Technology has changed the way we live and do things. From communication, business and commerce to our education system. More and more schools have started to solidify their online presence and parents are now embracing the idea of enrolling their children in an online school.
The greatest challenge that has continued to affect parents, however, is how to choose the right school for their children. We understand that filtering the information available on the web takes time and resources. As a result, we have compiled a list of some of the factors that you need to consider before choosing an elementary school in addition to reviewing the top five online schools for grade schoolers.
Factors to consider while choosing an online elementary school
Unlike colleges and universities, which are nationally recognized, there is no registry for all nationally recognized elementary schools. In most cases, one of the six regional accreditation agencies approves online elementary schools. In order to check if an online school is accredited, visit the accrediting institution’s registry and enter the school details.
b) Academic rigor
This is not just about quality; it dictates that an online elementary school must adhere to the set academic standards. This includes the specific content and subject combination that cuts across all districts and states/regions. Although the rubrics will differ, the core concepts are expected to be understood at each grade level.
c) Technology and user interface
For a purely online school (some schools combine virtual with physical), technology plays a big role on your child’s development. The interface should be user friendly while the sessions involve both interactive activities and lecture-based lessons. The technology should be an integration of video chat sessions, digital classrooms, and interactive quizzes.
The cost varies depending on a number of factors. Public online schools tend to be cheaper as compared to private online schools. This can be due to culture, prestige, or available resources.
e) Time commitments
Even for a fully engaged elementary schooler, the teacher depends on the parent to provide guidance to the child. This could be in terms of handling assignments, assessing resources or textbooks, among other activities.
f) Experience and social interactions
Some online schools plan for trips, extracurricular activities and meetings, which enable children to interact with one on one. In this case, enrolling your child in a far district online school will bring many inconveniences. To know more about the school, you can read parents and students’ review of the school before enrolling your child.
Top five online schools
1) Forest Trail Academy
It is a fully accredited online school based in, Florida. It was founded in 2007. It offers an interactive and wide range of work for kindergarten to grade five students. It is flexible since online courses are structured according to the students’ needs. Students have an opportunity to experience a personalized learning system where each student is given full attention. The teachers are certified and highly trained to interact with both slow learners and fast learners. The curriculum is also easy and comprehensive, thus offering a wide range of courses.
2) Mason-Rice Elementary
It is a public elementary school based in Newton Center, Massachusetts. It was started in the 90s and continues to produce advanced grades. It serves kindergarten to fifth grade students and offers a variety of subjects, including physical education, arts, and instrumental music. Mason-Rice Elementary has an established book reading culture where students can record, discuss, and feature the books they are reading. For music and instrumental lessons, students perform in an annual concert both for entertainment and to allow teachers to assess their progress.
Mason-Rice Elementary achievements
- The school is the 25th best school in the US according to neighborhood scout
- It is the third best elementary school in the Northeast
3) Little Harbor Elementary
It is a public elementary school located in Portsmouth New Hampshire. It provides a variety of learning modes, including writing workshops, word study, regular classes, and a follow up on common core subjects. It has 23 teachers and more than 300 students.
It offers an intergraded approach where students and parents take part in extra curricula activities such as Halloween parade and book fair.
Students work through projects, competitions, portfolios, and artwork. A combination of field trips, tutoring, and testing also earns the school the high rating throughout the state.
Little Harbor Elementary achievements
- Earned a five star rating from schooldigger.com
- Ranked 4th out of 227 schools in Hampshire
4) Bay Head Elementary
It is based in bay head in New Jersey. It provides learning services for kindergarten to grade 8. The school accepts students from other districts on application. Out of district students, however, are required to pay tuition fees.
It provides a variety of co curriculum activities including games and mentorship. The mentorship program, also called positive partners program, lasts for one year. Spanish, field trips, and physical education is mandatory to all students
Bay Head Elementary achievements
- Ranked 1st of New Jersey schools by Jersey CAN
- Received a reward from the department of education in New Jersey
5) Frosty Elementary
It is based in frosty Maryland. It serves students from kindergarten to grade five. It not only provides academic classes but also integrates social and enrichment activities in its lessons. These include pumpkin decorating, trunk and treat, Veterans Day, and choir.
The school also celebrates the kids helping campaign where children raise awareness for those in need.
Frosty Elementary achievements
- Received the 2014 blue ribbon award
- Was ranked 17th position as by schooldigger.com
Received a five star rating