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General Information

Class Attendance / Textbooks / Technical Requirements / Accommodation

Class Attendance


Classes are intended to be taken synchronously (live), and regular attendance in live class meetings is required for each course. Classes are interactive discussions in which students are called on to participate by reading, doing guided practice, and answering content questions. A participation grade is assigned that includes an attendance component. Missing an occasional class is not a problem, but missing many classes makes it difficult for even a strong student to do well in the course.

To increase flexibility for busy homeschooling families, segments of class sessions may be recorded and made available to students enrolled in that class for four weeks after a class session. These recorded sessions are not intended to replace regular attendance in the live class sessions. Attendance will be factored into the participation grade.

  • If for any anticipated or foreseeable reason a student plans to miss two consecutive live classes or a total of three live classes in any semester (summer, fall, or spring), the family must obtain concurrence from Learning CTR Online prior to enrolling. Reasonable plans will be accommodated but prior concurrence is required. An academic plan with specific due dates must be approved. Otherwise the student will be placed in Audit status for the course.

  • If for any unforeseeable or emergent reason a student ends up missing two consecutive live classes or a total of three live classes in any semester (summer, fall, or spring), the family must obtain concurrence from Learning CTR Online to continue the course for a grade. Unforeseeable emergencies will be accommodated when academic standards can be maintained and achieved. An academic plan with specific due dates must be approved. Otherwise the student will be placed in Audit status for the course.

Class Attendance

Textbook Requirement


  • Learning CTR Online does NOT teach to a textbook, but instruction is presented based on nationally recognized curricula with clear Topics and Objectives (big ideas) supported by prioritized major and minor points.

  • The textbook becomes supplementary, meaning that it is an alternative resource of content and information for student use. 

  • Learning CTR Online does assign homework from a text as well as note taking and summarization for student learning.

  • Learning CTR Online attempts to use a text edition that is less expensive.

Obtaining Textbooks


Check the Course tab and Specific Course for details regarding text, lab supplies, and materials. 


ISBN numbers are provided for all books and media, to help ensure you purchase the correct version of the correct item. Unless otherwise indicated, you must obtain the exact ISBN or part number specified.

You may usually purchase items from anywhere you prefer. Learning CTR Online will  try to solicit discounted prices when possible.

Downloadable e-textbooks are usually not available to homeschoolers because they require licensed connection to a digital course on the textbook publisher’s server, and so the complete courseware is available only to schools.

Due to high mark-ups and limited service, Learning CTR Online does not work directly with any preferred external booksellers to stock books for Learning CTR Online courses. 


How did Learning CTR Online choose its textbooks?


  • Scope and level: Does it cover the topics needed in sufficient depth for success in later courses?

  • Scholarship: Does it present a full and current range of data and source research on a given topic?

  • Academic Integrity: Does it present and reference data separately from interpretation, and then consider a reasonable range of interpretations of the data?

  • Biblical worldview: Does it allow biblical faith and academic scholarship to be integrated, or does it force them in opposition?

  • Age Appropriate: For younger learners, does it unnecessarily expose them to ambiguous or mature content? For older students preparing for college and career, does it fail to provide sufficient careful exposure to and wise consideration of the range of situations and ideas they will encounter?

  • Coherence: Does it merge well with the courses that come before and after it, so progression is a smooth slope upward from Elementary through College?

  • Learning Resources: Does it offer good additional media resources to support the home learner, who is relying heavily on self-study?

  • Evaluation: Does it support regular testing and evaluation to make sure students are progressing, and that students can see their own progress?


There is no perfect or ideal textbook, and the text was chosen with the goal of preparing students for college and career with faith and scholarship integrated together. Supplemental materials are inserted to achieve this standard. 


“Secular” versus “Christian” texts?

Learning CTR Online teaches all courses from a biblical worldview that academically integrates faith and scholarship. The text is chosen based on the parameters given previously without prioritizing one author or publisher over another. All major texts are listed in the details for each course so they may be reviewed prior to enrolling.

Choosing Texts
Technical Requirements

Technical Requirements for Classes




10 Mbps or higher stable internet is recommended (slower speeds work but reduce the quality of the class, and higher speeds improve the class experience). We recommend fiberoptic or cable internet. DSL is the next best option. Mobile broadband can work if the signal is strong and stable, but will have a reduced class experience. Satellite is generally not recommended for conferencing, but can sometimes work (depends on how the internet provider is set up). Prior to enrolling, we require families to test the Zoom conferencing software (it is free) on the computers and networks they plan to use for classes.

Live Class Meetings


Learning CTR Online uses the Zoom platform, which is free to you. It is imperative that you test your connectivity related to Windows, Mac and Chromebook, pen tablet, stylus, and/or touch screen, cell phone, etc. 



Classes require a working headset with headphones and microphone. Possible units are: 1) Jabra sound cancelling speakers; 2) a USB headset for reliability (USB audio devices are easiest to setup and manage, and most likely to work on any Windows, OSX, or Chrome (OS system). Earbuds are generally not designed for computer use and generally do not provide a suitable microphone for classes. Desktop microphones and camera microphones generally pick up too much background audio, and so do not provide good audio for the classroom.



Cameras are recommended, but not required for classes. Cameras facilitate discussion in live classes and allows the teacher the ability to work with students more directly as they do work during class.




Learning CTR Online recommends Microsoft Word documents (.docx files) or PDFs (Adobe). Apple/Mac users should be able to convert Word documents.

It is the student's responsibility to submit documents (homework, quizzes, tests, lab reports) in compatible formats.


Learning Accommodations


Learning CTR Online can support learning accommodations that do not require the course content, standards, or schedule to be adjusted, or the teacher to perform extra instruction or tutoring. Supportable accommodations include extended testing time or use of a local reader for testing.

Learning CTR Online is not equipped to support accommodations that require the content, evaluation standards, or due dates to be changed, and teachers are not expected to perform extra instruction or tutoring.

Requests for academic accommodation must be made in writing to All requests must be supported by medical or certified learning specialist written reports and recommendations. Learning CTR Online will coordinate with the teacher to determine feasibility and approval.


When a learning accommodation is provided in a Learning CTR Online course, this will be clearly documented on Learning CTR Online grade reports and certificate of completion.

Craig T. Riesen

CTR pic 9 2011.jpg


  • Biology

  • Chemistry

  • Physics

  • General Science 7-12

  • Basic Administation K-12

  • Online Instructor

30+ years Teaching Experience

  • Public Schools (26+yr)

  • Online (7+yr)

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