Virtual Schools: A Healthy Option for Students with Medical Conditions
Students with health-related issues face a myriad of challenges, but getting a quality education shouldn’t be one of them.
For children dealing with frequent hospital visits, doctors’ appointments, treatment schedules, or long recovery times, attending a traditional school may not be a viable education option.
Many virtual schools offer an accredited education alternative to students who must or prefer to stay at home in order to properly care for their health needs.
For Toni Wood, a reassured virtual school parent in Oklahoma, the quality online curriculum and flexibility of an online school environment are the keys to simultaneously maintaining her daughter Belle’s type 1 diabetes and her education.
“After the initial diagnosis, Belle had encountered many challenges as she learned to cope with her condition and integrate care into her daily life. School life was particularly challenging, specifically in her ability to think and learn. Her blood sugar was frequently too high or too low, making it difficult for her to pay attention and perform academically at the level of which she was capable. For that reason, we chose to withdraw her from her traditional brick-and-mortar school and educate her at home so that she would be able to take care of herself when she felt it was necessary and still not miss any instruction time. Then we found virtual schooling with Oklahoma Connections Academy.
“Online education works for us because our daughter is no longer restricted to certain hours to accomplish her daily work. She can work at her own pace when her strength and concentration levels are best, without worrying about getting behind the rest of her class. In fact, she is excelling beyond our expectations. If she needs to stop and treat her condition, she can. She is not required to walk to the nurse’s office when she is feeling bad; all she has to do is tell us or just treat herself.”
Toni further describes, “Our daughter has full-time certified teachers with whom she has frequent communication, whether it is through weekly interactive online lessons, phone calls, or emails. She also has had many field trip opportunities to get to know her teachers and her virtual classmates from across the state.
“As parents, we like the fact that we are still involved in her education. As her ‘Learning Coaches,’ we are critical members of her education team, helping monitor the academic progress in the home. We have full knowledge of what she is going to be learning over the course of the entire school year and have frequent communication with her teachers to make sure she is on track and challenged.”
For Toni’s diabetic daughter Belle, virtual school is not just an effective education alternative, it’s an emotional and physical lifesaver. Many parents tell me how they don’t know what they would do without an option like Connections Academy.
Every January, National School Choice Week brings attention to the need for effective education options for all children. There are so many different reasons that families seek alternate education options, and I am thankful for the opportunities parents have to choose a school that works best for their children. What’s the best educational choice for your child? Consider virtual school!