Jessica wanted an option where her teens could focus on their schoolwork and where she wouldn’t be worried about their safety at the same time. K12-powered school has worked well to ease her concerns and provide career exploration and prep for Gabriela and John.
Live Classes and Assignments
Schoolwork for Gabriela and John is a mix of scheduled, live classes called Class Connect sessions, self-guided offline assignments, and Stride Career Prep activities like business group projects.
For example, a typical day may have John starting with a Spanish lesson on his own and then a live science class later in the day led by his state-certified teacher. If he gets stuck, his mom and Learning Coach (Jessica) or Gabriela is there to help.
A typical day for Gabriela may start with live science classes and then include offline reading for history. In the afternoon, she and John are in the same live business class and can work on their group projects together. As questions come up, they can reach out to their teachers in the live classes, via email, or during weekly office hours. A benefit of schools powered by K12 is that the educational materials—a computer, textbooks, supplies for offline activities, and more—are provided.
Learning Coaches typically spend between 1 to 3 hours each day with high school students like Gabriela and John, providing guidance and encouragement.
High schoolers are generally more independent, but in their household, Gabriela is the more independent person. She’s super organized and on top of her classes and assignments, trying to get as much done in a day as possible, so things are done ahead of time. John needs a few more reminders to stay on track, and online school allows for that as he builds his independence.
Q & A with the Family
Why did you switch to online school?
Jessica: There were things going on at the traditional school that had me worried about my children’s safety, so I feel more secure having them here at home.
Gabriela: My mom thought having us do school at home was the best way for us to stay on track and focus more on our learning.
The number of classes students take varies per grade level and individual. For example, 9th and 11th grade students like John and Gabriela typically take between 3–6 subjects each semester, with maybe 2–3 of those requiring scheduled, live classes.
Gabriela takes extra elective classes, so she actually has seven live classes to attend on some days. The other subjects are completed via self-guided assignments and skills labs in the K12 interactive online learning system.
In addition to core academic subjects like English, math, science, and social studies, K12-powered schools have a great selection of electives, including career-specific courses like those in business that Gabriela and John take through Stride Career Prep.
Classes schedules may vary considerably based on the individual student and their needs, state, and any special programs.
Jessica: I like that I know more about what Gabriela and John are doing during their school day. I can make sure they’re on track and doing well.
It also seems like the teachers are more dedicated to what they’re doing, that the old school they were at.
John: I like it because I finish my school day a little earlier than at my old school and I get more breaks.
That way, I can go outside and help my dad in the garage more with the cars.
Gabriela: I like online school because I’m able to be home with my mom and help her out during the day.
I get to be close to my mom. I think online school has actually brought us all a bit closer together. Plus, I’m learning how to be more responsible with online school. I’m learning how to be more organized and do everything on my own, and I like that.
Stride Career Prep
In addition to their regular classes, Gabriela and John are part of Stride Career Prep, where they’re taking business-specific courses.
John loves his business and marketing class and is learning what it takes to run your own company. Gabriela’s business class is one of her favorites too. It’s helped her be more organized, see things differently, and use her artistic side with videos and other media for project presentations.
Gabriela is now thinking about starting her own business someday, perhaps a bakery full of Puerto Rican desserts. John isn’t sure yet if that’s the route he wants to take, but a garage and detailing shop focused on sports cars does sound appealing at some point in his future. He wants to study mechanical engineering at college first so he can work on a pit crew.
Q & A with the Family
How do the teachers support your family?
Gabriela: My business teacher is one of my favorite people at school. She’s a lot of fun and is always finding ways to involve all her students.
She doesn’t want to leave anyone behind. And she knows we’re all different, too, like some of us don’t like to speak up in class, so she’ll encourage them to use the chat instead so everyone can participate. If I have any questions or want to talk through anything, she’ll take time out to work with me. My grandma is a teacher, too, so I can tell that the teachers at my school are doing a great job.
Building Skills for the Future
Stride Career Prep courses often have project-based learning activities where students work together to come up with solutions to real-world problems.
For example, Gabriela and John had a project in their business class where they helped a bike shop solve the challenges of late product delivery and low customer reviews. Gabriela was her group leader and got to work on her communication skills with her peers on how to divide the tasks. She says she had great people in her group with really good ideas, which helped.
Q & A with the Family
Do you have any advice for families that might be considering online school?
Jessica: I’d say that if you’re concerned about school safety, online schools powered by K12 might be worth looking into.
Anything can happen anywhere, of course, but I feel more secure with my children at home, where I can pay attention to what they’re doing and have more control over the environment they’re learning in.
More Q & A with the Family
John: I work with my dad on the cars in between my classes during the day. I really like trying to figure out the puzzle of what’s causing the problem with a car’s engine. Gabriela: I really like to read, so you can find me with a book on a lot of my breaks. My grandma sends me novels so I’m often reading my way through one of those. I like to bake, too, so sometimes I do that in between my schoolwork.
Gabriela: The thing I had the hardest time with was not seeing my friends face-to-face as much, I was really concerned about that at first. Now though, I’ve gotten used to connecting to them in other ways and seeing them outside of school, like at church. I’ve made friends through my online classes, too, especially business class, and we talk outside of school.
Gabriela: I really like it. My mom is my Learning Coach, which simply means she’s there to help me stay on track and try to figure things out when I get stuck. She’s really great at encouraging me and John, she’s the best cheerleader for us. My dad is really good with math, so he helps me with that class. Sometimes we call my uncle for extra math help too. Jessica: I like having a better idea of what they’re doing in school, and having them learning at home lets me do that. It’s nice hearing about what they’re thinking about doing with their futures as they learn more in their classes. I get see them making those connections for themselves.
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Why K12: Mia wanted an environment where she could focus on building her future. She’s earning certifications and developing skills for a career in healthcare.
These are the stories of real students attending K12-powered schools and their families. Content is a combination of direct quotes and summaries from in-person interviews. Their stories each reflect their experiences at their respective schools. Actual experience can vary by student and school. These pages are designed to reflect a typical day in the life of a student attending an online K12-powered school. Individual class schedules and requirements will vary by state, school, and the individual needs of each student.