How to Choose the Best Online High School
Online high school is a practical alternative to the traditional physical schools offering students with a way to complete their coursework through various formats. The most important thing is that the program be accredited and credible. Parents are essential in deciding the best online high school for their children. These points will help them to determine the best virtual high school for their sons and daughters.
Accreditation is a sign that a school has met acceptable quality levels that the national or regional authorities recognize. An accredited high school also means that it is accountable to outside agencies regarding rates and academic performance. State and regions handle accreditation in most instances as schools around the country have different strategies’ to run their programs. Parents should ask for this information on certification before enrolling their children in online high school:
- Accrediting body
- The frequency of review and accreditation
- Accreditation renewal
School performance is vital for grades and admission to college. Colleges and universities consider the quality of education that a high school offers when choosing the students to admit. Some states grade both traditional and online high schools in a report card based on these criteria:
- Satisfaction by students and their parents
- Graduation rates in comparison to those of conventional schools in the locality
- Retention rates by percentage of new enrollments compared to past year
Parents will get an accurate overview of the school's performance and academic quality by evaluating the above items collectively.
Quality of instruction
It is essential to determine the kind of curriculum that a virtual high school offers at every grade level and delivery of the curriculum. A curriculum plays an essential role in the engagement of the students at high school level. Parents should review the manner in which each school:
- Develops its curriculum
- Aligns to standardized testing processes (national and state)
- Ways of assessing the courses
- How instructors communicate and interact with students
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Just like in the traditional settings, instructors determine the quality of instruction. It depends on their skills. A review of necessary qualifications for teachers who the school hires will help to assess the quality of instructors. A parent should seek information about the academic and professional background of teachers. The degree type, professional experience in areas of study and the years they have been teaching are criteria to look at to determine the quality of the instructors. Frequent training or orientation to online teaching also shows the competence of the instructors to modern practices. A good online high school retains teachers for a long time and has a minimal turnover rate.
Students support is essential for satisfactory academic outcomes because online learning does not have physical interaction.
A school that is keen on support services will:
- Provide tutoring services
- Assigns teaching coaches to help students with personalized learning
- Quick access to school counselors
- Dedicated support service agents for students and parents
- A community or parent network for parents
The credibility of Credit transfer
Credit transfers are important for students transferring into and out of the online programs. Most secondary institutions do not accept credits by students from the unaccredited school. It is essential to discuss the transfer process with the online school and local school authority to ensure that other schools in the case recognize the credits there is need to transfer. The good online school addresses these concerns by parents through offering an enrollment agreement recognizing the credits and completed courses that other schools can honor.
Preparation for college
One of the goals of high school education is preparing the students for acceptance to higher institutions of learning. It is essential to determine the college planning services that a virtual school offers and percentage of students admitted into various college programs. College planning also entails standardized testing preparation, college preparatory, and advice and counseling services.
Online high school education can be good as the traditional classroom if the parents and students make an effort to determine the best.