Avoid Summer School with the Help of  Clintondale Virtual School!

Avoid Summer School with the Help of Clintondale Virtual School!

When a teen starts to fall behind in school, the stress the student and family feels is palpable. Often times when a student fails a class, they start to struggle in their other classes too. They begin to doubt themselves and the grades in their other classes reflect that mindset. In order to make up the classes/credits, in the past, they have needed to enroll in summer school. However, that isn’t the case these days! We want you to know that there are other options out there to help your student avoid the dreaded summer school.

Clintondale Virtual School offers a unique program that allows students from any high school across the country to take a high school class within an eight week time period. That’s right…just eight weeks! The classes are delivered online utilizing Edmentum so they can earn their missing credits from the comfort of your home!

Once enrolled, each student is assigned an academic coach who will contact them twice weekly to discuss progress and provide advice. They will also call the parents twice weekly to keep them informed of their progress.

Upon completion of the eight week course, the final exam is given. This exam can be taken at the Clintondale Virtual School office if the student is within 20 miles of the office, or at the student’s current school with an approved counselor from the school district. Clintondale Virtual School classes meet State and Common Core Standards.

Classes through Clintondale Virtual School are very affordable, with the cost for a half credit class being $200.

It’s not always realistic to think that a student will learn the material taught to them the very first time it is presented in class. That’s why we offer credit recovery programs. Programs such as ours give struggling students another chance at successfully completing a course. It’s a shame some students end up in summer school or worse, drop out because they are shy a credit or two to graduate. We aim to prevent that and get teens graduated!

Credit recovery programs can enhance a student’s schooling experience and ensure that they stay on the path to graduation. When they earn a credit with our virtual school, they can learn from the comfort of their own home, which is a very successful way to learn for most students.

Another positive aspect of credit recovery is that we focus on each individual student and their learning needs. What works for one student may not work for the next and we understand that. We offer a wide range of courses and are certain we can meet the need of each student that comes to us for help. This is a huge benefit compared to placing your teen in summer school where they essentially are “pushed through” and are expected to have the same learning styles as everyone else in the classroom.

At Clintondale Virtual School, we keep a tight level of control over the material taught in our courses. Students have the ability to focus on areas that they struggled in, which allows them to master the subject. As we mentioned, academic coaches will follow up with your student a couple times per week to ensure that they are staying on the right track and understand the material.

Just like traditional schools have to meet certain standards, Clintondale Virtual School has been awarded accreditation by the North Central Association Commission on Accreditation and School Improvement (NCA CASI), the Northwest Accreditation Commission (NWAC) and the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Council on Accreditation and School Improvement (SACS CASI), the regional accrediting agencies that span the AdvancED global network. Your student is guaranteed a quality education to make up those missing credits that are needed for graduation.

Graduate

We want every student to succeed. One of the biggest stepping stones in a person’s life is their high school diploma. It is needed for them to go on to college, enter a trade school, or pursue various careers. Often times, students still struggle with summer school because the material is being taught in the same manner as it was the first time around. A fresh, new approach may be just the thing your student needs!

Credit recovery schools are a great alternative for your teen and will keep them out of summer school and on the road to graduation. Don’t feel that your student is too far behind to graduate or that their only option is dropping out because there are other alternatives available!

We would love to discuss all the ways we can help your student, so please reach out to us today! Feel free to give us a call at 800-297-2119 or click here to visit our website for more information.

Life Beyond Graduation: Preparing Your Teen

Life Beyond Graduation: Preparing Your Teen

With the blink of an eye, your precious little newborn grew into an adventurous, independent, dreamy teen that is about to graduate from high school. Where did the time go!? Just as you taught them to walk, talk, eat, brush their teeth, and get dressed, you will need to teach them the life skills they’ll need for life after graduation. It can be a daunting task when you think of all the things they need to know, but we broke down the key areas to give you some pointers on how to prepare them for the next chapter of their life.

 

Employment

 

Some teens are encouraged to get a part-time job while still in high school while others are encouraged to focus on their studies and extracurricular activities. If Finding employment with a high school diplomayour teen won’t have a job until after graduation, sit down and discuss with them good places for them to apply. They will need money for gas, car insurance, food, activities, etc. so a job will be necessary. In addition to making money to support their lifestyle, they will gain valuable interpersonal skills through employment along with the skills needed to do their job. You can even offer to help fill out their first application and teach them what key words to use to sound marketable and attractive to a potential employer.

You should have a serious conversation with your teen to determine the income they need to generate to cover their expenses while emphasizing that they still need time to complete their higher education, should your student decide they wish to enroll. It’s a delicate balance, but it can be done.

Vehicle Responsibilities

 

If your teen doesn’t already have their driver’s license, now is the time to get it. Once they graduate, they will need a vehicle to drive (or access to one) to/from work and college and in order to do that, they’ll need a license to drive.

Help explain how insurance works to your teen and let them know that valid insurance is required at all times to operate a vehicle. Let them know what to do in case they are ever involved in an accident. Show them the insurance premium for the vehicle they are driving and go over their responsibilities in regards to it. Driving is a big responsibility and privilege. They need to treat it as such.

 

Higher Learning

 

One of the biggest decisions that needs to be made is whether or not your teen will pursue a higher education after graduating from high school. This decision should not just be left up to the teen but rather it should be a discussion within the family. Ask questions such as how will college be paid for, what area of study interests them, what will they do with their degree, and will they qualify for any scholarships?

If they are interested in going to college, you should direct some attention during their senior year to expanding their resume. Encourage them to enroll in some extracurricular activities. Ask if they will volunteer with you at the local soup kitchen. Help them study and boost their grades. All of these factors look great on college applications and enrich the lives of your teen.

Once you know what colleges they are interested in, make a call to the admissions offices and see what the requirements are for enrollment. They also have guidance counselors that can advise you on obtaining financial aid and scholarship opportunities. Arrange a tour of the college campuses so your teen can see where they would be living and attending classes. These tours are invaluable and could make or break your teen’s interest in the college.

Come to the conclusion that a higher education just isn’t right for your teen? There are plenty of technical programs where your student could still obtain a certification and/or licensure that would allow them to enter directly into the workforce. These certifications typically allow someone to enter a profession and make a decent living. Plumbers, electricians, and mechanics are always in demand.

Some students choose to have a “gap year,” which is a year break between high school and college where they explore, travel, and work before they enter their higher learning commitment. Should your student mention wanting to go this route, explore the pros and cons as a family.

 

Everyday Life SkillsLearning life skills

Hopefully up until this point, your children have had chores but if not, it’s definitely not too late to start. Helping around the house teaches kids responsibility and what goes into making a house function. Vacuuming, dusting, doing laundry, grocery shopping and cooking prepares kids for when they are on their own. Your teen should also be taught how to budget their money, use debit and credit cards responsibly, and balance a checkbook. You would be surprised how many teens leave home without having any financial skills. That puts them at a severe disadvantage.

Enjoy Your Teen

Before you know it, your teen will be out on their own. Enjoy the time with them while they are still under your roof. Make memories as a family and dream about their future with them. While they embark on this new chapter of their life, things will be different so cherish these moments.

At My Virtual Academy, we prepare your teen for the best life possible upon graduation by providing them with a stellar education as well as a $500 scholarship upon graduation. Would your teen benefit from being a virtual learner and learning at their own pace, in the comfort of their own home? Give us a call at 800-297-2119 or visit us at www.myvirtualacademy.com to check out all we have to offer.

The Time Is Now To Teach Your Teen About Money

The Time Is Now To Teach Your Teen About Money

When it comes to parenting, there are certain things that people stress about teaching their children: potty training; riding bikes; long division and fractions; driving; and money! Once your children enter into high school, it’s time to have some serious lessons with them about all aspects of money. It can be a daunting task to adults because, let’s face it, just because we are adults doesn’t mean we have it all together in this department. Our hope as parents is that each generation will do better than the last. So, let’s start preparing the next generation to be smart with their money by sharing some of these tips and guiding them in the right direction – who knows, some of it just might stick!

It’s all about the budget.

Does your tween or teen get money as gifts or an allowance and want to blow it all on the latest craze or on a night out with friends? Teach them how to create a budget now so that they can continue to live within their means in the future. They’ll be adults and out of the house in the blink of an eye so set them up for success now. Have a meeting with your kid and show them how to create a budget that they can live within. The important thing here is to keep in mind you are here to guide them and introduce them to living on a budget, you are not here to create it for them. It’s very important that they be able to see the process and understand the reasoning behind allocating funds in certain categories. Ask them to jot down their expenses so they can see in black and white where their money is going. Teach them that they have a certain amount that gets rationed out for bills and other monthly expenses. Then you can help them set aside a certain amount in savings and then break down the rest into fun things they wish to do, like go to the movies, the mall, get their nails done, etc.

Set goals.

saving moneyHas your teen had their eye on a big-ticket item? Often at this age, they dream of having their own car or the latest video game system. Those are both big expenses in their own right. Instead of you shelling out your hard-earned cash for those items, encourage your teen to set a savings goal and budget accordingly. They will need to determine how quickly they want to reach their goal and then figure out how much they should save each week to do so. This can be a hard thing for teens but with if they are in the right mindset, they will do it.

Explain the dangers of borrowing money.

Whether your teen just turned 18 and wants to apply for their own credit card or if your teen is asking to borrow money from you to buy something they have their heart set on, this is the perfect time to talk about the dangers of borrowing money. It might be nice to get their hands on something they desire right away thanks to a credit card but explain how much that item would cost by the time they paid back their debt. It’s easy to have that short-lived happiness cause years of financial stress and strain. The same goes for borrowing money from a loved one – don’t do it! The weight on your shoulders of having the pay them back can quickly make seeing this person a nightmare. Your teen may feel guilt, shame, and/or be embarrassed that they had to borrow money in the first place. They also may avoid seeing theDangers of Credit card person they borrowed from if they are taking longer to pay back the loan than they anticipated. Lastly, the relationship may be permanently damaged if they fail to pay back the full amount because the person who loaned the money may feel taken advantage of. It is simply a lose-lose situation and is best to be avoided.

Responsibly handling money will get your child very far in life (and will keep them from returning to the nest!). Money can be a delicate, personal subject but it’s better to set them up and get them going in the right direction now versus when they are just starting to get their hands on money versus when they are middle-aged and are caught in a pickle. Handling money responsibly translates into being responsible in other areas of their life. Start young and you won’t regret it!

As a student at My Virtual Academy, your child will learn skills that they will use their entire life, just like the financial lessons you will be teaching them. A strong education, from both school and home, will set your child up for success during their school years and beyond. If your son or daughter is in grades 5-12 and would benefit from learning at their own pace and in their own home, please give one of our Enrollment Specialists a call at 800-297-2119 or visit our website today to get more information. We hope to hear from you soon!

Your Teen Can Be A Successful High School Student – Here’s How!

Your Teen Can Be A Successful High School Student – Here’s How!

Being a successful high school student takes a lot of work. It also takes a lot of motivation, determination, and patience. Balancing school work, extracurricular activities, and the active teen social life can be challenging, but high school can be one of the best times in a student’s life. With these few tips, your teen can successfully juggle it all.

Invest in a planner.

Whether it is a digital planner that is on their phone or a paper planner that they fill out each day, a planner is necessary to keep organized and stay on top of due dates. They should be writing test dates, homework, and other assignments in there also. Basically everything they are responsible for (including extracurricular activities) should be able to be seen at a glance in their planner.

Set your teen up for success.

Your teen should have an area that is designated for schooling, especially since they learn virtually. This should be in a distraction-free area of the house and a comfy place for them to study. Ideally, they would have a desk, lamp, computer, paper, pencils, pens, etc. Just as you have a desk set up with everything you need to do your job at work, your teen should have one at home for their schooling.

Get your teen involved in groups.Getting teens involved in sports

While school life is important, so is their social life. Encourage your teen to get involved in various academic organizations, sports clubs, rec center activities, and other clubs for teens. They will love the social interaction with others their age and will make great friendships along the way. These clubs will give them a much needed mental break from their school work and other responsibilities.

Know their GPA.

Now, GPA (Grade Point Average) isn’t the end-all, be-all but it does indicate how well your student is doing in their classes. Knowing where they stand in each class will help you determine if they need additional help or instruction from their teacher. So keep on top of that and if they start to dip down below the level you are comfortable with, reach out to us.

Keep in mind that each student is unique.

There is only one you. Your teen shouldn’t be compared to others because it adds stress and frankly, it isn’t fair. Everyone learns differently. Everyone tackles their work differently. If your teen spends their day focused on how they are stacking up to the next door neighbors teen, they aren’t being the best them that they can be. They are wasting time focusing someone who probably won’t be in their life in the long run versus bettering themselves. Encourage them to stop the comparisons and turn their attention inward.

Stop procrastinating.

Most teens always think they can do things at last minute. They can study for a big test the night before. They can complete that homework assignment the morning that it’s due. They are always racing to beat the clock. Teach them to plan ahead and not cram. This is a skill that will not only benefit them during their high school days, but also in their adult life.

Stop procrastinating

Encourage your teen to take care of themselves.

People who run on lack of sleep are setting themselves up for failure. Your brain needs rest to function at its highest capacity. Try to have your teen get as close to 9 hours of sleep each night as they can. This will allow them to start the day refreshed and ready to go.

Your teen’s body not only needs the right amount of sleep, but it also needs the right fuel to keep it going. Often time’s people tend to skip breakfast but that’s an important meal that gets your body going for the day. When your stomach is rumbling, your attention is turned to that and not the task at hand. Make sure to eat a healthy, sustaining breakfast and a good lunch to keep your body and mind going.

Keep your student’s eye on the prize.

Even if times get tough or your teen is struggling in a subject, remind them to keep their head in the game. If they get an occasional bad grade on a test, let them know it’s ok and that you can work together to study more next time. They could ask the teacher if there is an opportunity to earn extra credit. The extra credit could bring their grade back up and improve their GPA.

It’s hard sometimes to think back to the stress you felt as a teen in high school but the stress is real. The pressure to keep grades up, be involved in sports or other activities, as well as keep up with those in their social circle can be daunting and a lot for some to handle. Hopefully the tips mentioned above will help you and your student stay on track and on the successful path all the way through graduation and beyond.

Reader survey: How do you keep your student motivated and on the successful path? Head over to our Facebook page and share your secrets to success! If you would like to know how My Virtual Academy might be able to help your teen on their road to success, then visit our website or give us a call at 800-297-2119.

“It’s All in a Day’s Work.” An Interview With an MVA Teacher

“It’s All in a Day’s Work.” An Interview With an MVA Teacher

Teachers are the backbone of a student’s education. Along with parents/guardians, they help keep their students moving forward when life gets hard and they feel like quitting. We go to great pains when bringing a teacher on board at My Virtual Academy, and we may have a slight bias, but we think we have the best teachers around!

Take a moment to watch this edition of “What’s Up Wednesday” with Renee Weaver-Wright where she interviews one of our high school teachers, Mr. Jason Z.

Jason’s passion for teaching radiates in every word he speaks. Like the rest of our staff, Jason makes it a point to develop personal relationships with the students and takes a strong interest in making sure they succeed. One of his main objectives is inspiring each student he meets to achieve success in their academic lives, which usually translates over to their personal lives.

As a student, contact with your mentors, teachers, and supporting staff is vital to your success. Jason contacts his students on an almost daily basis. This contact allows him the chance to see what his students are working on, answer any questions they may have, give some help with the lesson plan they are working on, and direct them to a Curriculum Specialist if they need additional help.

In this interview, Jason points out that a key difference between traditional school and virtual learning: the teacher-student relationship. Even though you are face-to-face on a daily basis in a traditional school, you forge much deeper relationships when you are in a virtual setting. How and when you can interact is not dictated by the bells at the beginning and end of class. With virtual learning, communication happens much more freely and is more flexible. Teachers become more aware of the challenges and struggles their student’s are facing and they can help guide them along the way.

In addition to being an outstanding teacher, Jason is also the designated “Bell Ringer” at MVA. Want to know why we ring the bell? Tune in here to find out why we have this awesome tradition!

After you watch that episode of “What’s Up Wednesday” with Renee and Jason, reach out to us for more information. You care about your student and their success and we do too. Bringing students in and getting them to graduation is our main objective and your student will be no different. You can visit our website, follow us on Facebook and Twitter, or simply give us a call at 800-297-2119. We are currently enrolling for the 2021-2022 school year so call today!!

What is Personalized Learning?

What is Personalized Learning?

Personalized Learning

Danielle Yanssens

Personalized Learning “refers to a diverse variety of educational programs, learning experiences, instructional approaches, and academic support strategies that are intended to address the distinct learning needs, interests, aspirations, or cultural backgrounds of individual students”, according to The Glossary of Education Reform by Great Schools Partnership. How does Back on Track, offer personalized learning?

When a student submits an inquiry online or calls the Back on Track office, we are able to offer them several different options to acquire their high school diploma. For students who have previously dropped out of high school and are 21 or older, we enroll them into Clintondale Virtual School, a credit recovery program which, for a small fee, allows adults to achieve their high school diploma. This appeals to adults who had considered getting their GED in the past, which limits their options for post-secondary education.

For those students who have previously dropped out of high school and are between the ages of 18 and 20, we suggest our tuition-free Step Up program where students work on one class at a time and are required to complete a minimum of one class per month, with the ability to work year round. This gives students the opportunity to work on completing their high school education at a faster rate than if they attending a full time high school. We have also found that for this population, students are able to find more success when focusing on just one course at a time, rather than the full six class course load.

Girl smiling by computer

Many students who are between the ages of 16 and 20 choose to attend one of our brick and mortar alternative education schools. This student population includes students that are teenage parents, potential dropouts, have been expelled from their traditional school, or have been court-ordered by the juvenile detention systems. Our alternative education locations offer various skilled trade courses where students can graduate with a certificate of completion to help them obtain employment right out of high school. While there is increased security at these locations, they are also staffed with caring employees who encourage students to complete their education and get on a better path for their future.

Parents with students in grades 6 through 12 will often contact us requesting information about our virtual school, My Virtual Academy. MVA partners with school districts throughout the state of Michigan, offering a fully online option for students. This appeals to a wide variety of students, including those looking to graduate early, students who struggle with mental or physical illness, teenage parents, students who do not feel safe in their traditional school due to bullying or students who have to work full time in order to help support their family.  We have students who are pursuing their passion, such as the theater or gymnastics, and choose online schooling to work around their schedules. Some parents even prefer their children attend a virtual school based on their cultural and religious beliefs.

In addition to the several different educational programs Back on Track offers to help meet the different learning needs of our students, we also offer a variety of learning experiences and instructional approaches. Our highly qualified, certified teachers ensure that the curriculum meets all Common Core Standards. Teachers have the ability to offer students different types of assessments based on their instructional needs, and offer in-person tutoring in addition to daily online tutoring. Students receive one-to-one instruction, with teachers contacting them a minimum of once per week, as well as participating in whole group activities in our weekly live sessions.

2016 graduates

While there are some obvious limitations to virtual and alternative learning, the many benefits often make Back on Track the best option for many students.