The eLearning Press

Information for Online Students & Families


The world of online learning has many benefits. Students, especially at the high school level, have the opportunity to focus their studies. They may select research topics or entire courses based on their individual areas of interest or with the goal of gaining the essential skills and understandings they will need for future careers.

Success in a virtual learning environment requires lots of teamwork and open lines of communication. Students, teachers, and family members all have important roles to play. I believe very firmly that all of us have voices to be heard as well.

As the teacher, I am at best a facilitator. I do my best to create or locate resources that will be helpful, meaningful, and relevant for every child. I try very hard to make sure lessons are engaging and memorable. I am always available to assist students or parents who are struggling. I pride myself in answering questions thoroughly, even if the answers require some research on my part. Please do not hesitate to contact me at any point throughout this course!

The student is the learner and should be at the center of every conversation. What's working? What isn't? What's interesting? What isn't? What's relevant? What isn't? The pace of our course is dictated by the learner. To a certain extent, the content of our course is as well. Students in a science course should be excited about what they're learning and see real-world applications of science all around them. The critical thinking, problem-solving, and scientific writing skills developed here should be applicable for the rest of their lives.

Family members are managers, supporters, encouragers, cheerleaders, and communicators. You know your child better than anyone. You see your child every day. You know the impact that your child's schooling has on your child and your family. For that reason, your ideas, your goals, and your opinions about your child's science course(s) are respected, trusted, and appreciated.

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Please help me get to know your child as we begin our course together. Your assignment is:

In a million words or less, tell me about your child.

You may submit your homework assignment via email at or by sending a hard copy to my school address.



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Coach's Corner: Lessons from Learning Coaches

Mrs. Luisa Soto has served as her son's Learning Coach for the past five years. As a veteran LC, she took some time to offer advice to new and returning Learning Coaches as the school year begins.

What do you think is the most important role that Learning Coaches play?

"For us, it's managing [my son's] schedule. I have found that I need to know what assignments are due and when his classes are meeting synchronously so that I can make sure he's on time with everything. It's a lot of information for a student - even a high school student - to organize. Even though [my son] is in high school now, I'm still watching to make sure that his assignments are done. I sit down at the beginning of the week and make a giant 'To Do' List. [My son] makes one, too, and we both keep track of what's done and what isn't. I have to keep him accountable, though."

How do you go about setting up daily routines?

"At the start of a school year, we take a look at each course's syllabus and each teacher's setup online. Different teachers tend to have different days that lessons might be due or that tests might be given. We try to estimate how much time each day is needed for each class. Then [my son] and I work together to try to figure out what each day will look like for him. The routine is crucial. What is he going to do to start the day? What is he going to do in the middle of the day? What is he going to work on in the evenings? Also, where will his clubs, church activities, and sports teams fit in? Our schedule isn't as rigid as the typical school day, but there are definite times set aside so that he and I both know what he should be working on."

"I also let my son help make 'rules' for what his work environment is like. He's part of that conversation. He has seen over time that he doesn't get as much work done when he has his cell phone by his side. He now leaves his phone in another room and can only check his phone every half hour - but that's a rule that he came up with on his own, not one that I imposed (although I really wanted to). He also only listens to music when he's working on certain subjects. He's learned he needs to focus more when he's writing, and the music distracts him."

What do you wish you had known when your son first moved to the virtual classroom?

"When we first moved [my son] to the Online Academy, I was really overwhelmed. I don't think I took full advantage of the LC Workshops that the school or that individual teachers offered. You're responsible for a lot as a parent of an online student. You have to be a lot more involved than you are with normal school teachers, because for the most part 100% of what your child does and learns happens at home. That's a lot of pressure. I'm not a teacher, so I needed teachers to help me know what to do to help my child. At the workshops, teachers usually preview what's coming up as well. That way if my child or I have questions, I can get them answered in advance and typically don't even have to email the teacher for clarification. I would definitely recommend that new and old LCs attend every workshop. It's great networking with other online parents as well."

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Having trouble getting newly downloaded applications to run? Restarting your computer can work wonders. It seems silly, but always try running a "Restart" before you call the Tech Hotline. Often even WiFi issues can be resolved with a simple Restart.

As always, Tech Support is available around the clock through Family Coaches and the Tech Hotline. Teachers may be able to help with some everyday tech issues, but our main area of expertise is with the content and assignments. At the very least, emailing a teacher can help get you pointed in the right direction!