Peninsula Internet Academy (PIA)
We offer engaging alternatives to brick-and-mortar settings, and strive to help our valued students acquire the academic knowledge and personal skills to become productive citizens in our community. We thank you for choosing us to help with your education.
Peninsula Internet Academy (PIA) works collaboratively with our district’s high schools to provide online alternatives to traditional education for 9th-12th graders.
Our online learning program uses the OSPI accredited provider Fuel Education for the majority of its content and curriculum. The curriculum is aligned to district and state standards, and has been approved by our district’s Instructional Advisory Committee.
Students seeking assistance may make an appointment to visit our offices for one-on-one help. We do offer evening and weekend appointments. In addition, students can speak with their content area teachers and the Online Learning Specialist by: phone, email, website messaging or in person. Although responses may not be immediate, we offer technical and course support until 9:00 each night, 7 days a week.
Students are able to integrate Running Start and Skill Center classes with their online learning plans. Extra curricular activities are also available throughout the school year, including athletics for students at their neighborhood school, as well as blending academic programs with music, drama, and hands-on technical classes.
Please feel free to call our coordinator with any questions.
- PIA Mission Statement
- About Our Programs
- Student Learning Plans and Basic Expectations
- Appointments and Location
Peninsula Internet Academy (PIA) is a high school program, run out of Gig Harbor, Henderson Bay, and Peninsula High School. It was started in the Spring of 2008.
PIA’s 9th –12th grade distance learning program serves self-motivated students who are looking for individualized education options with flexibility to achieve high academic standards. Our students have the opportunity to obtain a high school diploma with necessary skills to be successful in multiple post-high school endeavors. Students’ individual needs are met through personalization. Students have choices to use distance learning as well as weekly walk-in labs, where students can get additional assistance. Students can speak with their teachers and the Online Learning Specialist by: phone, email, PIA messaging, or in person. We offer integration for students enrolled in Running Start and Skill Center, as well.
STUDENT ENROLLMENT PROCESS
Students who wish to enroll in the PIA program while attending a Peninsula School District High School will complete the Initial Individualized Learning Plan in their high school counselor’s office. The counselor, parent and student must sign this plan.
The plan then goes to the high school registrar who puts the course(s) in the student’s schedule. The high school registrar will send the Initial Learning Plan to the PIA registrar to be processed. Students and parents are sent an email from the Online Coordinator with instructions for beginning the course. Students are expected to begin within 72 hours of receiving this email.
We offer an alternative to brick-and-mortar classes in a traditional high school. Students enter our program for variety of reasons. The majority of our students take one, or two online classes as part of their regular high school schedule. At school, students can work in the library, computer lab, or Career Center. Many students have these courses either first or sixth period, and are able to work online from home.
Students can register for credit recovery courses, and catch up on graduation requirements. Some students take online classes to accelerate their graduation or enrich their learning experiences beyond those offered in our traditional schools, such as computer programming electives, World Languages and/or AP courses. We also offer an alternative for students and counselors who are unable to fit every desired class in the regular school schedule.
We have several students that are in our program full time, and take all of their classes online. Full-time students can participate in extra curricular activities, including athletics, music, drama, art, and hands-on technical classes at their home high school.
Students who wish to enroll in the Full Time PIA Program complete the online enrollment request posted on the PIA website (pia.psd401.net). The PIA registrar will then email the link to the enrollment forms needed. After the forms are completed and turned in to the PIA registrar, a meeting is set up with the Online Coordinator. If accepted into the full-time program, students will be enrolled in Henderson Bay High School. All counseling, scheduling and registration is handled by the Online Coordinator, Anne Mullen. The Online Coordinator also facilitates and documents all ALE processes including: Individualized Learning Plans, weekly contact, monthly assessment of adequate progress and Intervention Plans.
PIA offers three different types of high school level courses to our students. The majority of PIA students take regular online courses; however, we also offer Advanced Placement courses. Our AP courses have been approved by College Board, and all AP teachers have been specifically trained for this purpose.
In addition, we have Credit Recovery courses for those students that need to retrieve credit from classes they have failed. Students can take Online Credit Recovery classes to earn .5 credit, and a PASS on their transcript. The PASS does not impact GPA.
Credit Recovery Note: If a student earns a failing grade in a course, credit may only be retrieved one time. If a student fails a course and retrieves the credit once by attempting the full course again, both classes appear on the student's transcript, and only the higher grade is used to determine GPA; however, if a student has already retaken a full version of the class, that student is not able to then enroll in an online credit recovery version of the course for an additional .5 credit.
MIDDLE SCHOOL STUDENTS
We are a high-school program, run out of GHHS, HB, and PHS. We do not offer courses appropriate in content or time requirements for middle school age students. In rare cases when it is determined by the School Principal to be in the best interest of the student, Middle School students can be accepted into the program. This is only an option on a case-by-case basis, only when the needed class is NOT OFFERED at the middle school. This is mostly for higher level math placement, such as Algebra 2, or Pre-Calculus. Parents must first contact the building Principal to start this discussion.
We make every attempt possible to make contact with all our students, full and part-time, once a week synchronously with the courses teacher via email, phone, PIA messaging, in person, or through the use of online interactive sessions. In addition, our program is unique in that we have an open lab, twice a week, for students who are in need of extra help from our learning specialist.
We require bi-monthly face-to-face meetings with all of our full time students to provide academic guidance as well as instructional assistance.
PIA contracts with Fuel Education, by K12, for most of our online curriculum. Our Foreign Language Provider is Middlebury Languages, through K12. Fuel Education is accredited through Northwest Association of Accredited Schools and are in alignment with all state standards. K12 was reviewed and approved by both the Peninsula School District Board of Directors and the Instructional Advisory Committee in 2007.
The Peninsula School District has recently begun developing it's own curriculum in Social Studies, CCFE, Math, English and Health/PE. By having Peninsula School District teachers develop and teach these online courses, we closer align the digital curriculum with the brick-and-mortar setting, and we help to facilitate more frequent communication between students, teachers, and parents. All online district curriculum has been reviewed by the Peninsula School District Instructional Advisory Committee.
PIA is accredited from the Northwest Association of Accredited Schools.
All of our instructional staff is considered highly qualified in the areas they teach and all are state certified and endorsed in the areas that they are currently teaching.
Fuel Education’s AP courses, those provided by PIA, must be authorized annually by the College Board. Fuel Education can provide copies of their approved syllabi as needed (or they can go to our support site and reference knowledge base article # 8176-7952 )
PIA classes do not meet NCAA clearing house eligibility requirements. Any student planning on pursuing intercollegiate athletics in college should consider other options.
What is an SLP?
All students sign Student Learning Plans, which contain course expectations and learning goals. Our student learning plans tie the following basic set of expectations to each courses syllabus, specific learning targets and assessments. Individual plans will vary depending on starting and ending dates as well as individualized needs or circumstances. In addition, these plans will be modified through an intervention plan if the Online Coordinator determines that the student is not making adequate monthly progress.
Taking online classes requires dedication and perseverance. Our classes are rigorous, and require consistent attention. Each of our courses, including credit recovery courses, require that students spend a minimum of 5 hours accessing the online content. This includes, but is not limited to, reading course materials offline, completing assignments, participating in field trips, and taking all required assessments. Students should plan to spend as much time working in their course as they would if they were taking a course during a class period at the high school, including additional time for homework. We include this hour requirement in every SLP, and translate those hours to a maximum possible student FTE calculation for the state auditor in accordance with the Washington State Alternative Learning Laws, WAC (WAC 392-121-182.)
WEEKLY COMMUNICATION WITH INSTRUCTORS
Students must log into each class each week. In addition, students must contact their teacher weekly via email, PIA messaging, by phone, or in-person. The purpose of this contact is to assist the student in meeting course objectives. This is state law. In addition, all teachers have office hours, and are available to meet students in virtual classroom, or set up phone conversations, in order to provide additional instruction for students who need it.
As part of the original SLP, students must agree to the following additional expectations.
1. To read the syllabus and instructions before beginning any online classes.
2. To make weekly contact with my teacher via email or PIA messaging.
3. To log into coursework on a weekly basis.
4. To assess my progress to determine that I am making adequate monthly progress.
5. To create a plan to complete my coursework by the semester ending date that is specified on my learning plan.
6. To share my progress with my parents and/or guardians.
7. To contact the online coordinator if I am having technical issues at email@example.com, or 253-530-3850.
8. To contact my online teacher for help if I am having trouble with the content, or need additional help understanding the material.
9. To arrange for a PSD staff member to proctor my final exams at my home school.
10. To provide my own computer and Internet access.
PIA courses are graded using the standard scale used throughout all comprehensive PSD high schools. Each class contains a list of percentages and letter grade equivalents. Students who are not meeting our expectations, may be dropped from online courses with a failing grade, and may not be able to transfer into additional online courses until the next school year. In addition, students may receive a failing grade if coursework isn't completed on time. Failing grades are given if students , withdraw after 10 days, unless there is an extraordinary circumstance that is approved by school administration and the Online Coordinator.
PIA follows the Peninsula School District policy and guidelines for Grading for Learning. See the document that outlines the PSD guiding principles, below.
Welcome to the Peninsula Internet Academy
We are excited to support you in your online learning. For some, that may mean visiting our office for personal support.
We are open Monday-Thursday, 7:00-2:00, Friday 7:00-12:00. * We are closed Monday 11:00-11:45.
In addition, we are happy to make appointments outside of these hours to best suit the needs of your family. Appointments can be made to meet with our onsite staff by contacting our office at 253-530-3850.
We look forward to helping you make this year a success!
We are located in Peninsula School District's Community Transition Program Building. Our address is:
Peninsula Internet Academy 5800 Soundview Drive, Building E Gig Harbor, WA 98335.
From WA 16 West
1. Take Exit 10 For Olympic Dr. NW
2. Turn right on Olympic Dr. NW
3. Continue onto 30th St./Soundview Dr.
4. Turn left into Gig Harbor Business Park. Take a slight right at the Y, then take first left. We are the last building (Building E). You can enter in on the left hand side door.
From WA 16 East
1. Take Exit 10 For Olympic Dr. NW
2. Turn left on Olympic Dr. NW
3. Continue onto 30th St./Soundview Dr.
4. Turn right into Gig Harbor Business Park. Take a slight right at the Y, then take first left. We are the last building on the right in Building E. You can enter in on the left hand side door.
Our office is in the Gig Harbor Business Park, Building E. It can be a little hard to find. Therefore, use the map below along with directions.
How does a student get registered to take an online class?
First, students must be enrolled at a high school in Peninsula School District (PSD) to take an online class. Then, students should visit their counselor to see if an online class is right for them. After a student has been academically counseled into an online class, the student, parent and their Counselor together fill out a form, the student learning plan, that requires signatures and dates to be valid. This form needs to be returned to your Counselor in a timely manner for the next steps to occur. Finally, the student waits for the district's Online Coordinator to contact them via email which explains in detail what the student needs to do to get started. Any questions you may have are answered by emailing the Online Coordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Is there a cost to take an online class as part of their regular schedule at school?
If a student has room in their schedule, they are slotted for the online class as part of their regular school day. There is a $25 fee, per semester.
Is there a cost for a seventh period class?
Yes. The Peninsula School District does not receive funding for seventh period classes from the state. Because of this, students who choose to take seventh period classes pay for the content. All Social Studies, Health and PE, and CCFE classes are $225 each. English, Science, Math and Foreign Language classes cost $275. AP courses are $325. We want all students to have an equal opportunity to learn. Students who qualify for free and/or reduced lunch may register for classes at a reduced rate.
What is the Student Learning Plan?
Students need an individuated learning plan for each class. Basically, this official agreement is required by state law, and details all of the student's expectations in writing. It lists the course name, the beginning and ending date, and the amount of time the student agrees to work on the online course.
How do final exams work?
Final exams must be proctored under the supervision of a Peninsula School District employee. Students must arrange a time and place to take the test with his or her Counselor, or they can arrange to take the test at the PIA offices. The Career Center will be scheduled for specific days at each high school. Check the PIA Newsletter near the end of the semester, for more information. Students can bring formula sheets and a calculator to their exams, but notes but are allowed.
Who are the teachers for these online courses?
Our online courses are taught by highly qualified Washington state certified teachers in each subject. These teachers have many years of experience teaching online. They are highly skilled in all aspects of making a student's online experience successful and receive specialized training annually to improve the quality of the online learning experience.
How do I know these are high quality classes?
Our online courses are accredited for college entrance, aligned to state standards and taught by highly qualified Washington state certified teachers. these courses are as rigorous as the classes students take at our high schools.
How do the online courses transfer on PSD's transcript?
They are identified as regular PSD courses with earned grades. When grades are turned into each high school, the high school transfers the online course title to an equivalent PSD course. This is the same process as any course from an accredited institution in the state of Washington would go through. Pass/Fail is only available when the course is taken for credit retrieval in the Summer. In essence, they are treated the same as any high school course offered in the district.
When will I see my grades on my transcript?
Grades are posted after the end of the regular semester schedule at the end of January and end of June. Summer session classes grades are posted at the end of August.
Can I transfer between regular courses and online courses or online courses to regular courses?
All online courses are self-contained courses offered through a national online contractor. Although these courses are offered by a fully accredited institution approved by the state, they are not identical to the courses offered in our high schools. Therefore, it is not possible to start a course online and finish the course in a district class or start a regular courses and transfer into an online course. Once you decide to take an online course, your only choice to get credit is to stay with that online class within the semester. There are no transfers from online courses to a regular high school course outside of the semester breaks.
How difficult are online classes compared to the classes offered at school?
Online courses can be more difficult than class at your school especially if you have concerns with several of the following statements:
- I have ready access to a computer to get online work done whenever you want.
- I am usually prepared and getting things done on time or ahead of time.
- I can plan ahead and getting my work completed on time.
- I can be self-motivated almost never procrastinate (wait to do) my school work.
- I like being in a situation where I must figure out solutions to your my questions, problems, or concerns.
- I complete and/or turning in school work without having to be reminded or told a second time.
- I usually set and stick to my own school work schedule for all my classes.
- I understanding class materials at your grade level when I have to read them.
- I usually can figure out the meaning of what I read without help.
- I am working on grade level math or having not fallen behind in math.
- I can follow directions on my own.
- I don’t see any problem asking for help online, using email, chatting and/or on the phone.
- I can express myself well in writing when asked to do so for a class assignment.
- I can assess my progress and am able to adjust my learning when needed against expectations and timelines.