As online education continues to grow and evolve, many misconceptions surrounding the idea of distance learning have come to light. While online learning is not for everyone, there are many benefits to attending an online school that a traditional setting does not offer. The truth behind the common myths about online schools proves these benefits.
Myth: Credits or degrees from an online school are not transferrable or respected by colleges and universities.
As long as the online school is accredited, students are assured that the courses they take will have reciprocity of credits with other schools, colleges and universities. Accreditation means that the school has earned the approval of an external, independent organization that performs ongoing, comprehensive examinations of the school’s curriculum and teacher services. When researching an online school, it is imperative to make sure that they have the proper accreditation.
Laurel Springs School’s accreditation with WASC, AdvancED and SACS CASI is nationally-recognized and ensures the legitimacy of our courses and transcripts. When students attend Laurel Springs, parents can be confident that they are receiving an education that has been thoroughly examined and approved by an independent third-party verifying body. Additionally, students who attend Laurel Springs are accepted into highly selected colleges and universities around the world.
“Without Laurel Springs, I would never have been able to get into Stanford University.” —Laurel Springs Gifted & Talented Academy Student
Myth: Students who attend online schools do not have opportunities for social interaction.
While the opportunities for social interaction in a distance learning environment are different, there are still many ways that students can connect with their teachers and peers. Online schools provide socialization opportunities for students through virtual classrooms, virtual clubs and collaborative projects. Oftentimes, students will meet during a virtual class or on a message board, and connect outside of the school environment.
At Laurel Springs, students have a variety of ways to connect virtually and face-to-face with their peers. Our online clubs, iClasses, and symposia series all play a key part in our virtual school community, providing students with the opportunity to deepen relationships and work collaboratively. Field trips and pizza parties are held throughout the year in various locations and allow students to meet face-to-face. Our full-time high school students are invited to attend our graduation weekend held each year in Southern California which includes an open mic night, high school prom, and a graduation ceremony.
Myth: Online education is easier than traditional education.
A common misconception about online courses is that they are condensed or easier versions of regular courses. Similar to taking courses in a traditional school, online courses vary in difficulty. As long as a school is accredited, the courses will be aligned to rigorous standards and are just as credible as courses taken in a traditional setting.
The college prep courses at Laurel Springs have been carefully designed so that successful completion prepares students for courses at the most demanding colleges and universities. Our online high school provides a wide range of Honors courses which meet the needs of college-bound students seeking a challenging academic curriculum in a distance learning environment. Additionally, we provide a wide variety of Advanced Placement (AP) courses, enabling students to take college-level courses and exams and earn college credit or placement while still in high school.
“I have had a great experience with my AP courses at Laurel Springs. All of my teachers were knowledgeable and accessible. They allowed me to work at my own pace, but were always quick to respond to anything I may have needed. The coursework was reasonably challenging, but my stress level was usually low.” —Laurel Springs Student
Myth: Students will not receive personal attention from their teachers.
Contrary to this myth, in an online learning environment, students often receive a more individualized learning experience than they would in a traditional classroom. Instead of having to simultaneously provide instruction for a group of students, teachers are able to develop one-on-one relationships with each child. When choosing a high-quality online school, you can be assured that students will have access to teachers who guide them through the learning process by offering ongoing support and feedback.
“At Laurel Springs, I felt that the teachers met my personal needs as a student, and didn’t treat me as just another individual.” —Laurel Springs Student
Laurel Springs School is dedicated to meeting the unique needs of each student through an individualized approach to education. Our teachers keep in frequent contact with students and parents, responding to questions through our interactive grade book, phone, email, video conferencing, and virtual classrooms. Students can also visit our live virtual help room called LSS Live for additional support on a lesson. Students participate in a consistent dialogue with their teachers about coursework, assignments are graded individually, and teachers provide specific feedback and insights into how students can improve their work.
“I loved the communication and the quick response time from my teacher. If there was a problem, she was there to help and support and encourage!” —Laurel Springs Student