How to Hit a Home Run in Blended or Virtual School Enrollment
Choosing the appropriate form of education for your child is a major-league decision that requires ample research, thought, and planning. And just as a baseball team starts training long before opening day, a family that’s interested in switching to virtual or blended learning should get ready for enrollment by doing the legwork well in advance.
The decision-making process might initially feel a bit daunting, but don’t just sit on the bench! If you’re seriously considering virtual or blended school, get in the game and consider the following steps to help you make the best choice for your child—and prepare to knock it out of the park with an enrollment home run!
“It’s what you do before the season starts that makes a champion.”
First base: Study the playing field
The most important thing to do is determine whether the program is suitable for your son or daughter. Make a list of all the things you want to know, and do some extensive research. As you learn more, ask yourself some key questions: Would my child benefit from this? Is this something he or she would like? Will he or she learn better in this learning environment?
Get to know exactly how the school works and what it provides—including the curriculum, teachers, and technology—so that you and your family feel as comfortable as possible about beginning this new academic venture. Here are some ways to learn more
- Visit the school’s website.
- Request a Program Guide, either online or in paper form.
- Watch an on-demand information session online.
- Watch a online classroom demo.
- Connect with the school via social media to receive regular updates about news and events.
- Have parents answer your questions about online school.
- Follow the school’s blog for educational posts including tips, fun activities for students, and a breakdown of different virtual and blended school essentials.
“You can’t steal second base with your foot on first.”
Second base: Get to know the team
Familiarizing yourself with all the facts about the specific virtual or blended school that you’re interested in is a great way to start, but it shouldn’t be the basis of your final decision. Dig a little deeper by registering for a local school event where you can meet and interact with the staff, teachers, and other parents face-to-face.
These events often address any questions or concerns a prospective family might have, while enabling parents to make connections and build friendships within the virtual school community. Here are some examples of informative events that families considering Connections Academy or Nexus Academy schools can attend:
- Parent-to-parent meeting—Talk to another parent who has already been through the process! These informal, low-key meetings are hosted by parents and are often held in a local coffee shop.
- Information session—Get an overview of the school from kindergarten to high school.
- School booth—If you don’t have time to attend a full event, stop by the school’s booth to get some quick and helpful information.
- Open house—Discover more about the unique blended school environment by touring the school and meeting the staff.
- Shadow day—Students can shadow a current student on campus for the day and get a feel for what a school day is like.
“The will to win is not nearly as important as the will to prepare to win.”
Third base: Organize your gear
You’re in the home stretch and leaning toward enrollment—but don’t run to home without getting organized first! Getting your pre-enrollment duties in order will help you move through school enrollment without any unnecessary stress or worry. Here are some things to think about before starting the enrollment process:
- If your student is transferring from another school, make sure to request his or her transcripts sooner rather than later.
- Talk to your student to ensure that he or she is ready for the change.
- Mark the enrollment deadlines on the calendar or set up a reminder on your phone to keep track of how much time you have.
- Just like any public school, a virtual or blended learning school will request documents during the enrollment process. Instead of panicking and rummaging through your drawers at the last minute, prepare these things ahead of time. You can check your school’s website to see what documents are required in your state
“There’s no place like home.”
Fourth base: Prepare to head home
It’s the top of the ninth inning, and the bases are loaded. Time to put your best foot forward and head for home—it’s time to enroll! To ensure that your student can start school on time and has plenty of time to prepare for the school year, begin the enrollment process as soon as possible. Spring or early summer is ideal. Keep in mind that there are many helpful enrollment resources available for your ease and convenience—you don’t have to do it alone! Here are some tips to guide you along the way:
- Contact the school and speak to an enrollment advisor if you have any questions or need assistance.
- Read the instructions carefully.
- Make sure all of your information is correct before moving on to the next step.
- Review your enrollment checklist regularly.
- Take your time and don’t rush through any of the steps.
With thorough preparation and organization, you can win one for your home team and proudly hit a home run in your new blended or virtual school! What are some ways you and your family prepared for enrollment? How did you learn more about the school? Share with us below.