervention plans. How will they be served through the PTRA?

    The student will receive those services from the appropriately licensed staff members at one of our district's traditional schools. The services will be offered virtually. Physical sessions can be arranged as well if parents and/or teachers feel it would be necessary.

    Can my middle school-aged child participate in sports and other extracurricular activities?

    Yes. As Phoenix-Talent School District members, middle school PTRA students can participate in any co-curricular or extracurricular activities, including sports, through Talent Middle School's programs.

    My student is identified as Talented and Gifted (TAG). Will they still be served in the PTRA?

    Yes, PTRA is a great option for TAG students as it allows differentiated work at their own pace. Your child’s Personalized Education Plan may need to be adjusted to accommodate the virtual learning environment.

    What about course rigor and grading?

    All courses will be graded; secondary will use the PowerSchool Gradebook. The courses offered are quite rigorous and many students last year found that they were more academically demanding than many traditional courses.