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Is Virtual Education Right for Your Kids?

Submitted by on August 26, 2016 – 6:34 amNo Comment

Is Virtual Education Right for Your Kids

How to Determine if Virtual Education is the Right Choice for Your Kids

Parents have never had more options for educating their children than they do right now. There is a certain amount of relief knowing that you have the ability to select a school that is tailored to your students’ specific needs, but with so many options, how can you be certain you are making the right choice? Virtual education is growing in popularity. Parents with kids who are academically advanced, high performers in sports, arts other areas, or those who are shy, or experience difficulty leaving the house due to medical challenges could be good candidates for virtual education. Virtual education allows students to learn online, regardless of their special circumstances, through classes taught by highly qualified and innovative teachers. This differs from homeschooling because parents are not responsible for purchasing curriculum and teaching lessons. Everything is done online through the virtual school.

Students who excel in online learning are generally:

  • Self-motivated. Those of our students who have futures in athletics or acting are highly self-motivated.
  • Good readers.
  • Proactive learners; not procrastinators.
  • Prefer an individualized mode of learning.
  • Comfortable with technology.
  • Students seeking a school option that meets their individual needs while still providing high academics.

Parents should evaluate their child and look for these traits along with their learning style when considering a virtual school. Additionally, when selecting a virtual school, parents should ask questions to determine if that specific school is a best fit for their student.  Find out how many certified teachers are actually teaching classes and, if students will have multiple teachers per day for different subjects/courses, how many students each teacher serves. Ask how you and your student may communicate with the teacher and what is the expected response time from each teacher. Many schools allow non-certified teaching or learning assistants to make academic decisions for the students and handle the day-to-day communication with students. Ask if you will receive academic advice from state certified teachers and counselors.

Standardized test scores are an important measure of a school’s performance, and parents should note the difference between a virtual school and home school. Parents should ask if the school is run by a private company, or a public school system. Ask the school or look up the accountability rating of the schools you are researching.

Several public schools in Texas allow students located anywhere in the state to enroll in their program.  The important thing is for parents to speak to a virtual school’s admissions counselor or administrator before making a decision.

Kaye Rogers is the Director of Virtual Learning at Grapevine-Colleyville ISD and the administrator of GCISD’s iUniversity Prep Virtual Academy. Rogers has over 18 years of experience in education with more than seven years of experience in full-time virtual education. She can be reached by phone, 817-305-4895, or via email kaye.rogers@gcisd.net  Visit iuniversityprep.org for more details.

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