Online High School Explained

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What IS Online High School?

Most of us have only ever experienced the traditional brick-and-mortar form of education. You wake up at the same time each weekday morning, head to a building with a lot of other students, sit in a classroom with fellow learners around the same age, and wait for the bell to ring at the end of the day. Then you repeat, and repeat, and repeat for months out of every year, every year, until you finally graduate with your high school diploma. Traditional education has a lot of great merits, but the older students get, the more limiting and frustrating the traditional brick-and-mortar model becomes.

Online high school changes all of that and puts decision making back in the hands of students and families where it belongs. With the online high school model, students don’t need to attend a physical location to receive instruction, it can be accessed through the internet – on a laptop, tablet, even a smartphone. What’s even better, most online high schools have a flexible format that allows students to log-on and access instruction, lectures, coursework, and other resources at a time that works for them – there’s not a set time of day in which students must be seated at a desk waiting for instruction. For many students, this is highly preferred to waking up early to catch a ride, bus, or otherwise commute to school.

Online High School is All About Choice

One of the main reasons the online high school model exists is to provide more choice across the high school learning experience.

  • Online high school lets students choose what time of day they prefer to study – even if that’s on nights and weekends.
  • There are typically hundreds of classes to choose from at an online high school – all of which are designed to help fulfill core requirements for graduation.
  • Coursework is unique, innovative, and tailored to the online experience.
  • Teachers are experienced in teaching online and are available via email, text, phone, or chat so no student is left behind.
  • Online high schools let ambitious or advanced students move ahead quickly and complete courses in a matter of weeks rather than months.
  • Students of online high schools can track their progress towards graduation online, getting rid of any guesswork.
  • Families who travel or relocate often don’t have to worry about constantly starting a new school – since online high school goes wherever the student happens to be.
  • Online high school understands that some students have jobs, family responsibilities, or other challenges that make the 7 am to 3 pm school day impossible.
  • Fully accredited online high schools deliver a legitimate high school diploma – not a GED or equivalency. This means students have the qualifications necessary to apply to college, trade schools, or enter the workforce.

How Does Online High School Work? 

For most online high schools, all that is needed is an internet connection and a device capable of accessing digital text, video, and audio content. That means laptop and desktop computers work well, as do many tablets and even smartphones. Once students are registered, they simply log in to their student account at the online high school of their choice, review their classes, and click into any available lectures and assignments. Once assignments are complete, students submit work according to the instructors’ direction and continue on to the next assignment. Quizzes, tests, end-of-course exams, reports, essays, reading, and creative work are all among the types of tasks instructors may assign. Along the way, if a student gets stuck or has questions, teachers may host follow-up sessions and/or they may answer questions directly through email, class chat, or a private phone call, if needed. As students finish assignments, they are graded to evaluate progress in learning the material. Upon completion of all class assignments or the course term, the final grade point average for the student determines whether or not they “pass” the class and may continue to the next level or subject on their educational paths. Students who do not pass the course are given the opportunity to either retake that course, or they may choose to take a different course that fulfills the same requirements if one is available. For instance, if a student didn’t perform as expected in Biology, they might choose to take Environmental Science as a way to improve their overall GPA. As soon as a student has fulfilled all core requirements for earning a high school diploma – they graduate and receive their diploma via mail. It’s that simple.

Citizens High School offers a regionally and nationally accredited online high school platform that gives students not just one, but two different ways to earn a fully accredited high school diploma:

  • Career or Job Track – a fully accredited diploma that meets the requirements of employers and trade schools alike.
  • College Track – a fully accredited diploma with a little additional coursework typically expected for admission to most 4-year colleges and universities.

Citizens High School also offers ways for bricks-and-mortar students to incorporate the benefits of online high school into their educational paths.

  • Individual Courses – allow students to make-up missed or failed classes, get ahead for upcoming school years to allow more room for electives and sports, and improve GPA to stay on track with fellow students. Credits earned in the online high school environment can be transferred to local bricks-and-mortar schools with transcripts and credit verification.

*Citizens High School recommends consulting your local high school’s guidance counselor or curriculum advisor to receive pre-approval for transfer of CHS credits. We will provide all necessary transcripts and documentation to streamline this process. 

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