Back to School Resources: In-Person or Virtual Education Q & A

This year there are more unknowns regarding education and going back to school than ever before. We care about you and want to share some resources and things to consider in uncertain times. Sometimes virtual learning is a choice, but in some situations it is not. Here are some questions and answers regarding online learning.

What kind of programs are out there? 

Many school systems have created their own virtual learning options to help make your child’s school year successful and ease the situation when transitioning from one option to the other. There are literally hundreds of virtual options in the United States. In Ohio, there are: Ohio Virtual Academy (https://ohva.k12.com/), Connections Academy (https://www.connectionsacademy.com/schools-near-me/ohio-public-schools), K12 (https://www.k12.com/ohio-online-schools.html), TRECA (https://treca.org/), and many others. You can learn more about many Ohio virtual schools at https://www.niche.com/k12/search/best-online-schools/s/ohio/

Are teachers licensed in online settings?

Yes. If using the online program through your local school system the program will be monitored and/or taught by licensed educators. Online virtual academies all utilize licensed teachers. Check with the program you are looking at utilizing to see what accreditations the system possesses.

Does the curriculum follow my state guidelines? 

In order to offer services in your area, most programs have met your state’s requirements.  Check the website FAQ section or call the school to be sure.

How long does my child have to wait if I change my mind? 

School systems may have different policies when switching from online to in-person learning when utilizing their online learning program, such as only allowing a student to switch at the quarter. When you switch from your actual local school system to an independent online learning system it is best to make the switch at the beginning of the year. A less preferable option is changing at the semester, and least preferable is at or during the quarter. There is a possibility that a virtual academy could reach maximum capacity so you may have to have a couple of schools you are looking into. Delays can occur due to shipment of materials or if you have to pick up materials at the local Board of Education, waiting for records transfers, filing of paperwork, etc. Virtual options may not be available to half-day kindergartners.

Do I have access to actual teachers?  

Yes. You can typically access teachers at your child’s in-person school, virtual school, or online academy via email. Response time is roughly the same (between 1-2 days) regardless of the option you have.

Can my child actually learn online? 

Yes. Although online learning is not the best option for some children, any child can learn online. Of course, the amount they put into the program and the amount of parental support they have is directly proportional to their success. This is similar to in-person learning.

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