How Online School Fosters Inclusivity

3 min to read
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If your child has faced bullying or other forms of social exclusion in brick-and-mortar school, you may wonder, “Is online school inclusive?” Explore what an inclusive online classroom is, why inclusion is important for children, and how virtual schools can help foster community for those who may have been excluded socially in their past.

Why is Inclusion Important?

Bullying is a serious problem, commonly leading to feelings of isolation, self-doubt, exclusion, depression, and anxiety. According to research, nearly 1 in 5 students aged 12-18 has been bullied on school property. While bullying has led to some students feeling reluctant to return to the same learning environment where they may have to face their bully daily, through online schooling, students can have a chance to feel more like they are  part of a community they have a bit more control over, leading to  a greater sense of self-confidence and belonging.

Is Online School Inclusive?

In an inclusive online classroom, students are treated equally no matter their ability, learning pace, culture, or appearance. Online teachers ensure each student is supported with reasonable accommodations, allowing them to learn at their own pace, and encouraged to be themselves in the classroom.

A 2019 Pearson study found that 84% of families felt school was unsafe due to bullying. Transferring to an online school creates opportunities for students previously left out to find acceptance among their peers in an environment they can better control. 

Students enrolled in Connections Academy-supported schools can talk to each other in monitored channels, helping online conversations to stay positive and kind. Further, in online school, students can choose the level of social interaction they’re most comfortable with. If students prefer to keep to themselves or participate in fewer conversations, they won’t be judged for doing so.

Online Fosters Inclusivity

MacKenzie Haarlow, a graduate of Connections Academy, started #WeighItBeforeYouSayIt, an antibullying nonprofit. After experiencing bullying herself at an in-person, private school for being the new girl and struggling with ADD/ADHD, MacKenzie transferred to a Connections Academy online school where she was able to find a sense of community that supported her. Since many students come to Connections Academy after experiencing bullying, they know how important it is to create a safe, positive learning environment. As a result, Connections Academy fosters an environment that embraces and welcomes each other’s differences.

Parental Involvement

Many parents aren’t aware of their children’s problems with bullying until it starts negatively impacting their lives. In online schools, parents or other trusted adults get more involved in a student’s education than they typically do in brick-and-mortar schools by acting as their Learning Coach. As a result, bullying can be discovered much sooner, and the appropriate steps can be taken to mitigate it.

Online school provides flexibility and unique accommodations to make learning accessible for students of all abilities. This ensures every student, no matter their background or academic level, can find a community at school. Request more information to find out if Connections Academy is a good fit for your family.

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