Parent Support in Online Education
When you enroll your child in an online school, you enter into a very unique partnership. Working closely with your children, you are about to witness incredible achievements, not unlike the way you marveled when they spoke their first words and took their first steps. Some days it really will feel like that. Other days, you’ll need support to get through. The good news is that there are plenty of resources offering parent support. Families who enroll in K12’s online schools have teachers, school websites, social media, and school events among their options. Following is a breakdown of resources families can turn to for help:
Parent Support Resources
Your Assigned Teacher
Your assigned teacher is your first point of contact and will likely be able to answer most of your questions. Teachers are there to make sure your student is on track and answer any questions you have, from navigating the online school to working through learning activities. If you are the parent of a high school student, your school counselor will help you with class schedules, answer questions regarding credit, and work with you to ensure your student is on the right path to pursue post high school goals. You should always feel comfortable asking for help. Your teachers will send you detailed information about how to reach them, along with how to get started on the first day of school.
Parents who enroll their children in online schools take on an important responsibility and parent workshops can help you be successful. Get in the habit of checking your school’s website regularly so you can find additional resources to support your child’s education. Parent workshop topics might include how to work with your child, planning for college, digital citizenship, bullying prevention, and helping your children with those important transitions to kindergarten, middle and high school.
In the handbook, you’ll find information on student and parent rights, expectations for behavior and attendance, graduation requirements, technology use policies, parent involvement, and more. The Parent Handbook may contain important forms, including an acknowledgement that the parent handbook was received, that must be completed and returned to the school.
Information about the school leadership, parent meetings, academic calendars, and other important forms can be found on your school website. Your school may also have a blog that includes posts from the principal, teachers, education experts, and parent leaders on a variety of topics such as making the first day of schooling at home special, school supplies, or helpful apps. Once school begins, you can look forward to newsletters and regular e-mails from your school and teacher.
Take advantage of opportunities to meet other parents from your school community at in-person or online events. Meet the Teacher, Back to School Night, Kindergarten Round-ups, High School Hangouts, Family Literacy Nights—whatever your school has planned—allow you and your children to make friends and develop your personal support network.
Connecting with other parents is one of the most powerful ways to get help and support, and many parents make those connections on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. You are part of a global community and no matter where you live, you can find other parents who understand exactly what you are going through and can offer sound advice and encouragement. If you haven’t already, make sure to like K12’s Facebook page for specific company information and LearningLiftoff.com for great articles to help your family live a more learning-friendly life.
The beginning of the school year is busy and stressful for parents, students, and teachers. Remember that your teachers are receiving a lot of information in a short period of time. Last-minute enrollments and preparation for students mean your teachers and school staff are probably putting in extra hours. Everyone is working hard to make the school year a great one for you and your child. We’ve compiled several articles this back-to-school season to help families keep it simple this year. Check them out!
This article was updated August 2015
Terri MacQuarrie is manager of family services for K12. She has a bachelor's degree in human development and a master's degree in elementary education. In addition to teaching in brick-and-mortar and virtual classrooms for almost 20 years, she also has 18 years of experience schooling her three children at home in both traditional homeschooling and virtual charter school settings.