As the famous English author Terry Pratchett so eloquently stated, “a lie can run ’round the world before the truth has got its boots on.”
There is an ongoing myth that online schools do not provide students with any support. At Primavera Online High School, this is far from the case.
Some may think the lack of a physical classroom creates a barrier, but we find it actually opens a pathway to better communication.
In fact, we’ve developed a proven working model that allows for more individualized student-teacher interaction than a traditional school.
Primavera’s supportive student-teacher communication model
If you had one hour to help 30+ people, who would you go to first? Likely the ones who grab your attention first and ask for help. That’s the barrier a traditional classroom can create. With such large class sizes, students must be vocal in order to receive any sort of help. Those who aren’t oftentimes fall through the cracks.
At Primavera, teachers take care of each student individually. There are real-time online lectures similar to that of the traditional classroom, but that’s merely one point of contact–not the main form of interaction. Here are the different ways students can contact teachers at Primavera.
1. Phone Call
Primavera instructors have a direct line, which students can easily find in the home page of the Parent Student Portal (PSP).
2. Instant Messaging
Also found within the PSP is an instant chat messenger. Students can see which teachers are online and contact them right away with a quick question.
For a smaller, less urgent question, teachers also have emails that they check regularly to respond to students within a 48-hour period.
4. Online Personal Appointments
Students needing more personalized support can arrange a real-time online appointment with their teachers to get extra help on homework.
5. In-person appointments
Those students who live near the Chandler office are welcome to schedule an appointment with their instructor for in-person support.
The five points of contact listed above are all easily accessible to students. In many ways, this model is better for the students who are not as outspoken. Raising a hand can be intimidating, especially when coupled with the fear of asking a “stupid” question. Having quick access to teacher support in many ways helps provides more personalized attention.
How the largest school in Arizona can still provide great support
As we grew into the largest online school years ago, we had a slight obstacle to overcome: How do we both allow everyone the opportunity to receive a quality online education while still providing the necessary instruction from teachers?
After all, a teacher’s attention can only go so far, as is commonly proven in traditional schools with overworked and overwhelmed instructors.
Then came the dawn of six-week blocks.
Primavera Online High School and Middle School may educate 25,000 students each year, but these students don’t come to Primavera all at once. Teachers are dedicated to specific students during different times, whether that’s during the school year or over the summer.
The great thing about these blocks is that students are taking two classes every six weeks, and that means Primavera fewer classes for our teachers at once.
Usually, a Primavera teacher has 1-2 live online sessions to teach in a day, compared to the traditional 5-6 classes. The rest of their work day is dedicated to answering questions and providing support wherever needed.
To see it from our teacher’s point of view, watch this video.
A Few testimonials and stats….
- 90% of full-time Primavera students feel their teachers are highly-knowledgeable in their subject areas
- 92% feel they received personalized instruction from their instructor
- 90% feel they are treated with respect in all communication channels
Here are some thoughts from the AdvancED accreditation team, the organization that grants Primavera its accreditation:
- “Primavera implements a state-of-the-art online curricular and instructional delivery model that strongly supports student academic success, is committed to quality communications with all stakeholders and fosters a culture of collaboration and continuous improvement of all aspects of the school.”
- “Teachers utilize a variety of instructional strategies to deliver course content that allows for student engagement and, ultimately, overall success.”
- “School leadership has created a positive and productive digital learning environment that is focused on student success.”
Student & Parent Testimonials
“Having taught in traditional classrooms for over twenty years, I have to admit I was very reluctant about switching my son from a traditional school to Primavera. But, after seeing the programs and the dedication of the staff to the success of the student, I am amazed. Every couple of weeks he, or I, is contacted by a counselor from Primavera to check our progress. The counselors and teachers have been knowledgeable, helpful and are truly interested in the progress and success of my child!” – Heather Bergeson, parent
“From my experience in a previous online high school, I believe that Primavera has much better teacher-student communication in terms of getting help as well as teachers actually being attentive to their students. I had a hard time learning some of the material in my pre-calculus class in my senior year. Mr. Joshi was willing to open up live lesson portals once a week to help me with whatever homework problems I did not understand and walk me through each step. This was a tremendous help and I never felt like he was rushing me or becoming impatient with me no matter how many homework questions I needed to be walked through. I felt like he cared that I really learned the material and wanted to prepare me as best as he could for the quizzes and tests.”- Meghan Lyall, Primavera graduate, student at University of Utah
“The teachers were really cool, they talked through it with me, helping with pacing. Even when I was behind on some things they helped me get caught back up. ” – Felicity Newman, summer school student, early graduate.