Top 9 Questions About Transferring to Online School

5 min to read
A student sitting at a laptop making a list about transferring to Connections Academy.

In-person public school isn’t always the best fit for every student. If you need more flexibility in when and where classes are held; want a variety of learning experiences not easily found in brick-and-mortar schools; or need to personalize your level of academic support, online school could be the answer. 

Here are answers to some common questions you might have about online school before making the switch. 

1. Can you transfer to an online school mid-semester or in the middle of the year?

Students can start online school anytime during the academic year in most cases. However, the best time to change schools is at the semester break because you’ve likely completed milestones in specific subjects or skills and are ready to start on new ones. 

If you need to switch to an online school mid-semester, your new school’s enrollment specialists and guidance counselors will do whatever they can to help make the transition a smooth one

2. Will I be able to take the exact same classes I’m in now?

Course selections vary by school, especially when it comes to electives offerings. It's a good idea to talk to the counselor at your new online school about any questions related to courses before you enroll.

All Connections Academy-supported schools offer courses that ensure that students will meet state graduation requirements.

3. Will I have to make up all my overdue lessons?

In many cases, grades from your previous school can transfer to an online school, or you’ll often have the opportunity to prove mastery rather than make up all past lessons. Policies differ by school. Make sure to ask enrollment staff about make-up policies during the enrollment process.

Students who transfer into a Connections Academy-supported school mid-semester often will work with teachers and counselors to create a plan when it comes to past-due lessons.

4. If I’m behind in school credits, is it possible to build an online school schedule to catch up?

Many online schools have credit recovery programs that can help you make up credits you missed. There’s typically a limit on the number of courses you can take each semester, but sometimes course recovery programs can be done over the summer months. 

5. Do I have to be in class every day?

At accredited online public schools—such as Connections Academy schools—you must meet state attendance requirements just as you would in the traditional setting, which means tracking attendance hours certified by your Learning Coach. 

While you’ll have the freedom to set your daily class schedule for times that work for you, it’s important to complete at least the minimum number of lessons each day to be considered in attendance.

6. If a teacher isn’t a good fit for me, can I switch to another teacher’s class?

If you feel that a teacher isn’t a good fit for you, the first step is to have a conversation with them or a counselor about what’s not working whenever possible. Depending on the subject and availability of other teachers, sometimes a switch can be made.  

7. Would I be able to participate in a sports team at my former school after enrolling in a new online school?

Many states allow students to take part in extracurricular activities such as sports teams within their resident district whether they are enrolled in the school or not. However, some schools limit the participation of online school students. Check with your former school or school district to find out more about their policy.

8. Can online school help me if I need special accommodations?

Students with learning differences or special needs often find the support and help they need at an online school, which includes students who are neurodivergent, have a physical disability, or have a mental health condition. 

Online public schools offer a safe and inclusive environment for all students to learn. Just like traditional brick-and-mortar schools, online schools must follow Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) guidelines that guarantee reasonable accommodations, learning supports, and specialized services. 

9. How do I transfer from public school to online school?

There are some important steps you should take before making the decision to transfer to an online public school. 

  • Research online public-school options that are available in your state. To earn a high school diploma, an online school must meet your state’s curriculum requirements. Learn as much as you can about the options available to you.  
  • Think about the realities of online school. Is there a trusted adult available to serve as your Learning Coach? Can you create a productive learning environment? Carefully consider what online learning entails before switching. 
  • Get buy-in from your parents or legal guardians. Be prepared to explain to them why you want to make the switch and how you think it will benefit you in the long run. Also discuss how online school can benefit them. Maybe they’ll get to be more involved in your studies or feel good that you are in a safe learning environment. 

You’ll need to meet the online school’s admission requirements to enroll. Requirements will differ but in general you and your parents will need to:

  • Show acceptable proof of age and state residency. 
  • Provide official transcripts from public schools you’ve attended.
  • Complete all required forms. 
  • Unenroll from your current school. 

If you’re interested in learning more about Connections Academy public schools, check out our answers to frequently asked questions or download our free eGuide.

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