How It Works FAQs
What's expected of online students?
K12-powered students do many of the same things students at traditional schools do—they just accomplish things a little differently. Online students are expected to log in to their courses each school day, complete their lessons and assignments, and attend live Class Connect sessions with their teachers. And it's especially important that students contact their teachers when they need extra help, since teachers aren't able to see when a student is struggling.
Students at K12-powered online public schools are also expected to participate in any state testing their school requires and may have to log their attendance depending on their school's policy.
Do online students have a flexible schedule?
While there is more room to decide your daily schedule, online students still have expected school days that follow a traditional academic calendar, and there are attendance requirements online students must meet. Students also need to plan to attend all live Class Connect sessions with their teachers when they are scheduled. However, where school happens is up to you! So long as students have an internet connection, they can work from home or on the go. And they can suit their lesson schedule to their strengths by tackling a tough subject first, or starting with the class they like best so they can personalize their learning and play to their strengths.
What are parents' roles and responsibilities?
A parent (or another responsible adult) acts as their child's Learning Coach.
In grades K–8, the Learning Coach works with the teacher to help their child through the daily lessons, modifying the pace and schedule as needed. The Learning Coach manages the student's schedule and ensures that work is being completed at a reasonable pace, while teachers monitor progress, ensure mastery, and develop specific intervention plans when a child is struggling.
In high school, the Learning Coach role changes to one of oversight—still an important supportive role to help the student stay on task and ensure the student is following through on their assignments. During high school, though, students are expected to start managing their own time and academic schedule more directly.
How many of my children can use K12 at a time?
Because K12 provides the lesson plans and materials needed for grades K–12, many parents find it easy to enroll multiple children in the program.
What tools are available for parents?
Along with the curriculum, we give you planning and progress tools, including an electronic calendar with suggested lessons for each day and a detailed outline of the total time required for each lesson. In addition, our built-in online tracking system helps you to determine how your child is progressing in terms of pace and development.
Will anyone from the school have to come into my home?
There are no home visits as part of the program, and there are no other intrusions into your home.
What is the role of the teacher in K12 online public schools?
In grades K–5, students usually have one teacher who is there to direct the Learning Coach, monitor progress, and to focus on each student's individual academic needs. In middle school and high school, students have a team of teachers who are certified in their areas of expertise. Teachers are responsible for reviewing all student work and providing instructional feedback. Teachers grade students' assignments and review assessments; respond to student questions via email or phone; conduct online full-class discussions, as well as tutorial sessions to reinforce difficult topics; and offer online "office hours" to allow students to "drop in" with questions.
How much time do students spend on the computer?
In the younger grades, many of the online lessons include offline work. Students in grades K–2 spend about 30–40 percent of their time on the computer, while students in grades 3–5 spend about 50–60 percent of their time online. Screen time increases in middle school, and by high school, most of the school day is online.
What computer skills are required?
Some basic computer and internet skills are required for students and Learning Coaches. We provide information on how to set up your accounts, and the program is user-friendly. We also have technical help available if you have questions.
How do students in online public schools socialize?
Throughout the year, students are invited to participate in school outings, field trips, picnics, and other social events. These outings and activities may include trips to museums, skate parks, zoos, clubs, student government, dances, and even graduation ceremonies. We expect local clusters of students and parents to get together on a regular basis in their areas. We are also exploring new ways to interact socially using the powerful reach of the Internet. With online discussions and forums, new types of communities can be formed that are based not on geography but on shared interests. Students can also join a wide variety of clubs—some student-led, some headed by teachers—covering myriad topics of interests and connecting them to their peers across the nation and around the globe.
Can I connect with families who are currently using K12-powered schools?
Sure! Visit our "What's Your Story" site, where you can read real stories from K12 students and families about how a K12-powered education has made a difference in their lives. Also, many of our online public schools have Facebook pages set up to connect local families. Feel free to post any questions you may have. In addition, you may want to attend one of the many activities hosted by K12 and our local schools every month. At these events you can meet current families and talk to teachers and representatives to get a feel for what the program is like day to day. See our events calendar to find out what's coming up in your area.