The Ultimate Guide to Online School – How Does Online School Work?

By: National School Choice Week Team

Due to COVID-19, many parents are worried about sending their kids back to school in the late summer or fall of 2020. In fact, according to one national poll, 40% of parents polled said they’re more likely to choose homeschooling or online school after lockdowns end. If online learning or K-12 online school are your top choices for the 2020-2021 school year, this page is for you!

Maybe you’re thinking about switching to online schooling, but you’re not sure how to make the switch. How does online school work? Or, maybe you’re wondering whether your state has an option allowing you to online school for free. We created this ultimate guide to online school answer those questions.

Maybe you're thinking about switching to online schooling. How does online school work? Or, maybe you're wondering whether your state has an option allowing you to online school for free. @SchoolChoiceWk created this guide to answer those questions. Click To Tweet

 

 

You may hear a lot of terms like online school, remote learning, and homeschooling thrown around interchangeably right now, but they’re actually quite different school choices! Read our explainer on the differences here.

While the pandemic has caused interest in online learning to spike, families have been using online learning programs for years. Internet access has transformed our shopping and social life, and it is transforming schooling as well. Importantly, online learning programs offer students the ability to work from home (or anywhere with internet). That flexibility makes for a good fit for many families.   

As Chris McBride, superintendent at an online school in Nevada, describes, “There are many reasons students may need flexible schedules, from medical issues to competitive athletes to performance artists. Some families enroll at our school because they are escaping some of the bullying and other cultural/climate issues that are present in brick and mortar schools. Other families enroll because they view it as an excellent alternative to home schooling.”

 

 

 

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How to Switch to Online School

How Does Online School Work?

In the U.S., approximately 375,000 K-12 students attended an online school in 2018-2019. Online school students work from home and follow a set curriculum, submitting assignments through an online portal. Moreover, students receive feedback and grades from accredited teachers who may communicate through email, web conference, or phone calls. 

While parents aren’t asked to be teachers, online school programs usually ask parents to be involved in their child’s education. Parents act as a learning coach, helping their student stay on track.

You just are so much more in tune with what they’re doing. That’s such a benefit that you wouldn’t have when sending your kid through another schooling option. – Tara Boedigheimer, online school parent

Two of the biggest K-12 online school programs in the U.S. are Connections Academy and K12 Learning. Connections Academy supported-schools are tuition-free online public schools that are currently available in more than 30 states. They are operated by Pearson Online & Blended Learning K-12. Similarly, K12 Learning offers tuition-free public schools in many states, as well as fee-based independent courses and career classes.  

While some virtual schools are fully online, others are “blended schools.” So, what are blended schools? Blended schools are online schools that offer on-site locations that students attend from time to time. GOAL Academy in Colorado, for instance, has “drop-in centers” where students can receive tutoring, participate in activities, or simply spend time with peers.

 

How to make the switch

If you’re just getting started, here are steps you can take to switch to online schooling: 

1. Review state guidelines: First, find your state in our list below to review your state’s guidelines for online schools. Did you know that more than 30 states offer full-time public online schools for free? In other states, private online programs are available at a cost.

2. Connect: Second, reach out to the online school that interests you and get more details. Some may allow enrollment at any time, while others may have deadlines. 

Online public schools must accept all students, regardless of their academic performance or needs. Moreover, students are not required to take special entrance tests for enrollment in online public schools. However, some states place caps on attendance or funding, so make sure there is availability at the school you choose. 

When you reach out to the online school, you can also ask about the school’s expectations and what resources you’ll need at home. For instance, will the school provide a computer for your student? Does your student need a web camera? What’s a typical day like? How much parental supervision is required? 

3. Officially withdraw (if applicable): In many cases, if you’re currently enrolled in a public or private school, you’ll need to send a withdrawal letter to your school district. It’s a good idea to keep a copy of the letter, in case any questions arise. Also, you may want use this opportunity to request your child’s transcripts from the school.

Of course, your state’s guidelines come first. Please note that in some states, like Missouri, students only have access to free online schools through their resident district. In these cases, since the district is responsible for paying for access, families should remain enrolled in the district as they switch to online school.

4. Enroll and get started: Now, enroll in your online school of choice. Partner with your child to decide what your new learning routine will look like. For example, what time will your student start school in the morning? How often will exercise and outside activities be worked into the week? 

 

Expect a learning curve

If online school is something you and your student decide to try, even just temporarily, it is important to realize that there’ll be a learning curve. Don’t let that get you down!

“You just have to be open minded,” said Bryan Klochack, principal of an online school in Michigan. “We often refer to it as drinking out of a fire hydrant at the start because it is so different.”

While online school is not for every student and every family, it can make a world of a difference for some. As Klochack said, “Having that option for families to put their kids where they’re going to find great success: That’s what we’re all about.”

online-school-student-seen-through-ipad

 

How to Find Out Your State’s Laws

What options do you have for online learning? Check out your state’s parent guide or scroll below to learn whether your state offers online school for free.

In 33 states, online public schools have been established by state authorities, by school districts, or charter schools, meaning students can attend these schools full-time, tuition-free. In addition, at least 36 states offer part-time online public schooling through course access, which allows students to use online coursework to supplement their education with specific classes. In many states, this is accessible, and sometimes even free, for private school or homeschooled students.

Sources: Evergreen Education Group and independent research by the NSCW team

While not every state offers online school for free, paid online school programs, are available in all 50 states. For instance, paid options such as Virtual Learning Academy Charter School (which is free to New Hampshire residents), The Keystone School, and Laurel Springs School are available to families in any state. You can learn more about public online schools and resources at the National Coalition for Public School Options and the Digital Learning Collaborative

 

Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delaware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
 
 

Alabama:

Alabama offers several free, full-time online learning options for students, like Alabama Connections Academy and Alabama Virtual Academy.  For free part-time classes, ACCESS Alabama functions as the state’s virtual school and is designed for high school students to take courses that may not be available (or easy to schedule) at their schools. Public school students in grades 9-12 can take classes for free; nonpublic school students can take courses for a fee.

In light of COVID-19, the state has contracted with SchoolsPLP to provide school districts with virtual coursework they can administer as needed.

What is the deadline to enroll in online school in Alabama for 2020-2021?

Both Alabama Virtual Academy at Eufaula City Schools and Alabama Connections Academy offer rolling enrollment deadlines.

Which online options still have seats available and in what grades for 2020-2021?

Both online options have seats available in all grades K-12 as of mid-July 2020.

Will families be able to switch mid-school year, if needed?

Both online options allow for mid-year transfer students, as long as their enrollment cap is not yet met.

Does the school provide technology and wifi?

Alabama Virtual Academy at Eufaula City Schools provides one computer and stipend for internet if the family meets financial and academic standing requirements. Alabama Connections Academy does not provide technology or wifi.

 

Alaska:

In Alaska, middle- and high-school students in certain districts can enroll in online courses through the Alaska Digital Academy for a fee. As mentioned above, Alaska families can also consider national online learning programs, like Virtual Learning Academy Charter School, The Keystone School, and Laurel Springs School, for a fee. 

Additionally, in response to COVID-19, the state has developed Alaska Statewide Virtual School. The new online school will be used to ease the transition into the 2020-2021 school year in high-risk regions, but the future of program has not yet been established. 

What is the deadline to enroll in online school in Alaska for 2020-2021?

If your region qualifies for Alaska Statewide Virtual School, your public school will communicate the steps with you. 

Will families be able to switch mid-school year, if needed?

Only to part-time paid courses through Alaska Digital Academy.

Does the school provide technology and wifi?

No, but your home public school may be able to assist if you are unable to access technology. 

 

Arizona:

Arizona students can attend Arizona Virtual Academy or Arizona Connections Academy full-time at no cost. In order for funding to transfer, families switching to an online school must initiate withdrawal from their previous school. You may also be interested in checking out AZ Parents for Education.

What is the deadline to enroll in online school in Arizona for 2020-2021?

Arizona Connections Academy offers rolling enrollment. For Arizona Virtual Academy, the deadline for grades K-8 is March 8, 2021. For grades 9-12, the deadline is August 31, 2020 for Semester 1 and January 25, 2021 for Semester 2. 

Which online options still have seats available and in what grades for 2020-2021?

Both Arizona Connections Academy and Arizona Virtual Academy have seats available for grades K-12.

Will families be able to switch mid-school year, if needed?

At Arizona Connections Academy, mid-year transfer students are accepted as long as the school’s cap is not met. At Arizona Virtual Academy, students are able to switch mid-year, as long as it is before the enrollment deadline. 

Does the school provide technology and wifi?

At Arizona Connections Academy, a family may opt into one laptop and internet subsidy per household. At Arizona Virtual Academy, a family can receive a computer if they qualify for free or reduced lunch or are special education. A wifi stipend may be available at the end of the school year.

 

Arkansas:

Arkansas offers several free, full-time online learning options for students, like Arkansas Connections Academy and Arkansas Virtual Academy. For part-time classes, Virtual Arkansas offers online options for any Arkansas student, though online classes for students in grades K-6 are limited. Students enrolled in a public school can take all or some of their Virtual Arkansas classes online. While Virtual Arkansas’ website lists fees for courses, the local school district pays those, not students and their families.

What is the deadline to enroll in online school in Arkansas for 2020-2021?

Arkansas Connections Academy offers rolling enrollment. At Arkansas Virtual Academy, grades K-8 have rolling enrollment. Meanwhile, grades 9-12 have open enrollment until October and again from January to March. 

Which online options still have seats available and in what grades for 2020-2021?

Both Arkansas Connections Academy and Arkansas Virtual Academy have seats available for grades K-12.

Will families be able to switch mid-school year, if needed?

Both Arkansas Connections Academy and Arkansas Virtual Academy accept mid-year transfers as long as their student enrollment cap is not met. 

Does the school provide technology and wifi?

Arkansas Connections Academy does offer technology and wifi assistance based on income. Similarly, at Arkansas Virtual Academy, if you qualify for free or reduced lunch, a computer and wifi stipend may be provided. 

 

California:

California offers several free, full-time online learning options for students, like California Connections Academy and California Virtual Academies. While much of the learning is facilitated by technology, these learning programs offer in-person field trips and meet-ups as well. You can also check out: California Parents for Public Virtual Education.

What is the deadline to enroll in online school in California for 2020-2021?

California Connections Academy accepts students on a rolling basis. At California Virtual Academies, the deadline to enroll is August 14, 2020.

Which online options still have seats available and in what grades for 2020-2021?

At California Connections Academy, all grades are currently full. California Virtual Academies still has seats available for grades K-12. 

Will families be able to switch mid-school year, if needed?

At California Connections Academy, mid-year transfers are accepted as long as the school’s enrollment cap is not met. California Virtual Academies accepts transfers for the second semester. 

Does the school provide technology and wifi?

At California Connections Academy, one computer per household and a subsidy for internet may be requested. At California Virtual Academies, a computer and wifi stipend may be available. 

 

Colorado:

Colorado offers several free, full-time online learning options for students, like Colorado Connections Academy and Colorado Virtual Academy. In addition, Colorado Digital Learning Solutions offers part-time courses for middle-school and high-school students. While Colorado Digital Learning Solutions charges fees, students attending Colorado traditional public schools and public charter schools may have their fees subsidized. We recently interviewed a Colorado online school, GOAL Academy, here. This online school has drop-in centers where students can work and frequent school field trips, offering families a unique blend of virtual and in-person education. You can also check out: Colorado Coalition of Cyberschool Families.

What is the deadline to enroll in online school in Colorado for 2020-2021?

Families can enroll at Colorado Connections Academy on a rolling basis. At Colorado Virtual Academy, the deadline for enrollment is August 18, 2020. 

Which online options still have seats available and in what grades for 2020-2021?

Both Colorado Connections Academy and Colorado Virtual Academy have seats available for grades K-12. 

Will families be able to switch mid-school year, if needed?

At Colorado Connections Academy, mid-year transfers are accepted as long as the school’s enrollment cap is not met. At Colorado Virtual Academy, the deadline for students to transfer into the school is October 2, 2020. 

Does the school provide technology and wifi?

Colorado Connections Academy provides students a desktop computer and internet reimbursement. Colorado Virtual Academy does not provide technology and wifi. 

 

Connecticut:

While most states have free online school programs, Connecticut only has paid options available at present, such as George Washington University Online High School, The Keystone School, and K12 International Academy. While the schools are available to families in Connecticut, they are not specific to the state. 

K12 is expected to launch an online school in Connecticut, but this is not yet available for families. 

 

Delaware:

Most states have free online school programs, but Delaware does not at this time. Paid options are available, such as George Washington University Online High School, The Keystone School, and K12 International Academy. These private online schools are available to families in Delaware, but they are not specific to the state. 

 

Florida:

Florida has the largest state virtual school in the nation. Any Florida student can take courses through Florida Virtual School, full time or part time, free of charge. Other free online learning options are also available, such as Florida Connections Academy, Florida Cyber Charter Academy, and Florida Online School

What is the deadline to enroll in online school in Florida for 2020-2021?

The deadline to enroll at Florida Virtual School is July 31, 2020. Florida Connections Academy accepts students on a rolling basis. Meanwhile, Florida Cyber Charter Academy encourages families to apply before their start date of August 10, 2020, but accepts students on a monthly basis until November 4, 2020. 

Which online options still have seats available and in what grades for 2020-2021?

Florida Virtual School and Florida Cyber Charter Academy have seats available for grades K-12. Florida Connections Academy has seats available for grades K-9.

Will families be able to switch mid-school year, if needed?

At Florida Virtual School, students in select grades can apply for the spring semester if there is availability at the school. At Florida Connections Academy, mid-year transfers are accepted as long as the school’s enrollment cap is not met. At Florida Cyber Charter Academy, students are encouraged to apply before the deadline of December 30 to switch mid-year. However, students can apply for a late start until January 20. 

Does the school provide technology and wifi?

Florida Virtual School and Florida Connections Academy do not provide technology and wifi to families. At Florida Cyber Charter Academy, technology and wifi may be available if you qualify for the free or reduced lunch program.

 

Georgia:

Georgia Virtual School provides online courses at the high school level, plus some middle-school courses as well. Public school students can enroll full-time or part-time at no cost. Some state funds are available to cover tuition for private and homeschool students on a first-come, first-served basis. Other free, full-time online learning options are also available, such as Georgia Connections Academy and Georgia Cyber Academy.  You can also learn more at Georgia Families for Public Virtual Education.

Due to COVID-19, the state has allotted $1.2 million in funding to hire new teachers at Georgia Virtual School and provide increased course access for grades 6-12. The state is has also allotted $3 million in funding to increase wifi availability in high-need neighborhoods, and $1 million to acquire personal internet hotspots for students. 

What is the deadline to enroll in online school in Georgia for 2020-2021?

Georgia Connections Academy has rolling enrollment for new students. Meanwhile, the deadline to enroll at Georgia Cyber Academy is August 30.

Which online options still have seats available and in what grades for 2020-2021?

At Georgia Connections Academy, the cap has already been met for grade 11, but the school has seats available for grades 5-10 and 12. At Georgia Cyber Academy  there is a lottery process for open seats in all grade levels. 

Will families be able to switch mid-school year, if needed?

At Georgia Connections Academy, mid-year transfer students are accepted as long as the school’s enrollment cap is not met. Georgia Cyber Academy only enrolls 28 days into the school year. The school does offer exceptions for siblings and homeless students to enroll in January. 

Does the school provide technology and wifi?

Georgia Connections Academy does not provide students technology and wifi. At Georgia Cyber Academy, a computer, printer, and hotspot are provided to families that request and meet specific criteria. 

 

Hawaii:

High school and middle school students enrolled in any traditional public or charter school can take part-time classes through Hawaii’s e-school.

Parents who would like to enroll their student in online school full-time can hire a private provider. Paid options such as George Washington University Online High School, The Keystone School, and K12 International Academy are available in any state. 

 

Idaho:

Idaho offers several full-time, free online learning options for students, like Inspire Connections Academy and Idaho Virtual Academy. For part-time options, Idaho students in grades 6-12 may enroll in online classes through Idaho Digital Learning. Idaho Digital Learning is available to students in any type of educational setting, public or private. But, parents should check with their local public school or district for details, as fees may apply.

Students in Boise that would like to attend school online in 2020-2021 can apply to the Boise Online School, which starts August 17, 2020. Contact your school for more information about how to enroll. 

What is the deadline to enroll in online school in Idaho for 2020-2021?

At Inspire Connections Academy, the deadline for grades K-8 is October 23, 2020. The deadline for grades 9-12 is October 15, 2020.  At Idaho Virtual Academy, a student’s application must be approved by August 21, 2020 for the student to start on time. There are multiple additional deadlines the school offers for late starts throughout the year. 

Which online options still have seats available and in what grades for 2020-2021?

Both Inspire Connections Academy and Idaho Virtual Academy have open seats available for grades K-12. 

Will families be able to switch mid-school year, if needed?

Inspire Connections Academy accepts mid-year transfers for grades K-11 as long as the enrollment cap has not been met. At Idaho Virtual Academy, there are monthly start dates that students can enroll by during the school year. These run until January for high school students, April for middle school students, and March for elementary school students. 

Does the school provide technology and wifi?

At Inspire Connections Academy, one laptop and internet subsidy are available per household. At Idaho Virtual Academy, a loaner laptop and internet subsidy are available to families.

 

Illinois: 

Illinois students in grades 5-12 can take supplemental online courses through Illinois Virtual School. While Illinois Virtual School charges fees, some schools and districts pay those fees on behalf of their students. Students can register through their local school or as a homeschool student. 

Paid full-time online options, like George Washington University Online High School, The Keystone School, and K12 International Academy, are available to Illinois students, but they are not specific to the state. 

 

Indiana:

Free, full-time online learning options for Indiana students include Indiana Connections Academy and Indiana Digital Learning School. Another option Indiana students can choose is IU High School, a fully accredited online private high school run by Indiana University. Students at IU High School can take courses to supplement their educational experiences in brick and mortar institutions, or students may pursue a high school diploma online full-time. IU High school was founded in 1925, so it’s been allowing students to attain a high school diploma at a distance for nearly a century! 

The state’s newest free, full-time virtual school, Phalen Virtual Leadership Academy, launched in the summer of 2020. 

What is the deadline to enroll in online school in Indiana for 2020-2021?

Indiana Digital Learning School, Connections Academy, and Indiana Connections Career Academy all have rolling enrollment policies. 

Which online options still have seats available and in what grades for 2020-2021?

Indiana Digital Learning School has seats available for grades K-10. Indiana Connections Academy and Phalen Virtual Leadership Academy have seats available for grades K-12. Indiana Connections Career Academy has seats available for grades 9-12. 

Will families be able to switch mid-school year, if needed

Indiana Digital Learning School accepts students at any time as long as the school’s enrollment cap is not met and credits can be transferred. Indiana Connections Academy also accepts mid-year transfers as long as its cap is not met.

Does the school provide technology and wifi?

At Indiana Digital Learning School, all students have the option of receiving a computer; low income families can apply for a wifi stipend to be distributed at year end. At Indiana Connections Academy and Indiana Connections Career Academy, families do not receive technology and wifi unless they apply for a hardship exemption.  

 

Iowa:

Iowa offers several free, full-time online learning options for students, such as Iowa Connections Academy and Iowa Virtual Academy. In order for funding to follow a child to online school, families need to fill out the Iowa Open Enrollment Application with their assigned district for approval; this could potentially be denied as open enrollment closed in March. 

What is the deadline to enroll in online school in Iowa for 2020-2021?

Iowa Connections Academy has a rolling enrollment policy based on capacity and approval from an applicant’s assigned school. Iowa Virtual Academy’s deadline is August 21, 2020. 

Which online options still have seats available and in what grades for 2020-2021?

Both Iowa Connections Academy and Iowa Virtual Academy have seats available for grades K-12. 

Will families be able to switch mid-school year, if needed?

At Iowa Connections Academy and Iowa Virtual Academy, mid year transfers are accepted as long as the enrollment cap has not been met.

Does the school provide technology and wifi?

At Iowa Connections Academy, no computers are available for this school year, but internet subsidies may be available. Iowa Virtual Academy does not typically provide technology and wifi but, based on financial aid, a loaner computer may be available. 

 

Kansas:

Kansas offers several free, full-time online learning options for students, such as Kansas Virtual Academy and Kansas Connections Academy. The Kansas State Department of Education also keeps a list of online learning providers, some of whom may also offer part-time classes, with or without fees.

What is the deadline to enroll in online school in Kansas for 2020-2021?

At Kansas Connections Academy, the deadline to enroll is September 14, 2020. Kansas Virtual Academy’s deadline is August 19, 2020. 

Which online options still have seats available and in what grades for 2020-2021?

Kansas Connections Academy still has seats available for grades K-12. Kansas Virtual Academy still has seats available for grades K-6. 

Will families be able to switch mid-school year, if needed?

At Kansas Connections Academy, no new transfer students are accepted after the September 14 enrollment deadline. At Kansas Virtual Academy, transfer students are accepted for the second semester; the deadline for that semester is December 11, 2020. 

Does the school provide technology and wifi?

Kansas Connections Academy does not usually provide technology and wifi. Kansas Virtual Academy does not typically provide technology and wifi either; but, based on financial need, a loaner computer may be available.

                                                      

Kentucky:

While many states have free, full-time virtual school available, Kentucky does not yet have such an option.While there are no free full-time programs, part-time courses may be available at a cost via BAVEL, The Corbin School of Innovation, or JCPS eSchool. More information on these paid options is available here

There are also some private, full-time online schools that are available for a fee in all 50 states, such as George Washington University Online High School, The Keystone School, and K12 International Academy.

 

Louisiana:

Louisiana students in grades K-12 can attend Louisiana Virtual Charter Academy, or University View Academy, both online charter schools, full-time. For part-time options, online providers participate in the state’s Supplemental Course Academy program, which offers free classes to students attending underperforming public schools, public schools that do not offer a certain course, or private schools on opportunity scholarships. Students who do not qualify for free classes can take these courses for a fee. 

If a student would like to switch to online school, their parent or legal guardian must notify the currently enrolled school in order to withdraw and identify the online school they are transferring into. 

What is the deadline to enroll in online school in Louisiana for 2020-2021?

Louisiana Virtual Charter Academy’s deadline for enrollment is September 28, 2020. University View Academy’s enrollment cap has already been met for 2020, but applications are still being accepted for a waitlist. 

Which online options still have seats available and in what grades for 2020-2021?

For Louisiana Virtual Charter Academy, there is a waitlist in grades K-10. At University View Academy, all grades are currently waitlisted.

Will families be able to switch mid-school year, if needed?

Louisiana Virtual Charter Academy does open again in in the spring for new enrollment. If any seats open during the school year at University View Academy, then students will be able to transfer in.

Does the school provide technology and wifi?

Louisiana Virtual Charter Academy does not typically provide technology and wifi. But, based on financial need, a loaner computer may be available. At University View Academy, a laptop is provided and an internet stipend can be received at the completion of the school year.

 

Maine:

Maine students can attend free, full-time online school programs through the online public charter schools Maine Connections Academy or Maine Virtual Academy

What is the deadline to enroll in online school in Maine for 2020-2021?

Maine Connections Academy has a rolling enrollment policy. Maine Virtual Academy is already waitlisted for 2020-2021. 

Which online options still have seats available and in what grades for 2020-2021?

Maine Connections Academy has seats available for grades 7-12. At Maine Virtual Academy, all grades 7-12 are waitlisted.

Will families be able to switch mid-school year, if needed?

At Maine Connections Academy, mid-year transfers are accepted as long as the school’s cap is not met. At Maine Virtual Academy, mid-school year transfers are not available this year due to the waitlist.

Does the school provide technology and wifi?

At Maine Connections Academy, students may request one laptop per household. At Maine Virtual Academy, computers and printers can be requested. 

 

Maryland:

Unfortunately, Maryland does not currently have its own free, full-time online learning program. But, there are paid, full-time online school options available to families in all 50 states, Maryland included. Some of these paid providers are George Washington University Online High SchoolThe Keystone School, and K12 International Academy.

 

Massachusetts:

Students in Massachusetts may attend one of two free public virtual schools, either full-time or part-time, with an agreement from the local school district. Private virtual schools are also available. 

What is the deadline to enroll in online school in Massachusetts for 2020-2021?

At Greenfield Commonwealth Virtual School, the final lottery deadline is Aug 21, 2020. Meanwhile, TEC Connections Academy has a rolling enrollment policy. 

Which online options still have seats available and in what grades for 2020-2021?

At Greenfield Commonwealth Virtual School, al grades are currently on a waitlist for the 2020 school year. At TEC Connections Academy, grades K-5 are waitlisted but grades 6-12 are available. 

Will families be able to switch mid-school year, if needed?

Both Greenfield Commonwealth Virtual School and TEC Connections Academy accept mid-year transfers as long as their enrollment cap is not met. 

Does the school provide technology and wifi?

At Greenfield Commonwealth Virtual School, a Chromebook is available to every student enrolled. At TEC Connections Academy, one laptop and internet subsidy can be requested per household. 

 

Michigan:

Michigan offers two free, full-time online learning options for students. These are Michigan Connections Academy and Highpoint Virtual Academy of Michigan. In addition, Michigan Virtual offers part-time online classes for middle-school and high-school students; fees may apply.

What is the deadline to enroll in online school in Michigan for 2020-2021?

Michigan Connections Academy’s deadline for enrollment is September 10, 2020. Highpoint Virtual Academy of Michigan’s deadline for enrollment is August 26, 2020.  

Which online options still have seats available and in what grades for 2020-2021?

At Michigan Connections Academy, there are seats available for grade 10. Grades K-9 and 11-12 are waitlisted. At Highpoint Virtual Academy of Michigan, there are still seats available in grades K-12. There is no waitlist yet, but the school is close to reaching its maximum enrollment capacity. 

Will families be able to switch mid-school year, if needed?

At both Michigan Connections Academy and Highpoint Virtual Academy of Michigan, mid-year transfer students can be accepted for the second semester. 

Does the school provide technology and wifi?

At Michigan Connections Academy, students may request one computer and an internet subsidy per household. At Highpoint Virtual Academy of Michigan, loaner computers may be available based on financial need and eligibility. 

 

Minnesota:

Any student who lives in Minnesota, even if they have permanent residency elsewhere, can attend a full-time online school free of charge. For instance, students can do this through Minnesota Connections Academy or Minnesota Virtual Academy. Free part-time options are available for students enrolled in public schools (including charter schools). In addition, paid part-time options are available for nonpublic school students. Click here for more information about full-time and part-time online learning options in Minnesota. In order for the funding to follow a student who switches to online school, the family must fill out a Statewide Enrollment Options form. 

What is the deadline to enroll in online school in Minnesota for 2020-2021?

Minnesota Connections Academy has a rolling enrollment policy. Meanwhile, Minnesota Virtual Academy’s deadlines are: Sept 1, Sept 28, Nov 2, Jan 19, and Feb 16.

Which online options still have seats available and in what grades for 2020-2021?

Both Minnesota Connections Academy and Minnesota Virtual Academy have open seats available in grades K-12.

Will families be able to switch mid-school year, if needed?

Minnesota Connections Academy accepts students mid-school year, as long as the school’s enrollment cap is not met. Minnesota Virtual Academy also accepts transfers during the year, as long as students apply by one of the deadline listed above.

Does the school provide technology and wifi?

At Minnesota Connections Academy, students in grades K-5 must provide their own computer but students in grades 6-12 are provided a computer. At Minnesota Virtual Academy, a computer and internet stipend may be available based on financial need and eligibility. 

 

Mississippi:

Mississippi does not offer a free, full-time online school. However, students can enroll in part-time classes at the Mississippi Virtual Public School, and have their fees paid by their local district. 

Also, paid online school options, such as George Washington University Online High School, The Keystone School, and K12 International Academy, are available to students in every state, including Mississippi. 

 

Missouri:

Missouri public school students have access to  individual online courses or free, full-time online programs through MOCAP (Missouri Course Access and Virtual School Program). In order to participate, students must get enrollment approved by their resident school district. Some districts only allow classes to be taken on campus, others allow for full-time virtual learning. Students must be currently enrolled in a Missouri public school to switch to MOCAP or Connections Academy. 

Also, any non-public student in Missouri, from kindergarten through 12th grade, can take courses online through MOCAP for a fee. In some cases, such as students having certain medical conditions, the tuition can be waived.

What is the deadline to enroll in online school in Missouri for 2020-2021?

Enrollment deadlines for MOCAP depend on each school district, so interested families should contact their public school. Connections Academy has a rolling enrollment policy in Missouri. 

Which online options still have seats available and in what grades for 2020-2021

Availability for MOCAP varies by school district. Connections Academy still has seats available for grades K-12.

Will families be able to switch mid-school year, if needed?

At MOCAP, whether a family can transfer into the online school mid-school year is dependent on their school district. At Connections Academy, mid-year transfers are accepted as long as the school’s enrollment cap is not met.

Does the school provide technology and wifi?

Whether technology and wifi is freely available to MOCAP students depends on each school district. Connections Academy does not provide technology and wifi to students. 

 

Montana:

While Montana does not currently have a free, full-time online learning option, Montana Digital Academy allows middle and high school students to take online classes on a part-time basis through their local school. Also, families in any state can choose from paid online learning providers for a full-time option. Paid online schools include George Washington University Online High School, The Keystone School, and K12 International Academy.

 

Nebraska:

While most states have free, public online programs that families can choose, Nebraska does not currently have that option. The state does offer a paid option: University of Nebraska High School Online. Other paid options, like George Washington University Online High School, The Keystone School, and K12 International Academy, are available to Nebraska families but are not state-specific. Families interested in enrolling at University of Nebraska High School Online can do so at any point during the year; there is no deadline for enrollment. The school does not supply families with technology and wifi. 

 

Nevada:

Nevada offers several free, full-time online learning options, such as Nevada Connections Academy, Nevada Learning Academy, and Nevada Virtual Academy. 

What is the deadline to enroll in online school in Nevada for 2020-2021?

Nevada Learning Academy has no set deadline for enrollment, it remains open to new students until all seats are full. Nevada Virtual Academy also has a rolling enrollment policy. At Nevada Connections Academy, the deadline to enroll is the school’s start date of August 14, 2020.

Which online options still have seats available and in what grades for 2020-2021?

At Nevada Learning Academy, grades 9-12 are currently open for 2020-2021 while grades K-8 are waitlisted. At Nevada Connections Academy, there are seats available for grades 9-12. At Nevada Virtual Academy, all grades except grade 6 are currently waitlisted, but openings are expected as some students may change their plans closer to the start of the school year. 

Will families be able to switch mid-school year, if needed?

Nevada Learning Academy allows students to transfer in mid-school year only at the semester break.  At Nevada Connections Academy and Nevada Virtual Academy, mid-year transfers are accepted as long as the schools’ enrollment caps are not met. 

Does the school provide technology and wifi?

At Nevada Learning Academy, all families may request a computer from the school. At Nevada Connections Academy, families may request one computer and an internet subsidy per household. At Nevada Virtual Academy, only special education and free or reduced lunch students may apply for a computer.

 

New Hampshire:

New Hampshire middle and high school students can take courses free of charge, full- or part-time, at Virtual Learning Academy Charter. If there will be a gap between attendance at a student’s previous school and their start at the virtual school, the student must file a notice of intent at their local public school. Due to COVID-19, Virtual Learning Academy Charter is expanding its course offerings to serve students in grades K-3 starting in fall 2020. According to the school’s website, “[Elementary] students may complete all of their courses through VLACS. This will require approval from their local district to stay enrolled and do all of their work through VLACS or filing a homeschool plan through their local district. VLACS is exploring offering a full-time enrollment option for K-5 sometime in 2021.” 

What is the deadline to enroll in online school in New Hampshire for 2020-2021?

Virtual Learning Academy Charter has a rolling enrollment policy.

Which online options still have seats available and in what grades for 2020-2021?

At Virtual Learning Academy Charter, grades 6-12 have seats available for full-time enrollment. Grades K-5 have seats available for part-time enrollment.

Will families be able to switch mid-school year, if needed?

At Virtual Learning Academy Charter, families can enroll at any time during the year. 

Does the school provide technology and wifi?

Virtual Learning Academy Charter does not provide technology and wifi to students. 

 

New Jersey:

Unfortunately, New Jersey does not have a free, full-time online school option. However, New Jersey Virtual School offers full-time and credit-recovery enrollment to students in grades 6-12 for a fee. The deadline to enroll in New Jersey Virtual School is August 7, 2020. Currently, all grades have some courses available, though some courses are full. If students are interested in enrolling mid-year, they may be able to sign up for semester-only courses for the spring. Students attending New Jersey Virtual School must have access to technology and wifi; the school does not supply these for families. 

Besides New Jersey Virtual School, students can also consider other paid online school options, like George Washington University Online High School, The Keystone School, and K12 International Academy.

 

New Mexico:

In New Mexico there are several free, full-time online learning options for students, such as New Mexico Virtual Academy and New Mexico Connections Academy. In addition, the state’s Public Education Department offers a supplemental online course program. The state-run program charges fees to schools who enroll students. Some local districts absorb these costs, while some pass them along to families.

What is the deadline to enroll in online school in New Mexico for 2020-2021?

New Mexico Connections Academy has a rolling enrollment policy: first come, first serve. For New Mexico Virtual Academy, the deadline to enroll is August 10, 2020. 

Which online options still have seats available and in what grades for 2020-2021?

New Mexico Connections Academy has seats available in grades 9-11. New Mexico Virtual Academy has seats available in all grades K-12.

Will families be able to switch mid-school year, if needed?

At New Mexico Connections Academy, mid-year transfers are accepted as long as the school’s enrollment cap is not met. At New Mexico Virtual Academy, families are able to transfer in mid-year for the second semester.

Does the school provide technology and wifi?

At New Mexico Connections Academy, families may request one computer and an internet subsidy per household. At New Mexico Virtual Academy, any student who qualifies for free or reduced lunch may request a computer. 

 

New York:

While most states offer a free, full-time online learning program, New York does not currently do so. However, there are some paid online school options that are available to students in New York and all 50 states. These include George Washington University Online High School, The Keystone School, and K12 International Academy.

 

North Carolina:

In North Carolina, middle school and high school students may enroll full-time or part-time in North Carolina Virtual Public School. Public school students interested in attending North Carolina Virtual Public School should connect with their school’s e-learning advisor to enroll. Students not enrolled in public schools may be required to pay tuition. Another free, full-time online learning option available to families is North Carolina Virtual Academy

What is the deadline to enroll in online school in North Carolina for 2020-2021?

To attend North Carolina Virtual Public School, families must enroll by August 12 or August 17, 2020, depending on which classes they are signing up for. There is an opportunity drop or add classes within the first 10 days. At North Carolina Virtual Academy, families must enroll by August 13, 2020. As long as there are open seats, students will be accepted off the school’s waitlist until the 100th day of school for grades K-8, and the 20th day of each semester for grades 9-12. 

Which online options still have seats available and in what grades for 2020-2021?

At North Carolina Virtual Public School, there are still seats available for grades 9-12. At North Carolina Virtual Academy, there is a waitlist for grades K-12.  

Will families be able to switch mid-school year, if needed?

At both North Carolina Virtual Public School and North Carolina Virtual Academy, transfer students are accepted for the second semester. 

Does the school provide technology and wifi?

North Carolina Virtual Public School does not provide technology and wifi to students. At North Carolina Virtual Academy, a computer, printer, software, and internet stipend may be available based on financial need and eligibility. 

 

North Dakota:

While there is not currently a free full-time option for North Dakota students, elementary through high school students may enroll in courses through the North Dakota Center for Distance Education for a fee. Families can enroll in courses at any time throughout the year, and most courses do not have a set deadline. The North Dakota Center for Distance Learning has availability for all grades for the 2020-2021 school year, though some courses in each grade may be full. The school does not supply free technology and wifi to families, so students must have access to these at home.

Besides North Dakota Center for Distance Education, students can also consider other paid online school options, like George Washington University Online High School, The Keystone School, and K12 International Academy.

 

Ohio:

Students in elementary through high school grades may enroll full-time or part-time in courses through Northwest Ohio Virtual Academy at no cost, but they must register through a school district. Each school district determines availability, acceptance, and logistics for their students’ courses. Other free, full-time online learning options are also available, such as Ohio Virtual Academy and Ohio Connections Academy. You can also learn more at the Ohio e-School Families and Friends Coalition.

What is the deadline to enroll in online school in Ohio for 2020-2021?

Both Ohio Connections Academy and Ohio Virtual Academy have rolling enrollment. 

Which online options still have seats available and in what grades for 2020-2021?

Both Ohio Connections Academy and Ohio Virtual Academy have openings for students to enroll in all grades K-12.

Will families be able to switch mid-school year, if needed?

Both Ohio Connections Academy and Ohio Virtual Academy accept students mid-school year as long as the school’s enrollment cap has not been met.

Does the school provide technology and wifi?

At Ohio Connections Academy, a computer and an internet subsidy will be provided to families. At Ohio Virtual Academy, a computer, printer, software, and internet subsidy will be provided to families. 

 

Oklahoma:

Oklahoma currently offers five free, full-time online learning options for students: Oklahoma Virtual Charter Academy, Oklahoma Connections Academy, Epic Charter School, Insight School of Oklahoma, and E-School Virtual Charter Academy. Part-time supplemental online courses may be available through your public school via the Oklahoma Supplemental Online Course Program. Remember, virtual school is different and it can feel like “drinking from a fire hose” at first. But, for some families, it becomes the perfect fit. Learn more about all of Oklahoma’s virtual learning options at the Oklahoma Virtual Charter School Board

What is the deadline to enroll in online school in Oklahoma for 2020-2021?

Oklahoma Connections Academy has a rolling enrollment. The deadline to enroll at Oklahoma Virtual Charter Academy or Insight School of Oklahoma is August 10.

Which online options still have seats available and in what grades for 2020-2021?

Oklahoma Virtual Charter Academy has seats available in grades K-12. Insight School of Oklahoma has availability in grades 6-12.

Will families be able to switch mid-school year, if needed?

At both Oklahoma Connections Academy and Oklahoma Virtual Charter School, mid-year transfers are accepted as long as the school’s enrollment cap is not met. Meanwhile, Insight School of Oklahoma accepts transfer students for the second semester. 

Does the school provide technology and wifi? 

Oklahoma Connections Academy does not typically provide technology and wifi to students, but you may be able to apply for technology hardship assistance. Oklahoma Virtual Charter Academy and Insight School of Oklahoma do not typically provide technology and wifi either, but you may be able to receive a computer loan at either school based on financial need.  At Epic Charter School, a “learning fund” may be available to use for expenses. 

 

Oregon:

Oregon offers several free, full-time online learning options for students, like Oregon Connections Academy and Oregon Virtual Academy. For students in rural areas, the Oregon Digital Learning Academy provides part-time supplemental courses online, at no charge to students. In order for funding to follow a student to online school, the student’s family must submit a letter of intent, stating that they will be enrolling in a virtual school. You can learn more at the Oregon Virtual Public School Alliance.

What is the deadline to enroll in online school in Oregon for 2020-2021?

Oregon Connections Academy has a rolling enrollment policy.

Oregon Virtual Academy offers rolling admission to grades K-5. The deadline for grades 6-8 is October 22, 2020 for the first semester, and March 4, 2021 for the second semester. The deadline for grades 9-12 is October 8, 2020 for the first semester and February 19, 2021 for the second semester. 

Which online options still have seats available and in what grades for 2020-2021?

Both Oregon Connections Academy and Oregon Virtual Academy have seats available in grades K-12 as long as the 3% state cap has not been met (only up to three percent of students in any public school district across the state can enroll in one of Oregon’s full-time virtual schools). 

Will families be able to switch mid-school year, if needed?

At Oregon Connections Academy, students can transfer in throughout the year. 

As long as there is space, students in grades K-5 can switch at any time during the school year to Oregon Virtual Academy. Students in grades 6-12 can transfer into Oregon Virtual Academy at semester breaks. 

Does the school provide technology and wifi? 

At Oregon Connections Academy, one laptop and an internet stipend may be requested per household. Oregon Virtual Academy supplies families with a computer and a twice a year stipend to offset technology and wifi costs. 

 

Pennsylvania:

Pennsylvania offers several free, full-time online learning options for students, such as PA Virtual Charter School, Reach Cyber Charter School, and Insight PA Cyber Charter School.

After a student has been accepted into an online school, his or her family must complete withdrawal paperwork as their assigned school to ensure that there are no gaps in enrollment and that funding follows the child.

What is the deadline to enroll in online school in Pennsylvania for 2020-2021?

PA Virtual Charter School, Reach Cyber Charter School, and Insight PA Cyber Charter School all have rolling enrollment policies. 

Which online options still have seats available and in what grades for 2020-2021?

At PA Virtual Charter School, all grades currently have open spots. Some choices available through PA Virtual Charter School only enroll specific grades; for instance, Achievement House Cyber Charter School only serves students in grades 7-12; and 21st Century Cyber Charter School only serves students in grades 6-12. 

Both Reach Cyber Charter School and Insight PA Cyber Charter School have seats available for grades K-12.

Will families be able to switch mid-school year, if needed?

At PA Virtual Charter School and Reach Cyber Charter School, mid-year transfer students are accepted as long as there are still available seats at the schools. Insight PA Cyber Charter School also allows families to switch mid-school year. It has new cohorts of students starting nearly weekly. 

Does the school provide technology and wifi?

At PA Virtual Charter School, a laptop, printer, and internet stipend will be provided to students. At Reach Cyber Charter School, students may request one computer and an internet subsidy per household. At Insight PA Cyber Charter School, a laptop is provided to every family and an internet reimbursement up to $35/mo can be requested.

 

Rhode Island:

In some Rhode Island districts, students in grades 3-12 can enroll in part-time online courses through their local school district. You can contact your local public school to ask whether there are free or paid online options available in your district. 

There are also paid, full-time online learning options available to students in all 50 states, Rhode Island included. These paid options include George Washington University Online High School, The Keystone School, and K12 International Academy.

In light of COVID-19, the state of Rhode Island developed a temporary online learning project to help students in pre-K-12 work on skills over the summer of 2020 that they may have lost from the early closure of schools. This project is called Summer Academy for Interactive Learning (SAIL) and you can learn more about it here

 

South Carolina:

South Carolina offers several free, full-time online learning options for students, like South Carolina Virtual Charter School, and South Carolina Connections Academy.  In addition, public, private, and homeschooled students in grades 7-12 in South Carolina can enroll in tuition-free online classes through Virtual SC. VirtualSC recommends taking a maximum of four classes at a time, and does not award diplomas.

What is the deadline to enroll in online school in South Carolina for 2020-2021?

South Carolina Connections Academy has a rolling enrollment policy. At South Carolina Virtual Charter School, school starts on August 17, 2020, but students in grades K-8 can enroll until September 11, 2020. Students in grades 9-12 can enroll until August 28, 2020.

Which online options still have seats available and in what grades for 2020-2021?

South Carolina Connections Academy and South Carolina Virtual Charter School are currently still enrolling students in grades K-12.

Will families be able to switch mid-school year, if needed?

At South Carolina Connections Academy, mid-year transfer students are accepted as long as the school’s enrollment cap is not met. At South Carolina Virtual Charter School, students may be able to enroll mid-year for the second semester.

Does the school provide technology and wifi?

South Carolina Connections Academy does not supply families with free technology and wifi. At South Carolina Virtual Charter School, students eligible for free lunch may receive a loaner computer for a $25 deposit. This offer is only eligible at the beginning of the school year.

 

South Dakota:

South Dakota families may be able to take free, online learning courses through their local school district if it participates in an online learning community. Some districts allow students do take online classes full-time, some allow students to take online classes part-time, and some do not allow for online learning. Students taking online courses remain enrolled in their home district and follow their district’s procedures and policies. Typically, registration is only open at certain times of the year and families must supply their own computer and internet access. 

In addition, the South Dakota Virtual School, in conjunction with the state Department of Education, offers a list of approved providers for part-time courses. Students coordinate with and register through their local district to take these online classes. Whether the student’s district will absorb the cost of the classes or will require the student to pay a fee varies by district.

Finally, keep in mind that there are paid, full-time online school options that are available to students in all 50 states, South Dakota included. Some of these are George Washington University Online High School, The Keystone School, and K12 International Academy.

 

Tennessee:

Tennessee offers multiple free, full-time online learning options for students, like Tennessee Virtual Academy and Tennessee Connections Academy

What is the deadline to enroll in online school in Tennessee for 2020-2021?

Tennessee Connections Academy has a rolling enrollment policy. At Tennessee Virtual Academy, the first day of school is August 4, 2020, but the school allows cohort of new students to start throughout the year. 

Which online options still have seats available and in what grades for 2020-2021?

Tennessee Connections Academy has seats available for grades K-12. Tennessee Virtual Academy has seats available for grades K-8.

Will families be able to switch mid-school year, if needed?

At Tennessee Connections Academy, mid-year transfer students are accepted as long as the school’s enrollment cap is not met. Tennessee Virtual Academy also accepts students mid-school year; it sets dates for different cohorts of new students to start throughout the year. 

Does the school provide technology and wifi?

Tennessee Connections Academy and Tennessee Virtual Academy do not typically provide technology and wifi, but families may be able to apply for technology based on financial need. 

 

Texas:

Texas offers several free, full-time online learning options for students, including tuition-free online schooling through the Texas Virtual School Network’s Online Schools. Also, students may find part-time options through the Texas Virtual School Network.

What is the deadline to enroll in online school in Texas for 2020-2021?

Texas Virtual School Network offers families seven different online choices, some of which have rolling deadlines. 

Which online options still have seats available and in what grades for 2020-2021?

While some choices through the Texas Virtual School Network have filled all seats, there is availability in every grade if you are flexible as to which platform you choose.

Will families be able to switch mid-school year, if needed?

Many choices through the Texas Virtual School Network allow families to transfer in mid-school year as long as there are spots are available. But, it is best to switch at the semester break in order to ensure credit is received. 

Does the school provide technology and wifi?

Some of the Texas Virtual School Network choices provide a laptop, while others do not. For the schools that do not, you may be able to apply for an exception based on financial hardship.

 

Utah:

All Utah students, grades K-12, can enroll full- or part-time in online courses through Utah Online School. All courses are tuition-free. Other free online learning options are also available, such as Utah Connections Academy and Utah Virtual Academy. Moreover, Utah’s My Tech High partners with public schools to offer a full-time, personalized, distance education program for students ages 5 to 18. Parents, educators, and community members can find education-related data about all public schools, including online public schools, at Utah State Board of Education’s Data Gateway.

What is the deadline to enroll in online school in Utah for 2020-2021?

At Utah Online School, the start date is August 13, 2020 and the last deadline to enroll is September 11, 2020. At Utah Virtual Academy, the deadline to enroll is August 18, 2020. 

Which online options still have seats available and in what grades for 2020-2021?

Utah Online School has seats available for grades K-12. Utah Virtual Academy is currently waitlisted for all grades 6-12. 

Will families be able to switch mid-school year, if needed?

Utah Online School accepts transfer students at semester breaks. Utah Connections Academy accepts mid-year transfers as long as the school’s enrollment cap is not met. At Utah Virtual Academy, transfer students are accepted for the second semester if the school’s enrollment cap is not met.

Does the school provide technology and wifi?

Families attending Utah Online School can fill out an application for a computer based on need. Families in grades K-6 at Utah Connections Academy can request one laptop and internet subsidy; families in grades 7-12 must provide their own. At Utah Virtual Academy, a family may request a computer if they qualify for free and reduced lunch. At My Tech High, a technology subsidy up to $300/year may be provided. 

 

Vermont:

While Vermont does not yet offer a free, full-time online learning option, students may be able to take part-time courses through the Vermont Virtual Learning Cooperative. A variety of factors determine whether the school or parent will pay tuition. For more information, contact your local public school.

There are also paid, full-time online options, such as George Washington University Online High School, The Keystone School, and K12 International Academy, that are available to students in any state. 

 

Virginia:

Virginia offers students the option of free, full-time online learning through Virginia Virtual Academy. For part-time classes, students in middle and high school may be able to take online classes through Virtual Virginia. Tuition is usually covered by the public or private school in which the student is enrolled, or the parents if the student is homeschooled. Find out more about Virginia Virtual Academy here and here

What is the deadline to enroll in online school in Virginia for 2020-2021?

The start date for classes and the deadline to enroll in grades 9-12 at Virginia Virtual Academy is August 28, 2020. The deadline to enroll in grades 6-8 is September 24, 2020. The deadline to enroll in grades K-5 is September 28, 2020. 

Which online options still have seats available and in what grades for 2020-2021?

Virginia Virtual Academy still has seats available for students in grades K-12.

Does the school provide technology and wifi?

Virginia Virtual Academy does not supply families with technology and wifi. 

 

Washington:

Washington offers several free, full-time online learning options for students, like the Insight School of Washington and Washington Connections Academy. The Office of the Superintendent of Public Instruction has compiled a list of districts with online learning options, some of which may offer free courses.

In order for funding to follow the student, families of a child switching to online school must get a choice transfer release from their school district each year. To learn more about online learning in Washington, you can also check out the Digital Public School Alliance – WA.

What is the deadline to enroll in online school in Washington for 2020-2021?

Washington Connections Academy has a rolling enrollment policy. The Insight School of Washington has an initial deadline of September 4, 2020. However, students can apply by one of the following deadlines to enter a late-start cohort at the Insight School of Washington: September 23, October 21, November 25, January 6, February 3, or March 16.

Which online options still have seats available and in what grades for 2020-2021?

Washington Connections Academy has seats available in grades K-12. The Insight School of Washington has seats available in grades 9-12 and has no caps on enrollment. 

Will families be able to switch mid-school year, if needed?

At Washington Connections Academy, mid year transfers are accepted as long as the school’s enrollment cap is not met. At Insight School of Washington, there are multiple cohort start dates for each trimester. But, if you do not start at the beginning of a semester the number of courses that can be taken are limited.

Does the school provide technology and wifi?

Washington Connections Academy does not typically provide technology and wifi, but a family may submit a technology hardship application. At the Insight School of Washington, families may request a laptop based on financial need, but internet not provided.

 

West Virginia:

West Virginia does not offer free, full-time online schools. However, the West Virginia Virtual School offers part-time online courses. Students who do not have access to courses in their home school can take online courses for free, but fees apply for summer online courses, and in some other cases. 

There are also paid, full-time online options, such as George Washington University Online High School, The Keystone School, and K12 International Academy, that are available to students in any state. 

 

Wisconsin:

In Wisconsin, students can access several free, full-time online school programs. These include Wisconsin Connections Academy and Destinations Career Academy of Wisconsin. In order for funding to follow a student to online school, their family must submit an Alternative Application through the Department of Education.

For part-time classes, middle-school and high-school students in Wisconsin may be able to enroll through their local public or private school in Wisconsin Virtual School. There may be fees attached and you should connect with your school to learn more. 

What is the deadline to enroll in online school in Wisconsin for 2020-2021?

Wisconsin Connections Academy has a rolling enrollment policy. 

Since open enrollment has technically ended in Wisconsin, students interested in Wisconsin Virtual Academy, Destinations Career Academy of Wisconsin, or Insight School of Wisconsin must apply via the alternate enrollment process.

Wisconsin Virtual Academy has rolling enrollment for grades K-8 and a late start deadline of September 15, 2020 for grades 9-12. Destinations Career Academy of Wisconsin and Insight School of Wisconsin also have a late start deadline of September 15, 2020.

Which online options still have seats available and in what grades for 2020-2021?

Wisconsin Connections Academy and Wisconsin Virtual Academy have seats available for grades K-12. Destinations Career Academy of Wisconsin and Insight School of Wisconsin have seats available for grades 9-12. 

Will families be able to switch mid-school year, if needed?

At Wisconsin Connections Academy, mid-year transfers are accepted as long as the school’s enrollment cap is not met. At Wisconsin Virtual Academy, Destinations Career Academy of Wisconsin, and Insight School of Wisconsin, families may be able to apply mid-year through the state’s alternate enrollment process. 

Does the school provide technology and wifi? 

At Wisconsin Connections Academy, families in grades K-8 can receive one laptop per household and families in grades 9-12 can receive one laptop per student. At Wisconsin Virtual Academy, Destinations Career Academy of Wisconsin, and Insight Schools of Wisconsin, families are not typically provided technology and wifi. But, there may be exceptions in specific cases of financial hardship. 

 

Wyoming:

Wyoming offers several free, full-time online learning options for students, like Wyoming Virtual Academy and Wyoming Connections Academy. Additionally, paid part-time options are available through a variety of other providers.

What is the deadline to enroll in online school in Wyoming for 2020-2021?

Wyoming Connections Academy’s enrollment deadline is October 5, 2020. Wyoming Virtual Academy’s enrollment deadline is August 17, 2020.

Which online options still have seats available and in what grades for 2020-2021?

Both Wyoming Connections Academy and Wyoming Virtual Academy have seats available for grades K-12.

Will families be able to switch mid-school year, if needed?

Wyoming Connections Academy accepts transfer students mid-year for the second semester; the deadline for second semester enrollment is January 25, 2021. Wyoming Virtual Academy also accepts transfer students for the second semester. 

Does the school provide technology and wifi?

At Wyoming Connections Academy, a laptop and internet subsidy may be requested per household. At Wyoming Virtual Academy, a computer is available to students.

 

Shareable Facts about Online School

Virtual-Learning-Infographic-RedYellow
Sources: The School Choice Roadmap, by Andrew Campanella; Snapshot 2020, by the Digital Learning Collaborative.

Click here to download and share the graphic of our guide to online school.

Myths about Online School

Because online school programs aren’t as well-known as traditional school programs, there are some common misconceptions about them. For instance, here are two myths about K-12 online schools, along with answers from online school experts.

 

Myth 1: Online school would make it too hard for my child to have friends.

Suzanne Sloan, head of school at Virginia Virtual Academy (VAVA) shared a perspective on this. “One of the myths of virtual learning is that students are at home learning and they don’t get a chance to socialize and they don’t get a chance to be with other people,” she said. “Our families will tell you that it is the polar opposite. Because they have the ability to be flexible with their scheduling, they actually have more opportunities to be with other students. One of the ways they do this is through service projects, which help their individual communities.” 

 

Myth 2: Online school is less academically rigorous than traditional schooling.

We talked with another online school leader who had this to share about the rigor of online learning: “Our coursework is very challenging,” says Bryan Klochack, Principal at Michigan Connections Academy. “When we provide surveys to our parents about their happiness with our curriculum and whether it’s more or less challenging than their previous experience, it’s well into the high percentage of numbers that [say] it’s more challenging.”

He continued, “One of the things that we continue to fight over the years is that when you take a course online, people think of it as a credit recovery course that is not very challenging. As a full-time virtual option, that’s not who we are. We’re not a credit recovery program. We award diplomas. We’re expected to meet the same expectations every traditional brick and mortar district has for students to earn credits and their diploma, so it is very challenging, it is rigorous.”

 

Stories from Online School

If you’d like to hear more firsthand advice about online school, check out these interviews and stories from our archives: 

online-school-student-celebrates-in-baseball-cap

 

Why one family tried online school and hasn’t stopped yet

 

 

VAVA-students-at-the-capitol-2015

 

At this online school, each student designs a volunteer project

 

 

GOAL Academy-students-hold-school-choice-week-signs

 

At this blended model school, students get prom AND online classes 

 

 

online-school-student-holds-my-passion-is-technology-sign

 

Here’s what you should consider before switching to online school 

 

 

 

The information in this guide to online school is designed to help families who are considering online schooling in their decision-making process. Our mission is to provide families with the information they need about all the school options available – traditional public, public charter, public magnet, private, online, and at home – so they can choose the right fit for their child. For more guides about choosing other types of schools, click here.

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