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Online High School vs. Traditional School

Graduation Cartoon Image October 12, 2012

One of our challenges at The Bridge School is helping people understand how online high school works.  Most people’s only point of comparison is traditional (bricks and mortar) public or private schools.  It’s difficult to shift your mind to a different type of educational delivery format and believe that the education and curriculum could be held to the same (or even better) academic standards.

In order to help parents and students understand the differences between an online high school and a traditional school, we put together this simple chart.

We understand that a traditional school is a great solution for many students.  But an accredited online high school offers some interesting advantages for students who have unique circumstances.

AttributeOnlineTraditional
LocationAnywhere you have internet accessA physical school location; typically near your home
ScheduleFlexible school schedule; can start a course any day of the year and take up to 6 months to complete; at TBS, our Academic Advisors will audit your student’s existing transcript and determine a course schedule to keep them on track for graduation; students can login anytime and anywhere.Must abide by the district or school calendar and daily class schedule; most mandate attendance for at least 90% of school days.
Certified TeachersYes; reachable via phone, text, email, instant messenger, SkypeYes; but due to large class sizes can be hard to talk to if you need help.
AccreditationYes; Not all online schools are accredited, but The Bridge School is both nationally (SACS CASI Accredited) and state accredited
(Approved by the Texas Education Agency through TEPSAC: School # 101-232-001)
Yes; traditional public schools hold a state accreditation.  Traditional private schools may be nationally or state accredited.  The type of accreditation determines the school’s ability to transfer credits or be recognized by post secondary institutions.
Course OfferingOver 200 courses ranging from standard course curriculum, foreign languages, AP and dual credit courses  and numerous electivesVaries by district; typically a diverse set of courses is offered.  However it is difficult for smaller schools to hire certified teachers for some course areas.
Parental CommunicationYes; an online parent portal accessible via password-protected website.  Parents can monitor grades and course progress.  Teachers are also available to answer parent questions.Yes; some schools have a password-protected website parents can visit to monitor grades and they can call or email teachers to discuss specific details about their child’s performance.
Credit TransferYes; not all online high schools offer this, but since TBS is both a state and nationally accredited online high school, we can help you transfer credits in and out of our school to and from other accredited schools.Yes; the vast majority of traditional public schools will transfer credits in and out from other accredited public schools.  Transferring credit from a private school is dependent on the accreditation status of the private school.
Academic GuidanceYes; we have full-time, credentialed Academic Advisors who are responsible for ensuring your child is taking the proper courses.  Our full-time students receive counseling and a graduation plan and our part-time students can expect help transferring credits back to their full-time school.Yes; traditional schools have counselors.  Depending on the size of the school, there may be 50-200 students assigned to each counselor which makes it difficult for them to provide individualized support.

As you can see, The Bridge School online high school offers:

  • Flexible/open enrollment
  • Personalization
  • Credit transfer
  • Individual guidance from Academic Advisors
  • Accreditation
  • One-on-one instruction from state certified teachers
Author Terri

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