Parent FAQ

  • Is IDEAL-NM a school?

    No. IDEAL-NM provides online courses to students in partnership with New Mexico schools. IDEAL-NM does not award credit for courses. The enrolling (partner) school awards credit for courses completed through IDEAL-NM.

  • What legislation governs the IDEAL-NM program?
  • How does the partnership between IDEAL-NM and my child’s school work?

    Your child’s school provides space, technology and a support person and will award course credit. IDEAL-NM provides the online course taught by a licensed NM teacher and student support services. Typically, an IDEAL-NM course becomes part of a student’s schedule and the student reports to a computer lab during a designated time, where he/she is monitored and supported by a school site coordinator or learning coach.

  • Is my child a good fit for online learning?

    We believe that all students are digital learners. However, basic computer literacy skills are critical to success in an online environment. Dispositions such as self-motivation and being an independent learner, and, skills such as organization, time management and written communication are also important. To find out more about the dispositions and skills for online learners visit the student resources on the student page of our website.

  • How many courses can my child take?

    Typically students enroll in one or two IDEAL-NM courses that are part of their regular school schedule. Your child’s school site coordinator will determine how many courses your child may enroll in at one time. However, we do not recommend that students who are new to online learning take more than one course the first time and no more than two courses at one time thereafter.

  • How do I enroll my child in a course through IDEAL-NM?

    Public school students must enroll through a local school. Your first point of contact is your child’s school counselor. In the event that your school counselor is not familiar with the IDEAL-NM program, you may contact the IDEAL-NM student services coordinator to facilitate this communication.

    If your child’s private school participates in IDEAL-NM, your child may enroll through the school. Your first point of contact is your child’s school counselor. In the event that your school counselor is not familiar with the IDEAL-NM program, you may contact the IDEAL-NM student services coordinator to facilitate this communication.

    Home school students may choose one of the following options:

    1. A student may enroll through and pay the course fees directly to a local school. If a student is enrolled at least half-time (per enrolling school’s policy), the school may cover the enrollment fees. However, if a student is enrolled half-time or more, the student will be designated as a public school student and will be required to take the Mexico Standards Based Assessment (NMSBA).
      Course fees $200 per .5 credit/semester course (regular courses)
      $250 per .5 credit/semester course (Advanced Placement courses)
    2. Enroll directly through IDEAL-NM and pay the course enrollment fees directly to IDEAL-NM. IDEAL-NM is not a school and as such, cannot award credit for courses completed. If credit for courses is desired, a home school student must enroll through a local school.
      Course fees $250 per .5 credit/semester course (regular courses)
      $300 per .5 credit/semester course (Advanced Placement courses)
  • What is the cost of enrolling in an IDEAL-NM online course?

    If your child is a public, charter, or private school student, his /her school may cover the course enrollment fees. This will depend on the school’s distance learning policy. Check with your child’s school counselor. IDEAL-NM charges schools course enrollment fees. These fees cover the cost of the eTeacher/instruction for the course. An enrollment fee schedule may be accessed on the resource page.

  • Can a school pass the cost of an IDEAL-NM course on to the student/parents?

    During the summer and regular school year, schools may pass the cost of the online course to the student/parent in the following cases:

    • Students enrolled in credit recovery courses (except for indigent students).
    • Students enrolled in enrichment courses (i.e. advanced placement, honors, dual credit) unless student is taking the enrichment course to fulfill the graduation requirement of taking an online, dual credit, advanced placement, or honors course.
    • Students enrolled in courses taken above and beyond a regular student schedule (i.e. taking extra courses to graduate on time or ahead of time).
    • Students enrolled in preferred electives not offered at the school.
    • Students enrolled in courses due to scheduling conflicts outside of school (i.e. employment or extracurricular activities).

    During the summer and regular school year, schools may not pass the cost of the online course to the student/parent in the following cases:

    • Students enrolled in online courses because the school does not offer the course for whatever reason.
    • Students who are indigent.
    • Students enrolled in online courses that are core requirements for graduation that are part of the students' regular schedules.
  • Do the courses have textbooks?

    With the exception of some Advanced Placement and English Language Arts courses, IDEAL-NM courses do not require textbooks.

  • Does IDEAL-NM offer credit recovery courses?

    Any core IDEAL-NM course may be taken for credit recovery. School site coordinators should let the IDEAL-NM student services coordinator know if a student is trying to recover credit so that the eTeacher may be notified to provide more direct instruction.

  • Does IDEAL-NM offer online dual credit courses?


  • Does IDEAL-NM offer Advanced Placement courses?

    Yes. IDEAL-NM offers College Board approved Advanced Placement courses.

  • Who teaches the IDEAL-NM courses?

    IDEAL-NM courses are taught by licensed New Mexico teachers with endorsements in the content areas they teach. While some of our teachers reside in other states, most live in New Mexico and are teaching full time in a local school.

  • What is the best way to contact my child’s eTeacher?

    Within each course, there is an eTeacher contact button on the course menu that provides eTeachers’ e-mails and phone numbers.

  • How are the courses structured?

    IDEAL-NM courses are asynchronous—students and teachers access the courses at different times. The courses are delivered via the learning management system (LMS) and are designed to be interactive and engaging.

  • How do students and teachers interact?

    Through various communication tools within the learning management system (i.e., discussion board, messaging, and chat), students interact with each other and their teacher on an ongoing basis. Courses have web conferencing capability, which enables live interaction between teachers and students for individual and group instruction or for parent/student/teacher conferences.

  • Have IDEAL-NM online courses been approved for NCAA eligibility?

    After a review from NCAA, NCAA determined that IDEAL-NM courses are not eligible for NCAA approval. IDEAL-NM does not meet the Student-Teacher Interaction, according to their criteria.

    While IDEAL-NM courses do not meet NCAA’s criteria for student to teacher interaction, students interested in taking an IDEAL-NM course may still do so and be eligible to play college sports based on other courses taken through their local district. When considering which IDEAL-NM courses to take, talk to your counselor to be sure that the core courses for NCAA are addressed with courses you have taken at your local school site.

  • How is my child’s progress monitored?

    Your child’s school site coordinator or learning coach has access to the student information and learning management systems. Within these systems, they will use the tools that are available for tracking and monitoring student progress.

  • Can I monitor my child’s progress?

    Yes. When your child is enrolled in an IDEAL-NM course, you will automatically receive log-in credentials for the student information system. In this system, you are able to monitor your child’s progress and check his/her grades. You also have the option of requesting an account in the learning management system where you may also monitor progress and grades.

  • What is academic watch?

    On a weekly basis, eTeachers are required to notify site coordinators of students whose grades have dropped below a 60% through the Academic Watch system. eTeachers may also include students on the academic watch list who have not logged in in three days or who are behind pace.

  • How are my child’s grades reported?

    School site coordinators and learning coaches have access to student grades in the learning management and student information systems. They also have the ability to access and print out student transcripts. IDEAL-NM provides a percentage grade and your child’s school will translate the percentage grade into a letter grade and award credit on your child’s transcript.

  • How do I drop my child from a course?

    Only site coordinators or learning coaches may drop students from courses. If you would like to drop your child from an IDEAL-NM course, contact your child’s site coordinator or learning coach.

  • Can students with Individual Education Plan or 504 plans take IDEAL-NM courses?

    Yes. IDEAL-NM eTeachers make the necessary accommodations in accordance with students’ IEPs/ 504s and in collaboration with the onsite school staff. However, it is important to recognize that some accommodations may need to be provided at the school site through assistive technology or other support provided by the student’s home school.

  • What resources are available to me as a parent?

    The following student resources are important for you to read as a parent:

    The first time your child is enrolled in an IDEAL-NM course, he/she is automatically enrolled in the New Student Orientation. This is a very important resource for students. Be sure your child completes the orientation prior to starting his/her first course. The link to the orientation can be accessed in the course list in the learning management system when your child first logs in.

    IDEAL-NM also has a student handbook. Be sure that you and your child read this before your child begins his/her first online course. We recommend that your child prints the handbook out and saves it for ongoing reference. The student handbook is available in the online courses and on the resources page on the student and parent sections of our website (

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