Myths about Online High Schools

Completing a high school education online is becoming a more popular option these days. Between advanced technology, cloud drives, and the increase in telecommuting across all industries throughout the world, taking high school courses online has become a viable option and popular alternative. However, with this shift comes a number of uncertainties and myths. The following are common myths and misunderstandings about achieving an online high school diploma. Continue reading “Myths about Online High Schools”

Online Education and how it’s Totally Awesome!

Recently many students and parents have asked me if there were set hours that students needed to log on and attend classes and that prompted me to write about the beauty of online education/schooling. The answer to this question is no! When this school was created our Superintendent wanted to take away one of the things that often prohibits students from being successful, seat time.

So, what does that mean?

That means that instead of needing to log on from 8:00-3:00 in order to be present, you have 24/7, yes you read that 24 hours a day, seven days a week, access to your courses. The only requirement we ask of you, per our attendance policy, is that you log on five days a week out of a 7 day period.

But how much time should I spend in my classes?

The standard answer to this question is that you should spend an hour in each class you are enrolled in. This means if you are enrolled in two classes, you should spend one hour per class or two hours a day working in courses. If you are enrolled in six classes, you should spend one hour in each class or six hours total working in courses, but¸ there is a tool called your assignment calendar and it is a gamechanger. It is a gamechanger because if you complete the work you need to complete each day in each class and it takes less than an hour, guess what, you will have met your time requirement for the day! How neat is that? For information on how to access your class assignment calendar please email or call me.

The world is your classroom!

The other neat thing about online learning is that anywhere you can find internet access you can log on and get your work done! This literally means that the world is your classroom/ workspace. Somedays your classroom might be your house, other days it might be the library, or it could even be a local hangout spot with WIFI. Being someone who works from home, I have many places that I consider my office- my actual office in my attic, my favorite tea spot, the local research library, and anywhere else I can snag free wifi.

Tips for maximizing your classroom

I want to list some tips for you to maximize your classroom wherever it may be.

  • Make sure your classroom is a quiet area or has an area where you can tuck away to concentrate. I sometimes find myself more distracted by a lack of noise which is why I sometimes prefer the library or coffee shop.
  • Keep a drink or a snack nearby and take breaks when you need them.
  • Use your resources!!! This is by far the most important piece of advice I can give you. You have a principal (me), a counselor, teachers, and tutors all who want to help you succeed, but if you do not reach out to us or do not respond when we reach out to you, we cannot help.

Until next time, explore all the neat classrooms you can and use your assignment calendar to get your work done!

Welcome to Spring Semester!

Hi Everyone!

Wow! I can’t believe it is already spring semester- where has the time gone? I love the Spring because it is literally a time of birth and growth/regrowth. It is when plants recover from the harshness of winter and begin their new lives and when animals wake up after a long hibernation to begin their journey for the year. Spring semester also offers students a chance to be reborn and experience growth themselves with a fresh start and endless possibilities. As you know I have really tried to focus this year on creating materials that I think you will find helpful as you travel on this virtual educational journey (you can expect a Monday email blast with me that contains helpful information and resources each week school is in session). The first two weeks of this semester have seen the rollout of my spring orientation document, a one-stop shop for all questions GACHS and online classes and the sharing of the assignment calendar tool located in the student portal along with directions on how to use it.

These resources are very near and dear to my heart. You might not know it, but everything I do, I do with YOU -the students and families of the GACHS Virtual school in mind. I created the orientation document to communicate all of the important information I usually get questions on in one place. My hope is that you will print it and place it on your refrigerator or anywhere else that is a focal point for you so that anytime you have a question you can find its answer or the person to contact in order to get an answer. The calendar is a resource I am pushing because it is no secret that we are all pressed for time. The activity calendar gives you the ability to rest assured that you have completed everything you need to do each day to stay on pace in your classes. It even helps you manage your time better because it tells you exactly how long you will be spending watching instructional lectures in each lesson. It really does not get easier than logging into your school portal, writing down your assignments due each day for each class, and then completing those assignments. This tool is a gamechanger and if used properly ensures students will be successful in earning credits and making progress towards graduation. Please, please, please use the activity calendar.

I am SO excited for what I have coming down the pipes this semester to enhance communication and the sharing of information- podcasts, five bullet Fridays, live Q & A sessions, and of course more opportunities for student feedback are just a few of the ideas that I have rustling around in my head. Please remember I am here to make your time with a GACHS productive and positive. Please reach out with any questions or concerns!

Parent/Family Engagement at GACHS

Hi Everyone!

I am excited to write about this month’s blog topic- Family and Parent Engagement. A virtual learning program requires that the student, school, and family all work together to assist students being successful. We have many resources that our school uses to provide support and solicit feedback from parents and guardians. Hopefully, after reading this post you will be more knowledgeable about these resources as well as understand some of the many ways we work with families to support our students.

 

If you have additional questions about how else we can support our parents or suggestions on how to better bridge the gap between students, parents, and our school please reach out to myself Ms. Young at Deonia.Young@gradgeorgia.com

Navigating our School Website

Hi Everyone!

Today I am writing on a topic that I think you will all find most useful, our school website! Our school website www.gradgeorgia.com is full of tons of helpful information and resources but not many people are familiar with all it has to offer. Today I am going to walk you through what you can find on our website in hopes of answering many of the questions that myself and fellow GACHS colleagues receive.

Beginning at the top of the page we have a very helpful banner that includes the following information:

The school phone number (844) 776-8678

School social media links to Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter (Join our groups and follow us if you have not done so already)

Facebook: GACHS School Yard our student group, GACHS Parent Support our parent/guardian support group, and GACHS Graduation our group for graduating seniors.

FEV Login link – this orange button labeled free tutoring takes you directly to the FEV tutoring page (see my previous post)

Student Parent Portal- this green button will take you directly to the Edgenuity login page where you can log in and access all of your courses. If you are a parent or guardian and you would like a guardian account please call the school number and ask to be connected to the virtual manager. 

  • Moving right along we have the About Tab. Here you will find information about our school, the locations of our physical centers, and information about our leadership team.
  • The very next tab is our Divisions tab. Many students and parents will find the academics tab extremely helpful because there are links that display information on our course list, our school calendar which includes all school breaks and information on EOC testing and the end of each semester, the transcript request form, withdrawal request form, and intent to graduate form. Also housed here are graduation requirements and information on our curriculum partner Edgenuity.
    • Also in this tab is information on our Federal Programs including resources related to Mckinney-Vento program, Migrant program, ESOL students, Title I resources, and our Parent Resource Center.
    • Information on our school budget can be found in the finance tab while employment opportunities can be found in our human resources tab.
    • In our student support services tab, you will find information about section 504 and special education services offered at GACHS.
    • Lastly, rounding out this tab we have our technology area where students can submit a tech ticket request or submit a laptop application request. Please be advised there are certain requirements students have to meet in order to be eligible for a school-issued laptop
  • The next tab is our governance board tab which houses information on the responsibilities and member composition of our school board. Please read about this group of people who are tasked with the important duties that go hand in hand with managing a charter school.
  • Our students and parents tab contains our student handbook which is a comprehensive resource that covers information on everything GACHS related, a downloadable version of our school calendar, and information on college and career planning and dual enrollment. You can also find our public CCRPI scores int his section
  • The enrollment tab contains all information related to enrolling students at GACHS including the documents you will need to complete the enrollment process and enrollment FAQs
  • The news and events tab is where you will find information on important goings on at GACHS.
  • Our blog tab leads you here, to our blog 🙂
  • Lastly, the employment tab is another place where prospective employees can browse open positions at GACHS.

Other important information that can be found on our school website includes our core values and guiding principles which are the things the staff members keep in mind whenever they interact with students, parents, or members of the community.

Thank you so much for taking the time to learn about and hopefully browse our school website!

Until next time, have a great week!