How It Works

How Online Middle School Works

Who can attend?

The CAU middle school program serves students in grades 6–8 who reside in Utah.

What’s my role as a parent?

Middle school is a time when students become more independent, taking on more responsibility and ownership for their learning. A parent (or another responsible adult) serves as a Learning Coach to the child. Parent/Learning Coach involvement is critical for success as middle school students continue building their organization and time-management skills. Teachers set the pace of instruction, but the Learning Coach helps the student stay on track.

Parent/Learning Coach involvement may vary per child and grade level. The initial 4 to 8 weeks can be intensive as families settle into a routine. Students in grades 6–8 build self-advocacy skills and work more directly with teachers, but parent/Learning Coach involvement is essential for approximately 20 hours a week.

Working with Your Teacher

To help students prepare for the transition from middle school to high school, and because of specialization in instruction, middle school students take their core classes and electives with subject-specific teachers.

In addition to  Class Connects, teachers may offer support or small group sessions to assist students. Middle school teachers work with families to ensure students are progressing academically as expected. Parents/Learning Coaches are encouraged to contact their child’s homeroom teacher any time they have questions or concerns.

Expectations for Completing Schoolwork

In middle school, student learning changes to a semester-based approach where students are required to earn a passing grade on their assignments and online lessons. Due dates are assigned to lessons to encourage consistent, steady progress for academic success.

While online lessons can usually be completed at any time of day, students are required to attend live, online Class Connect sessions with their teachers based on their individual needs. During Class Connects, students receive online instruction from teachers and have opportunities to interact virtually with classmates. Attending Class Connects and completing coursework according to the assigned pacing schedule will help set up your student for success. 

son and father studying and writing in the notebook

Career Readiness: Learning for Work

In grades 6–8, students participate in the following activities to identify and pursue their strengths and passions.

girl planting and Strider, the k12 fox

6th Grade

  • Determine career prospects based on interest and aptitude inventory tests
  • Explain interests and aptitude in relation to career interests
  • Write a research paper about career interests
  • Participate in career-focused field trips

7th Grade

  • Participate in multiple interest and career inventory tests
  • Use results to select colleges, careers, and/or military branches
  • Understand high school graduation requirements
  • Participate in career readiness exploration
  • Participate in career-focused field trips

8th Grade

  • Apply GPA to the application process for various colleges and universities
  • Determine career fits and begin a four-year high school graduation plan
  • Participate in career exploration courses
  • Participate in career-focused field trips
  • Determine career pathway

All students enrolled for the entire school year must attend 180 instructional days per school year. The total instructional days are prorated based on the student’s start date. The daily amount of expected instructional time for 6–12th grade is 6 hours.


Email is the primary form of communication between the school and families. Learning Coaches and students are required to check and respond to emails daily.


Our testing is purposeful and meaningful and drives our instructional practices to best serve the individual needs of your child.

State Testing

*Career Academy of Utah will enroll students in grades K–8 for the 2022–2023 school year. Initial enrollment is limited to 750 students. High school enrollment will be available starting with grade 9 in 2023 for the 2023–2024 academic school year. Grades 10–12 will be added in subsequent years.*

*If the number of applications received during the open enrollment period exceeds the number of available spaces, Career Academy Utah will hold a lottery immediately following the open enrollment period. Students whose applications are not selected by the lottery may opt to be placed on an enrollment waitlist.