This might not be what you wanted to concentrate on during the winter break, but it’s not uncommon.
In Louisiana, some families are finding the switch to a free, public virtual school meets their needs.
“Changing to a virtual charter school is not just a change of venue, but a change of mindset,” said Louisiana Connections Academy Principal Glenda Jones.
According to LACA’s research, the top reasons for switching schools mid-year usually are:
1. Your child learns at a different pace—faster or slower—and the benefit of personalized learning and pacing from an online education will keep them engaged;
2. The traditional classroom is not addressing your child’s needs to stay focused or recover self-esteem;
3. Your child’s athletic/performance/health schedule demands the flexibility of online education.
“Whatever the reason, the parent finds that their child is constantly talking about the need to change schools. It’s important to listen to and respect your child’s feelings, and provide reassurance,” said Principal Jones. “Taking time to explore what options are out there and clear communications about what a school change will involve helps the transition.”
Louisiana Connections Academy is a K-12 school, and mid-year switches to the school are accepted, especially among junior and senior high grades.
More than a quarter of a million American students in grades K-12 get their education virtually. In Louisiana, 2000 students are currently enrolled in Louisiana Connections Academy.
“The format of virtual schooling eases the student’s adjustment period, and because learning takes place at the home computer, the physical transition is easier too for students and families,” said Principal Jones.
Principal Jones suggests these tips for a mid-year transition:
- Do your homework.
Make sure the school offers an accredited program with a wide range of courses, and a proven curriculum developed by professional educators. Talk to parents with students currently enrolled in the school. We have a contact a Parent program that will connect you with currently enrolled families to discuss your questions. http://www.connectionsacademy.com/our-program/school-community/contact-a-parent.aspx
- Plan Ahead
Research shows that students are more successful when they change schools at the beginning of a quarter or semester. Find out when the grading period ends in your child’s current school and when the new one starts. Use this info to set a target start date for the new school. Of course, sometimes life throws you a curve ball—like surprise job changes or family matters. In that case, guidance and enrollment officials can help you navigate the school switch smoothly.
- Get Your Paperwork in Order
Check with enrollment officials at the new school for admission deadlines and a list of required documents, which could include:
- application forms
- birth certificate
- immunization records
- other state-specific paperwork
- Pay Attention to Transfer Credits
Many schools don’t mail fall semester report cards until the spring semester, making it tricky for some parents to prove course completion and to get students’ credits transferred to the new school. Parents facing this situation should check with their new school’s enrollment counselors to find out what other, alternative paperwork they can supply, and then they should request it from the previous school.
- Maintain an Open Dialogue
Easing a midyear transition doesn’t end once your child has all of his or her books and supplies and has started classes. Be sure to listen carefully and address your child’s questions and concerns. And continue to communicate with school staff regularly. Teachers, counselors, and administrators are there to help. Maintaining an open dialogue with them is key to a smooth transition to virtual school.
Making the mid-year switch? Visit http://www.LouisianaConnectionsAcademy.com for more information and updated online information session postings throughout the year.