Flexible School Options Are Here to Stay

The pandemic flipped the traditional learning model upside down as school closures introduced parents to homeschooling and Zoom virtual classrooms. Families that attended a non-classroom-based charter school were well-prepared for this transition as they have been learning this way in charter schools for years. Charter schools have been providing a unique approach to education since the Charter Schools Act passed in 1992, allowing alternative types of public schools. Here are the types of flexible program options that are available to students.

Homeschooling / Independent Study 

Parents select curriculum and resources and work at their own pace to teach children at home full time. Homeschooling can be done independently or with a public charter school with non-classroom-based programs.  Charter schools can save you time and money and time and often include free curriculum, lesson planning, a tablet or device, state testing, and record-keeping. Credentialed teachers act as a guide on the side and answer questions, provide support, and ensure each student’s learning is exceeding grade-level expectations. Special education services, reading and math specialists, and other supports are also available when homeschooling with a public charter school.

Virtual

Virtual learning allows students to take more ownership of their learning with remote access to lessons, homework, and collaboration with teachers and peers. Virtual programs can be private or accessed through a charter school program. Charter schools provide the curriculum, a learning management system, virtual access to classrooms, record-keeping, and teacher support. Students may also participate in on-campus extracurricular activities such as cheer, athletics, dance, band, robotics, and more. Many professional athletes, actors, and students who work prefer a virtual program for its flexibility.

Hybrid and Blended Programs

In a hybrid program, students attend class on campus in a traditional classroom setting two to three days per week and study at home under the supervision of a parent or guardian the remaining days of the week. California credentialed teachers work closely with students on campus and in the classroom during the on-campus days. Students work at home and follow the classroom curriculum on home days. Many parents find this is the perfect blend of both programs, and it often gives families the flexibility to add additional enriching activities like music lessons and community sports.

Dual Enrollment

Dual Credit/Concurrent Enrollment is a program that allows qualifying high school students to take courses at a community college at little or no cost to the student while attending high school. Students can earn both college and high school credits at the same time. Students may qualify for concurrent enrollment after enrolling in at least two classes per term and a minimum number of 30 credits per year. Many students find that they can complete a year or two of college courses before high school graduation.

While there is no longer a one-size-fits-all approach to education, increased flexible program options are available for students. They can offer them greater ownership of their learning and future.

The Classical Academies is an organization of award-winning, tuition-free, public charter schools serving grades TK-12 in North San Diego County. The schools have been partnering with parents for quality education since 1999. For more information, visit www.classicalacademy.com