Is Online High School Right For Your Student?

Over the past several years, Colorado families have been the beneficiary of the growth of online high school options.  Colorado online high schools have proven to be a valuable education choice for many students and their families who are looking for an alternative to the traditional school setting, whether because of learning style, life or family circumstances. For many, virtual high schools have meant the difference between giving up on school or graduating.

When students and their families begin to explore high school courses online, what they find attractive is a quality education that features:

- individualized learning plans,

- courses tailored to students’ specific learning styles and levels,

- flexible scheduling, and

- real-time monitoring of student progress and success

“In a traditional school, time is fixed and learning is variable. At Provost Academy, learning is fixed and time is variable,” says Audie Rubin, Executive Director of Provost Academy (, a state-authorized public virtual high school that is free of charge to residents of Colorado.

As a result of online educations ability to cater to the specific learning needs of a student and its flexibility, Colorado’s online high schools have been attracting a variety of students including those:

- Seeking a more challenging learning environment,

- Needing support and tutoring in order to stay on track for graduation,

- Looking for a learning option that accounts for their personal learning style,

- Trying to balance a full work schedule with their classes in order to help support the family, or

- Pursuing long-term professional goals (such as becoming a pro athlete, actor or musician) while still trying to complete their high school degree.

Once a family or student has determined that online high school may be appropriate for their situation, choosing the one that meets the needs of the student can be a challenge.  Provost Academy Colorado, one of the most trusted online high schools in Colorado, has put together a simple assessment to determine if online learning is right for a student (just put a check next to the boxes that are appropriate):


? Consistently works ahead of the rest of the class

? Consistently falls behind the rest of the class

? Wants to take a classes that are not offered at his or her current school

School Life

? Has been, or is being, bullied

? Doesn’t enjoy the social component of school

? School doesn’t align with family values

Life Outside of School

? Attends time-consuming elite athletic, arts or music practice

? Has a part-time job that contributes to the household income

? Has significant family obligations (e.g., caring for a child, grandparent, brother or sister, or parent)


? Takes pride in individualism

? Often takes the path less traveled

? Works well independently

Scoring: Add up the total checkmarks and use the guide below to see whether online high school is the best choice.

8-11 Points: Perfect Fit

Traditional school may be too rigid for your child. Whether due to their academic level, outside commitments, or their independent personality, a traditional school is, well, too traditional for your student. Online high school can offer the flexibility and independence needed to succeed.

4-7 Points: Compatible

While your student may be comfortable in a traditional school, a flexible classroom schedule may be the extra added ingredient they need to excel. By setting their own schedules, determining their own learning pace and having more individualized learning paths, students often find the incentive they need to achieve academic excellence and realize their dreams.

0-3 Points: Option to Consider

A traditional high-school setting seems to be working for your child. However, the benefits of online high school are many. Adaptable curriculum, schedules and more individualized attention can benefit students of many backgrounds, personalities, or academic ability. You may want to research the online education options available to your son or daughter to compare them with your student’s current school.

The most important objective is that all high-schoolers successfully complete their education in the learning environment that is best for them.  Thanks to technological innovations and the commitment of educators, online learning is a new, worthwhile option to consider in Colorado.