With the limited research I’ve done so far, it looks like I DO NOT have to have our new school accredited, by law…BUT most private schools are accredited. This is similar to the teacher certification inclination I wrote about in my “Bad Teacher” post.
Now I’m doing a preliminary assessment of whether or not I want to go through the accreditation process before the school doors open.
I know it should be a no brainer, if most schools are accredited; it is the standard; get accredited… but I’m really not feeling the accreditation.
The point is to GET AWAY from all the rules and regulations I feel bog down our school system and turn it into a machine that runs, but is not effective for some students.
What do feelings have to do with it you say? Well, is there a more emotionally charged subject than our children? And their future? I think our emotions automatically run high when we start thinking or talking about our children’s future and how we’re going to help them become successful in life! Whether we are happy, frustrated or anywhere in between, everyone has strong feelings about their children.
On the other hand… I don’t want to throw out the baby with the bath water!
As a parent of a 21 year old, I’m trying to put myself in the shoes of prospective parents of our school. Would I have allowed my son to go to a non-accredited school? Probably not, but is that part of the problem? Maybe. And so the dichotomy continues…
More research is warranted, obviously, but in the meantime, I looked into the cyber schools in my state.
These would be options for students as long as the student is not officially enrolled in our new school full time. Students by law can only be enrolled in one school. By this regulation, they could attend an online academy if they’re seeking an accredited source, and I could also enroll them full time as long as “school” isn’t what defines us. For example, we could be a learning center instead. I am visiting Heartwood Agile Learning Center in Atlanta on Monday, so I will know more about this option soon.
Below is what I found out about online schools in Georgia. If you’re not in Georgia, you probably have options available through your state as well.
Georgia Connections Academy is an accredited online school for middle and high school students. The tuition is free, but there are other costs. Students must have technology equipment and internet connection which meet the requirements. Optional field trips and regular school supplies would be purchased on an as needed basis. Students go to hour long “live lessons,” where they can interact with their teachers about once a week per class. High school students complete about 90% of their work online to include the live lessons, assignments, homework, and research. Statistics for middle school are 50-70% and elementary around 30%. Time offline would be used on activities such as hand written homework, reading physical materials or attending field trips. This program is NOT SELF PACED. Students attend lessons and have assignments based on the school’s pacing guide.
I also contacted Georgia Cyber Academy, but they have not responded yet. From what I can gather online, the format and expectations are the same as Georgia Connections Academy.