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.