Because pacing and time management are two of the most important pieces to the success of an online student, Denver Online High School has five major steps to ensuring students stay supported and on track to complete coursework on time.
1) Orientation. The first way is by having new students go through an orientation that teaches them about how to work effectively in an online environment, how to use the programs, and what expectations need to be met. We also hold a New Parent Orientation every semester that teaches parents how to check on their student’s progress as well.
3) Course design keeps students on track. Third, courses are designed to promote consistent weekly progress. All coursework for each class is available from the very beginning of the semester with every assignment, quiz/test, and project having an assigned due-date. This allows students to work at their own pace and work ahead. Attendance points are measured by whether or not the student turned in each piece of coursework on time or have completed a week’s worth of work each week. While students may turn in assignments after the due dates, they may be penalized in attendance points if they have not completed a week’s worth of work that particular week.
4) Teachers and advisors constantly reach out. Fourth, there is also an intensive teacher and advisor process that helps safeguard students from falling behind. When a student first enters Denver Online High School, he/she is paired with an advisor who helps the student get adjusted to the online environment and provide extra support where necessary. Within all classes, teachers reach out to the student promptly if the student is not meeting weekly progress expectations or fails to turn in an assignment on time. If the student continues to fall behind, the student is referred to their advisor who works with the student to develop a Student Improvement Plan with goals to catch up in an efficient manner. The student is then held accountable to those goals through weekly check-ups.
5) Homeroom. Denver Online High School implemented Connection Days and Grad Prep Days in order to better serve students who need more interaction integrated into their education. These in-person days serve as a time for students to connect with their peers and teachers, work on service learning projects and college/career readiness activities, ask coursework questions, complete state testing requirements, and more! These days are integral to some students’ overall well-being, helping students feel like part of a community that knows them and cares about them. Participation in these in-person days provides students with Homeroom credit. For in-person Connection Days and Grad Prep Fridays, students meet at Smedley Learning Center on required days (9th/10th/11th graders meet weekly, 12th graders meet twice a month). Students who are exempted from these in-person days are able to receive Homeroom credit by completing virtual assignments in their Homeroom course. Homerooms are lead by teacher mentors focused on developing relationships to better enable student communication and advocacy.