Help! My Child Has Fallen Behind in School Again This Year!
More and more schools across the country have re-opened their doors. Hurray! But, has your child fallen behind, or lost high school credits from another year of mandated virtual or blended learning? Let’s face it, families and educators were thrust into online school overnight without the training needed to provide effective virtual learning.
Even great classroom teachers have felt challenged to engage students in the virtual learning environment. According to a recent article in Education Week, the most common questions teachers ask are:
- How do I use these virtual tools?
- What do I do if my student has technical difficulties?
- How do I get students to log in?
- How do I get students to turn in assignments?
- My school is not assigning grades. How do I assess students without grades?
Families have struggled too:
- How do I set up a quiet “classroom” space for my child to “go to school” without being distracted?
- Is it realistic to expect my child to sit in front of a computer from 8:00 am – 3:00 pm?
- What do I do if we have technical problems and can’t log in for a live lesson?
- How do I know if my child is completing their assignments?
- How does my child get help if they don’t understand the lesson?
Are you looking for a solution to keep your child’s learning moving forward? Virtual learning is not new. There are hundreds of accredited public and private schools that specialize in virtual learning. Depending on how much your child has lost in the past year, there are 2 good solutions:
Solution 1: Makeup lost high school credits this summer
I know you are thinking that your child won’t like the idea of going to school in the summer. But what if they could make their own schedule and go to school any time of day? Now, that isn’t so bad. If your child has lost high school credits for 1 or 2 courses, the simplest solution is to make up the credits through credit recovery or summer school. Private online schools are usually the best option because they offer enrollment in individual courses. Schools such as Whitmore School have open enrollment so your child can get a head start on those courses, and complete their school work any time of day that fits their schedule. At Whitmore, students who commit 4-5 days a week can complete a 1 credit course in about 2-4 months. Since Whitmore is accredited through Cognia (formerly AdvancED), once your child completes the course, their transcript and credit will transfer back to their school. **It is always a good idea to confirm with your child’s school counselor that the credits will be accepted by the school.
Solution 2: Enroll full-time in an accredited, self-paced virtual school
If your child has fallen behind in more than just a few high school courses or is just not receiving the individual attention they need to succeed, enrolling in a full-time, proven, accredited virtual school could be your best option. Here is why:
Virtual learning is not new. There are hundreds of accredited public and private schools that specialize in virtual learning.
Public Virtual Charter Schools – As the name implies, these schools are public schools, which means they are tuition-free. There are six states that do not have charter school law: Kentucky, Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Vermont. However, if you live in any other state, chances are you will find several options. K12 is one option that offers grades K -12, making it an easy choice for families with children in elementary, middle and high schools. Another option is Connections Academy, also serving students in grades K – 12. Most have open enrollment, and they are likely to have space available for full-time students. (Note -Virtual public charter schools may not offer individual courses or summer school. All students are enrolled as full-time students.)
Private Virtual Schools – Private virtual schools, such as Whitmore School and Laurel Springs School, charge tuition. The tuition is typically between $1,000 to $16,000 per year. Many private virtual schools are grade-specific: grades K – 8, or grades 9 – 12. However, there are also many schools offering grades K – 12.
Most virtual schools have open enrollment and flexible schedules. This means that students are not required to log in for live lessons at specific times. These schools are a great choice if your child has other time commitments. The advantage is that school can be completed around a busy schedule, medical appointments, family travel, or work.
Most private virtual schools offer open enrollment, a flexible schedule, and individual courses or full-time enrollment.
Read more here about choosing the right virtual school: 9 TIPs If Your Virtual / Blended Learning Options Are Not Working For Your Child
Whitmore School, accredited by Cognia (formerly AdvancED), offers four Diploma Programs for students wishing to enroll full-time to earn their high school diploma. Additionally, students looking to get back on track to graduate on time can enroll in individual courses. Students enroll and begin any time, work at their own pace, and may take up to 12 months to complete their courses.
Written by: Ellen Ray, Principal, and parent of Alina, 2009 Whitmore School GraduateSee all blog posts