How an Online School Schedule Can Benefit Students
Learning online comes with many perks, including a comfortable learning environment, fewer distractions, and best of all, more scheduling flexibility! By attending virtual school, students who are actively involved in activities such as competitive or professional sports, acting, modeling, or singing can complete their schoolwork on the go when they have some downtime—even if that means early in the morning, late at night, or on the weekends.
Online students can usually choose a learning schedule that works best for their lifestyle, but in order to have a successful school year, it’s important for them to still meet their state’s attendance requirements, keep up with their courses and assignments, and stay in frequent communication with their teachers. Some virtual sessions are at fixed times, so students should pay close attention to their course schedules.
Read below to learn how six current and former students of Connections Academy—supported schools have been able to achieve their dreams while being full-time students!
Lights, Camera, Action!
Rising entertainer and high school senior Justin Myrick is grateful that South Carolina Connections Academy allows him to balance schoolwork and his acting, voice-over, entertainment, and music career. He costarred with three-time Emmy Award winner Alfre Woodard in the film Knucklehead, has made guest appearances on national TV shows, has done voice-overs for Fortune 500 companies, and established his own entertainment company.
Even though Justin is often on the go, he still finds time to be a member of his school’s National Honor Society and the Visual and Performing Arts Talent Network, and to host the “Ask CA” video series. “My teachers personalize the lessons and find ways to make them fun,” he says.
The Balancing Act
Talented gymnast and 2015 high school graduate Shannon McNatt was able to thrive in both academics and gymnastics during her time at Texas Connections Academy @ Houston. She had six hours of gymnastics practice six days a week, but she could still focus on her school courses whenever she had a break.
Shannon maintained an A+ average in all of her courses, was a member of the National Honor Society, and was the salutatorian of her graduating class. “The teachers were incredible—they did everything in their power to give me the best education possible, and even let me call after hours when I needed help,” she shares. Shannon earned a full scholarship to the University of Utah, where she competes on the gymnastics team.
Ninth grader Alexa Niziak, who spends the majority of her time acting on stage, enrolled with TEC Connections Academy (TECCA) to receive a high-quality education while pursuing her passion. She was recently a part of the off-Broadway play Women without Men, and has appeared in several other Broadway plays in the past, including Matilda, A Christmas Story: The Musical, and Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.
Despite her busy schedule consisting of rehearsals, shows, and dance lessons, Alexa is still able to complete her schoolwork during her free time. “My parents always say school is number one, so you have to especially focus on that,” she explains. Alexa enjoys her history, math, and music courses at TECCA.
Fifth grader Carly Gendall, another TECCA student, can fulfill her lifelong dream of being a Broadway actress and still keep up with her schoolwork. She recently played the role of Marcy—a character who sings often and performs in several dance routines—in the Broadway play School of Rock.
Since Carly has demanding rehearsal and play hours, she greatly benefits from being able to tailor her school schedule. By working at pace that suits her, she is learning the importance of time management—a skill that will be valuable in her future. “She’s very determined, and when she was onstage, we saw that and knew we had to figure out how to make it happen,” her dad, Erik, says.
TECCA has also proven to be a perfect fit for seventh grader Marcus D’Angelo, allowing him to do what he loves—acting. He has acted in several Broadways plays, including Les Misérables and Matilda. Since Marcus can complete his schoolwork from anywhere that has an Internet connection, he often does some work backstage before his performances.
His mom, Carrie, is grateful for TECCA’s scheduling flexibility. She says, “A lot of kids going to [traditional] public schools and performing in these plays are getting six hours of sleep or less, and that’s just not healthy for a kid. This is a better way to do it.”
Riding in Style
High school graduate Catherine Chamberlain values Arizona Connections Academy (ACA) for giving her the opportunity to develop her equestrian career without compromising her education. While enrolled with the school, she was able to compete in several dressage competitions around the world.
At ACA, Catherine learned to be self-sufficient and accountable. “Not only did [the school] help me stay committed to my work, but it also taught me how to organize and prioritize my life in order to be successful,” she shares. Since graduating, Catherine was invited to compete in a dressage competition in Germany, and she plans to compete in more international competitions in the future.
With more scheduling flexibility, students have the opportunity to pursue both their personal and academic goals. How has the scheduling flexibility in virtual school helped your student? Share your story with us in the comments!