Policies and Conditions

Notice of Nondiscriminatory Policy

CiRCE Online admits students of any race, color, national, or ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students through CiRCE Online. It does not discriminate on those bases in the administration of its programs, and admissions policies.

Grievance Policy

Complaints, concerns, and other problems should be handled in the following order:

1. Begin with the source of the grievance. This generally means speaking directly with the tutor, or if the grievance is with another student, then you should contact the other parent.

2. If the grievance is not resolved, then you should contact the Headmistress.

When addressing a tutor concerning a grievance, proceed in the following manner:

  • Respect the tutor’s responsibility to other families.
  • Understand that tutors will have information that the parents are not privy to.
  • Be concrete and specific. Do not ask tutors to understand or act on your feelings as a parent.
  • Do not spread rumors or criticisms behind a tutor’s back, or post inflammatory statements online (e.g., Facebook, Twitter, etc.).
  • Address the tutor respectfully and in a professional manner.

Failing to abide by these general guidelines may result in student dismissal.

Age & Admission Requirements for Courses

Unless given specific permission from the Headmaster, all students must meet the minimum age requirement for registration upon entering CiRCE Online classes.

Admission to the Lost Tools of Writing Level II course will be by permission or invitation from the Headmistress or tutor, and is only open to students who have completed Lost Tools of Writing Level I.

Admission to the Lost Tools of Writing Level III course will be by permission or invitation from the Headmistress or tutor and is only open to students who have completed Lost Tools of Writing Levels I and II.

Students may be asked to submit a writing sample prior to admission. 

Note on Age & The Lost Tools of Writing

The Lost Tools of Writing (LTW) is a writing curriculum that teaches, in Level I, the first three canons of classical rhetoric – invention, arrangement, and elocution.  It teaches students how to think of something to say, how to organize their thoughts, and how to express those thoughts in a clear and appropriate way.

The first part of this writing process teaches students to think of something to say. In that process it teaches them to think, in general.  This thinking process requires students to have matured to the point where they have developed abstract thinking skills. 

We have found with distance learning that younger students sometimes have greater difficulty than they would in a regular classroom. To account for that, we require that a parent attend the first class of the year with their child to see what the expectations are for the student and learn, with their student, how the technology works.


Given the “virtual” platform of CiRCE Online, the importance of communication cannot be overstated.  Following these procedures will help eliminate miscommunication and confusion:

  • Visit the class website daily for any news updates.
  • Check your e-mail daily to receive the steady stream of feedback.  This enables you to stay caught up with correction and course work.
  • Written homework assignments are posted weekly and students are expected to read them and follow directions.  Students also need to read all forum posts (received via e-mail).
  • Please be prompt with replies to your tutor(s).
  • Remember that CiRCE tutors are available through e-mail and, if needed, by phone. They will willingly and patiently answer any and all questions from students and from parents. 
  • Grievances should be addressed with the person towards whom the grievance is directed (see “Grievance Policy” above)
  • Gossip and slander are strictly forbidden by both Scripture and CiRCE policy (see “Grievance Policy” above)

Time Required

Most courses require 75 − 90 minutes of class time once a week unless you take a course that meets twice a week.  Time requirements to complete course work outside of class will vary based on the tutor, the course, and the ability of the student. A general rule of thumb is to assume 3 hours of work for every hour of class.  Each week, after a student completes his initial work of 1-2 hours of homework, he will need to spend about 15 minutes a day checking his e-mail (or the website) to find comments/feedback on his work and correcting his initial homework submission.

Tutoring Fees

Should a student require assistance from a tutor, beyond normal instruction, class time, and feedback, it may be deemed necessary to establish tutoring sessions.  If the parent(s) of the student and the tutor agree to such sessions, the tutor should be paid $35 per half-hour session.  These tutoring fees are not included in student tuition.


All assignments are to be completed by students in the time frame given by the tutor.  Students are responsible for knowing the course work requirements a tutor may administer for any given class, and to accept the consequences for not meeting those requirements.  The tutor retains the right to reject assignments that are not submitted by the given deadline.

Attendance and Absences

General Requirements Regarding Attendance

Regular attendance in the online classroom is necessary for a student’s progress. Each new class period builds on the previous class, making it important to attend every class offered during the term. Irregular attendance prevents students from learning the ideas and concepts taught in a course.


Arriving to class late or unprepared is considered tardy.  Please be punctual.  Tardiness can be a hindrance to learning and a disruption to the class.  Penalties for tardiness are determined by the tutor.

Absences and Make-up Work

Attendance is marked as either “present” or “absent.” Your child’s absence will not be marked “excused” or “unexcused.”

In the event of unintended absences due to illness or unforeseen circumstances, the student must contact the tutor to collect notes and assignments from the missed class. It is the student’s responsibility to gather this material and make-up any missed work.

Parents, if you know that your child will miss a class due to recreational travel or other events that conflict with class time, please notify the tutor 2 weeks in advance.  Assignments will be due when the student returns to class, unless otherwise directed by the tutor.

Class Withdrawal

Any student wishing to withdraw from a course must do so by notifying the tutor first (if the class has already begun meeting), and then notifying the Headmistress. Please take note of the “Refund Policy.” Failing to attend a class is different from withdrawing from a class and may result in the forfeiture of any refund.

Late Work

Students are hurt when they fall behind.  The tutor cannot complete the student’s work, understand for him, or force him to complete assignments.  Tutors will, however, send encouraging reminders to students, notifying parents if the student does not respond.  If neither responds to these repeated communications, and the student becomes two weeks behind in his work (for reasons not due to family emergency), we reserve the right to change his status to “Audit” or take other measures, such as no longer assessing the student’s work, requiring tutoring fees for the student, or removing the student from the course.


CiRCE Online does not provide textbooks for any class. It is the student’s responsibility to view the course syllabus and purchase the required texts.


Homework is assigned in order to (1) apply the ideas taught in a class, and (2) prepare for the next class meeting.

Homework may be assigned by a tutor at his or her discretion. It is important that students complete the work in a timely manner and according to the parameters given by the tutor. All homework is to be done by the student.

Assessment Policy

Principles & Form

The purpose of assessment is to motivate diligent effort to achieve known objectives. Assessment must be objective, clear, known, and fitting.

In every course, the tutor will assess content (or tradition), ideas (or truths), and skills (or virtues).


Tutors assess informally and formally. At the end of each term, students receive an evaluation that outlines whether they pass or fail a course. Tutors shall provide immediate feedback on all student work for the duration of a course.


Evaluations are issued to the parent at the end of the term. The evaluation indicates whether the student has passed or failed the course. It provides a narrative that outlines what the student understands, knows, and has learned how to do during the course.

Tests and Exams

Tests and exams serve to appropriately assess the student’s understanding of the ideas and concepts taught in a course. Therefore, cheating and plagiarism are strictly forbidden by CiRCE Online. Students are not permitted to communicate with other students during a test or exam, or to submit work that is not their own. Any violation of this policy may result in removal from CiRCE Online.

Honor Code

We believe in the pursuit of wisdom and virtue, and maintain the standards of respect, order, unity, diligence, and honesty as our commitment to personal excellence.

All staff, faculty, and students of CiRCE Online will commit to pursuing excellence (Phil. 4:8). In addition, all members of CiRCE Online will comply with the honor code: respect, order, unity, diligence, and honesty.

Financial Information

All students must enroll through the online registration process. A confirmation email with welcome information will be included with payment confirmation of the registration fee. A welcome packet of information will be available to follow instructions to pay any yearlong tuition through FACTS Management. Registration/application, and tuition information is available on the CiRCE website, and is subject to change without prior notice.

Payment Delinquency

CiRCE Online expects parents to fulfill their payment obligations in the time frames allotted.  Failure to make full payment will forfeit the student’s seat or access to the class.  The seat will remain closed to your child until a full payment has been received.  

Refund Policy

If you decide to drop a class, tuition will be refunded according to the following schedules:

Before July 31st: 100% of tuition paid

Before the end of the second week of class: 75% of tuition paid

After the end of the second week of class: No Refunds  

The full tuition for the term is due according to the schedule set up in your FACTS account. CiRCE is contracted with instructors for the duration of the courses.

Note: All withdrawls are final. 

Please note: these policies are subject to change without prior notice. Registration fees are non-refundable.

Contact Information


Patty Bianco, CiRCE Online Academy Headmistress – patty@circeinstitute.org

Customer Support Line: 704-794-2227

Please note: this document is subject to change without notice.