Frequently asked questions

What is the Blue Tent Online refund policy?


REGISTRATION FEE:

  • The registration fee of $50 is non-refundable.
TUITION
  • Up to one week before the start of a class:
    • Payments by check: We will refund 100% of your tuition payment.
    • Payments by PayPal: We will refund 95% of your tuition (to cover PayPal fees we incurr).
  • One week before the start of a class and through the end of the first week of class:
    • We will refund 75% of your tuition payment.
  • After the end of the first week of class:
    • We will not issue refunds, since it is unlikely we will be able to fill a vacant seat, and most of our classes will have wait lists over the summer. Thank you for your understanding.
LAB KITS AND DIGITAL PROGRAMS
  • Lab kit orders that are cancelled before shipment will receive a 100% refund.
  • Shipped lab kits and pre-paid digital programs cannot be returned for a refund.
Please email withdrawal/refund requests to bluetentonline@gmail.com.




Which CA homeschool charters have approved Blue Tent Online as a vendor?


Blue Tent is an approved vendor for these California homeschool charters. Some charters have designated some of our math and English classes as a-g. See FAQ #5 for details.

  • Clarksville Charter School
  • Cottonwood School
  • Blue Ridge Academy
  • Epic
  • Excel
  • Feather River Charter School
  • Granite Mountain Charter School
  • Heartland Charter School
  • iLEAD
  • Lake View Charter School
  • Monarch River Academy
  • Ocean Grove
  • Pacific Coast Academy
  • Sage Oak
  • Sky Mountain
  • South Sutter
  • Summit Academy
  • Winship Community School
  • Yosemite Valley Charter School
If you would like us to apply to become a vendor for your California charter, please send us a note!




Where are the class reading lists?


You can find the reading list and resources for each class by clicking on the "Course Resources" button at the top of each class information page.




Are Blue Tent AP classes approved by the College Board? How have students performed on AP exams?


Yes, all Blue Tent Online Advanced Placement® classes comply with the College Board's AP Audit process and are renewed annually: AP Statistics, AP Calculus AB, AP Calculus BC, AP English Language & Composition, and AP English Literature & Composition. In addition to each of our instructors complying with the AP audit process for each class taught, Blue Tent has been approved as an Online Provider by the College Board.

  • Blue Tent's Online Provider Code is 538.
  • A benefit to being an approved online provider is that we receive school-wide score reports and analytics from the College Board every summer, which helps us make meaningful adjustments to our teaching.
In each of the past seven years, over 80% of the students taking Blue Tent's AP English classes have earned scores of 4 or 5 on their exams. Here are the scores our students earned on the most recent AP exam (2019). We congratulate them on their outstanding achievement!
  • AP English Language & Composition:
    • Blue Tent students scoring a 5 = 42.9% (National Average: 10.1%)
    • Blue Tent students scoring a 4 = 42.9%% (National Average: 18.5%)
  • AP English Literature & Composition:
    • Blue Tent students scoring a 5 = 37.5% (National Average: 6.2%)
    • Blue Tent students scoring a 4 = 50.0% (National Average: 15.9%)
You can find the 2019 national AP score distributions for all AP exams here.




Does Blue Tent issue transcripts?


We will be happy to provide an official record of Blue Tent Online classes taken by any student. Upon request, we will send that document to a student, parent, college, or program. Just fill out this Record Request form.

  • There is no charge to email or snail mail this documentation.
  • If you would like us to expedite the shipping of this documentation, we just ask you to defray our Priority Mail or Fed Ex costs.




How does the wait list work?


If a class is full, we will note that on the class information page and on the tuition page of our website. We will include the number of students currently on the wait list. If you would like to be added to a wait list, complete a registration form . No registration fee or tuition is needed until your student has been accepted into the class. Once a seat opens up, we will email you right away and give you directions on how to proceed with your registration fee and tuition. We know waiting can be stressful as you plan your fall schedule. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions.




Where are Blue Tent classes held?


Blue Tent instructors live in California and North Carolina, but we teach 100% online--so our classes are held everywhere. We use the Moodle learning management platform for our website classrooms, and we use ZOOM for live instruction and discussion in our math, chemistry, and ceative writing classes. Students log in to access their web classrooms at our password-protected class site ( www.bluetentclasses.com) for weekly instruction, resources, activities, and discussion. Whether a class is live (sychronous) or text-based (asynchronous), all of our classes are highly interactive each and every week.




FAQ Archive: When were Blue Tent Online class days, times, and breaks for 2019-20?


2019-2020 BLUE TENT BREAKS

  • Fall Break | Oct 7-13
  • Thanksgiving | A light work-week
  • Winter Break | Dec 16-Jan 5
  • Spring Break | Mar 9-15
CLASS FORMATS
  • Synchronous = Live classes. Days/times listed below. Also recorded.
  • Asynchronous = Text-based. Active/interactive classes. No live meeting days/times.
  • Preview Week = Online classrooms open for "preview" one week prior to start dates listed below. Year-long classes only. Semester-long classes open on dates indicated.
Math English Science ••••••••••••••••••• 2018-2019 BLUE TENT BREAKS
  • Fall Break | Oct 8-14
  • Thanksgiving | A light work-week
  • Winter Break | Dec 17-Jan 6
  • Spring Break | Mar 11-17
CLASS SCHEDULES English
  • Creative Writing (fall 2018) | Fri 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Eastern | Sept 4-Dec 14
  • Creative Writing (spring 2019) | Frid 12-1 p.m. Eastern | Jan 14-May 10
  • Intro to Lit & Comp | Aug 27-May 10
  • Honors English 1 | Honors English 2 | Aug 27-May 10
  • AP Lang & Comp | Aug 20-May 15 (AP exam)
  • AP Lit & Comp | Aug 20-May 8 (AP exam)
  • Advanced Senior English | Aug 27-May 3
Science
  • Honors Biology | Honors Chemistry | Anatomy & Physiology: Aug 20-May 10




What is Blue Tent OnLoan?


Blue Tent OnLoan is a program that offers students the option to borrow math and science textbooks for their Blue Tent classes. All families pay is $6 per book for shipping. For more information, take a look here: Blue Tent OnLoan




What distinguishes an honors class from a non-honors class?


Classes taught at an honors level generally proceed at a faster pace and cover more material than regular classes. Blue Tent honors math classes will cover topics in more depth, and problems will often be more challenging. Students may be asked to expand on the concepts learned with open-ended problems that promote independence and critical thinking.

  • The math instructors intend to complete their entire textbooks.
  • The math instructors plan to supplement their texts with new concepts and approaches that are finding their way into the SAT and ACT to provide a firm foundation for standardized testing.




Are Blue Tent classes a-g approved in CA?


MATH Our math classes-- Algebra 1, Algebra 2, Geometry, and Precalculus--are a-g approved as regular math classes when taken through these California homeschool charters:

  • Blue Ridge Academy | Clarksville Charter School | Cottonwood School | Feather River Charter School | Granite Mountain Charter School | Heartland Charter School | Lake View Charter School | Monarch River Academy | Pacific Coast Academy | Yosemite Valley Charter School
  • All IEM charters: Ocean Grove | Sky Mountain | South Sutter
Our math classes are a-g approved as regular or honors classes when taken through iLEAD. SCIENCE Our Biology, Honors Biology, Honors Chemistry, and Anatomy classes are a-g approved as regular science classes when taken through these California homeschool charters:
  • Blue Ridge Academy | Clarksville Charter School | Cottonwood School | Feather River Charter School | Granite Mountain Charter School | Heartland Charter School | Lake View Charter School | Monarch River Academy | Pacific Coast Academy | Yosemite Valley Charter School
Our science classes are a-g approved as regular or honors classes when taken through iLEAD. ENGLISH Our Honors English Literature & Composition 1 and Honors English Literature & Composition 2 classes are a-g approved as regular English 9 and English 10 classes when taken through these California homeschool charters:
  • Blue Ridge Academy | Clarksville Charter School | Cottonwood School | Feather River Charter School | Granite Mountain Charter School | Heartland Charter School | Lake View Charter School | Monarch River Academy | Pacific Coast Academy | Yosemite Valley Charter School
Our Honors English Literature & Composition 1 is a-g approved as regular English 9 and our Honors English Literature & Composition 2 is a-g approved as an honors English 10 class when taken through these California homeschool charters:
  • All IEM charters: Ocean Grove | Sky Mountain | South Sutter
Our English classes are a-g approved as regular or honors classes when taken through iLEAD.




What calculator should I purchase?


Which calculator to purchase is not an easy question to answer since there are so many options out there with dizzying functionalities and a wide range of price points.

There are many calculator reviews online, but here are some considerations for you to consider in order to make the decision that is best for you.

TI-Nspire CX and TI-Nspire CX CAS Calculators:

The most powerful calculator allowed on the AP and SAT tests right now is the TI-Nspire CX CAS. "CAS" stands for Computer Algebraic System. This means that the TI-Nspire CAS can perform algebra operations such as factoring, expanding, or solving algebraic equations, which can be very helpful on the SAT and SAT Subject tests in Math. This calculator is NOT allowed on the ACT exam, whereas the TI-Nspire CX, which does not have the CAS capabilities, is allowed.

Therefore, if you think you might take the ACT at some point. You might want to give up the CAS capability (which helps on the SAT test) and purchase the TI-Nspire CX, which is still a very powerful calculator and is allowed on all standardized tests.

Comparison of TI-Nspire CX vs. TI-Nspire CS CAS

https://mathclasscalculator.com/index.php/blog/ti-nspire-cx-vs-ti-nspire-cx-cas/

The TI-84 family:

These calculators are also excellent calculators. They will serve you very well through all high school math, but they lack the functionality and ease of use of the TI-Nspire for college level classes such as AP Calculus AB, BC or AP Stats.

Calculator Policies:

SAT and SAT Subject Tests:

https://collegereadiness.collegeboard.org/sat/taking-the-test/calculator-policy

ACT:

http://www.act.org/content/dam/act/unsecured/documents/ACT-calculator-policy.pdf

AP:

https://apcentral.collegeboard.org/ap-coordinators/on-exam-day/calculator-policy




When does registration open--and how do I register?


Registration opens every year on March 1st. To register for one or more classes, please complete two steps: send in a registration form and send in a $50 registration fee.

  • Links to both of those can be found at the top of the Registration & Tuition page.
  • A $50 registration fee is paid once per student per school year.
Our classes begin in August, and registration closes a couple of weeks after a class starts. If you would like to join a class later than that, please send us a note to discuss your needs and the possibilities. Email us at bluetonline@gmail.com.




When are Blue Tent Online class days, times, and breaks for 2020-21?


2020-2021 BLUE TENT BREAKS

  • Fall Break | Oct 5-11
  • Thanksgiving | A light work-week
  • Winter Break | Dec 14-Jan 3
  • Spring Break | Mar 8-14
CLASS FORMATS
  • Synchronous = Live classes. (Also recorded) Days/times listed (in Eastern) below.
  • Asynchronous = Text-based classes. Active and interactive, but no live meeting days/times.
Math
  • Algebra 1 | Aug 24-May 14
    • 1 | M/W 9-10 a.m. Eastern
    • 2 | M/W 1-2 p.m. Eastern
    • 3 | T/Th 10-11 a.m. Eastern
    • 4 | T/Th 2-3 p.m. Eastern
  • Algebra 2 | Aug 24-May 14
    • 1 | M/W 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Eastern
    • 2 | M/W 3-4 p.m. Eastern
    • 3 | T/Th 8-9 a.m. Eastern
    • 4 | T/Th 12-1 p.m. Eastern
  • Geometry | Aug 17-May 14
    • 1 | M/W 4-5:15 p.m. Eastern
    • 2 | T/Th 2-3:15 p.m. Eastern
  • Precalculus | T/Th 4-5:15 p.m. Eastern | Aug 17-May 14
  • AP Statistics | W 2-3:30 p.m. Eastern | Aug 17-May 13 (AP exam)
  • AP Calculus AB | F 2-3 p.m. Eastern | Aug 17-May 4 (AP exam)
  • AP Calculus BC | F 12-1 p.m. Eastern | Aug 17-May 4 (AP exam)
English
  • Creative Writing Fall 2020 | Aug 31-Dec 11
    • Fantasy to Farce | every other F @ 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Eastern
    • Short Stories to Tall Tales | every other F @ 12:30-1:30 p.m. Eastern
  • Creative Writing Spring 2021 | Jan 11-May 7
    • Fantasy to Farce | every other F @ 11 a.m.-12 p.m. Eastern
    • Short Stories to Tall Tales | every other F @ 12:30-1:30 p.m. Eastern
  • Intro to Lit & Comp | Aug 24-May 7
  • Honors English 1 | Aug 24-May 7
  • Honors English 2 | Aug 24-May 7
  • AP Lang & Comp | Aug 17-May 12 (AP exam)
  • AP Lit & Comp | Aug 17-May 5 (AP exam)
  • Advanced Senior English | Aug 24-May 5
Science
  • Biology | W 7-8:30 p.m. Eastern | Aug 24-May 7
  • Honors Biology | Th 1:30-3 p.m. Eastern | Aug 24-May 7
  • Honors Chemistry | T 10:30 a.m.-12:00 p.m. Eastern | Aug 24-May 7
  • Anatomy & Physiology | Aug 24-May 7




How do Biology and Honors Biology differ?


What are the differences between Biology and Honors Biology?

Biology

  • McGraw Hill textbook and online program
  • Live weekly meetings: Wednesdays, 7:00-8:30 p.m Eastern
  • Open book tests
  • Some section reviews via the online resources
  • Lab journal to record supplies, methods, and findings
  • Dissection of earthworm, starfish, perch and frog

Honors Biology

  • Holt McDougal textbook and online program
  • Live weekly meetings: most Thursdays, 1:30 – 3:00 p.m. Eastern
  • Closed book weekly/unit tests
  • Weekly discussion forums
  • Data analysis—learning to read, analyze, and draw conclusions from data/data tables/graphs/charts based on experiments
  • Lab reports and investigative reports throughout the year
  • Unit project (1 or 2)
  • Dissection of earthworm, crawdad, perch and frog
  • Preparation for the SAT Biology subject test throughout the year




What math sequence should I choose?


Blue Tent does not recommend or require students to complete Geometry and Algebra 2 in a particular order. We have found there to be no significant difference in the performance or preparedness of students who take Algebra 1/Geometry/Algebra 2 versus Algebra 1/Algebra 2/Geometry. Some points you may wish to consider:

  • Geometry uses a lot of Algebra I skills, applying them to concepts with figures and shapes, so it might be beneficial for a student to practice and reinforce foundational Algebra 1 skills before diving into Algebra 2.
  • Precalculus depends quite a bit on skills learned in Algebra 2, so by taking Algebra 2 immediately prior to Precalculus, students may benefit from having those skills fresh in their minds.
  • A student's SAT plans may be a factor in choosing the sequence. Students will need to have completed Algebra 1 and Geometry before taking the SAT in math.
There are pros and cons to either sequence. There is no single "best" sequence, and a committed student will enjoy success taking Geometry and Algebra 2 in either order.




Questions about ZOOM?


We've chosen to use ZOOM and have found it to be reliable and secure. RELIABILITY

  • As with any live platform used by a variety of users connecting up with an array of internet speeds and computer devices, no platform is going to be 100% perfect 100% of the time.
  • ZOOM has been reliable for us. In the few times that there have been reported connection or vidoeo/audio issues, we've found that those were not due to the ZOOM platform itself. We take reliability very seriously, and we work quickly to troubleshoot and solve any issue.
HOST LICENSES
  • In the current COVID-19 environment, schools and businesses have looked to video platforms such as ZOOM as they've pivoted to online learning and video conferencing.
  • A large number of new online educators are utilizing ZOOM's free basic platform.
  • Blue Tent has always purchased host licenses for all our teachers, and that upgrade offers us access to additional settings that enhance the security of our classes and provide features that enrich the interactivity and enjoyment of our classes.
SECURITY
  • Passwords
    • All of our ZOOM classes require passwords.
    • Passwords are either embedded in our session links or students are given passwords to enter before classes can be joined.
  • Waiting Rooms
    • All of our ZOOM classes begin with waiting rooms. No student can interact with the teacher or other students until a teacher "lets them in" to a class.
    • When students log in to join a class, they are placed in a virtual waiting room so that our teachers can see exactly who is waiting and ensure that only our students have access to any class.
  • Audio/Video Controls
    • Teachers can mute and/or disable video access if that should ever become necessary.
    • Students cannot "chat" anonymously with any other student.
  • Screen Sharing
    • Screen sharing requires teacher permission.
    • No students can automatically "share" any images on their own personal computer.
If you have questions about our live classes, please let us know.




What microscope should I purchase?


Our science teachers have some suggestions HERE to help you choose a microscope. If you have additional questions, please feel free to contact us at bluetentonline@gmail.com.




Are Blue Tent classes religious?


We welcome all student into our classes. We use secular curriculum, and we teach in a secular manner.





 

© 2020 Blue Tent Online, LLC

AP and Advancement Placement are registered trademarks of the College Board. Used with permission.