My (Jeannette) daughter started attending OC Online her 9th grade year and is now approaching her 11th grade year. We currently live in a small town three hours north of Los Angeles. In the small town we live in, there are not many options for schools outside our standard public high school. We never intended to have our daughter enroll in an online school, but COVID came along and provided an opportunity for us to look at all options since most schools were online at that time.
Christian Education in an Online Setting
We were looking for a Christian School that incorporated biblical values into the curriculum. In addition, we wanted a school that offered Bible courses. Biblical teaching is incorporated in the curriculum through various means including discussion posts, during the live classes, and within the course study itself. Even though some of the textbooks are secular, the course module material guides the students to think through what is documented in the books versus what is taught in the Bible. A semester of Bible is required each year and the students participate in a Spiritual Life course every semester.
Accredited, Established, and Challenging
It was important to us that the school was accredited. Many teachers have advanced degrees in their field of study along with years of teaching experience. The school is WASC and SAIS accredited. We were specifically looking for an online school that had been around for a while and OC online has been established for several years and has incorporated many improvements through that timeframe. Even in the two years we have been a part of the school, we have experienced the administration’s willingness to listen to concerns and incorporate changes.
It was also important that AP and Honors courses were offered. Specifically, we were looking for advanced Math and Science courses and found a large and complete selection of honors Math, Science, English, and History and AP courses. It was a plus to have a variety of different electives. Also, we were not looking, but were very happy to find that college counseling courses were required every semester to guide students as they are preparing for college.
Connected Yet Flexible
We wanted our daughter to have access to teachers instead of a homeschool only setting, with teachers that were educated in their field of study. We were concerned about our daughter having access to teachers with an online school, but through OC online we find that our daughter gets more one-on-one attention during live classes and appointments. A 30-minute live sclass is held once a week for each course where the teacher thoroughly goes through the material for that week. Even though they are not physically with their students every day, the teachers are very accessible through email, texts, and appointments.
We were looking for a combination of “in person” classes and a self-paced curriculum to allow her the flexibility to complete the course material on her own time. This would allow her to still remain active in extracurricular activities that our [local] community provided. These live classes are recorded in case a student cannot attend at that time. In addition, the material itself is a combination of textbook, videos, and online teaching material. Students have the flexibility to complete material when they are able.
College Preparatory & Christian:
OC Online was one of the few schools (both online and in person) that offered college preparatory courses with a Christian curriculum. Many other Christian online options offered some courses, but not the extent of courses that OC online does. Through our research and now experience, we have found that OC Online provides our daughter with more options to prepare for college. In addition, smaller in person and online Christian schools do not have the resources or staff that OC Online provides. OC Online even provides students the ability to interact with each other through Spiritual Life and Student Life sessions.
Culture of Care
I anticipated that the course material would be challenging and thorough. I knew that the teachers would be very experienced and knowledgeable. I have seen firsthand how my daughter has grown academically.
What I didn’t anticipate was the amount of grace that the teachers give the students. Unfortunately, we have had some family emergencies this past year. The staff and teachers at OC Online have been so supportive. They have worked with our family and have been so understanding. I was so grateful how they prayed for us and supported our daughter through these challenges. The teachers go over and beyond to make sure the students understand the material and are willing to work with students with their class submissions. The priority from the teacher is learning the material versus the grades. Both the teachers and staff promptly get back to us and have gone over and beyond to address any concerns we have.
OC Online is a school that fully supports your child both academically and spiritually. The teachers and staff work hard to make sure they provide your child with an outstanding education. The design of the course material is excellent and provides the best combination of live sessions, course material, and supplements. The teachers and staff are fully supportive and work with you as a parent. The customer service from the administration is the best I have ever experienced.
Also, I did not expect there to be encouragement for community service. Through Spiritual Life the students are encouraged to participate in community events.
Most importantly, the school is centered around Christ from the staff all the way through the course material. Your child will not only be receiving an advanced education, but one centered on Christ.