Changing Schools Mid-Year

This is the time of year when many parents and students think about changing schools.  There are many reasons for thinking about such a change:

  • Student just transitioned to a new school in the fall that isn’t working.
  • Bullying and peer-pressure.
  • Current curriculum isn’t working
  • Student is starting new activities and needs more flexibility in their schedule.
  • Recent diagnosis of a medical condition which will interfere with regular school attendance.

Christian Educators Academy (CEA) has an admissions process that makes these transitions easy.  The documentation requirements are simple, and registration can be done in a day.  We have payment plans that make the tuition affordable.  We offer a combination of unique advantages that make CEA attractive to families considering a transition:

  • We are fully accredited by Advanc-ED and SACS.
  • Students can enroll in CEA at any time of the year.
  • We are extremely flexible in how classes are scheduled – we can schedule your classes around individual preferences and needs.
  • We are a small school with limited enrollment – we get to know all of our students personally.
  • With our new homeroom process, all students have a mentor who regularly monitors their progress and keeps them and their parents informed.
  • For students who enroll in January, we offer the choice of two curriculum – Apex and Gradpoint.  After January, we still offer open enrollment in Gradpoint to all new students.
  • We give credit for any previous work that has received credit from an accredited school on an official transcript from that school.  Schools generally award credits for completed semesters of work.  In Florida, in high school, each completed semester receives a half-credit.  For middle school courses, we just need a report card showing completed semesters of work.
  • We also have a method for awarding credit to students coming out of a homeschool through our Curriculum Director.  The curriculum used and grades received needs to be submitted along with samples of work completed, and this is reviewed by the Curriculum Director for suitability.
  • While we cannot award credit for partially completed semesters from another school, we do try to work with students who have partially completed semesters.  This is done on a case-by-case basis.  Call our business office for more details.
  • We do offer the flexibility of allowing students to start their whole year over, and can offer the flexibility of either trying to complete the year by August/September so that they can start the following year at the normal time, or taking a whole year to complete the work.  Students who want to start their whole year over are usually enrolled in the Gradpoint curriculum because of its flexibility.

By enrolling in Christian Educators Academy, you can be assured that your child will receive a high-quality education from caring professionals, using the best college-preparatory curriculum available, and that any work they complete at CEA will be documented on an accredited diploma.  If you are interested in making a transition, please e-mail or call our business office today to discuss your options.

This is the time of year when many parents and students think about changing schools.  There are many reasons for thinking about such a change:

Student just transitioned to a new school in the fall that isn’t working.
Bullying and peer-pressure.
Current curriculum isn’t working
Student is starting new activities and needs more flexibility

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What are the ideal qualities for an online highschool?

If you are considering enrolling your middle or high-school student in an online highschool, here are some things you should look for:

  • Accreditation.  Make sure the online school is accredited.  Otherwise after your student has done 4 or more years of hard work and has reached graduation day, they may be unpleasantly surprised to find out that no college or university will accept the transcript.  If the online high school is not accredited, even branches of the U.S. military may not accept their transcripts.
  • Accreditation, by an accepted authority.  You need to ask what organization has issued the accreditation, and make sure that the accrediting agency is accepted by colleges and universities.  This means one of the agencies listed on the US Department of Education website, which is usually one of the “six” regional accreditation agencies (NEAC, SACS, etc) or one of their designees (such as AdvancED).  If the school is accredited by a non-recognized agency, the accreditation has no meaning, and you are back at square 1.
  • Low teacher-student ratios.  Some online schools have 100 or 200 students in a class.  In these schools, your student is just a number, and will be lost in the crowd.  Pick a school where students get to know their teachers.
  • Personalized service.  Especially if your student is enrolling in an online school for the first time.  Not all students initially have the self-discipline and motivation necessary to function well in an online environment.  In many cases, this can be overcome, if it is detected, through additional coaching and mentoring of the student.  You want a school that will detect if your student is having problems, take the appropriate actions to help your student and notify you immediately.  You also want a school where you can talk to someone in a position of responsibility when you call.
  • Wide selection of core courses and electives.  A good online school offers the full range of core courses (English, math, science, history/social studies) at multiple levels (AP, Honors, College Prep, Career, Remedial) that is comprehensive (includes biology, chemistry, physics, pre-calc) and has a wide range of electives, including languages.
  • Flexible.  Choose a school that will be responsive to your needs and your students needs.  A good school will let you begin and end the school year when you want, and will allow your student to work at their own pace.  A good school will allow your student to move up or down in level of difficulty (from College Prep to Honors, or vice versa)as required by your student.  A good school will take your students individual needs, goals and environment into consideration, and will set up an educational program that is just right for them.
  • Complete service offering – A good online school will offer a complete program, including teaching, grading, record-keeping and issuance of diplomas without making you engage with another organization to make up for defects in their service offering.
  • Reasonable pricing – Look for an online school that is reasonably and competitively priced.

If you are considering enrolling your middle or high-school student in an online highschool, here are some things you should look for:

Accreditation.  Make sure the online school is accredited.  Otherwise after your student has done 4 or more years of hard work and has reached graduation day, they may be unpleasantly surprised to

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Online Accredited High School – Choosing an All Digital vs. a Blended Learning Option

If you’re considering options for an accredited online high school, finding the right one that fits your needs is important.   One of the trade-offs you need to consider in making this decision is whether to go with an “all-online” program versus a blended program.  This article will address the differences, benefits and advantages of each, and give you some points to consider.

Blended programs are typically offered by traditional public or private schools.  In a blended program, the school offers a combination of courses in a traditional classroom setting and online courses.  Typically the “core” courses, the common ones that nearly everyone takes, are offered in a traditional setting.  Electives and special interest courses, for example photography or Chinese, are offered in an online form.  Another use of online courses is for advanced or remedial courses, such as AP Chemistry or a basic math course.  In this model, the traditional school is using online methods to extend and expand its course offerings with minimal additions to staff.  The online model also allows the school to offer courses where the interest is limited to a smaller, more select group of students.

In an “all-online” program, all or most of the courses, including and especially the core courses are delivered online.  These programs are also known as “virtual schools”, and this type of delivery is known as “digital learning”.  The big advantage of an all online accredited high school program is extreme flexibility.  In an all-online program, since there is no building, you can literally take your courses anywhere you want.  All you need is a laptop and an Internet connection.  You can also take your courses anytime you want; you don’t have to organize your life around someone else’s schedule.  The flexibility advantage of an all-online program is something you cannot get from a blended program.  Since a blended program by definition involves some traditional courses, it requires that you be in a classroom at least some part of the week.

In trying to decide whether an all-online or blended program is right for you, you need to ask yourself a few questions:

  • What is my motivation for considering online programs?  Am I looking for a program that gives me more options and electives, or am I looking for the ultimate flexibility that an all-online program offers?  How important are each of these factors to me?
  • How important is it to have traditional classrooms available to me, and why?  If this is a need, how do I balance it against the freedom and flexibility of an all-online program?

If having a traditional classroom setting isn’t important to you at all, there is no reason not to chose an all online accredited high school program.  On the other hand if you are undecided between the two options, you have to ask yourself, what is drawing you to a traditional classroom?  Is it –

  • Nostalgia?
  • You prefer direct communication with the teacher for some subjects?
  • You like the social interaction with other students?

In the latter two cases, consider the following:

  • Some online accredited high school programs allow and encourage students to directly contact their teachers when they need to, if they need help with a particular point in the curriculum.  Students can contact their teachers by e-mail, phone or even video conference.  Look for accredited online high school programs that advertise low student-teacher ratios and personal student-teacher communications.  Talk to other students and find out what their experience is.  Avoid programs with high student-teacher ratios or that are impersonal.
  • Some online programs provide avenues for students to meet and get to know each other, such as online chats, discussion groups and live video conferences.  If you’re looking at an all-online program, find out what services it has to offer in this area.

On the other hand, if having a traditional program in some areas is extremely important for you, and the flexibility of an all-online program isn’t that important, perhaps a blended program would be a better choice for you.  Ultimately, you have to make the call about what best suits your needs.

 

 

 

 

 

If you’re considering options for an accredited online high school, finding the right one that fits your needs is important.   One of the trade-offs you need to consider in making this decision is whether to go with an “all-online” program versus a blended program.  This article will address the differences, benefits and advantages of each, and

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Christian Online Schools: the good, the bad

Negative 1

One disadvantage of Christian online schools may be the fact that it is NOT for everyone.  Some students have difficulty working independently, some have poor study habits.  But starting 9th grade with Christian online school as a choice, builds these necessary college skills early on.  In a traditional school, students must follow a daily structure, with homework, test schedules and projects assigned on a daily basis.  Sometimes this does not work well with young minds either.  Students who have trouble maintaining a strict schedule may struggle with the freedom of Christian online schools.

Positive 1

Even though students may struggle with working independently at the beginning, it is a learned skill, one necessary in college and the workplace.  Students often find that being more “in-control” of their schedule; what course they work on that day, when and how long, is a great motivator.  This is a BIG plus with Christian online schools.  Expectations are easily met, accomplishments are instantaneous.  Students develop self-confidence and independence by working at their own pace, on a schedule customized to their needs.  Many online schools allow students to see the course syllabus for the entire year up-front, similar to taking a college course.  They know exactly what is expected of them.  In other words, there are no surprises, no added work at a teacher’s whim.  In choosing an online school, look for one with “open enrollment” any day of the year.  One with a schedule providing class instruction 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to complete courses under the weekly supervision of a “live” teacher.  With a flexible schedule, attendance isn’t an issue.  Students who may have illnesses preventing them from attending classes will not fall behind with daily work or miss homework and project deadlines.

Negative 2

Another disadvantage of Christian online schools can be inadequate teacher-student contact.  When a person takes online classes at home, he must be able to focus on learning the material without the benefit of verbal interaction with the teacher.  In a traditional brick and mortar classroom, a student interacts with both the teacher and fellow students, in a controlled learning environment.  The student listens to lectures, asks teachers questions, and benefits from the questions asked by other students as well.

Positive 2

With a Good Christian Online School such as Christian Educators Academy, students don’t have to go to school in a controlled environment to have day-to-day contact with teachers and other students.  Kids today are internet, email, and “texting” experts.  Online communication is a part of their everyday world.  Teenagers can also be moody, not wanting to talk to anyone for days, and suddenly, they feel the need to talk to anyone who will listen.  When students take online classes using live teachers for grading and interaction, they can listen to the quick-time lessons on their schedule and pace, take notes, and ask email and internal site structured questions to a teacher.  Many students use a laptop computer, and enjoy learning in any environment.  Some online schools will schedule “phone” tutoring, using whiteboard demonstrations to assist students with specific needs.  A good online school will also have a student-to-student forum, allowing students to interact with other students taking the same class, or any class offered by the school.  Online schools that do not use computer generated grading systems also allow teachers the flexibility to adjust assignments to meet the individual needs of every student.

Negative 3

A person who attends a brick and mortar school has daily contact with teachers and understands daily and weekly assignments.  They must be prepared to keep up with the assignments and deadlines, and are given constant reminders of when assignments are due.  In a traditional school, students must rely on the teachers for their schedule and instruction.  When enrolled in an online course, students are responsible for completing reading assignments and other homework, without the frequent reminders of teachers regarding due dates and deadlines.  Students may fall behind or fail the class, if they have to be online at a particular time for instruction.

Positive 3

In contrast, a Christian online school student can often procrastinate, postponing reading assignments when they are having a “bad” day or week; without falling behind or failing assignments.  It is easy to catch up on assignments or advance ahead of schedule.  Some online students are athletes, musicians, or entrepreneurs who may need more time to complete assignments on some weeks or months, but they have an abundance of time on other weeks or seasons.  Online schooling gives students more freedom and control.  With parent support and a good online administrator, students are more accountable to themselves, with a schedule that works for them.  Students know their progress on a lesson-by-lesson basis.  No more worrying about what their current grade is, or if they are passing or failing.  Assignment feedback is usually within 24-48 hours, instead of weeks it may take a traditional teacher to grade essays and assignments.  Students are not mandated to keep a traditional teachers schedule nor do they have homework assignments that can fill up their weekends.  As long as all work is completed with 365 days, students stay on track, complete all assignments and can move on to the next course for graduation.  Another positive of online schooling is students can also work much faster.  No more waiting for other students to catch up; they can work at their own pace.  Online students often finish courses way ahead of schedule, allowing them to take additional classes and graduate early.

Negative 4

Students attending a traditional school have 4 years to graduate.  Students have access to guidance counselors for college support.  The usually have a graduation ceremony with a diploma.

Positive 4

While most online schools do not have graduation ceremonies, parents can plan special graduation parties where all family and friends may attend.  Many online students plan trips or a graduation cruise.  Online schools provide official diplomas as well as accredited transcripts.  One of the best advantages of an online school over traditional, however; is many students can graduate in 3 years if they choose, enrolling in colleges ahead of their peers.  They are eligible to take “dual enrollment” classes in their junior and senior year, giving them an advantage with the college experience.  A good online school offers ongoing guidance support, with a 3-5 year graduation plan to help students obtain success with their college and career goals.  Unlike traditional schools, online schools have a very low drop-out rate.  90% or more of Online school graduates continue their education, attending colleges and trade schools around the country.

Summary:

Although there are many other advantages and disadvantages of both traditional and Christian online schools, attending an online school is a practical way to complete your high school education.  Online offers an alternative to public schools and the expense of private schools.  Most online schools offer a wide range of subjects, both honors and standard courses and credits.  A good online school will allow students to take up to 8 or more courses per year.

While traditional schools provide supervision and more structure, Christian online Schools allow students to learn from their own homes, with direct supervision of qualified educational professionals.  Students do not have to worry about attendance, peer pressure, dealing with bullies, drugs, overcrowded classrooms, or homework.  Teachers can be more flexible, working with each student individually.  Students work at their own pace, on their own schedule, 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  They become more independent, self-confidant and more in-control of their own educational goals.

Negative 1
One disadvantage of Christian online schools may be the fact that it is NOT for everyone.  Some students have difficulty working independently, some have poor study habits.  But starting 9th grade with Christian online school as a choice, builds these necessary college skills early on.  In a traditional school, students must follow a

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How to choose the best online high school

How do you choose the best online high school?  More and more online high school options are available every year.  Online high school is growing in popularity for many reasons.  Most importantly, online high schools provide a home-school-like alternative to traditional public high school, that allows students to earn accredited diplomas meeting state education requirements that are transferable to colleges nationwide.

There are a number of reasons why parents and students are looking for home-based alternatives to their high school education.  Social issues such as peer-pressure, bullying, drug and alcohol abuse by peers are the most common reasons students and parents seek home-based solutions.  Right behind that are academic issues such as peers creating distractions or unsafe learning environments, insufficient school resources, and inability to effectively address individualized student learning needs.

Online high school provides students facing these social and academic issues a number of benefits that can increase motivation and lead to a more positive and productive high school experience.  Students can set up their own safe, private work environment, take courses they enjoy, with 24/7 access.  They can finish their high school sooner than in four years, and/or start getting credit for college while still in high school.  Some online high schools offer year-round enrollment, allowing students to start and end their classes at any time.

Another major benefit provided by online high schools is a curriculum that is fully teacher supported.  Traditionally, home schooling requires that parents bear the full teaching burden of the entire high school curriculum, and this is a daunting endeavor for most people.  Online high schools lift this burden by providing professional, qualified teachers in every class.  Many colleges are rejecting “parent-led” homeschool transcripts, but are welcoming accredited transcripts from online homeschools because of the accountability and teacher support.

How Do You Choose an Online High School?

Make sure the online high school you choose offers the following:

  1. Accreditation by a recognized body such as SACS and AdvancED
  2. Honors, AP and Dual Enrollment classes
  3. Professional teachers with full teacher support
  4. Year-round, 24/7 access to classes.
  5. No hidden fees
  6. Curriculum that meets the education requirements in your state
  7. Regular progress reports
  8. Accredited diploma and transcript

How do you choose the best online high school?  More and more online high school options are available every year.  Online high school is growing in popularity for many reasons.  Most importantly, online high schools provide a home-school-like alternative to traditional public high school, that allows students to earn accredited diplomas meeting state education requirements that are transferable to colleges nationwide.
There are a number of

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