Top 5 Things to Know About Online School

Are you wondering how online school works? Here are your top five questions answered. Number one, what does the online school look like? Here it is. Students in grades K through 5 use the OLS, a platform that looks like this. Students in grades 6 through 12, use the D2L platform. They're both web-based so once you enroll, you can simply log in to your school account to see your student's daily schedule, classes, lessons and grades, all from one place. At the top of the page, you can see any live classes that are scheduled for the day. Below that, are links to lessons that have been assigned for the week. From your landing page, you'll also be able to do things like check your school email, check your grades, read school announcements and contact your teacher. Number two, are there teachers in live classes? Yes, students attend regularly scheduled live classes with state certified teachers. In these sessions, called Class Connects, students receive live instruction from their teachers and can also interact with classmates in real time. The number of live classes your student needs to attend will vary based on their grade level and the learning plan set up with your school. There are a variety of ways that students can work with each other and their teachers during Class Connect sessions. They can type in the chat, speak over the microphone, and type and draw using whiteboard features. Teachers also use breakout rooms to organize students into smaller groups to work on projects together or to deliver more targeted instruction, just like in a brick and mortar school. Blackboard Collaborate is our current platform for live classes, but in the Fall of 2020 we will be changing to NewRow, which offers even more video and collaboration tools. Number three, is there work outside of live classes? Yes, in addition to live classes, students have lessons to work through independently or with the help of their learning coach. You can see all your student's assignments here on the homepage of your online school. Click on the lesson and it will take you into the subject material. You can also check progress on assignments and grades here too. While many of your student's lessons will be completed online, they'll also have offline assignments like science experiments, art projects and reading. Number four, what is a Learning Coach? At K12 a Learning Coach is the adult responsible for providing support, motivation and guidance to their student throughout the school year. A Learning Coach is typically a student's parent or legal guardian, but can be another family member, friend or trusted adult. What's most important is that the Learning Coach be available and committed to supporting their student each school day. A Learning Coach's daily responsibilities and time requirements will change based on the age, grade and individual needs of your student. To learn more about how Learning Coaches support students in different grade levels, be sure to check out the videos and information about the role of the Learning Coach on our website. Number five, how should we schedule our school day? When you log in to the online school each morning, you'll see a list of any live classes for the day. Since students will need to attend these at the specific time they're scheduled, build these into their day first. You can also see a list of assignments from your teachers and their due dates. Apart from attending live classes, students are free to schedule their day in any way that works best. Some students like to get their more challenging subjects out of the way first. While others prefer to spread out their work. Some students like to focus on just one or two subjects per day to deep dive into content. It all depends on what works best for your student. Understand that online school is still school and it takes time to learn effectively. You should plan to have your student spend about six hours per day engaged in classes, lessons and assignments. All students should plan to take breaks throughout the day and also make plans to stay social. In addition, to K12 online clubs and school sponsored events, students should make time to see friends, play on sports teams, or participate in any number of activities in your community.