Online Elementary and Secondary Schools
Online learning isn’t just for adult men and women who wish to continue their education or supplement university or college degrees. Now, children and teenagers can also participate in the world of online learning by enrolling in an online elementary school or a virtual high school. These online schools offer students with unique educational needs the opportunity to earn credits and diplomas at the elementary and secondary levels. Interested in learning more? Here are the ins and outs of online elementary and secondary schools!
Online Elementary Schools
Online elementary schools are now beginning to pop up in different cities throughout the United States. Though there are still relatively few of these virtual schools available (there are less than 30 throughout the country), this form of elementary education is becoming more and more popular, and will likely continue to grow in the future. Online elementary schools are available to students from Grade 1 right up to Grade 8. These schools offer all elementary course material over the Internet, including class lessons, assignments, tests and quizzes. Students learn from home, under the guidance of their online teacher and care giver.
Types of Online Elementary Schools
There are two main types of virtual elementary schools:
- Private: These online schools operate on a for-profit basis.
- Charter: These schools are run by the state and are free for all students.
Both charter and private schools enroll elementary students on a full-time basis. This means that students will earn diplomas for each grade they pass, and can complete their entire elementary education online.
What Happens in an Online Elementary School?
Students enrolled in online elementary schools are provided with computers and software by their school (whether private or charter). They then complete the majority of their schoolwork at home by accessing online websites where their lessons, tests, and assignments are located. Students are guided by fully qualified elementary school teachers, who teach over the Internet, using audio and video software. Most students spend about 30 minutes to one hour on the Internet each day, and devote the rest of their time to studying, preparing class work, and researching.
Additional features of these online elementary schools include:
- student chat rooms
- online attendance and performance records
What are the Benefits of an Online Elementary School?
Many parents appreciate the benefits of online elementary schools. These schools:
- provide convenient education for rural students
- provide parents with the opportunity to keep their children at home to learn
- allow students more personalized curriculum choices
- provide young children with the opportunity to make use of and become familiar with up-to-date technology
Online Secondary Schools
Available in almost every state and country worldwide, online secondary schools are rapidly becoming popular alternatives to traditional high schools. Often referred to as virtual high schools, this type of distance learning offers course credits and secondary school diplomas to students who complete coursework over the Internet. Instead of going to a physical classroom to attend a class, students attend lessons online, according to their schedule. All assignments and tests are performed online, and then a final, proctored examination is written at the end of the course. Thousands of students throughout the United States attend virtual high schools on a part-time or full-time basis.
Types of Online Secondary Schools
There are two major types of online secondary schools:
- Public: Public virtual high schools are available to students who are currently enrolled in a traditional public high school. Students who attend public virtual high schools often do so to earn extra credits, earn equivalency credits, or complete previously unearned credits. Most public school systems do not allow students to earn their high school diploma online.
- Private: Private virtual high schools are available to those students who do not wish to attend public high schools. These students pay tuition in order to complete high school courses online. These students usually finish their entire diploma online, and often consist of international, rural, or gifted students.
What Happens in an Online Secondary School?
Virtual secondary schools incorporate all coursework and materials into a website that students can then access. Students determine the courses that they want to take and then log-on to this website in order to access their lessons, tests, and assignments. All online courses are taught by certified secondary school teachers. Additional features of virtual high schools include:
- online chat rooms and message boards
- email access
- online progress reports
- streaming audio and video lessons
Benefits of Online Secondary Schools
Students attend virtual high schools because of the many benefits that these institutions offer, including:
- personalized attention
- flexible course schedules
- the ability to work at your own pace