Similar to a traditional in-person high school, there are a few different online high schools. The first type of an Education Management Organization, or an EMO. This is a virtual school operated by an organization whose focus is education. While EMOs may be non-profit, they are for-profit more often than not.
The next type of online high school is a public school. Like the traditional public school, these online public schools are operated by school districts and states. These virtual schools are tuition-free magnet or public charter schools established by the state to administer education.
The final type of online high school is a private virtual school. These types of online schools offer alternative schedules, and most students who attend these need more of a flexible schedule. Private online high schools tend to be for gifted students and act as a feeder program for specific universities. The tuition fee for these schools is typically higher than other online high schools.
What to Look For
There are many crucial things to consider as parents compare online high schools. Some factors relate to you, while most relate to what the online high school offers your child. All of the following factors are important to consider before choosing an online high school for your child to enroll in.
The first factor is the school’s accreditation. Accreditation is a vital factor, and it is not optional in an online high school. When a school is accredited, it is recognized as a legitimate institution by not only the state but also by colleges, employers, and beyond. Accreditation can be achieved when a national, regional, or state accrediting agency views the school’s curriculum and offerings as valid.
Regional accreditation is the most common type of accreditation for online high schools, and most online high schools accredited by the state are considered public schools. No matter what the accreditation is, it means that the school is working according to federal regulations and has certain academic standards upheld.
Accreditation is vital for a parent when comparing online high schools because it would be the difference between a legitimate education for your child and an illegitimate one. Achieve Virtual Education Academy is Indiana’s only online high school from an Indiana public school district. Accredited by the Indiana Department of Education, parents can know that their student’s courses will ultimately lead to a high school diploma and open many doors of opportunity beyond high school.
High School Curriculum
The next factor to consider is the online high school’s curriculum. Parents and students will want to ensure that the courses offered to suit their educational needs. Online high school offers students a curriculum tailored to their goals and needs. Some students may need only to take one course during a summer session to stay on track for graduation, while others may be looking to complete their high school education entirely online.
Online high schools should have a wide array of courses to choose from to ensure the student is getting the proper education. Achieve Virtual offers a curriculum that spans every field of study, including business and career, health and physical education, language arts, math, fine arts, science, social studies, world languages, and technology.
Many online high schools lack advanced education opportunities to keep gifted students engaged and offer resources to gain college credit while taking high school courses. This is the next factor to look at. Most traditional high schools offer dual credit courses, so these opportunities are a must if you’re looking for an online experience for your child that can stand up to a traditional high school.
The dual credit courses that Achieve Virtual offers will fulfill high school credits and allow students to achieve college credit through Vincennes University. When completing high school education, check to see whether your child can apply their credit to the college experience.
While it may seem like it, online education is not meant to be drastically different from traditional high schools regarding the quality of educators available to students. The education style of the online high school is the next factor to consider when comparing online schools. A school can only be as good as its teachers, so it’s essential to be sure that you and your student feel confident in the quality of a high school’s faculty before making a decision.
At Achieve Virtual, the faculty comprises licensed instructors who have a passion for their subjects and engage with their students. Most of our instructors also teach students in physical classrooms and work with online students. They’re driven by a desire to see students succeed, so students and parents can feel confident in Achieve Virtual faculty quality.
The quality of faculty also ties into the next factor to consider: academic support. Academic support can be a pivotal factor in any student’s educational journey. Check with the online high school to determine the sort of extra help that they provide students and parents. Academic counselors, peer support, and teacher support are all things that can and should be offered by an online high school.
Flexibility for students is the final factor to consider. Students are put on the clock in a traditional classroom, pushed to absorb information and work during a specific period. Online schools are typically more flexible on deadlines and allow students who feel freer to learn when they feel the most capable of doing work and retaining knowledge. An online high school’s flexibility could make or break your child’s success, and it’s an important factor to look at when comparing schools.
Choosing the Right Online High School for Your Child
When comparing online high schools, there are plenty of factors to consider. However, the most important factor to consider is your child. You want to find an online high school that will work the best for your child to help them achieve everything you know they’re capable of. At Achieve Virtual, we provide a program for your child to help them achieve their learning goals while leaving room for them to invest in their health, personal preferences, family, and confidence.