Before virtual high school, I was sleeping through first and second hour in the morning ‘cause basketball in the evenings and, you know, doing homework late. And now, I got a really good GPA this year and you know, it’s just, it’s great.
I heard about virtual high school through a principal here and it sounded like a great thing and so, you know, had to do it. I wasn’t really sure how the online stuff was going to work. They gave me a hard class and right away it just went smoothly, it just flowed. The thing with the virtual high school is if you’re like a busy person, it’s so much better. It allows you to get your classes done on your terms and allows you to work as fast as you want or, not as slow as you want, because you have deadlines, but it works really well.
The quality of the education is definitely the same, if not better because you don’t have to deal with all the distractions that are in the normal classroom. The teachers, they’re always there to answer my question right away. I don’t have to wait for them to stop, you know, talking to somebody else. They’re definitely there to support me. I am still involved in after school activities. I still play basketball. It makes it very easy to be involved because you know, school work here just fits so well together. It’s a lot less stress.
Being an online student has made me more self-motivated and it’s preparing me for, I think what college is going to be like. It’s going to be up to you. It’s your responsibility.
If it were not for virtual high school, I would probably be dreading the high school experience right now. I hear so many times from, ah some of my friends and kids that I know, they’re just (ahhh), “I’m so sick of school.” And, I know I was like that last year. I know that was exactly how I was feeling. And, I now I feel so much better.
Virtual high school is my freedom.
The Erdal’s Story:
Samantha: Before virtual high school, it seemed like I was a slacker student, but in reality, I wasn’t retaining the information they were giving me. I was absolutely failing classes and I hated the way school was going.
Claire: Before virtual high school, I was taking advanced classes and my grades were good, I just wasn’t really enjoying it. And now with the virtual high school, my grades are still good and I’m just having a lot more fun and I’m enjoying the flexibility.
S: I work at the pace that I want to work at. The pace that I can work at. It’s a good feeling.
S: I think my parents actually heard about Minnesota virtual before I did and they’re the ones that came to me and I loved the idea.
C: My parents were explaining all of it to my sister and I was thinking about it for myself because I actually am pursuing arts and I can use the extra time to be taking pictures and putting my portfolio together.
Mrs. E: When we started looking at alternates for our kids for high school, it was primarily for our older daughter who had some struggles with mainstream normal high school, if you will. And so we were exploring other options. And virtual high school was one of the options.
Mr. E: Initial concerns, we definitely had ’em. I am a very analytical person so I spent a lot of time researching. The concerns were, it was very new. Nobody we knew was going through an experience like this.
Mrs. E: It seemed too good to be true, quite honestly and so, we did the research, we came to the school, had meetings with the staff and really came out feeling like it was the answer to what we had been looking for.
Claire: My main concerns, I would say were the social aspect of it because I’m a really outgoing person. But, I’m still close with all the people that I wanted to keep in my life.
Samantha: Being in the virtual high school, you have time to do what you want to do.
Claire: There’s a lot of support in the program because all of the teachers make sure that you’re where you should be. If you have any questions or concerns about anything you can IM your teacher or send them an email and just let them know what’s going on and they’ll get back to you really quickly.
S: The best part of virtual high school is probably the anti-stress. Stress was hard on me, hard on my family, the way school used to be going and now with the virtual high school there’s literally zero stress.
Mrs. E: The virtual high school program – I have appreciated it in so many different ways. And a huge way has been the change in our morning routine. Two teenage daughters – getting them up and getting them out the door was challenging at best. One of the really wonderful benefits has been that luxury of time to get them up on our timetable and to be able to kind of schedule our lives.
Mr. E: The biggest change in the kids from the virtual high school experience – it’s kind of hard to explain but it’s just the general attitude. By not having that high level of stress that we had before. They’re more relaxed, they’re more comfortable and their real personalities are coming out.
Mrs. E: I would say their relationship has been strengthened. I also think that their self-confidence really has gone up.
C: I think it’s really cool that my sister and I both attend the virtual high school together and having somebody else there at home, not just doing it by myself, I think makes it a lot more enjoyable too.
Mr. E: Every parent wants to see their kid graduate and have the good experience through school and through this experience I think it’s opened up the new possibilities beyond high school.
C: I’m really excited to finish up high school and move on to college and being able to travel around the world and see everything so the option that I could actually be able to do that earlier than expected, I think is really a cool thing for me to think about.
Mrs. E: It’s a beautiful thing as far as being able to design their lives around having that control over when they can start and stop and finish their high school educations.
S: If it were not for virtual high school, I don’t think I would be where I am with my life right now. I’m really happy where I am and before virtual high school, I really was not. Virtual high school is amazing, that’s all I can really say about it.
I was the kid who couldn’t really do his homework ‘cause I really didn’t understand it and I was afraid to ask the teacher about it. And a lot of kids around me were doing their homework and they were getting good grades, but I wasn’t and I was afraid of that. And, now it’s different, it’s like complete opposite.
When my parents first started getting into trouble, I was just trying to get out of the house a lot and I went over to my friend’s house and I hung out there pretty much every day. And then his mom was like, “What are you doing for school?” and I was like, “I’m not really doing anything.” And she, ah, kind of pushed me into this and I’m really thankful for that.
Virtual high school is the right decision for me because I’m more into computers than like, you know, listening to teachers talk all day. The benefits, I don’t really have to get up at a certain time so I can pretty much do it whenever I feel like it. I go to school at my friend’s house, the library, and pretty much everywhere I want to go. I benefit from this – it’s a lot of freedom and it’s exciting. My favorite class is probably Biology. I learn about science and the earth and stuff.
The teachers on line, they’re very supportive. We email a lot. You can chat with them. They go out of their way to make sure you know they’re supporting you.
The best part of being a virtual high school student is that I’m learning a lot. Before that I could barely keep any of the information in my head because there’s so many distractions. And now, it’s really way better. I was the guy in the back of the class just barely hanging on there and just trying to do whatever I could. And now I’m just like, just doing everything I can to get the best grade possible. My parents are really, really, really proud of me and they’re very excited that I’m doing this on my own. And that I’m actually doing it, I’m focused and motivated. I’ll actually be the first one to graduate on time with a diploma in my family. Accomplishing my goals - it feels really good that I’m actually doing something for myself.
The reason why I decided to go to virtual high school is because I’m a recording artist and I have, like, a very busy schedule and you know like I gotta travel all over the place. But I missed too many days of school and ah, they weren’t having it, so I got kick out of the school. So I heard about the virtual high school, all over like on billboards, on the radio and everything. I wanted to check it out and I didn’t want to go back to regular high school.
When I heard about it I was like, man, I think it’s going to be super hard. But it, once you get the hang of it, it’s not that hard. You gotta make sure you read everything, you got to take tests. This is a good, quality program. If I do get stuck or something, I talk to a teacher and then that’ll work. You can message a teacher back through email, that works cool.
I’m on a good pace right now. Like in some classes like, I’m where I’m suppose to be and in other classes I’m ahead and everything but it’s good like cause you can finish early. And my grades, probably like, maintaining like a 3.0. But you always want to get the A - it’s more of a challenge, it ain’t easy.
My mom and my dad, they like it. They just make sure I get on it all the time. But I tend to do it all, like, every day.
I can go to school anywhere you know what I’m saying, like wherever there’s a computer but it’s mainly at my Grandma’s house, ‘cause that’s where like my laptop is.
Probably the best part is that you can do it anytime that you want to and then when I have to travel, if I can’t get to it a certain hour, a certain day, then I can go visit it another day or another hour.
I would have to say a great thing about being an online student is that you can have a lot of freedom. It’s right for me because I can do it on my own pace and everything. It’s more of a challenge. If it was not for virtual high school, I probably would not be a good student.