Online learning is a concept that is not new but that is definitely adapting to the times. Sometimes, students struggle with online learning because of the lack of support systems within the school they are working with. When looking at online schools – families should look at support systems already embedded within the program.
Is there a person specifically assigned to your student to go to for guidance besides the teacher?
- An online school should have a support person (learning coach, designated guidance counselor, mentor) who is available to help students with time management, pacing, and navigating the online experience. This support person will help students set up plans as well as be a listening board for students who need to talk out their difficulties.
Are teachers available to help students during a student’s free time (not training or practicing)?
- Online teachers understand the time constraints put onto students who have extracurricular or serious commitments. Even though teachers will have specific “office hours,” a school’s teacher should also be flexible to meet with students when the student has a small window to meet with them.
- Online schools should also have easy to use platforms that help students contact their support person and teachers. Platforms like Slack/Pronto and other similar “back and forth” programs are perfect for students to have access to as they can utilize their smartphones to quickly contact support people and teachers.
Are students able to participate in academic/community service clubs while attending this online school?
- Some online schools offer academic clubs like student council, math club, community service clubs, and a chapter of the National Honor Society. These clubs are offered virtually with virtual meetings and meet-ups. These clubs offer expansion to your student’s educational experience and allow them to communicate with their peers and teachers.
Online schools are sometimes tricky to navigate but with these options offered – your student will be able to progress through their educational experience while having fun and being diverse.