Attendance Policy

Proof of attendance
Each class will post weekly attendance requirements on the class page (Canvas). 
A week is defined as Saturday through Friday. Work is posted on Saturday morning and due by the following Friday at midnight (in your time zone).

If a student does not meet the attendance requirements for the week, the student will be counted absent.  Failure to submit work timely will also affect the student’s grades.
Attendance will be reported weekly based on the amount of work students have completed.

Parents and students will be able to view weekly attendance at https://powerschool.btcs.org/public/ . It is the responsibility of the parent and student to check attendance and notify the office of any discrepancies. The office must be alerted within a week after the absences have been posted for any changes to occur. Attendance codes on PowerSchool are as follows: U- Unexcused, A-Excused, DE- Doctor’s Excuse, blank or P-Present.

In order to excuse any absence, parents must email or call the TOPS office, and their teacher(s). Please email the office at attendance@tennesseeonlinepublicschool.org. Each teacher’s emails and contact information can be found on his or her Canvas syllabus.  TOPS needs to be alerted before the absence occurs or as early as possible. 

Excused absences will be excused at the discretion of the TOPS staff. Please keep in mind that students have 7 days to complete their work – not just Monday through Friday.
Any doctor’s excuse may be turned in via email, fax, or mail and must be turned in within 2 weeks of the absences. 

Please keep in mind that even if an absence is excused, the work must still be submitted.  An excused absence may still result in a zero or reduced grade if your teacher is not notified in advance or as soon as possible.  Only your teacher can determine the appropriate make up schedule for missed or late work.
Students are allowed 10 days of excused absences before they become truant. 
Students are allowed 5 days of unexcused absences before they become truant.
Students are allowed a total of 15 unexcused absences in any class before the student is dismissed from TOPS.

It is expected that, as part of their attendance at TOPS, students regularly check their student emails, and new students complete the Freshman Experience.  Failure to log in to the new student email or complete the Freshman Experience will be grounds for dismissal from TOPS.

Consequences for Truancy
5 days of unexcused absences – a letter is sent home. 
10 days of unexcused absences – a letter is sent home and a conference is scheduled. 
15 days of unexcused absences – driver’s license is revoked and the student is dismissed from TOPS. 

Definitions
Absent means a student has not completed the amount of work their teacher has asked for them to complete for the week. 
Present means a student has completed the amount of work their teacher has asked for them to complete for the week.
Truant means that a student has accrued up to 5 absences and could possibly be taken to court. 

 

Academic Integrity (plagiarism and cheating)

Academic integrity is one of the foundations of learning at TOPS. Because of its importance in all of our instruction, there are a variety of tools that we utilize in ensuring the integrity of student work. 
Among these tools are: 
Academic Integrity Database
TOPS maintains its own database of student integrity incidents or violations. This database is used to monitor the number of student integrity issues. 
Teacher Expertise
TOPS instructors have extensive classroom experience. Their expertise is often a guide in identifying the level of originality in student work. 

Proctored Exams
Any teacher can request a scheduled proctored exam at any time for a student. 
There are two kinds of academic integrity violations. One is “plagiarism” and the other is “cheating.” 
Plagiarism
According to Merriam-Webster online dictionary, plagiarism is “to steal and pass off (the ideas or words of another) as one’s own: use (another’s production) without crediting the source.” 
Some examples are, but not limited to, the following: Copying and pasting a report from the Internet and representing it as your own work. Copying any other work and not properly citing authorship.
Cheating
According to Merriam-Webster’s online dictionary, cheating is defined in multiple ways. 
But for the purposes of BTCS ONLINE, two definitions are particularly relevant: 
To influence or lead by deceit, trick, or artifice
a: To practice fraud or trickery b: to violate rules dishonestly <cheat at cards> 
<cheating on a test> 

Some examples are, but not limited to the following: 
Providing questions/answers/work to another student
Receiving questions/answers/work from another student 

Gaming the system
Some students attempt to game the attendance policy by uploading incorrect or blank documents. This is considered the same as cheating.

Discipline for Academic Integrity violations 

1st offense……………………….Zero on the assignment. Student is notified. 

2nd Offense………………………Zero on the assignment. Parents and student must have a conference with TOPS administration and the teacher. 

3rd Offense………………………..Zero on the assignment. Student may be removed from TOPS.

 

TOPS Testing Policy 2016-2017
http://tops.education/testing
**The state of Tennessee will be changing testing for the 2016-2017 school year. We will be updating our policies as the state mandates. 
Policy Content
State Testing………………………………………………………….……..…page 1
Schedule Requests…………………………..……………………………….page 2
Medical Exemption……………………….………………………………….page 2
Test Identification…………………………..………………………………..page 2
Inclement Weather……………………..……………………………………page 2
Student Behavior………………………..…………………………………….page 2
Lunch………………………………………………………………………………..page 2
Accommodations………………………………………………………………page 2
Absent……………………………………………………………………………….pages 3 and 4
Start/End time……………………………………………………………………page 4
ACT/SAT…………………………………………………………………………….page 4
Tennessee Online Public School (TOPS) will administer state mandated tests at specific locations across Tennessee. TOPS will follow the rules and regulations set by the state of Tennessee. 

TNReady testing

State testing is for the following subjects: Integrated Math 1 B, Integrated Math 2 B, Integrated Math 3 B, English I, English II, English III, U.S. History, Chemistry, and Biology. 

Tests will be administered online and/or paper/pencil as determined by the state. If administered online, students will still need to test in-person at one of the designated test sites. 

Students will test 1-3 times a semester depending on their current class enrollment. 

“TNReady is Tennessee’s new and improved TCAP test for English language arts and math in grades 3-11, and it replaces the old TCAP tests for those subjects starting in the 2015-16 school year. The TNReady TCAP will provide all of us – educators, parents, and students – with better information about our students’ progress toward college and career readiness. Annual assessments serve as a crucial academic check-up to make sure all students are moving forward. TNReady is designed to assess true student understanding and problem-solving abilities, not just basic memorization skills. Parents and teachers have told us that these are the critical-thinking abilities they want our children to have in order to be successful, lifelong learners. TNReady will be a major transition. While it is absolutely essential to the overall and long-term growth of our students, these changes will likely bring challenges – as well as opportunities to learn. To help prepare, this website contains a variety of information and resources https://www.tn.gov/education/section/assessment.” 
Schedule Requests
TOPS will test students in the range of 1-3 times a semester as mandated by the State. TOPS will notify the students and families of the day, time, and location at least one month prior to the test. Once the test schedule has been posted parents and students have one week to request a schedule change. (Any requests sent in after the one week deadline will not be granted.) This might include a change of test site, a change of test time, and/or a change of test day. TOPS will review each request and will accommodate them to the best of their ability. Not all schedule requests will be granted. 


Medical Exemption
If the student will be unable to attend the test due to medical reasons then the student will need to file for a medical exemption. A medical exemption must be filed within one week after the test schedule has been posted. Failure to file for an exemption within the one week window might cause the exemption to not be considered. The State will approve/deny all medical exemptions. Please contact the Testing Coordinator at TOPS to file. 

Test Identification
Students are required to test in person and to provide proper identification at the test site. Proper identification includes, a TOPS ID, Driver’s License, State ID, or Passport. If the student fails to show proper identification the student may be refused to test. 

Inclement Weather
In the case of inclement weather, TOPS will notify the students and families by email of a cancellation and/or new schedule as soon as possible. Tests will only be rescheduled or canceled in extreme cases. 
Parents and students may have to test on another day or time of the same test week. If TOPS does not cancel or reschedule a test and the family or student feels their safety is in danger they have the right to contact the TOPS office immediately and reschedule. TOPS will reschedule as it is fit. 

Student Behavior
Students will not be allowed to have their cell phones on during testing. All personal belongings will be placed at the front of the room along with all electronic devices which should be turned off. Students will be allowed to leave the test room for the bathroom, however this time will be lost during the test. Students will not be allowed to have food or drink in the test room (unless stated in the IEP/504). Students should dress appropriately for the representation of their school. Some rooms may be hot/cold so students are advised to dress in layers. Students who refuse to test or are disruptive in the testing environment will be removed immediately and will face consequences including being removed from TOPS. 

Lunch
If the student is testing both in the morning and the afternoon they will be allowed to leave for lunch. A parent/guardian should pick them up and return them in time for the afternoon test. If the student wishes to remain at the test site in between tests then the student will need to notify the test administrator the morning of the test and the student should also bring their own packed lunch. The student is not allowed to remain at the test site unless a test administrator is present. 

Accommodations
Students who have an active IEP or 504 will receive accommodations as stated in their most recent IEP/504 plan. 

Absent
If a student is absent from the regularly scheduled test, then the Testing Coordinator will schedule one make-up test within the same test week. If the student does not show for the make-up test then the student will receive an Incomplete (IC) for the class or an “F” (failure) for the class (the outcome is dependent upon the student’s current grade in class). If the student receives an Incomplete then the test will be rescheduled for the following semester or for the summer. If the student does not take the test in the following semester or summer, then TOPS has the right to deny the student for enrollment for the following school year or place the student on academic probation. If the student received an “F” on the test due to not taking the test, then TOPS has the right to deny the student for enrollment for the following school year or place the student on academic probation. 

Refusal to test
Any student who refuses to test, leaves the test before being dismissed ,and/or does not participate in testing will be dismissed from TOPS. Actively attending mandated state tests and fully participating are requirements of the TOPS student. 

Start time/End time
The time posted for each test is the start time of the test. Doors will close at the start of the test and no late admittance will be allowed. Students should plan on arriving at least 15 minutes prior to the start of the test and should plan time for travel, parking, and in some cases traffic. If the student is going to be late to the test then the student will need to contact the TOPS office immediately. Failure to contact the TOPS office before the start of the test might cause the student not to be let into the test upon arrival. Once the test has started no one will be allowed to leave until everyone has finished. If a student chooses to leave before everyone has finished then the test for that student will not be scored. The Test Administrator will release the students once everyone has finished testing and the tests have been collected. 

ACT
It is a requirement that all juniors (11th grade) take the ACT. Juniors who fail to take the ACT during their junior year will be dismissed from TOPS. TOPS will provide one voucher to each junior to test. The student may take the ACT as many times as he/she chooses, but only one voucher may be used. It is the responsibility of the student to request the voucher and to sign up for the ACT. The ACT is a state test and is not administered by TOPS. A senior (12th grade) may request a voucher if he/she did not use a voucher their junior year. 

The SAT is also offered through the state. Vouchers are not used for the SAT. For questions about the SAT or ACT please contact the school counselor. 

TOPS understands that parents/guardians have to request off work for their child to test. We appreciate your patience and flexibility with our testing. We are doing our best to accommodate all families while following protocol with the State. 

Testing Coordinator                    Principal
Ms. Lindsey Weeden                     Dr. Jason Horne
WeedenL@tennesseeonlinepublicschool.org        HorneJ@tennesseeonlinepublicschool.org
423-652-9209                        423-652-9209

 

Removal from TOPS

If a student is removed from TOPS for any number of reasons (plagiarism, attendance, behavior, failing two semesters in a row, etc.), parents will be notified in writing of the removal. Also, the local education agency in the district in which the student resides will also be notified. If the student does not enroll with the local education agency or register as home-schooled student within 30 days of being notified, then the student could be considered truant and taken to court.