Planning for the end of year in an online school

Now that Spring is upon us with longer days, and Easter and April 15th just past, now is the time to begin planning out the end of the school year.  If you are enrolled in an online high school or middle school with year-round enrollment, like Christian Educators Academy, for some of you the school year doesn’t end in the summer.  Here we should be careful to say “summer in the Northern Hemisphere” – June, July and August for our students in South America or elsewhere in the Southern Hemisphere.  However, 80-90% of our students follow a traditional academic calendar, with the school year starting sometime in August or September, depending on the state, and ending in May or June.  These students are entering the last month, or two months of their academic year.  For these students, now is the time to assess where you are in your academic progress.

The first step is to see where you stand in all your courses.  Look at your list of assignments, to see if you’re on schedule, ahead of schedule, or behind schedule in all of your courses.  There are many tools within the online curricula to help you do this, from graphs and reports to colorful progress indicators to simple summaries.  However the most comprehensive and best way to see this is just to look at the list of assignments and due dates, which compares assigned due dates to dates when assignments were actually turned in.  This list also shows if there are currently overdue assignments, and how many, typically these are shown in red.

If you are on schedule or ahead of schedule in all your courses, that is great news – you are on schedule to complete your online school on time and have a long, relaxing summer break doing your favorite activities, or just relaxing with your friends.  You might consider seeing if you can finish even earlier and giving yourself an even longer break, as long as this can be done comfortably.  The one thing you don’t ever want to do is rush assignments since learning the material properly is always important.

If you are behind in one or two courses, you may need to spend more time on them to catch up.  If you are more than 2-3 weeks behind in any course, you should contact your teachers to discuss the situation.  Your teachers can help you work out a solution.  You may need additional help, including hiring a local tutor, to help you get through the course.

If you are behind in all your courses, especially by more than 2-3 weeks, you definitely need to contact your teachers, and especially your homeroom teacher, to work out a solution.  Your teachers need to find out in detail exactly what caused you to get behind in order to arrive at an appropriate solution.  The best solution also depends on what you have accomplished and what you need to complete in order to graduate, and differs for every student.  In many cases, less important courses, such as electives, may need to be put aside so that the more vital courses – English and math in particular, but also science and history – can be completed.  All students have an option of working into and through the summer.  While this is not the ideal situation, it is an available option if needed.  You can discuss the details with your homeroom teacher or an administrator.  In some cases, this may require additional tuition to extend the enrollment term.

Planning the end of year is particularly important if you are a graduating senior this year.  Since it takes some time to prepare transcripts, diplomas and other records, you should plan on finishing all your courses at least two weeks before your intended graduation date, and at latest two weeks before the summer vacation, which starts July 1.  Graduating seniors should plan to have all courses completed by June 15th at the latest.  Seniors who miss this window may not receive their diplomas and transcripts until early to mid August, 1-2 weeks after CEA’s summer break ends.