Q: How does the school ensure that students stay on track with coursework?
A: Realizing that time management is one of the largest obstacles for students in an online environment, there are many ways that Denver Online works to ensure students stay supported and on track to complete coursework on time. 1) Denver Online ensures that every new family has a quality launch to online learning. Students are connected immediately to a homeroom teacher who helps each student complete a new student orientation to ensure students know how to navigate Schoology and how to connect with their teachers, how to submit assignments and see their grades, how to get involved with school clubs or other special opportunities, where to find upcoming school events, and more. 2) Courses are designed to keep students on track. Each assignment, quiz, and project has an assigned due date to help with pacing. Students can turn in assignments before or after the assigned dates; the due dates are more to help students stay on track throughout the semester. Coursework also has suggested time limits. This helps students with spending their time wisely as to not spend hours and hours on an assignment that was meant to be a simple task. This specifically helps our amazing students who struggle with perfectionism. 3) Go-To Folders hold the coursework that students should focus on if they are extremely behind in a class. These Go-To folders for each course were designed to help a student pass the course with at least a “C.” 4) Teachers and advisors work together to continually monitor student progress and mitigate academic or resource gaps. 5) Communication is key at Denver Online and our faculty continually connect with students and guardians to ensure no student falls through the cracks.
Q: What does an online class look like?
A: Each course is organized into weekly folders. Students can see all assigned coursework for the class in those weekly folders and then work at their own pace through it, completing one folder each week to stay on track. Content is all teacher and student driven, where teachers are able to modify coursework to match student needs. Some classes will incorporate live class sessions where students will use Zoom, a web conferencing tool. Using Zoom, teachers may lead a class lecture using PowerPoints, videos, science lab simulations, and other forms of instruction. During these live class sessions, students may interact through video, audio, or text chat with their teachers and classmates. If a student is unable to make it to the live class session times, there is always a make-up assignment a student can complete to earn full participation credit.
Q: Do the students have real teachers?
A: Yes they do! And they are incredibly talented inside of the world of online and blended learning, with many of our faculty earning meaningful awards in education. The relationships we build with students are core to our program and faculty are continually working to meet each of our student’s unique needs. Many students have told us that they actually have more personalized relationships with teachers at Denver Online than at any of the previous schools they’ve attended! See what other parents and students have said about Denver Online and its faculty on the testimonials page.
Q: Does Denver Online provide computers and internet for students?
A: Yes we can! While many students prefer to use their own laptops and desktops at home, Denver Online can provide a Chromebook to any student who is need of a device. We also have limited internet hotspots for students in need. Families can also find more resources for low cost laptop and internet options here.
Q: When does Denver Online High School enroll students?
A: We enroll new students every semester. Starting January 1st, 2022 Denver Online will also join the Choice process.
Q: Do I have to attend an onsite campus?
A: Sometimes. In most cases, students can work from home without attending a physical location. However, special district and state testing many times requires us to bring students into the building to be tested. There are also events like the 9th Grade Academy, field trips, service projects, school social events, and other times where students are encouraged to come to the building.
Q: How do I get extra help?
A: The wonderful thing about being online is that students can’t meet with their teachers from anywhere! Students are encouraged to drop into teacher office hours on Zoom or reach out whenever they have questions or need some extra support. Students can meet with their teachers using Zoom, on the phone, through email, through Schoology messages, or via text. Students can also schedule in-person meetings and tutoring with their teachers at our physical school location also. There are also on-site faculty members ready to help fix computer problems and answer questions about the online class programs. We also have a counselor here to support students with counseling and college readiness, as well as social workers for more personal needs.
Q: Can I travel?
A: Yes. Many of our students travel abroad throughout the year for a multitude of reasons. Students just must maintain Colorado residency while enrolled at Denver Online. However, students are still required to complete all required district/state testing at our physical school building.
Q: Can I get credit for working?
A: Yes. Students can enroll in our Work Study program to earn credits through working.
Q: Does the online environment measure up to the traditional learning model?
A: At Denver Online High School, we believe that no student learns in the same way. While some students function better in a traditional model, others flourish in an online environment. Still, some need a mix of both. This is where Denver Online excels. We provide flexible online courses but have teachers consistently available for students to meet one-on-one with so that each student gets the personalized attention needed for the most successful combination of online and brick-and-mortar learning environments. We also provide many other in-person field trips, internships, apprenticeships, special learning activities, social events, and more!
Q: Can I work at my own pace?
A: Yes. For high school students, Morning Mentor Sessions are every day at 10am, and there are also scheduled live class sessions throughout the week for each of their courses. However, if a student is unable to make it to those lives sessions, there is always a make-up assignment that a student can complete instead. Outside of these live sessions, students can work on their own time and at their own pace. While we encourage students to make daily and weekly schedules to capitalize on time management, there is not a required time of day that students must log into Schoology, and there is no required amount of hours a student must work in Schoology per day. Instead, weekly folders help students stay on track, and we are continually helping students increase their time management skills in order to pursue their academics and other passions simultaneously.
Q: How does attendance work?
A: There are multiple ways that students can earn attendance points. Students can earn attendance points each week by attending Morning Mentor Sessions, passing courses with a C or higher, and/or completing weekly folders.
Q: Do students feel isolated doing school online? Don’t they miss out on a lot of important social interaction?
A: Our school motto is DO MORE! We really believe that the time and location flexibility of online education allows our students to pursue more extracurricular pursuits than many traditional students are able to. Many of our students come to us because they are already heavily involved with sports, dance, work, music groups, and more that already serve their social needs. However, for those students that do not have those outside social groups, we actively work to engage students in school clubs, field trips, and social events; help plug them into CareerConnect internships and apprenticeships; help them get started in taking college courses in-person through Concurrent Enrollment; and more! Ensuring students feel seen, heard, and known at our school is at the heart of what makes Denver Online special. We are always actively working to build community at Denver Online so that each of our students and families truly feel like they are part of the Denver Online family!
Q: How do you monitor cheating?
A: No institution can ensure 100% that cheating will not take place. For example, students still find ways to cheat in a traditional brick-and-mortar school. However, teachers are constantly reviewing and scoring student work. It does not take long for a teacher to recognize each student’s strengths and weaknesses. Teachers are quickly able to identify if work is turned in that is unusual to the work usually submitted by that student.
Q: Is there computer training for parents?
A: We realize that the online school environment can sometimes be challenging for parents to adjust to. Therefore, we hold a Parent Orientation at the start of every semester that teaches parents about how to use each of the online programs their students use, how to track their student’s progress and grades, and how best to support online students. This also allows parents to meet one another, interact with faculty from the school, and learn about special opportunities for them and their students to get involved with.