I have noticed an increase in my clients asking about virtual school programs and wanted to learn more. So I asked the folks at CM Prep, a new virtual school program here in NC, to tell me more about what draws families to virtual schooling. Here are their thoughts:
Why families are taking a new look at virtual schools
March 2020 introduced online learning to families across the US. And while the experience wasn’t always successful – teachers and students were thrown into cyberspace without the right training or curriculum – it did open minds to consider virtual school as an option.
That “emergency learning” doesn’t represent the strengths of online schooling. Virtual schools like Coast to Mountains Preparatory Academy (CM Prep) offer a different, upgraded online schooling experience that is tailored to each student’s unique path. Certified virtual schools, like CM Prep, were built specifically for online education with tried and tested curriculum and trained teachers who know how to teach and motivate students online.
Three things online families love about their virtual schools:
It’s a great choice for their families. Online school families come in all shapes and sizes. Some students have been online since kindergarten, some joined in high school, and others anywhere in between. Some have demanding extracurricular activities and others have health reasons. Some need a different classroom environment.
In all cases, parents know their students and understand what works best for them. For example, one NC elementary student who now attends CM Prep faced bullying in the classroom that wasn’t getting better. He successfully transitioned to virtual school where he has excelled and connected with the curriculum and teachers. His older brother is continuing a traditional public school education because he thrives in that environment – it’s all about choosing what works best for your child.
Flexibility is really important. Online students easily talk about working at their own pace, which gives them opportunities to explore subjects or extra time for extracurricular activities like sports, dance or travel. Because students aren’t tied to a desk, they can bring their laptops with them wherever they go. They can attend live classes with their teachers from anywhere there’s an internet connection and as a result, many online students can train and compete at a level they wouldn’t be able to in a traditional classroom. You’ll find equestrians, martial arts champions, track stars, actors and many others pursuing their passions in the virtual student body.
The opportunities are exciting. Graduation? Service projects? Leadership roles? Extracurricular activities? Some worry that online students will miss the milestones that are experienced in traditional schools. Spend time with an online student and they will quickly explain that they are involved in clubs and extracurricular activities. There is even an eSports league where students can compete in popular video games with other kids around the nation, as well as clubs for Lego enthusiasts, aspiring entrepreneurs and avid readers.
If you’re interested in learning more about how online learning could benefit your student, check out CM Prep’s website or chat with one of their enrollment specialists.