Tag: online schools

Guide to School Options for Native American, Native Hawaiian, and Alaska Native Families

Created in cooperation with the National Indian Education Association

There are nearly one million Native American, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian students enrolled in K-12 U.S. educational programs.  It is estimated that up to 90% of these students are enrolled in some part of the public school system.  Many Native American and Alaska Native students are citizens of one of the 574 federally recognized tribes, villages, and pueblos and 64 state recognized tribes. Each of these Nations has their own unique culture, language, and value system, which are predicated on beliefs, history, and a unique knowledge-base. For the purposes of this guide, we will refer to this group as Natives. Native families face outsized barriers and impositions in education. The challenges, decisions, and opportunities in education for Native people are often complex. 

As parents and caretakers of Native students, choosing the education that best fits the needs of your student and family is important. There are many things to consider, and the purpose of this guide is to provide information that will help with important decisions you face when trying to provide your child a connected, enriching, and meaningful education. 

Together with the National Indian Education Association (NIEA), we’ve put together a state-specific look at how Native students and families can find the educational opportunities available to them. If you are a parent or student choosing a school and your Native heritage is top-of-mind in making your choice, this guide is for you.

A Unique Educational Context:

About 56 million acres in the United States are preserved as tribal lands. Today, a little less than half of Native families live on these reservations, the largest of which is the 16 million-acre Navajo Nation Reservation that spans parts of Arizona, New Mexico, and Utah. While all Native students are full citizens of the United States with the same rights as other citizens, they may also have special rights, such as hunting and fishing rights, access to sacred sites, or other unique dispensations reflecting the relationship between Native people and land.

The history of U.S. education policy toward Native students is fraught with broken promises, forced assimilation, and mistreatment. These wrongs were particularly severe in the Indian boarding schools, which the National Indian Education Association describes as:

“…Often overcrowded, hostile, and propagat[ing] the emotional, physical, sexual, and mental abuse of Native children. The forcible removal of children from families into these schools was a deliberate process. By keeping children from their parents and their traditional culture, a division was created between the ‘old’ and ‘new’ worlds. Many times, when children returned to their families, they were no longer able to communicate in their Native languages, but families that refused to send their children to these schools were often penalized with jail time or the withholding of government rations.”

These past wrongs are the root cause of disassociation from and disconnection to education in Native American communities, families, and tribes. It has been widely documented that Native youth today face unique challenges both at home and at school. These include a higher youth suicide rate, a higher likelihood to experience violent crimes, a higher likelihood to be designated with a disability, and a lower likelihood of access to Advanced Placement and college prep courses in high school. While these challenges to educational opportunity for Native students were strikingly documented in the 1969 Senate report, “Indian Education: A National Tragedy–A National Challenge,” many persist even today, more than 50 years after the report. 

Over the last few decades, both state governments and the federal government have passed laws to improve learning opportunities for Native families. In 2006, for example, the Native American Languages Preservation Act became the first federal act to recognize Native communities’ right to speak their native language. This law provided grants for immersion schools and language restoration efforts. In 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act passed, which authorized funding for Native language immersion programs, and required state education agencies to consult with tribes. 

“Tribes were not waiting on the shores of the Atlantic for Columbus to bring us education. We have always had our own means to provide instruction and education to our tribes.”

Quinton Roman Nose

More from Quinton Roman Nose 

More progress remains to be made. In 2019, the National Indian Education Study was conducted in partnership with the National Assessment of Educational Progress. The results point to the ongoing need for educational opportunities that better meet the unique needs of each Native family and child.

Unique Considerations for Native Parents and Guardians

Whether a Native family lives on a rural reservation or in a busy city, their indigeneity places them in a unique context in American society. A student’s identity and educational experience will always be shaped in some way by this. So, what are some things Native parents or guardians should consider in selecting a learning environment?

  1. Identity: will this school advocate and support the individual learning needs for your student?
  2. Culture and language: does the school have and support the connection and integration of culture and language into your child’s learning?
  3. Community-based: does the school provide opportunities for students to learn through community-based connections and opportunities?
  4. Academics: does the school offer learning and teaching opportunities that honor student equality and equity? 

Native American Students and School Choices:

So, what ARE your school options as a Native family? Across America, these are the main types of schools: traditional public-schools, public charter schools, public magnet schools, federally funded Bureau of Indian Education (BIE) schools, tribally controlled schools, private schools, online schools, homeschooling, and microschooling. Choosing any of these options is considered exercising school choice.

For many Native families, another important form of choice in education is tribal choice. Tribal choice is the ability of a particular tribe to self-determine and create a learning opportunity that is derived from and reflects the tribal community. The tribal choice is collectively determined by tribes, tribal leadership, and tribal stakeholders. Although tribal choice is creating a learning environment that best fits “their” particular community, parents and guardians must decide what works best for their student. 

Even if there is not a tribal choice school near you, keep in mind that some tribes have education departments that support tribal members with language immersion programs, career training, and other learning opportunities outside of the traditional classroom format. There is a legacy of educational sovereignty being used to form survival schools that place Indigenous culture at the center of learning. 

Traditional public schools, including public schools on reservations: 

Just as the vast majority of students in America attend public schools, the vast majority of Native students attend traditional public schools. Many Native students live in rural areas, with fewer private and charter school options located nearby. A 2019 study found that about 60% of Native students surveyed attended public schools where less than 25% of all students in the school were Native.

Bureau of Indian Education Funded and Operated Schools:

While most public schools are run by school districts, about 8 to 9% of Native students attend schools run by the government’s Bureau of Indian Education (BIE),  an agency, within the Department of Interior, that was established to provide educational services per the federal government’s trust responsibilities for Native students. It currently funds and operates 55 elementary and secondary schools, which can be searched on the Bureau’s website

BIE funded, tribally-controlled schools

While some BIE schools are directly operated by the BIE – these are referred to as Bureau Operated Schools – the majority of BIE-funded schools today are controlled by tribes. These schools are divided into two types: “638 schools” in reference to Public Law 93-638 where school services such as transportation, operations, and administration are contracted and schools under Public Law 100-297 which are fully tribally controlled schools. Many of these schools offer curriculum and instruction specially designed to pass on Native culture and values. One parent at a tribally-run public school described that her sons, “get to go outside and practice archery. They get to tan the hides that they make, make drums, work directly in the garden and be present.” 

A few of these BIE schools are boarding schools, which offer a unique opportunity to learn. While most Indian boarding schools closed by the early 1990s, a few remain, such as Santa Fe Indian School, run by the 19 pueblos in New Mexico, which provides an option for students to engage with Native students from other communities to learn and share with one another. 

You can read about transfer options for public schools near you in the Guide to Open Enrollment. 

Public charter schools:

Like traditional public schools, charter schools are public, free, and usually have no requirements for entry. What distinguishes charter schools is that they have extra freedom to innovate with learning methods. Many have a specific curricular focus, which may include Native American culture and language. Charters are accountable to authorizing entities for results. 

As of 2017, there are 64 charter schools that either operate on tribal lands or, even if they are not on tribal lands, serve a significant proportion of Native students. In total, these charter schools serve nearly 10,000 students.

Most of these charter schools are independent, not part of a large charter network. These stand-alone charter schools may be authorized by independent charter boards, local education agencies, state education agencies, or even a college or university. These policies vary state-to-state, and details can be found in the Ultimate Guide to Public Charter Schools

Some of these charter schools have specific missions to preserve Native American culture and language. For instance, the Native American Community Academy in New Mexico, which is a charter school authorized by Albuquerque Public Schools, teaches students Lakota, Navajo, Tiwa, Keres, and Zuni languages, Indigenous art, Native literature, and Indigenous history.  It also provides a community-based education model that connects students to their tribal communities and identities.

Charter schools are a valuable free option for Native students in some regions, and more charter schools may be on the horizon for families. 

“For decades, tribes and Native communities have been striving to create school systems that are reflective of the tribal community’s needs, enable tribes to own responsibility for the development of their students, and empower communities to educate their students consistent with their values. As a result, we welcome the renewed discussion of choice in education and look forward to engaging to make sure that tribes and Native communities and leaders have full authority to lead choice as it plays out for Native students.”

National Indian Education Association

For a more in-depth framework about the expansion of Native charter schools in the United States, see the National Indian Education Association’sSovereignty in Education: Creating Culturally-Based Charter Schools in Native Communities” handbook and Capacity-Building Guide for Founding Native American Charter Schools, a publication by the National Indian Education Association and the National Charter School Resource Center.

Public magnet schools:

Magnet schools are public schools operated by school districts (or groups of school districts) that allow kids to focus on a specific learning track, such as STEM, medical science, or performing arts. 

There are a few magnet schools dispersed throughout America specifically geared toward providing an American Indian perspective and immersing students in Indigenous culture. These include the American Indian Magnet School in Minnesota and PS 19 Native American Magnet School in New York.

Though both magnet schools, charter schools, and district schools are all public schools, parents should note that magnet schools are directly run and controlled by the school district whereas and charter schools have their own oversight structures and varying degrees of autonomy from district control.

Online schools:

Online schools hold the potential to open doors wide for students living on rural reservations, or just in remote areas off reservations. Full-time online schools are available in 35 states. You can read more about online schools near you in the Ultimate Guide to Online School.

Unfortunately, statistics are not readily available for the number of Native American students who currently use online schools, but the number of students overall using online school has surged since pre-COVID. 

Private schools:

Private schools are nonpublic schools that charge tuition. Private schools may offer families a unique curriculum, smaller class sizes, or a faith-based tradition.

As of 2018, just .03% of students at private schools of the National Association of Independent Schools were Native American. While only a small number of Native students currently attend private schools, more opportunities are developing. For example, Santa Fe, New Mexico has opened the first independent school for Native American girls, the Pine Ridge Girls’ School, grounded in Lakota philosophy and practice. 

“Today, some Native American tribes manage private schools that teach their children their tribal culture and language. Some proficiently own and operate large and small businesses that benefit the tribe. Many manage natural resources in a way that protects the environment and economically supports the tribe. Several states have passed laws that require or encourage public schools to teach Native American content in all subject areas. Montana specifically has “Indian Education for All” in the state constitution as a result of young Native American high school students who stood up to the state legislature. Native American music, dance, art, ceremonies, and stories continue to grace the lives of the people who originated on this land. Yes, we face challenges, but we also persevere.” 

Jennifer Jilot, Flathead Indian Reservation in Montana

Many private schools that are not necessarily Native-run and focused but have opened up increased opportunities for Native students to attend. Schools such as the Indian Community School in Wisconsin are accessible and inclusive.

Homeschooling:

As with online learning, there has been a rise in homeschooling across all demographics since the COVID-19 pandemic. Homeschooling is the process of parents educating children in the home, and many families choose to collaborate via tutorials, co-operatives, and extracurricular leagues to enhance the home education experience.

For Native families, there is also a level of exercising sovereignty at play in making the decision to center Indigenous teaching and learning in the home. Native American knowledge, pre- and post-European contact, was held, engaged, and passed in the community and tribally-based ways that may not be included in traditional schools. Homeschooling may be the choice for parents who want to ensure their kids are immersed in culture and, recognizing that they are the best teachers for their children, will opt to practice that sovereign right. 

There is not currently a national Native homeschool group, but there are Facebook groups that share information and tips, such as Indigenous Homeschoolers. Some members of this group express that they homeschool to be able to share Native American history and culture more completely with their child than is possible through traditional schooling. 

Microschools:

Some Native families have found a home in microschooling. Microschools or learning pods refer to students gathering together in a small group – with adult supervision – to learn, explore, and socialize. Microschools can take a variety of shapes and legal forms, from homeschoolers coming together at an enrichment center to a private school committed to small classrooms.

In San Carlos, Arizona, a private, Prenda-style microschool became the first microschool on tribal land. “Microschools are so small and mobile they are easy to bring to children in rural areas and communities like ours,” described Dassa John, a parent and member of the San Carlos Apache Tribal community.

At the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe’s reservation in Washington during the pandemic, a learning pod developed to provide support for students using online learning. Besides working on traditional schooling, students participating in the pod had the chance to practice the Klallam language each day with one of the tribe’s language instructors. 

If you are interested in starting a microschool or learning more, head over to the 50-State Guide to Microschooling and Mix-and-Match Learning.

Native American Education Laws and Resources Near You:

Currently, there are 35 states with federally recognized tribal nations, plus an additional 11 states with state-recognized tribes. The states with the highest populations of Native American students include Alaska, Arizona, New Mexico, Oklahoma, South Dakota, North Dakota, and Montana, though Native people once inhabited all 50 states in the U.S. Through forced removal and genocidal practices, Native Nations and tribes no longer exist in many states, and have been relocated to states in which they did not originally reside. 

Some states, especially those serving the largest populations of Native students, have developed unique curricula, laws, or programs to respond to the needs of Native students. Keep in mind that statistical information may not fully reflect students that identify as Native American because of blood quantum and membership policies, as well as data collection/census means. 

Find a sampling of laws and resources in your state below: 

Click on your state:

AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY DC

Alabama:

Alabama’s Calcedeaver Elementary School in Mobile County is one of the only schools in the state serving a majority of Native students. There are no Bureau of Indian Education schools in this state.

Starting in 2024, eligible Native students may be eligible for the state’s new Alabama’s Tax-Credit Education Savings Account (ESA) program, which allows families to receive a portion of their child’s public education funding to put toward personalized learning, such as private or online school expenses, tutoring, or educational therapy.

As of 2022, there are more than 6,000 Native students in Alabama making up just under 1% of the public school population, with a heavy concentration in Madison County. The 1838 Forced Removal Act drove many Cherokee, Chickasaw, and Choctaw people out of the state. 

Alaska:

Alaska has a Native American Education Program that supports supplemental education programs to benefit Alaska Natives. 

Alaska also has a number of programs and even a few immersion schools allowing students to learn native Alaskan languages. For example, College Gate Elementary in the Anchorage school district offers a Yupik Immersion Program. Meanwhile, Qarġi Academy is the only tribal school on Alaska’s North Slope. And, the Knik Cultural Charter School opened in Wasilla last school year to provide flexible, indigenous education for all grades K-12. There are no Bureau of Indian Education schools in this state.

In 1994, the state passed the Alaska Native Educational Equity, Support, and Assistance Act, recognizing the unique educational needs of Native families and providing for new programs and enrichment. A bill signed into law in 2022 established a pilot program for five tribes to open new independent schools, with their own curriculum and schedule, over the next few years. According to the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development, “These State Tribal Education Compact Schools (STECs) would be public schools open to all students and would offer a unique, culturally rich combination of Western and millennia-old tribal educational models.”

As of 2022, there are more than 28,000 Native students enrolled in public schools in Alaska, making up about 22% of the public school population.

Arizona:

Arizona has an Indian Education Association that researches and provides resources for Native students, as well as an Office of Indian Education at the Arizona Department of Education. Arizona schools are required to teach about the history of Native communities in the state. 

The Grand Canyon State has a robust array of options for Native students. There are more than 50 Bureau of Indian Education-operated schools and tribally-controlled schools. For example, one of the Bureau of Indian Education schools is Salt River Elementary, which blends learning and the O’Odham and Piipaash cultures. Meanwhile, Akimel O’Otham Pee Posh Charter School on the Gila River Indian Community was recently awarded more than $500,000 to support reading and mitigate the impact of the pandemics for students and their families. 

Arizona also has magnet schools, including Puente de Hózhó (PdH) Public Magnet School, a magnet school in Flagstaff with a Navajo Immersion Language Program. And, the state even has a private Catholic school aimed at preserving Native American culture, St. Charles Apache Mission School in San Carlos.

In Arizona, students who live on a Native reservation are eligible for the state’s Empowerment Scholarships Account (ESA) program, which allows families to receive a portion of their child’s public education funding to put toward personalized learning, such as private or online school expenses, tutoring, or educational therapy. Currently, more than 100 families on the San Carlos reservation lands use ESAs each year.

As of 2022, there are more than 47,000 Native students enrolled in public schools in Arizona, making up about 4% of the public school population.

Arkansas:

Arkansas’ American Indian Center is a non-profit that works on improving the quality of life for Native Americans in Arkansas, including Native students.

Some Native students are eligible for the state’s new Educational Freedom Account (EFA) program, which allows families to receive a portion of their child’s public education funding to put toward personalized learning, such as private school tuition.

As of 2022, there are more than 2,900 Native students enrolled in public schools in Arkansas, making up close to 1% of the public school population. There are no Bureau of Indian Education schools in this state.

California:

California’s initiatives to promote Native education include California Indian Education for All, a nonprofit that aims to help schools improve their teaching and resources surrounding Native history and culture. Additionally, the California Indian Education Act, signed in 2022, encourages school districts to increase collaboration with local Native tribes.

California has a few schools that predominantly serve Native American students. These include Sherman Indian High School, an off-reservation boarding high school in Riverside, All Tribes American Indian Charter School in Valley Center, Barona Indian Charter School in Lakeside, and Anahuacalmecac International University Preparatory in Los Angeles.

As of 2022, there are more than 23,000 Native students enrolled in public schools in California, making up close to 1% of the public school population. For more information, families can also explore the –California Department of Education’s list of American Indian Education Centers.

Colorado:

You can read about Colorado’s resources for Native education at the Colorado Department of Education page. 

Unfortunately, one of Colorado’s schools with a unique focus on teaching Indigenous culture and values, the American Indian Academy of Denver, recently closed. However, Ute Mountain Ute Tribe offers education options for their students, as does the South Ute Indian Montessori Academy

Additionally, Native American Culture and Education (NACE), a program of the Denver Public Schools District, connects and supports about 1,000 Native students in the Denver area. Similarly, Jefferson County School District has an Indian Education program offering mentoring, after-school programming, and cultural support.

Families should also know that, as of 2023, Native students are guaranteed the right to wear their traditional regalia at school graduation ceremonies.

As of 2022, there are more than 5,200 Native students enrolled in public schools in Colorado, making up close to 1% of the public school population. There are no Bureau of Indian Education schools in this state.

Connecticut:

Connecticut‘s tribal nations and education officials are currently partnering to develop a Native American studies curriculum, which will be offered in public schools starting in the 2023-2024 school year.

The Mohegan Tribe also offers free Native American study resources and tools (printable study guides, worksheets and video assets available) for educators and homeschoolers.

As of 2022, there are more than 1,500 Native students in Connecticut making up close to 1% of the public-school population. There are no Bureau of Indian Education schools in this state.

Delaware:

The Nanticoke Indian Center in Delaware is the historic site of a former tribal school. Today, there are no Bureau of Indian Education schools in this state.

As of 2022, there are more than 560 Native students enrolled in public schools in Delaware, making up just under 1% of the public school population.

Florida:

Florida requires that Native education be taught in schools. The state has at least a few tribally-run schools, such as Ahfachkee School in Clewiston and Miccosukee Indian School in Miami.

The Florida Governor’s Council on Indian Affairs, Inc. provides two-week educational programs for Native youth. Also, the Florida Department of Education has launched student contests for Native American Heritage Month.

As of 2022, there are more than 5,700 Native students enrolled in public schools in Florida, making up just under 1% of the public school population.

All Native students are eligible to apply for Florida’s expanded Education Savings Account (ESA) program, which allows families to receive a portion of their child’s public education funding to put toward personalized learning, such as private school tuition or homeschooling.

Georgia:

There are no Bureau of Indian Education schools in this state.

Some Native students may be eligible for the state’s new Promise Scholarship program, which allows families to receive a portion of their child’s public education funding to put toward personalized learning, such as private school tuition.

As of 2022, there are more than 3,500 Native students enrolled in public schools in Georgia, making up close to 1% of the public school population.

Hawaii:

Hawaii has a Native Hawaiian Education program to develop and support educational options for Native Hawaiian students. The state has several Hawaiian language immersion schools, including Ānuenue in Honolulu, King Kekaulike High in Pukalani, and Molokai Middle School. Some of the state’s immersion schools are charter schools. A complete list can be found at Hawaii’s Department of Education.

Kamehameha schools have a unique history as a privately-funded school system for furthering culture and academics for Native Hawaiian students.  

You can also read about the Native Hawaiian Education Act at the Native Hawaiian Education Council. This bill officially authorized increased support for the needs of Native Hawaiian students and increased participation from Native communities in planning educational programming.

You may also wish to check out the Native Hawaiian Education Association, a nonprofit that works to support Native Hawaiian educators and learning.

As of 2022, there are more than 43,000 Native students enrolled in public schools in Hawaii, making up well over 25% of the public school population.

Idaho:

Idaho has a couple of tribally-run schools, such as Coeur d’Alene Tribal School in DeSmet. In 2022, this school was the spot of an official announcement by federal education representatives of a $1 million federal grant to promote Native American languages across the country. Another tribally-run school in Idaho is Shoshone Bannock School District #537 in Pocatello. Additionally, the state’s first Native language immersion school is a charter school, Chief Tahgee Elementary Academy on the Fort Hall reservation.

The state’s Indian Education Department works with local tribes to support the learning of Native students. 

In some Idaho districts, such as the Blackfoot School District, Native students have been particularly impacted by learning loss and the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The school district is working on a recovery program, which has involved tutoring programs for tribal students and credit recovery programs. 

As of 2023, there are more than 3,100 Native students enrolled in public schools in Idaho, making up more than 1% of the public school population. There are currently 56 Native teachers, making up just 0.3% of all teachers, in Idaho public schools.

Illinois

Illinois does not have any Bureau of Indian Education schools. But, in the Chicago Public Schools District, Native families can receive support through the American Indian Education Program and the American Indian Family Resource Center. Services include after-school tutoring and cultural programs for students, as well as workshops for parents.

A recent bill passed by state legislators and expected to be signed into law requires Illinois public schools to teach Midwestern Native American history beginning in 2024. The new curriculum would be developed in partnership with the Chicago American Indian Community Collaborative.

As of 2022, there are more than 3,700 Native students enrolled in public schools in Illinois, making up close to 1% of the public school population.

Indiana:

In Indiana, the Native American Indian Affairs Commission makes recommendations to government agencies about issues impacting Native families, including education. You may also wish to check out the American Indian Center of Indiana.

There are no Bureau of Indian Education schools in this state.

As of 2022, there are more than 2,000 Native students enrolled in public schools in Indiana, making up close to 1% of the public school population.

Native families interested in choosing private school may wish to learn about Indiana’s recently expanded private school scholarship programs.

Iowa:

Iowa has at least one tribally-run school, Meskwaki Settlement School. It is run by the Sac and Fox Tribe of the Mississippi in Iowa, the only federally recognized Indian tribe in the state. 

As of 2022, there are more than 1,500 Native students enrolled in public schools in Iowa, making up close to 1% of the public school population.

Some Native students are eligible for the state’s new Educational Scholarship Account (ESA) program, which allows families to receive a portion of their child’s public education funding to put toward personalized learning, such as private school tuition.

Kansas:

Kansas has at least one tribally-controlled school serving Native students: the Kickapoo Nation School in Powhattan.

Kansas also has a statewide organization, the Kansas Association for Native American Education, that advocates for Native students. 

As of 2022, there are more than 3,400 Native students enrolled in public schools in Kansas, making up close to 1% of the public school population.

Kentucky:

Kentucky’s Heritage Council offers educational resources for teachers and families about Native history and culture.

There are no Bureau of Indian Education schools in this state.

As of 2022, there are more than 660 Native students enrolled in public schools in Kentucky, making up close to 1% of the public school population.

Louisiana:

Louisiana has at least one tribally-run school, Chitimacha Tribal School in Jeanerette.

The state has an Office of Indian Affairs that serves as a resource for Louisiana Native communities navigating local or state policies. Additionally, the Tunica-Biloxi tribe offers tribal student support programs for tutoring and school success.  

As of 2022, there are more than 4,300 Native students enrolled in public schools in Louisiana, making up close to 1% of the public school population.

Maine:

Maine has a few schools specifically serving Native students. These include Indian Island School in Indian Island, Indian Township School in Princeton, and Sipayik Elementary School in Calais. You can read about all three at Maine Indian Education.

In 2001, Maine passed a law requiring Native history and culture be taught in schools across the state. A 2022 report by Wabanaki leaders highlights successes and failures of how the curriculum is currently being implemented in schools.

Maine’s Department of Education provides a list of educational Native Studies resources. You may also wish to check out the Maine Indian Tribal Commission

As of 2022, there are more than 1,300 Native students enrolled in public schools in Maine, making up close to 1% of the public school population.

Maryland:

There are no Bureau of Indian Education schools in this state. Some districts offer special support and programming for Native students, like the Montgomery School Public Schools District, which has an American Indian Education Program

You may also wish to check out the Baltimore American Indian Center (BAIC), which provides skills training, afterschool programs, and other opportunities for Native families. 

As of 2022, there are more than 2,600 Native students enrolled in public schools in Maryland, making up close to 1% of the public school population.

Massachusetts:

Massachusetts has no Bureau of Indian Education schools, but other educational opportunities exist. For example, the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe has an education department offering cultural presentations, after school support, Native films, performances, and even traditional gardens in collaboration with nearby schools. The programming is funded by the Department of Education.

You may also wish to check out the Massachusetts Center for Native American Awareness, which provides cultural enrichment for youth and other educational opportunities.

As of 2022, there are more than 1,800 Native students enrolled in public school in Massachusetts, making up close to 1% of the public school population.

Michigan:

Michigan has a few schools specifically serving Native students. These include Hannahville Indian School in Wilson and Joseph K. Lumsden Bahweting Anishnabe PSA in Marie. About a dozen public school districts in Michigan are close to tribal territories and have significant Native enrollment; at Watersmeet Township School, for example, three out of four students are Native.

Legislation to add more Native history into the state’s recommended curriculum standards for grades 8-12 passed in 2022 and is currently being implemented. The Michigan Department of Education has also launched an Indigenous Education Initiative to work on areas impacting Native learners. Beginning in 2024, all Michigan district and charter schools must collect tribal affiliation data for students, with the goal of gaining more information about Native student achievement rates and making more schools eligible for federal funds for Native American education.

As of 2022, there are more than 8,600 Native students enrolled in public school in Michigan, making up close to 1% of the public school population.

Minnesota:

Minnesota’s TrekNorth Junior & Senior High School is a charter school serving a high percentage of Native students and offering classes in American Indian language and culture. Minnesota also has a few tribally-run schools through the Bureau of Indian Education, including Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig School in Bena, Circle of Life Academy in White Earth, Fond du Lac Ojibwe School in Cloquet, and Nay Ah Shing / Pine Grove Schools in Onamia.

Some traditional public-school districts, like Minneapolis Public Schools, have an Indian Education Department. Minnesota even has a magnet school, American Indian Magnet School, with teachers specializing in the Lakota and Ojibwe languages, and a Catholic private school aimed at preserving Native culture, St. Mary’s Mission School. 

The American Indian OIC in Minneapolis provides community-based support for Native families. One of its initiatives is an alternative high school, Takoda Prep, affiliated with Minneapolis Public Schools. Takoda Prep focuses on individualized instruction, skills training, and supporting students in maintaining a strong connection to their culture.

As of 2022, there are more than 14,000 Native students enrolled in public school in Minnesota, making up more than 1% of the public school population. You can read a report on the state of American Indian Education at the Minnesota Department of Education.

Mississippi:

Mississippi has several tribally-run schools through the Bureau of Indian Education. These schools make up the Choctaw Tribal School System, which serves more than 2,000 students across eight schools. Operated by the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, this is the largest unified and locally-controlled Indian school system in the U.S.

As of 2022, there are also more than 880 Native students enrolled in public school in Mississippi, making up close to 1% of the public school population.

Native students with special needs may be eligible for the state’s Equal Opportunity for Students with Special Needs Program, which provides funding that families can use for private school tuition.

Missouri:

There are no federally recognized tribes in the state of Missouri and there are no Bureau of Indian Education schools in this state.

Missouri does have an American Indian Cultural Center. Also, MO Humanities has a Native American Program with educational programming to raise awareness about the American Indian experience in Missouri.

As of 2022, there are more than 3,500 Native students enrolled in public school in Missouri, making up close to 1% of the public school population.

Native families who meet certain eligibility requirements may be eligible for the Missouri Empowerment Scholarship Accounts Program, which allows families to receive a portion of their child’s public education funding to put toward personalized learning, such as private school tuition.

Montana:

Montana became the first state, in 1999, to require Native studies. The state’s constitution says that Montana “recognizes the distinct and unique cultural heritage of American Indians and is committed in its educational goals to the preservation of their cultural integrity.” Currently, however, some Native tribes, parents, and students in Montana are bringing a lawsuit forward, arguing that this constitutional requirement is not being upheld. A bill passed in 2023 establishes a partnership between state education officials and Montana tribes with the goal of better reporting on Indian Education for All curriculum.

Montana also has a few schools specifically serving Native students. These include the tribally-run Northern Cheyenne Tribal School in Busby, and Two Eagle River School in Pablo.

Montana also has a few private Catholic schools with instruction in Native language and culture. These schools, which are largely funded by fundraising and private donations, include St. Labre Indian School in Ashland, St. Charles Mission School in Pryor, Pretty Eagle Catholic Academy in Xavier, and De La Salle Blackfeet School in Browning.

As of 2022, there are more than 15,900 Native students enrolled in public school in Montana, making up more than 10% of the public school population.

Nebraska:

Nebraska has a Commission on Indian Affairs that provides regular updates on Indian education news in the state. Lincoln Public Schools’ Indian Education Team is funded by a federal grant and offers many programs for Native students and their families, including success coaches, summer camps, and a Native advisory committee that parents can participate in.

Nebraska offers several schools that seek to preserve Native culture, including Umoⁿhoⁿ Nation Public Schools St. Augustine Mission School in Winnebago and the iSanti Community School, located on ISanti Sioux tribal lands.

There are no Bureau of Indian Education schools in this state.

As of 2022, there are more than 4,900 Native students enrolled in public school in Nebraska, making up more than 1% of the public school population.

Nevada:

Nevada has a few tribally-run schools, including Pyramid Lake Schools and Duckwater Shoshone Elementary Schools.

The Nevada Indian Commission offers events and news for Native families. Additionally, the Nevada Department of Education offers a list of resources for Native education, including curriculum and lesson plans.

As of 2022, there are more than 3,800 Native students enrolled in public school in Nevada, making up close to 1% of the public school population. More than 900 Native students are served by the Washoe County School District. The district is currently using a federal grant to hire more student graduation advocates to support Native students in becoming college and career ready.

New Hampshire:

There are no federally recognized tribes in New Hampshire today and there are no Bureau of Indian Education schools in this state.

The state does have a Commission on Native American Affairs to promote the needs of Native families. You may also wish to check out New Hampshire’s list of Native organizations with geographical or cultural interests in New Hampshire.

As of 2022, there are more than 330 Native students enrolled in public school in New Hampshire, making up less than 1% of the public school population.

Native families who meet certain eligibility requirements may be eligible for New Hampshire’s Education Freedom Account, which allows families to receive a portion of their child’s public education funding to put toward personalized learning, such as private school tuition.

New Jersey:

While there are federally recognized Indian tribes in New Jersey, there are no Bureau of Indian Education schools in this state. 

New Jersey’s Commission on Indian Affairs seeks to develop “programs and projects to further understanding of New Jersey’s American Indian history and culture.”

As of 2022, there are more than 2,700 Native students enrolled in public school in New Jersey, making up close to 1% of the public school population.

New Mexico:

New Mexico requires Native education be taught in schools. The NM Indian Education Act of 2003 established partnerships between Native tribes and the state’s education department to advance the educational and cultural needs of American Indian students in public schools, and a 2019 amendment to this law added a systemic framework for improving educational outcomes for Indian students.

In New Mexico, the Early Childhood Education and Care Department has worked with local indigenous leaders to create a digital workshop for tribal communities to develop their own instructional content. Additionally, New Mexico’s Indian Affairs Department has an Indigenous Youth Council that Native students from across the state participate in.

There are more than 40 Bureau of Indian Education-operated schools and tribally-controlled schools across the state.

One of the state’s schools that offers an immersion in Indigenous curriculum and culture is the Native American Community Academy, a public charter school in Albuquerque. Another school committed to maintaining Native cultural values is the Santa Fe Indian School, which is currently working to better connect tribes and students through reliable internet access. In Farmington, Navajo Preparatory School (the only Navajo-sanctioned, college-preparatory school for Native Americans) offers an International Baccalaureate curriculum. New Mexico even has a private Catholic school with the mission of serving Native students: St. Joseph Mission School in San Fidel.

As of 2022, there are more than 32,000 Native students enrolled in public school in New Mexico, making up more than 10% of the public school population. In Albuquerque Public Schools, for example, more than 7,000 students report tribal affiliations.

New York:

While there are federally recognized tribes in New York, there are no Bureau of Indian Education schools in this state. There are, however, several schools that teach Native youth, including Onondaga Elementary in Syracuse and Tuscarora Indian School near Buffalo.

The New York State Education Department has a Native American Education Unit that provides funding to school districts that educate Native children who live on reservations. In 2023, the New York State Education Department created an Indigenous Culture and Language Studies certificate for teachers, with the goal of allowing more children to learn about Native cultures.

As of 2022, there are more than 17,700 Native students enrolled in public school in New York, making up close to 1% of the public school population.

North Carolina:

North Carolina has a few schools specifically serving Native students. These include the tribally-run Cherokee Central Elementary School, Middle School, and High School.

Additionally, Haliwa-Saponi Tribal School is run by the Haliwa-Saponi Tribe and offers students academics integrated with Native culture.

North Carolina’s State Advisory Council on Indian Education aims to provide cultural opportunities for American Indian students. Also, the North Carolina Native American Youth Organization offers cultural and academic support to students.

In light of a bill passed in 2023, Native students are now guaranteed the right to wear their traditional regalia at school graduation ceremonies.

As of 2022, there are more than 16,900 Native students enrolled in public schools in Missouri, making up more than 1% of the public school population.

Native students with special needs may be eligible for the state’s Education Student Accounts program, which allows families to receive a portion of their child’s public education funding to put toward personalized learning, such as private school tuition.

North Dakota:

North Dakota, where about 10% of students are Native American, has passed a law requiring that public schools teach Native history. You can learn more about the North Dakota Native American Essential Understandings curriculum at Teachings of Our Elders.

North Dakota has one of the highest numbers of schools serving Native students. You can find a complete list of public-school options for Native students at the North Dakota Indian Affairs Commission. Some of these schools are operated by tribal governments (including the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, the Mandan, Hidatsa, Arikara Nation, the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa, and the Spirit Lake Nation) and some are operated by the Bureau of Indian Education. The list includes schools both on reservation and off reservation.

As of 2022, there are more than 9,700 Native students enrolled in public school in North Dakota, making up more than 8% of the public school population.

Ohio:

There are no federally recognized tribes in Ohio and there are no Bureau of Indian Education schools in this state. You may wish to search your area for Native educational programming near you. Regional organizations like the Greater Cincinnati Native American Coalition and Native American Center of Central Ohio work to preserve Native culture and offer learning opportunities.

As of 2022, there are more than 1,600 Native students enrolled in public schools in Ohio, making up close to 1% of the public school population.

Oklahoma:

Oklahoma’s Department of Education has an Office of American Indian Education that works to build bridges between Native tribes and the state’s K-12 public school system. 

In Anadarko, Riverside Indian School is a school run by the Bureau of Indian Education that specifically serves Native students. It is the oldest and largest off-reservation boarding school in the U.S. There are also four tribally-run schools: Chickasaw Children’s Village, Eufaula Dormitory, Jones Academy, and Sequoyah High School.

Oklahoma also allows federally recognized Indian tribes to authorize charter schools in the state. In 2010, Tsalagi Tsunadeloquasdi became the first Oklahoma charter school for Cherokee language immersionSovereign Community School was the second Native charter school to open in the state, but permanently closed its doors in 2023.

Additionally, the state has passed legislation establishing Native education advisory councils to ensure that tribal nations have a say in how public education responds to the needs of students. The state has also recently passed legislation protecting the right of Native students to wear tribal regalia during graduation ceremonies.

According to the Oklahoma Department of Education, there are more than 130,000 Native students attending Oklahoma public schools. 

Oregon:

Oregon has passed a bill requiring the Oregon Department of Education to create Native curriculum for public schools and provide related professional development to teachers. The official state website offers a robust list of Native educational resources, including curriculum, newspapers, and organizations. One of these organizations is the Oregon Indian Education Association, which works with school districts to promote Indigenous knowledge in public education.

Oregon has at least one Bureau of Indian Education school serving Native students, the Chemawa Indian School in Salem.

As of 2022, there are more than 6,900 Native students enrolled in public school in Oregon, making up more than 1% of the public school population.

Pennsylvania:

There are no Bureau of Indian Education schools in this state. However, there are cultural resources for Native families, such as the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania, a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting awareness of the culture and language of the Lenape people.

As of 2022, there are more than 3,300 Native students enrolled in public school in Pennsylvania, making up close to 1% of the public school population.

Rhode Island:

One of the Indian tribes in Rhode Island is the Narragansett Tribe. The tribe’s education department collaborates on many educational opportunities for Indian children, such as academic tutoring and workshops. 

There are no Bureau of Indian Education schools in this state.

As of 2022, there are more than 960 Native students enrolled in public school in Rhode Island, making up close to 1% of the public school population.

South Carolina:

The SC Commission for Minority Affairs has a Native American Affairs Division that promotes Native culture, especially through celebrating Native American Heritage Month in November. 

There are no Bureau of Indian Education schools in this state.

Native students may be eligible for for the state’s education scholarship program, which allows families to receive a portion of their child’s public education funding to put toward personalized learning, such as private school tuition.

As of 2022, there are more than 2,300 Native students enrolled in public school in South Carolina, making up close to 1% of the public school population.

South Dakota:

In South Dakota public schools, Native students are the largest minority group. The state has approved a framework for teaching Native studies called the Oceti Sakowin Essential Understandings and Standards. Over the past five years, Native legislators have repeatedly proposed the creation of public charter schools that immerse students in Lakota Indian language and culture, but so far, no measure has been passed.

Along with North Dakota, South Dakota has one of the highest numbers of schools serving Native students. Schools operated by the Bureau of Indian Education include Cheyenne-Eagle Butte School, Flandreau Indian School, and Pine Ridge School.

There are well over a dozen tribally-run schools, including American Horse School, Crazy Horse School, Crow Creek Tribal School, Enemy Swim Day School, Isna Wica Owayawa (Loneman School), Little Eagle Grant School, Little Wound School, Lower Brule Schools, Marty Indian School, Pahin Sinte Owayawa School (Porcupine School), Pierre Indian School Learning Center, Rock Creek Grant School, St. Francis Indian School, Takini School, Tiospa Zina Tribal School, Tiospaye Topa School, and Wounded Knee District School.

Some public school districts, like the Sioux Falls School District, seek to support Native students with special senior honoring ceremonies.

South Dakota also has a few private schools aimed at preserving Native culture, like St. Joseph’s Indian School, Red Cloud Indian School and the new Oceti Sakowin Community Academy.

The South Dakota Indian Education Advisory Council was developed in 2004, and the Indian Education Act was passed in 2007 to support educational opportunities for Native families. You can learn more at the South Dakota Department of Tribal Relations.

There are also numerous non-profits serving Native families in South Dakota. For instance, the Native American Heritage Association provides food and supplies for Native families in need. 

As of 2022, there are more than 14,700 Native students enrolled in public school in South Dakota, making up more than 10% of the public school population.

Tennessee:

Tennessee has a Native American Indian Association, a statewide nonprofit organization that works to promote educational options and awareness of Indian culture. 

Specific Native tribes also offer their own educational programming. For instance, the Kituwah Preservation & Education Program works to revitalize the Cherokee language and promote awareness about the Cherokee people. 

There are no Bureau of Indian Education schools in this state.

As of 2022, there are more than 2,000 Native students enrolled in public school in Tennessee, making up close to 1% of the public school population.

Native students who meet certain requirements may be eligible for the state’s Education Student Accounts programs, which allows families to receive a portion of their child’s public education funding to put toward personalized learning, such as private school tuition.

Texas:

In 2023, the Texas Education Agency approved an elective course for high schoolers on American Indian history and culture. Some Texas public school districts offer other special resources and learning opportunities geared toward Native families. For instance, Fort Worth Independent School District has an American Indian Education Program and offers a list online of suggested curricula, texts, and materials.

Additionally, there are state organizations and nonprofits that offer youth learning opportunities. For example, the Indigenous Cultures Institute hosts summer encounters and other youth programming for Native students in Texas and northern Mexico.

There are no Bureau of Indian Education schools in this state. 

As of 2022, there are more than 16,500 Native students enrolled in public school in Texas, making up close to 1% of the public school population.

Utah:

Utah’s Board of Education has an American Indian Education program to promote opportunities for Native families. The program funds grants for school districts with a high concentration of Native students. 

Utah offers many state resources to promote awareness of Indigenous culture, such as the Utah Education Network’s American Indian Resources.

Native students may be eligible for for the state’s education scholarship program, which allows families to receive a portion of their child’s public education funding to put toward personalized learning, such as private school tuition.

The state has at least one Bureau of Indian Education school serving Native students, the Aneth Community School in Montezuma Creek, and one Navajo school, Richfield Residential Hall. In 2013, Navajo Nation and the state entered into an agreement to share student performance data with the aim of improving students’ transitions between public schools and Bureau of Indian Education schools.

As of 2022, there are more than 6,900 Native students enrolled in public school in Utah, making up more than 1% of the public school population.

Vermont:

Vermont has a Commission on Native American Affairs that works to empower the Native families in the state. Vermont’s Abenaki communities also offer educational programming. For example, the Nulhegan Abenkai Tribe has coordinated heritage days at schools and cultural workshops. 

There are no Bureau of Indian Education schools in this state.

As of 2022, there are more than 250 Native students enrolled in public school in Vermont, making up close to 1% of the public school population.

Virginia:

Virginia requires that Native education be taught in schools. The state’s Department of Education offers learning resources about Native culture. 

Virginia does not have any Bureau of Indian Education-funded schools.

As of 2022, there are more than 3,700 Native students enrolled in public school in Virginia, making up close to 1% of the public school population.

Washington:

Washington has a tribally-developed curriculum, Since Time Immemorial: Tribal Sovereignty in Washington State, that is used by public-schools across the state.

The Washington State Indian Education Association works to improve educational opportunities for Native students, and the Governor’s Office of Indian Affairs offers a tribal directory.

Many public school districts offer unique learning opportunities for Native students, such as in Seattle Public Schools District, Spokane Public Schools, Bethel School District, and Peninsula School District. Grand Coulee Dam School District’s Lake Roosevelt Schools have an expanding Indian Education Program that gives students the opportunity to learn about root digging, traditional drumming, Native American literature, and more.

The state also has several tribally-run schools. These include Chief Leschi Schools in Puyallup, Lummi Nation School in Bellingham, Muckleshoot Tribal School in Auburn, Paschal Sherman Indian School in Omak, Quileute Tribal School in LaPush, Wa He Lut Indian School in Olympia, and Yakama Nation Tribal School in Toppenish.

In 2015, the Washington State-Tribal Education Compact Schools affirmed and empowered tribes to increase educational opportunities for Native students.

As of 2022, there are more than 11,900 Native students enrolled in public school in Washington, making up more than 1% of the public school population.

West Virginia:

There are no federally recognized Indian tribes or Bureau of Indian Education schools in this state.

The American Indians of West Virginia group works to promote Native heritage across the state through teaching activities and events. 

As of 2022, there are more than 250 Native students enrolled in public school in West Virginia, making up under 1% of the public school population.

Many Native students are eligible for the state’s Hope Scholarship, which allows families to receive a portion of their child’s public education funding to put toward personalized learning.

Wisconsin:

Wisconsin requires all public school districts to provide instruction on the state’s tribal nations. The state also lists resources related to American Indian education, which include the Wisconsin Indian Education Association. Additionally, Wisconsin First Nations provides educational videos and lesson plans for all grades about Native studies.

There are at least three tribally-run schools in Wisconsin: Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe School in Hayward, Menominee Tribal School in Neopit, and Oneida Nation School. In 2022, the Menominee Indian School District opened a pre-K and kindergarten charter school called Kaehkēnawapatāēq, where students practice the Menominee language.

As of 2022, there are more than 8,200 Native students enrolled in public school in Wisconsin, making up about 1% of the public school population.

Wyoming:

Wyoming requires the history and culture of Native tribes in Wyoming to be included in public-school standards.

Wyoming’s Department of Education provides a robust list of Native resources, including Open Range Wyoming, a collection of free educational resources for schools, and Wind River Education Project, lessons and videos about Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho people.

Wyoming has at least one tribally-run school, St. Stephens Indian School, funded by the Bureau of Indian Education. Additionally, Wyoming Indian Schools serve families on the Wind River Reservation.

As of 2022, there are more than 2,800 Native students enrolled in public-school in Wyoming, making up more than 3% of the public school population.

Ultimately, the best educational choice for your unique student is a decision up to you. 

As you school-search, keep in mind that learning in an environment that bolsters your Native heritage does not have to end with high school. There are 37 tribal colleges and universities in the country, such as the Northwest Indian College, which serves Washington, Oregon, and Idaho.

To learn more about educational opportunities for Native families, here is a list of additional organizations and resources you may wish to check out: 

  • Administration for Native Americans: The Administration for Native Americans promotes self-sufficiency for Native communities by supporting grants for community-based projects.
  • American Indian Catholic Schools Network: Affiliated with the Alliance for Catholic Education, the American Indian Catholic Schools Network is a coalition of private Native schools representing the Acoma, Blackfeet, Laguna, Lakota, Navajo, Ojibwe, Omaha, San Carlos Apache, and Winnebago Indian tribes.
  • American Indian Education Fund: The American Indian Education Fund (formerly the American Indian Education Foundation) is a program geared toward high school students and their families. It offers scholarships, literacy programs, and school supplies for college.
  • American Indian Science and Engineering Society: The American Indian Science and Engineering Society encourages Native students to pursue STEM education and careers. The organization offers internships, conferences, leadership development, and other programming.
  • Bureau of Indian Education: The Bureau of Indian Education’s mission is to provide quality educational opportunities to Native students in accordance with tribal needs for cultural well-being.
  • Center for Native American Youth: The Center for Native American Youth is a national education organization that supports and advocates for Native young people. 
  • Education for Parents of Indian Children with Special Needs: Education for Parents of Indian Children with Special Needs is a non-profit that supports and advocates for families of Native children with disabilities, developmental delays, special healthcare needs, or who are deaf or hard of hearing.
  • Indian County Today: Indian County Today is an independent, non-profit news enterprise covering tribes and Native people throughout America. Search “education” at the site for recent education news and developments. 
  • Indigenous Homeschoolers: Indigenous Homeschoolers is a private Facebook group with more than 1,200 members. The group is open to all Indigenous families looking for support and ideas about homeschooling their children.
  • National Congress of American Indians: The National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) was founded in 1944, making it the oldest American Indian and Alaska Native organization “serving the broad interests of tribal governments and communities.” One of the policy issues the NCAI focuses on is education.
  • National Museum of the American Indians’ Native Knowledge 360: A project of the Smithsonian, the National Museum of the American Indian’s Native Knowledge 360 offers educational resources on Indigenous culture for a variety of grades. It also offers professional development opportunities for teachers.
  • National Indian Education Association (NIEA): National Indian Education Association’s mission is to advance educational opportunities for American Indians, Alaska Natives, and Native Hawaiians. The NIEA furthers this mission through digital resources, webinars, events, supporting schools in building Native Language programs, and much more. 
  • National Indian Education Study 2019: This in-depth study of Native fourth-graders and eighth-graders around the country provides information about how school teachers and administrators play a part in preserving students’ cultural heritage.
  • National Indian Head Start Directors Association: The National Indian Head Start Directors Association is an organized voice for Indian Head Start programs and the Native families they serve.
  • National Indian Impacted Land Association: The National Indian Impacted Land Association advocates for nearly 600 Indian land school districts, including work to address facility needs.
  • National Johnson O’Malley Association: The National Johnson O’Malley Association is a nonprofit for discussing educational excellence for Indian students and advocating the rights of Indian students.
  • Native American Heritage Month: Officially designated in 1990, November is celebrated as National American Indian Heritage Month or Native American Heritage Month. Google Arts and Culture offers 10 ideas for celebrating the month
  • Native Hope: Native Hope shares Native stories and offers educational resources to support Native communities.
  • Native News Online. One of the “most-read daily American Indian news publications,” the Native News Online has an education section dedicated to developments in K-12 and undergraduate educational opportunities for Native students.
  • Society for the Advancement of Chicanos/Hispanics & Native Americans in Science: This organization is dedicated to the success of Chicanos/Hispanics and Native students in attaining advanced degrees, careers, and positions of leadership in STEM. It offers members an online network, among other opportunities.
  • Tribal Education Departments National Assembly: The Tribal Education Departments National Assembly seeks to provide resources and support to tribes in reclaiming sovereignty in education.
  • White House Tribal Nations Summit 2022: During the November-December 2022 White House Tribal Nations Summit, many announcements impacting Native families were made. Find a full list of initiatives, including several impacting K-12 education, at the White House website.

The information in this guide is designed to help Native families in the K-12 decision-making process. Our mission is to provide families with the information they need about all the school options available – traditional public, public charter, public magnet, private, online, at home, and microschooling – so they can choose the right fit for their child. Read more guides about choosing schools.

The Ultimate Guide to Special Education

As a parent, you want the best education and the best future possible for your child. If he or she is being evaluated for an IEP or you’re thinking they may need some extra help in their educational journey, it can be intimidating to enter the acronym-heavy world of special education. Our mission is to empower and support you, the parent, to make the best decisions for your child’s education, no matter what type of school you choose.

So what does the term “special education” actually mean? Special education is specially designed instruction provided at no cost to a family to meet the specific needs of a child with a disability.  Whether you’re navigating the special education process with your own family or just want to better understand how special education works, we’ve created a parents guide to special education to help you along the way.

What to ask when choosing a school for a special needs child

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What is Special Education?

Special Education Law

Special education, as we think of it today, has not always been accessible to students with disabilities. In fact, it wasn’t until 1975 and the Education for All Handicapped Children Act that a federal law protected the rights of students with disabilities to receive a free, appropriate public education and ensured access to a program that met their needs.

Special education today is guided by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). This federal law makes sure students with disabilities are provided a Free Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) that matches their individual needs. Overall, this law’s goal is to provide kids with disabilities the same opportunities in education that their peers without disabilities have.

Project Child Find

Child Find is a part of IDEA that legally requires schools to find children who have disabilities and need special education services (hereafter referred to as ‘services’). Child Find applies to children from birth through age 21 – including those students who are being homeschooled or are in private schools (more on that in How to Continue Your IEP, Even If You Start Homeschooling). 

While the specifics vary by state and district, all Local Education Agencies (LEAs) must have a process in place to identify students with disabilities regardless of their school choice. Once a student is thought to have a disability, it is the responsibility of the LEA to conduct an evaluation and make an eligibility determination. Each school district must also have a process for identifying and evaluating children who may need special education services. 

Besides identifying children who may need special education and related services, Child Find also informs parents and guardians of the services available to them.

IEP vs. 504 Plan

Individualized Education Programs (IEPs) and 504 Plans offer formal assistance for K-12 students who need extra support in school. A 504 Plan is a plan for how a school will ensure a child with a disability or impairment has the same access to the learning environment as their non-impaired peers. An IEP is a plan for a child’s special ed experience to ensure they make meaningful educational progress.

The Idaho State Department of Education offers a great Comparison of the IDEA, Section 504, and ADA Laws.

Related Services provide extra help and support so kids can get the most benefit from their education. Often, related services are a part of the special education process. IDEA lists the following as possible related services, but this list is not exhaustive.

Speech-language and audiology services

– Interpreting services

– Psychological services

Occupational Therapy

Physical Therapy

– Counseling services

– Orientation and mobility

– Social work services

If an IEP Team sees that a child has needs in a related service area, this can be evaluated as part of the formal evaluation process. In some cases, a student’s evaluation might indicate a need only in a related service area. For example, maybe a child only needs support in the area of fine motor skills. In this situation, an IEP might be written to provide a related service only. However, federal law says it is each state’s decision whether to allow related services to stand alone on an IEP. Related services can also be provided under a 504 plan if the challenges don’t have an impact on academic learning.

Online Services

For over 20 years, online education for students with disabilities has been occurring. Currently, over 38 states have online instruction! These online schools provide special education and related services by using small group or individualized online instruction, delivery of specialized content virtually, and other related services as indicated by the students’ needs. 

Here are some articles and resources that have been shared about effective online learning and special education services:   

CEC and eLuma: Best Practices for Educating Online

Suggestions to Help Autistic People Get Through This Pandemic

Online Instruction Can (and Does) Work for Students with Disabilities 

When Children with ADHD attend School from Home: An Expert’s Tips

Occupational Therapy and E-learning: Resources, Activities, and Next Steps

Schools can utilize online learning tools, innovative staffing models, and community partnerships to address the needs of students with disabilities and other children facing unique learning obstacles or emotional challenges.

The Special Education Process

While each state has its own process for special education, IDEA outlines some basic steps that’ll be the same wherever you live:

Circle flow chart outlining the 8 steps to the special education process.

1. Identify Needs

There are two ways that a student may be identified as possibly needing special ed and related services: through Project Child Find or by a referral or request for evaluation. Once a student has been identified as potentially needing services, an IEP Meeting will be scheduled where the IEP Team will review all available data and determine if they are going to conduct a formal assessment. If the decision is made to move forward with formal evaluations, parental consent is required before beginning.

2. Formal Evaluation

A formal evaluation is conducted to decide if a student has a disability that requires special education and related services. The evaluation also determines the specific areas of need and the best services for addressing that need. The evaluation that takes place must be individualized to the student and their suspected area of disability. Your State’s IDEA regulations will set the timeline for completion of the evaluation. If they do not, the federal IDEA regulations of 60 days after the parent gives consent applies.

If parents disagree with the results of the evaluation, they have the right to take their child for an Independent Educational Evaluation (IEE). If you want to learn more about IEEs, Private Evaluations: What You Need to Know by Understood is a good resource.

3. Determine Eligibility

Once the requested evaluations have been completed, the IEP Team will schedule another meeting to review results and determine eligibility for special education and related services. The IEP Team, including the student’s parent or guardian, will sit down to review evaluation results and decide if the student is a “child with a disability” as defined by IDEA. If a child is found eligible, IDEA requires that the Team must meet to write an individualized education program (IEP) for them within 30 days.

4. Write an Initial IEP

After a child has been deemed eligible for special education and related services, the school will work with the parents to schedule an IEP meeting. The meeting invitation must state the purpose of the meeting; date, time, and location; who will be attending the meeting; and let parents know that they may also invite people to the meeting. 

At the initial IEP meeting, the IEP Team discusses the child’s needs and writes the IEP. An IEP is a legal, written document that has two general purposes. First, it sets reasonable learning goals for a student. Second, it states the services that the district will provide. The IEP’s learning goals address a student’s participation in the general education curriculum, extracurricular activities, and any nonacademic activities. 

While the format and content of an IEP varies by state and is customized for each child, IDEA outlines specific components that must be included:

– Current Performance: A statement of the child’s present levels of academic achievement and functional performance (including how their disability affects involvement and progress in the general education curriculum)

– Annual Goals: Measurable, annual goals (academic and functional)

– Measuring Progress: Description of how progress towards annual goals will be measured and when progress reports will be provided

– Special Education & Related Services: Statement of the special education and related services and supplementary aids that will be provided and a description of the program modifications or supports that will be provided (including who will be providing these supports)

– Participation with Nondisabled Children: Explanation of the extent (if any) that the child will receive services in a setting other than their regular class with nondisabled peers

– Participation in State and District-Wide Assessments: Statement of individual accommodations that are needed for the child to demonstrate their knowledge on state and districtwide assessments

– Dates and Places: The projected date for the beginning of services and modifications, as well as their anticipated frequency, location, and duration

– Transition Services Needs: If the student will turn 16 during the life of the IEP, IDEA requires:

– Measurable postsecondary goals based upon age-appropriate transition assessments (related to training, education, employment, and/or independent living skills)

Transition services needed to assist the student in reaching their goals

– Age of Majority: Beginning no later than one year before the child reaches the age of majority under State law, the IEP must include a statement that they have been informed of their rights once they reach the age of majority

Prior to a school system providing any special education and related services, parental consent must be acquired. Services will begin as soon as possible once consent has been given. If parents do not agree with the IEP that has been developed, they have the right to discuss their concerns with the IEP Team. If an agreement cannot be reached, parents or the school can work through mediation or ask for assistance from their state agency. Find more information on this process in your state’s Parental Safeguards document.

5. Provide Services

Once consent has been received, the school makes sure that the IEP is carried out exactly as written. Each of the child’s teachers and service providers has access to the IEP and is made aware of their responsibilities as outlined by the IEP. 

6. Monitor Progress

The child’s teachers and service providers keep track of the progress the child makes toward educational goals. Regular progress reports are provided during the year and the results are discussed at the annual IEP review. 

7. Annual Review of IEP

At least once a year the child’s IEP is reviewed by the IEP Team. However, the IEP can be reviewed more frequently if the parents or the school request it. At the annual review, the child’s progress is discussed as the child continues to grow, and the IEP Team makes appropriate updates to the IEP. 

8. Reevaluation

At least every three years, the child must be reevaluated for continued eligibility for special education and related services and to determine the child’s educational needs. This evaluation is sometimes referred to as the “triennial.”

Special Education and Your School Choice

Traditional Public Schools

All traditional public schools are required to identify and provide services to students with disabilities according to IDEA law.

Public Magnet Schools

Public magnet schools are free public schools that focus on particular themes. As they are publicly funded, they are required by law to identify and provide services to students with disabilities. 

Public Charter Schools

Charter schools are public schools that are created by school districts, colleges, nonprofit organizations, or other entities. These schools are allowed to determine many of their own policies and practices, but since charter schools are public schools, they are required by law to identify and provide services to students with disabilities.

Resources:

Online Public Schools

Online public schools are usually run by state governments, school districts, or charter schools. All online public schools are required to identify and provide services to students with disabilities according to IDEA law. 

To learn more about what special education looks like at an online public school, check out our Q&A with Sarah Betz, an online special education teacher at Ohio Distance and Electronic Learning Academy.

Resources:

Private Schools

Special education varies widely from private school to private school. Some independent schools are designed to meet the specific needs of students with disabilities. Other private schools may offer accommodations, but not specially designed instruction. While private schools may choose to offer special education, they are not required to by law.

If a private school provides special education, it may create an Instructional Services Plan or an Individual Service Plan (ISP). An ISP is a written plan of service that outlines what will be done to meet your child’s needs.

Students with disabilities may also receive a service plan through the local education agency (LEA). IDEA law requires that all LEAs set aside funding for students with disabilities whose parents choose to send them to private school. As this money is limited, these students receive “equitable services”. Equitable services are services similar to what the student would receive in an IEP, however, often fewer services are available than what a child would receive at a public school. These services may be provided on the private school premises or transportation may be provided to the service site.

Resources:

Homeschools

States vary in terms of how much IDEA funding is set aside to provide services to students with disabilities in the private school and homeschool setting. In several states, this funding is used for private school students only. However, some states consider homeschooled students to be in “private schools”, making equitable services available to homeschoolers! A handful of states have specifically expanded the eligibility of equitable services to include homeschoolers.

In at least 31 states and the District of Columbia, homeschooled students may automatically qualify for special education services. To see what is available in your state, check out our round-up here.

DoDEA Schools

Did you know – the Department of Defense Education Activity (DoDEA) operates 160 schools in 8 districts across 11 countries, 7 states, and 2 territories serving our military families? DoDEA schools follow IDEA law to identify and provide students with disabilities with a free, appropriate education. All military families should know about the Exceptional Family Member Program which connects families to the resources and programs they’ll need as they relocate around the country and the world. They may also be eligible for the Extended Care Health Option (ECHO) which provides financial assistance to beneficiaries with special needs for an integrated set of services and supplies.

DoDEA Resources:

Bureau of Indian Education Schools

All schools run by the Bureau of Indian Education are required by IDEA law to identify and provide services to students with special needs. These schools must utilize the special ed eligibility criteria and the state standards and assessment system in which they are located, in addition to the processes laid out by the Bureau of Indian Education.

Resources:

Alabama

Traditional public schools, magnet schools, online public schools, and charter schools in Alabama all follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in Alabama are not required to provide special education services, but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide equitable services at no cost. Parents of school-age children in Alabama have the right to select a private school for their student with disabilities; however, as long as the district has offered a free appropriate public education they are not responsible for the cost of private school. Homeschooled students are not eligible for special education services provided by their school district for free.

These are some Alabama-specific resources to help you further understand school choice for students with disabilities:

Alaska

In Alaska, traditional public schools, magnet schools, charter schools, and online public schools all follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in Alaska are not required to provide special education services but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide equitable services at no cost to the family. Parents have the right to choose a private school for their student with disabilities; however, the district is not required to pay for tuition as long as the LEA has made a free appropriate public education available to their child. Alaska considers homeschooled students taught via correspondence courses in the state to be privately schooled for the purposes of determining access to special education services. Read more about the rules at State of Alaska Correspondence Program Regulations. To learn more about homeschooling your student with disabilities, check out our round-up of resources!

Here are some resources to help you further understand your school choice options for students with disabilities in Alaska:

Arizona

Traditional public schools, magnet schools, online public schools, and charter schools in Arizona all follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in Arizona are not required to provide special education services, but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide equitable services at no cost. Parents of school-age children in Arizona have the right to select a private school for their student with disabilities; however, as long as the district has offered a free appropriate public education they are not responsible for the cost of private school. The state considers homeschooled students as privately schooled students for purposes of determining access to special education services; therefore, they may qualify for equitable services. Parents of homeschooled children can also apply for Empowerment Scholarship Accounts (ESAs) and other state-run scholarships. For more information about homeschooling your students with disabilities, check out our guide!

Here are some resources to help you further understand your school choice options for students with disabilities in Arizona:

Arkansas

In Arkansas, traditional public schools, magnet schools, charter schools, and online public schools all follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in Arkansas are not required to provide special education services but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide equitable services at no cost to the family. Parents have the right to choose a private school for their student with disabilities; however, the district is not required to pay for tuition as long as the LEA has made a free appropriate public education available to their child. The state of Arkansas considers homeschooled students as privately schooled students for the purpose of determining access to special education services; therefore, they may qualify for equitable services. For more information about homeschooling students with disabilities, check out our guide!

These are some Arkansas-specific resources to help you further understand your school choice options for students with disabilities:

California

Traditional public schools, magnet schools, online public schools, and charter schools in California all follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in California are not required to provide special education services, but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide equitable services at no cost. Parents of school-age children in California have the right to select a private school for their student with disabilities; however, as long as the district has offered a free appropriate public education they are not responsible for the cost of private school. The state considers homeschooled students as privately schooled students for purposes of determining access to special education services; therefore, they may be eligible for equitable services. For more information about homeschooling students with disabilities in California, check out our guide.

Here are some resources to help you further understand your school choice options for students with disabilities in California:

Colorado

In Colorado, traditional public schools, magnet schools, charter schools, and online public schools all follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in Colorado are not required to provide special education services but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide equitable services at no cost to the family. Parents have the right to choose a private school for their student with disabilities; however, the district is not required to pay for tuition as long as the LEA has made a free appropriate public education available to their child. Colorado considers homeschooled students as privately schooled students for the purposes of determining access to special education services; therefore, they may be eligible for equitable services. For more information about homeschooling students with special needs, check out our guide!

Here are some Colorado-specific resources to help you further understand your school choice options for students with disabilities:

  • Colorado Department of Education Office of Special Education
  • Parent and Child Rights in Special Education: Procedural Safeguards Notice – available in English, Spanish, and more.
  • PEAK Parent Center – offers an array of free and low-cost services to families of children with disabilities and self-advocates.
  • Thrive Center – The THRIVE Center exists to provide parents with information and training about disabilities; parent and children’s rights under IDEA and other laws; and resources in the Denver Metro area.
  • Disability Law Colorado – offers legal representation, information and referrals to people with disabilities, older people, and their families.
  • SWAAAC (Statewide Assistive Technology, Augmentative, and Alternative Communication) – provides multidisciplinary Assistive Technology services to provide students with disabilities equal access to the curriculum and full participation in their education and classroom.
  • Colorado Talking Book Library – CTBL provides audio, Braille, and large print books for people who can’t read standard print.
  • Parent to Parent of Colorado – an organization that connects families with their network of families across Colorado and to the resources that they need.
  • The Arc of Colorado – The Arc of Colorado promotes and protects the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and actively supports their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes.
  • Special Needs Resource Project – Colorado – This list includes state links, national links, US Military links, and Native American links to resources available in Colorado.

Connecticut

In Connecticut, traditional public schools, magnet schools, charter schools, and online public schools all follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in Connecticut are not required to provide special education services but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide them at no cost. Parents have the right to choose a private school for their student with disabilities; however, the district is not required to pay for tuition as long as the LEA has made a free appropriate public education available to their child. Homeschooled students are not eligible for special education services provided by their school district for free.

Here are some resources to help you further understand your school choice options for student with disabilities in Connecticut:

Delaware

Traditional public schools, magnet schools, and charter schools in Delaware all follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in Delaware are not required to provide special education services, but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide equitable services at no cost. Parents of school-age children in Delaware have the right to select a private school for their student with disabilities; however, as long as the district has offered a free appropriate public education they are not responsible for the cost of private school. As of 2021, homeschooled students may be eligible for some special education services provided by their school district. For more information regarding homeschooling students with disabilities, check out our guide

These Delaware-specific resources may help you further understand your school choice options for students with disabilities:

Florida

In Florida, traditional public schools, magnet schools, charter schools, and online public schools all follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in Florida are not required to provide special education services but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide equitable services at no cost to the family. Parents have the right to choose a private school for their student with disabilities; however, the district is not required to pay for tuition as long as the LEA has made a free appropriate public education available to their child. Florida considers homeschooled students as privately schooled students for purposes of determining access to special education services; therefore, they may be eligible for equitable services. Parents of students with disabilities can also apply for the Family Empowerment Scholarship. For more information regarding homeschooling students with disabilities, check out our guide

Here are some Florida-specific resources to help you further understand school choice options for student with disabilities:

Georgia

Traditional public schools, magnet schools, and charter schools in Georgia all follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in Georgia are not required to provide special education services, but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide equitable services at no cost. Parents of school-age children in Georgia have the right to select a private school for their student with disabilities; however, as long as the district has offered a free appropriate public education they are not responsible for the cost of private school. In Georgia, homeschooled students are considered privately schooled students for purposes of determining access to special education services; therefore, they may be eligible for equitable services. For more information about homeschooling students with disabilities, check out our guide.

These Georgia-specific resources will help you further understand school choice options for students with disabilities:

Hawaii

In Hawaii, traditional public schools and charter schools all follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in Hawaii are not required to provide special education services but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide equitable services at no cost to the family. Parents have the right to choose a private school for their student with disabilities; however, the district is not required to pay for tuition as long as the LEA has made a free appropriate public education available to their child. The state of Hawaii considers homeschooled students as privately schooled students for purposes of determining access to special education services; therefore, they may be eligible for equitable services. For more information about homeschooling students with disabilities, check out our guide!

Here are some Hawaii-specific resources that may help you further understand school choice options for students with disabilities:

Idaho

Traditional public schools, magnet schools, online public schools, and charter schools in Idaho all follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in Idaho are not required to provide special education services, but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide equitable services at no cost. Parents of school-age children in Idaho have the right to select a private school for their student with disabilities; however, as long as the district has offered a free appropriate public education they are not responsible for the cost of private school. Homeschooled students can dual enroll in their public school; however, under state regulations, homeschooled students may not dually enroll solely for the purpose of receiving special education services. For more information about homeschooling students with disabilities, visit our guide.

These resources may help you further understand school choice options for students with disabilities in Idaho:

Illinois

In Illinois, traditional public schools, charter schools, and magnet schools all follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in Illinois are not required to provide special education services but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide equitable services at no cost to the family. Parents have the right to choose a private school for their student with disabilities; however, the district is not required to pay for tuition as long as the LEA has made a free appropriate public education available to their child. The state of Illinois considers homeschooled students as privately schooled students for the purposes of determining access to special education services; therefore, they may be eligible for equitable services. For more information regarding homeschooling students with disabilities, visit our guide.

Here are some Illinois-specific resources to help you further understand school choice options for students with disabilities:

Indiana

Traditional public schools, magnet schools, online public schools, and charter schools in Idaho all follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in Idaho are not required to provide special education services, but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide equitable services at no cost. Parents of school-age children in Indiana have the right to select a private school for their student with disabilities; however, as long as the district has offered a free appropriate public education they are not responsible for the cost of private school. Homeschooled students in Indiana are considered privately schooled students for the purposes of determining access to special education services; therefore, they may be eligible for equitable services. For more information about homeschooling students with disabilities, visit our guide.

These resources may help you further understand school choice options for students with disabilities in Indiana:

Iowa

In Iowa, traditional public schools, charter schools, online public schools, and magnet schools all follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in Illinois are not required to provide special education services but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide equitable services at no cost to the family. Parents have the right to choose a private school for their student with disabilities; however, the district is not required to pay for tuition as long as the LEA has made a free appropriate public education available to their child. Iowa homeschooled students taught through a program of “competent private instruction” may dual enroll in their local public school for the purposes of receiving special education services. For more information about homeschooling students with disabilities, check out our guide.

Here are some Iowa specific resources to help you understand your school choice options for students with disabilities:

Kansas

Traditional public schools, magnet schools, online public schools, and charter schools in Kansas all follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in Kansas are not required to provide special education services, but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide equitable services at no cost. Parents of school-age children in Idaho have the right to select a private school for their student with disabilities; however, as long as the district has offered a free appropriate public education they are not responsible for the cost of private school. Homeschooled students are considered as privately schooled students for the purposes of determining access to special education services; therefore, they may be eligible for equitable services. To find out more about homeschooling students with disabilities, visit our guide.

These Kansas-specific resources may help you further understand your school choice options for students with disabilities:

Kentucky

Traditional public schools and magnet schools in Kentucky all follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in Kentucky are not required to provide special education services, but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide them at no cost. Parents of school-age children in Kentucky have the right to select a private school for their student with disabilities; however, as long as the district has offered a free appropriate public education they are not responsible for tuition reimbursement. The state of Kentucky considers homeschooled students as privately schooled students for the purposes of determining access to special education services; therefore, they may be eligible for equitable services. For more information about homeschooling students with disabilities, visit our guide.

Here are some resources to help you understand your school choice options for students with disabilities in Kentucky:

Louisiana

In Louisiana, traditional public schools, charter schools, online public schools, and magnet schools all follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in Louisiana are not required to provide special education services but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide equitable services at no cost to the family. Parents have the right to choose a private school for their student with disabilities; however, the district is not required to pay for tuition as long as the LEA has made a free appropriate public education available to their child. Homeschooled students are not considered privately schooled students for purposes of determining access to special education services and are not eligible for services from their school district for free. 

These Louisiana-based resources may help you further understand your school choice options for students with disabilities:

Maine

Traditional public schools, charter schools, magnet schools, and online public schools in Maine all follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in Maine are not required to provide special education services, but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide them at no cost. Parents of school-age children in Maine have the right to select a private school for their student with disabilities; however, as long as the district has offered a free appropriate public education they are not responsible for tuition reimbursement. Homeschooled students are considered privately schooled students for purposes of determining access to special education services, provided that the student is enrolled in a program “recognized by the Department as providing equivalent instruction” to private schools. For more information about homeschooling students with disabilities, visit our guide.

Here are some resources to help you further understand your school choice options for students with disabilities in Maine:

Maryland

In Maryland, traditional public schools, charter schools, and magnet schools all follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in Maryland are not required to provide special education services but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide equitable services at no cost to the family. Parents have the right to choose a private school for their student with disabilities; however, the district is not required to pay for tuition as long as the LEA has made a free appropriate public education available to their child. Homeschooled students in Maryland do not automatically qualify for special education services provided under IDEA, although local districts can choose to make services available. For more information about homeschooling students with disabilities, visit our guide.

These Maryland-specific resources may help you further understand your school choice options for students with disabilities:

Massachusetts

Traditional public schools, charter schools, magnet schools, and online public schools in Massachusetts all follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in Massachusetts are not required to provide special education services, but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide them at no cost. Parents of school-age children in Massachusetts have the right to select a private school for their student with disabilities; however, as long as the district has offered a free appropriate public education they are not responsible for tuition reimbursement. The state considers homeschooled students as privately schooled students for determining access to special education services; therefore, they may be eligible for equitable services. For more information about homeschooling students with disabilities, visit our guide.

Here are some resources to help you further understand your school choice options for students with disabilities in Massachusetts:

Michigan

In Michigan, traditional public schools, charter schools, and magnet schools all follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in Michigan are not required to provide special education services but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide equitable services at no cost to the family. Parents have the right to choose a private school for their student with disabilities; however, the district is not required to pay for tuition as long as the LEA has made a free appropriate public education available to their child. The state considers homeschooled students as privately schooled students for purposes of determining access to special education services and may be eligible for equitable services, provided the parents have registered their homeschool with the Michigan Department of Education. For more information on homeschooling students with disabilities, visit our guide.

These Michigan-specific resources may help you further understand school choice options for students with disabilities:

  • Michigan Department of Education Special Education website
  • Procedural Safeguards Fact Sheet explaining the protections for students and parents under the IDEA – available in English, Spanish, and Arabic.
  • Procedural Safeguards Notice – available in English, Spanish, and more.
  • Special Education Process Fact Sheet explaining the special education process including the steps from evaluation to eligibility, program, specialized instruction, and placement – available in English, Spanish, and Arabic.
  • Family Matters – Family Matters is an outreach effort from the Michigan Department of Education, Office of Special Education to provide parents with information about special education and other resources.
  • Michigan Alliance for Families – Michigan Alliance for Families is a statewide resource to connect families of children with disabilities to resources to help improve their children’s education.
  • The Arc of Michigan – The vision of the Arc of Michigan is that all people realize and fulfill their dreams of having employment, education, meaningful relationships, and living independently within their community.
  • Special Needs Resource Project – Michigan – This list includes state links, national links, US Military links, and Native American links to resources available in Michigan.

Minnesota

Traditional public schools, charter schools, magnet schools, and online public schools in Minnesota all follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in Minnesota are not required to provide special education services, but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide them at no cost. Parents of school-age children in Minnesota have the right to select a private school for their student with disabilities; however, as long as the district has offered a free appropriate public education they are not responsible for tuition reimbursement. Homeschooled students are considered privately schooled students for purposes of determining access to special education services; therefore, they may be eligible to receive equitable services. For more information about homeschooling students with disabilities, visit our guide.

Here are some Minnesota-specific resources that may help you further understand school choice options for students with disabilities:

Mississippi

In Mississippi, traditional public schools, charter schools, and magnet schools all follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in Mississippi are not required to provide special education services but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide equitable services at no cost to the family. Parents have the right to choose a private school for their student with disabilities; however, the district is not required to pay for tuition as long as the LEA has made a free appropriate public education available to their child. Parents of students who wish to attend private schools can also apply for the Educational Savings Account program, which provides parents with funding to pay for special education services. The state considers homeschooled students as privately schooled students for purposes of determining access to special education; therefore, they may be eligible for equitable services. For more information regarding homeschooling students with disabilities, visit our guide.

These resources may help you further understand school choice options for students with disabilities in Mississippi:

Missouri

Traditional public schools, charter schools, magnet schools, and online public schools in Missouri all follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in Missouri are not required to provide special education services, but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide them at no cost. Parents of school-age children in Missouri have the right to select a private school for their student with disabilities; however, as long as the district has offered a free appropriate public education they are not responsible for tuition reimbursement. The state considers students as privately schooled students for purposes of determining access to special education services; therefore, they may be eligible to receive equitable services. For more information about homeschooling students with disabilities, visit our guide.

Here are some Missouri-specific resources to help you further understand school choice options for students with disabilities:

Montana

In Montana, traditional public schools follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities. Private schools in Montana are not required to provide special education services but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide equitable services at no cost to the family. Parents have the right to choose a private school for their student with disabilities; however, the district is not required to pay for tuition as long as the LEA has made a free appropriate public education available to their child. The state considers homeschooled students as privately schooled students for purposes of determining access to special education services; therefore, they may be eligible for equitable services. For more information about homeschooling students with disabilities, visit our guide.

These Montana-specific resources may help you further understand school choice options for students with disabilities:

Nebraska

Traditional public schools and magnet schools in Nebraska all follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in Nebraska are not required to provide special education services, but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide them at no cost. Parents of school-age children in Nebraska have the right to select a private school for their student with disabilities; however, as long as the district has offered a free appropriate public education they are not responsible for tuition reimbursement. The state considers homeschooled students as privately schooled students for the purposes of determining access to special education services; therefore, they may be eligible for equitable services. For more information about homeschooling students with disabilities, visit our guide.

Here are some resources to help you further understand school choice options for student with disabilities in Nebraska:

Nevada

In Nevada, traditional public schools, charter schools, magnet schools, and online public schools follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities. Private schools in Nevada are not required to provide special education services but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide equitable services at no cost to the family. Parents have the right to choose a private school for their student with disabilities; however, the district is not required to pay for tuition as long as the LEA has made a free appropriate public education available to their child. Nevada considers homeschooled students as privately schooled students for purposes of determining access to special education services; therefore, they may be eligible for equitable services. For more information about homeschooling students with disabilities, visit our guide.

These Nevada-specific resources may help you further understand school choice options for students with disabilities:

New Hampshire

Traditional public schools, charter schools, magnet schools, and online public schools in New Hampshire all follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in New Hampshire are not required to provide special education services, but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide them at no cost. Parents of school-age children in New Hampshire have the right to select a private school for their student with disabilities; however, as long as the district has offered a free appropriate public education they are not responsible for tuition reimbursement. Homeschooled students in New Hampshire are not considered privately schooled students for purposes of determining access to special education services and are not eligible for special education services provided by the school district. Parents may qualify for income-based scholarships that can fund special education services, tutoring, or homeschool expenses.

Here are some resources to help you further understand school choice options for students with disabilities in New Hampshire:

New Jersey

In New Jersey, traditional public schools, charter schools, and magnet schools follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities. Private schools in New Jersey are not required to provide special education services but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide equitable services at no cost to the family. Parents have the right to choose a private school for their student with disabilities; however, the district is not required to pay for tuition as long as the LEA has made a free appropriate public education available to their child. In New Jersey, homeschooled students are not considered privately schooled students for the purposes of determining access to special education services and are not eligible to receive equitable services from their school district for free.

These New Jersey-specific resources may help you further understand school choice options for students with disabilities:

New Mexico

Traditional public schools, charter schools, magnet schools, and online public schools in New Mexico all follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in New Mexico are not required to provide special education services, but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide them at no cost. Parents of school-age children in New Mexico have the right to select a private school for their student with disabilities; however, as long as the district has offered a free appropriate public education they are not responsible for tuition reimbursement. In New Mexico, homeschooled students are not considered privately schooled students for purposes of determining access to special education services and are not eligible for equitable services provided by their district for free.

Here are some resources to help you further understand school choice options for students with disabilities in New Mexico:

New York

Traditional public schools, magnet schools, and charter schools in New York all follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in New York are not required to provide special education services, but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide them at no cost. Parents of school-age children in New York have the right to select a private school for their student with disabilities; however, as long as the district has offered a free appropriate public education they are not responsible for tuition reimbursement. The state of New York considers homeschooled students as privately schooled students for determining access to special education services; therefore, they may be eligible to receive equitable services for free. For more information about homeschooling your student with disabilities, check out our round-up here!

These are some state-specific resources to help you further understand special education and school choice in New York:

North Carolina

In North Carolina, traditional public schools, magnet schools, charter schools, and online public schools all follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in North Carolina are not required to provide special education services but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide them at no cost. Parents have the right to choose a private school for their student with disabilities; however, the district is not required to pay for tuition as long as the LEA has made a free appropriate public education available to their child. Homeschool students may be eligible for special education services provided by their district for free. For more information about homeschooling your student with disabilities in North Carolina, visit our round-up here!

Here are some resources to help you further understand your school choice options for your student with a disability in North Carolina:

North Dakota

Traditional public schools in North Dakota all follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in North Dakota are not required to provide special education services, but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide them at no cost. Parents of school-age children in North Dakota have the right to select a private school for their student with disabilities; however, as long as the district has offered a free appropriate public education they are not responsible for tuition reimbursement. Homeschooled students are not considered as privately schooled students for the purposes of determining access to special education and are not eligible for free services from their district.

These North Dakota-specific resources may help you further understand school choice options for students with disabilities:

Ohio

In Ohio, traditional public schools, magnet schools, charter schools, and online public schools all follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in Ohio are not required to provide special education services but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide them at no cost. Parents have the right to choose a private school for their student with disabilities; however, the district is not required to pay for tuition as long as the LEA has made a free appropriate public education available to their child. Ohio homeschool and private school students with disabilities are eligible for the Jon Peterson Scholarship program, which provides parents with scholarships of up to $27,000 annually in lieu of providing them with a free and appropriate public education. For more information about homeschooling students with disabilities, visit our guide.

Here are some Ohio-specific resources that may help you further understand school choice options for students with disabilities:

Oklahoma

Traditional public schools, magnet schools, charter schools, and online public schools in Oklahoma all follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in Oklahoma are not required to provide special education services, but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide them at no cost. Parents of school-age children in Oklahoma have the right to select a private school for their student with disabilities; however, as long as the district has offered a free appropriate public education they are not responsible for tuition reimbursement. Parents or guardians can apply for the Lindsey Nicole Henry (LNH) Scholarship to attend a participating private school. In Oklahoma, homeschooled students with disabilities are not eligible for special education services to be provided by their school district for free.

These resources may help you further understand school choice options for students with disabilities in Oklahoma:

Oregon

In Oregon, traditional public schools, magnet schools, charter schools, and online public schools all follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in Oregon are not required to provide special education services but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide them at no cost. Parents have the right to choose a private school for their student with disabilities; however, the district is not required to pay for tuition as long as the LEA has made a free appropriate public education available to their child. The state considers homeschool students as privately schooled students for purposes of determining access to special education services; therefore, they may be eligible for equitable services provided by the district for free. For more information about homeschooling students with disabilities, visit our guide.

Here are some Oregon-specific resources that may help you further understand school choice options for students with disabilities:

Pennsylvania

Traditional public schools, magnet schools, charter schools, and online public schools in Pennsylvania all follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in Pennsylvania are not required to provide special education services, but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide them at no cost. Parents of school-age children in Pennsylvania have the right to select a private school for their student with disabilities; however, as long as the district has offered a free appropriate public education they are not responsible for tuition reimbursement. Pennsylvania homeschool students may be considered eligible for special education services provided by their local district. For more information about homeschooling students with disabilities, visit our guide.

These Pennsylvania-specific resources may help you further understand school choice options for students with disabilities:

  • Pennsylvania Department of Education Special Education website
  • Parents’ Rights: Understanding the Procedural Safeguards Notice by the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network – available in English and Spanish.
  • Pennsylvania Parent Guide to Special Education for School-Age Children by the Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network – available in English and Spanish.
  • Pennsylvania Training and Technical Assistance Network (PaTTAN) – PaTTAN provides a full array of professional development and technical assistance targeted to improving student results.
  • PEAL Center – The PEAL Center is an organization of parents of children with disabilities and special health care needs who educates and empowers families to ensure that children, youth, and young adults with disabilities and special health care needs lead rich, active lives.
  • The Arc of Pennsylvania – The Arc of Pennsylvania promotes the human rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and actively supports their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes.
  • Special Needs Resource Project – Pennsylvania – This list includes state links, national links, US Military links, and Native American links to resources available in Pennsylvania.

Rhode Island

In Rhode Island, traditional public schools, magnet schools, and charter schools all follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in Rhode Island are not required to provide special education services but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide them at no cost. Parents have the right to choose a private school for their student with disabilities; however, the district is not required to pay for tuition as long as the LEA has made a free appropriate public education available to their child. Homeschooled students are not considered privately schooled students for purposes of determining access to special education services and are not eligible for equitable services provided by their district for free.

Here are some resources to help you further understand school choice options for students with disabilities in Rhode Island:

South Carolina

Traditional public schools, magnet schools, charter schools, and online public schools in South Carolina all follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in South Carolina are not required to provide special education services, but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide them at no cost. Parents of school-age children in South Carolina have the right to select a private school for their student with disabilities; however, as long as the district has offered a free appropriate public education they are not responsible for tuition reimbursement.  Parents can apply to the Exceptional Needs Children Fund to receive a scholarship towards private school if your child has a disability and you believe that the assigned public school does not meet their needs. The state considers homeschooled students as privately schooled students for purposes of determining access to special education services; therefore, they may be eligible for equitable services. For more information about homeschooling students with disabilities, visit our guide.

These South Carolina-specific resources may help you further understand school choice options for students with disabilities:

South Dakota

In South Dakota, traditional public schools follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in South Dakota are not required to provide special education services but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide them at no cost. Parents have the right to choose a private school for their student with disabilities; however, the district is not required to pay for tuition as long as the LEA has made a free appropriate public education available to their child. Homeschooled students are not considered privately schooled students for determining access to special education services and are not eligible for equitable services provided by their district for free.

Here are some South Dakota-specific resources to help you further understand school choice options for students with disabilities:

Tennessee

Traditional public schools, magnet schools, charter schools, and online public schools in Tennessee all follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in Tennessee are not required to provide special education services, but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide them at no cost. Parents of school-age children in Tennessee have the right to select a private school for their student with disabilities; however, as long as the district has offered a free appropriate public education they are not responsible for tuition reimbursement. The state considers homeschooled students as privately schooled students for purposes of determining access to special education services; therefore, they may be eligible for equitable services. For more information about homeschooling students with disabilities, visit our guide. Parents of special needs students can also apply for the Individualized Education Account program, which gives parents funds to pay for special education services. If you’re interested in the Individualized Education Account program, you can obtain more information and an application at the Tennessee Department of Education.

These resources may help you further understand school choice options for students with disabilities in Tennessee:

Texas

In Texas, traditional public schools, charter schools, magnet schools, and online public schools follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in Texas are not required to provide special education services but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide them at no cost. Parents have the right to choose a private school for their student with disabilities; however, the district is not required to pay for tuition as long as the LEA has made a free appropriate public education available to their child. The state considers homeschooled students as privately schooled students for purposes of determining access to special education services; therefore, they may be eligible for equitable services. For more information about homeschooling students with disabilities, visit our guide.

Here are some Texas-specific resources that may help you further understand school choice options for students with disabilities:

  • Texas Education Agency Special Education website
  • Special Education in Texas A-Z Index – This index by the Texas Education Agency has listed many education-related topics alphabetically linking to where they are used on the TEA’s website.
  • Notice of Procedural Safeguards – available in English, Spanish, and more
  • Parent’s Guide to the Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) Process – available in English and Spanish.
  • SPEDTex – SPEDTex provides information and resources to help parents understand their child’s disability, their rights and responsibilities under IDEA,and facilitate collaboration that supports the development and delivery of services.
  • Texas Project FIRST: Families, Information, Resources, Support & Training – Texas Project FIRST is a project of the Family to Family Network committed to providing accurate and consistent information to parents and families of students with disabilities.
  • Partners Resource Network – The Partners Resource Network is a nonprofit agency that operates the Texas statewide network of Parent Training and Information Centers that help parents understand their child’s disability; understand their rights & responsibilities; obtain and evaluate resources and services; and participate in planning services.
  • The Arc of Texas – The Arc of Texas promotes, protects, and advocates for the human rights and self-determination of Texans with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
  • Special Needs Resource Project – Texas – This list includes state links, national links, US Military links, and Native American links to resources available in Texas.

Utah

Traditional public schools, magnet schools, charter schools, and online public schools in Utah all follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in Utah are not required to provide special education services, but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide equitable services at no cost. Parents of school-age children in Utah have the right to select a private school for their student with disabilities; however, as long as the district has offered a free appropriate public education they are not responsible for tuition reimbursement. Parents of students with disabilities who would like to enroll their students in a private school can apply for the Carson Smith Special Needs Scholarship Program (CSS) to help with tuition. Homeschooled students are not considered privately schooled students for purposes of determining access to special education and are not eligible for services by the school district for free unless they are dually enrolled in a public school. However, starting in 2024, the Utah Fits All Scholarship will provide flexible funding for families choosing to enroll in a nonpublic school option, like homeschooling. Families can use this funding for customized learning needs, including occupational, behavioral, physical, audiology, or speech-language therapies.

These Utah-specific resources may help you further understand school choice options for students with disabilities:

Vermont

In Vermont, traditional public schools and magnet schools follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in Vermont are not required to provide special education services but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide them at no cost. Parents have the right to choose a private school for their student with disabilities; however, the district is not required to pay for tuition as long as the LEA has made a free appropriate public education available to their child. In some cases, Vermont homeschool students may be eligible for special education services provided by their school district for free. While not strictly required by law, some districts elect to provide special education services to homeschoolers through a Services Plan. For more information about homeschooling students with disabilities, visit our guide.

These resources may help you further understand school choice options for students with disabilities in Vermont:

Virginia

Traditional public schools, magnet schools, charter schools, and online public schools in Virginia all follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in Vermont are not required to provide special education services, but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide equitable services at no cost. Parents of school-age children in Vermont have the right to select a private school for their student with disabilities; however, as long as the district has offered a free appropriate public education they are not responsible for tuition reimbursement. The state considers homeschooled students as privately schooled students for purposes of determining access to special education services; therefore, they may be eligible for equitable services provided by their school district for free. For more information about homeschooling students with disabilities, visit our guide.

Here are some Virginia-specific resources that may help you further understand school choice options for students with disabilities:

Washington

In Washington, traditional public schools and magnet schools follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in Washington are not required to provide special education services but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide them at no cost. Parents have the right to choose a private school for their student with disabilities; however, the district is not required to pay for tuition as long as the LEA has made a free appropriate public education available to their child. Homeschooled students in Washington can receive “ancillary services” from their home district for free. For more information about homeschooling students with disabilities in Washington, visit our guide.

These Washington-state-specific resources may help you further understand school choice options for students with disabilities:

West Virginia

Traditional public schools, magnet schools, charter schools, and online public schools in West Virginia all follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in West Virginia are not required to provide special education services, but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide equitable services at no cost. Parents of school-age children in West Virginia have the right to select a private school for their student with disabilities; however, as long as the district has offered a free appropriate public education they are not responsible for tuition reimbursement. Homeschool students are not considered privately schooled students for determining access to special education services and are not eligible to receive equitable services from their school district for free. For more information about homeschooling students with disabilities, visit our guide.

Here are some resources to help you further understand school choice options for students with disabilities in West Virginia:

Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, traditional public schools and magnet schools follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in Wisconsin are not required to provide special education services but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide them at no cost. Parents have the right to choose a private school for their student with disabilities; however, the district is not required to pay for tuition as long as the LEA has made a free appropriate public education available to their child. Local districts do not have to provide special education services to homeschooled students; however, they may choose to do so. For more information about homeschooling students with disabilities, visit our guide.

These Wisconsin-specific resources may help you further understand school choice options for students with disabilities:

  • Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction Special Education website
  • Part B: Procedural Safeguards Notice – available in English, Spanish, and more.
  • An Introduction to Special Education by the Wisconsin Department of Instruction – available in English, Spanish, and more.
  • Special Education in Plain Language: A User-Friendly Handbook on Special Education Laws, Policies, and Practices in Wisconsin – available in English and Spanish
  • Wisconsin Statewide Parent Educator Initiative (WSPEI) – WSPEI helps families and school districts by assisting families with navigating special education and partnering with schools through technical assistance, trainings, and programs.
  • Wisconsin Family Assistance Center for Education, Training, and Support (WI FACETS) – WI FACETS provides information on special education and IEPs and referrals to agencies and resources, parent support groups, parent and youth leadership development, and trainings.
  • Wisconsin Family Ties – Wisconsin Family Ties provides information and referrals, family support, education, and Parent Peer Specialists to assist families of children and adolescents with emotional, behavioral, and mental disorders.
  • Alianza Latina Aplicando Soluciones – Alianza Latina Aplicando Soluciones is a nonprofit organization that provides educational workshops, parent support groups, family events, community building activities, and service referrals to families of children and youth with diverse abilities.
  • Arc of Wisconsin – The Arc of Wisconsin provides information and referral services, individual advocacy to address education, employment, health care and other concerns, self-advocacy initiatives, residential support, employment programs, leisure and recreational programs.
  • Autism Society of Greater Wisconsin (ASW) – The ASW builds relationships and partnerships with other community agencies with the goal of building autism friendly, inclusive communities.
  • Family Voices of Wisconsin – Family Voices of Wisconsin is a statewide network of families who have children and youth with special health care needs and/or disabilities by providing information, training, and leadership opportunities.
  • Well Badger Resource Center – The Well Badger Resource Center is a health information and referral program that assists in finding needed programs and services such as early intervention screening.
  • Special Needs Resource Project – Wisconsin – This list includes state links, national links, US Military links, and Native American links to resources available in Wisconsin.

Wyoming

Traditional public schools, charter schools, and online public schools in Wyoming all follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in Wyoming are not required to provide special education services, but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide equitable services at no cost. Parents of school-age children in Wyoming have the right to select a private school for their student with disabilities; however, as long as the district has offered a free appropriate public education they are not responsible for tuition reimbursement. The state considers homeschooled students as privately schooled students for purposes of determining access to special education services; therefore, they may be eligible for equitable services provided by their school district for free. For more information about homeschooling students with disabilities, visit our guide.

Here are some resources that may help you further understand school choice options for students with disabilities in Wyoming:

Washington, D.C.

In Washington, D.C., traditional public schools and magnet schools follow IDEA guidance to identify and provide services to students with disabilities attending these schools. Private schools in Washington, D.C. are not required to provide special education services but can choose to offer them to their students or partner with the local LEA to provide them at no cost. Parents have the right to choose a private school for their student with disabilities; however, the district is not required to pay for tuition as long as the LEA has made a free appropriate public education available to their child. In D.C., homeschooled students are considered privately schooled students for purposes of determining access to special education services; therefore, they may be eligible for equitable services provided by their district for free. For more information about homeschooling students with disabilities, visit our guide.

These Washington, D.C.-specific resources may help you further understand school choice options for students with disabilities:

National Resources


The information in this guide to special education is designed to help families who are interested in learning more about the school choice options for students with disabilities in their state.  Our mission is to provide families with the information they need about all the school options available – traditional public, public charter, public magnet, private, online, and at home – so they can choose the right fit for their child.  Read more guides about the other types of schools.

K-12 School Terms Made Simple (Education Glossary)

Parents desperately want the best education for their kids. But sometimes it can be hard to find! It can feel like a full-time job to understand how the education system works and what the different words you hear in education mean. If you worry that you don’t have time to comb through the internet and figure it out, you’re not alone. In fact, so many parents have shared that sentiment with us that we’ve put together this education glossary, packed with clear explanations of K-12 school terms. 

The education world shouldn’t be so confusing. To help, we’ve created a glossary of education terms you may hear in choosing a school for your child. Understanding what these terms really mean can make the school search process smoother.

Quickly search for an education term by hitting Ctrl+F (on a Windows PC, Chromebook, or Linux system), or Command+F (on a Mac). If there are more terms you’d like to see added to this K-12 education glossary, let us know at info@schoolchoiceweek.com. We will continue to add to this page as we receive recommendations.

Don’t forget to bookmark this page for easy reference!

A

Accessibility: In education, accessibility refers to students with disabilities being offered the opportunity to encounter the same information and services as those without disabilities.  

Accommodation: An accommodation is a change or adaptation that helps a student overcome or work with their disability. The content that the child is expected to learn does not change with an accommodation.  These supports and services assist a student with accessing the general curriculum and demonstrating learning.

Accountability: Accountability refers to what measures are in place so that people are held responsible to standards and meeting their goals in education. School accreditation, for example, can hold school staff accountable to their accrediting organization. If they fail to meet the accreditor’s standards for quality and growth, a school can lose accreditation. 

While many states use a rating system (like A-F grades) to describe school performance for public school options, each state has its own specific measures of school quality and student success. In Virginia, for instance, the Standards of Learning, annual statewide assessments, and accreditation ratings make up the accountability system for public schools. Accountability requirements for private schools and for homeschooling families also vary by state. 

School principals are accountable to their superintendent, who is accountable to the school board. Ultimately, schools, administrators, and school boards are (or should be) primarily accountable to the parents of the students in their schools, and to the taxpayers who fund those schools.

Accreditation: If a school has accreditation, that means it has met the quality standards of an accrediting organization. While accreditation is streamlined at the college level, accreditation of K-12 schools is more varied and inconsistent. Each state has its own accreditation standards, and not all states require accreditation for every public school.

The major accreditors for K-12 schools include Cognia, the Middle States Association, the Western Association of Schools and Colleges, and the New England Association of Schools and Colleges. You should be able to find information about your public school’s accreditation on your school’s website or an accreditor’s website. 

Private schools generally set their own rules for accreditation. Some private schools do choose to participate in accreditation programs. This can help show parents their commitment to academic excellence and growth. Besides the major accreditors and the National Council for Private School Accreditation, there are also smaller accreditors that private schools may use, such as Christian or Montessori ones.

Accreditation is just one piece of the puzzle to consider when choosing a school. You can always decide to switch between an unaccredited and an accredited school. If you do, your child may take a placement test to prove competency of their grade level.

Achievement Gap: An education achievement gap is the difference in academic performance or graduation rates between groups of students, and may be influenced by a wide variety of societal factors. For example, white students from the class of 2020 averaged a math score of 547 on the SAT while Latino or Hispanic students averaged 478.  Whether an achievement gap is widening or closing over time can play an important role in education policy. Today, many educators are concerned about Black-white academic achievement gaps widening in the aftermath of pandemic-related shutdowns. 

Adaptive Behavior: In special education, adaptive behavior refers to an individual’s ability to act socially appropriate and personally responsible. Educators generally measure this by identifying how well the individual manages in their own environment.

Adequate Yearly Progress (AYP): Adequate Yearly Progress initially referred to a measure of accountability for student performance that schools, districts, and states were held to by the No Child Left Behind Act. In 2015, the Every Student Succeeds Act replaced No Child Left Behind. The Every Student Succeeds Act gave each state more flexibility to define adequate yearly progress. Now, for example, not just state tests but also graduation rates and school safety can be used to track progress a school is making toward the goal of having all students proficient.

Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD): The Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) team is a team of individuals that includes, at a minimum, parents, a special education teacher, someone qualified to interpret test results, district representation, and a general education teacher.  These individuals are responsible for the development and review of a child’s IEP, evaluation/re-evaluation, and behavior plans as needed.  The ARD team must meet at least once a year by law; however, teachers or parents can call at any time. In some states, this team is called the Individualized Education Program (IEP) team.

Advanced Placement (AP) Program: The Advanced Placement (AP) program gives high school students the opportunity to take college-level work. AP classes can be a rewarding experience for students looking for a challenge. Plus, by taking AP exams, students can earn credit accepted at many colleges and universities. You can search prospective colleges at the College Board to learn more about what AP courses they award credit for. 

Age of Majority: The age of majority is the age at which a student gains the rights to make his or her own decisions – including any decision related to education. Most states describe the age of majority as18 years old.

Alternative Assessments: An alternative assessment is an opportunity for a student to demonstrate the skills they’ve learned via a means other than traditional testing. An alternative assessment may look like presenting a portfolio of work samples, completing a project, or keeping a journal of learning

A student in a science class may take a traditional test measuring their knowledge. Or, for the student’s final grade, the teacher may have them present a science experiment showing what they’ve learned. That’s an example of an alternative assessment. 

Alternative School: Alternative schools are places of learning for students who have not thrived in traditional classrooms. Alternative schools may have a smaller student-to-staff ratio; they may be able to offer specialized services that meet students’ behavioral needs.

American Collegiate Test (ACT): The American Collegiate Test or ACT is one of the most commonly used assessment tests measuring a high school student’s readiness for college. Many colleges and universities consider ACT, SAT, or even CLT scores in their admissions decision. The ACT assesses students in the areas of English, Reading, Math, and Science. Usually, students take it their junior or senior year of high school. 

Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): The Americans with Disabilities Act is a law enacted in 1990 that gives civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities.  This law protects people with disabilities at work, school, and in public places.

Annual Review: In special education, an annual review is a meeting that occurs once a year where the Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team or ARD Committee reviews a student’s progress towards their goals, looks at new data, and updates information related to what the student needs to be successful.

Annual Goal: In special education, an annual goal is a required component of an Individualized Education Program (IEP) that states what a student will achieve in a year. 

Antecedent Behavioral Consequences Chart (ABC): The Antecedent Behavioral Consequences (ABC) chart is a behavioral observation tool used to create a record of a student’s behaviors.  This tool assists with determining the triggers and motivations behind behaviors. As part of the ABC chart, the observer records what happens just before a behavior. The observer also records a description of the behavior and the consequence of the behavior.  This type of observation is frequently completed as part of a functional behavioral assessment (FBA).

Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA): Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) is a technique used for correcting behavior and social skill deficits. It is based on an understanding of how positive reinforcement causes behaviors to repeat. One pillar of ABA is discrete trial training (DTT). This means breaking a skill down into its most basic steps and teaching it systematically. Each component lays the foundation for the next.

Assessment: Assessments are ways of collecting information about a student’s strengths, needs, and interests. People generally think of assessments as tests. But, they can also include observation, record review, and talking with the student and/or parents.

Assistive Technology (AT): Assistive technology is technology used by individuals with disabilities to perform functions in the education environment that they might otherwise not be able to do.  Some examples of assistive technology can include walkers, wheelchairs, sound amplifiers, communication devices, pencil grips, or word prediction software.

At-risk: A student is “at-risk” if the school is concerned that they may fail or drop out. A school may deem a student at-risk if he or she misses many classes. Or, a student may be at-risk if his or her behavior or quality of school assignments significantly deteriorates. Circumstances such as neglect, food insecurity, or homelessness can place a child at-risk. 

Audiologist: An audiologist is a specialist who studies hearing.  Audiologists administer hearing assessments to identify hearing loss and assist with the steps that follow.

Augmentative and Alternative Communication Device (AAC): An AAC device is a tool that uses a method of communication other than speech to communicate an individual’s thoughts, needs, wants, and ideas.  AAC devices can be electronic (like tablets) or manual (like communication boards).  

Authorizer: Charter schools have authorizers, entities that set rules about who can start a charter school and what expectations it must meet to stay open. States have different laws about who an authorizer may be. The majority of authorizers are local education agencies. Authorizers can also be universities, state education agencies, independent boards, municipalities, or nonprofit organizations.

B

Baseline: A baseline is a student’s starting point, determined by data collected through screening tools.  The baseline measures student progress throughout the year.

Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP): A Behavior Intervention Plan (BIP) is a written plan that identifies the specific strategies, interventions and supports the Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team will use to reinforce positive behaviors and decrease problem behaviors.  The BIP should be based on multiple data sources, including a Functional Behavioral Assessment

Benchmark: Benchmarks are milestones that enable parents, students, and educators to track a student’s progress throughout the year.

Blaine Amendment: In the late 19th century, fueled by anti-Catholic sentiment, some states adopted amendments to their state constitutions restricting the use of public funds for religious institutions, like private religious schools. These are known as the Blaine Amendments

Today, these Blaine Amendments still impact families’ school choices. For example, in Maine, students who live in a town without its own public school receive a tuition benefit to attend a public or private school elsewhere of their choice. Yet, until the Supreme Court’s landmark ruling in Espinoza v. Montana Department of Revenue, families could not select a private religious school because of the state’s Blaine Amendment.

Blended Learning: In hybrid learning or blending learning, part of a student’s education takes place online (sometimes even from home) and some takes place face-to-face in a classroom or learning center. For example, Goal Academy in Ohio is an online school with drop-in centers where students can receive extra tutoring, support, or networking. As another example, a teacher that combines online homework with in-person class time is using a blended approach. 

Block Scheduling: Block scheduling is when the school day for middle or high schoolers is organized into blocks of time longer than the usual 40-50-minute class periods. In a block schedule, classes will be longer, such as 90-120 minutes. The longer classes may take place only every other day. Or, they may be designed so that students finish a class in a semester rather than a full school year. 

Blue Ribbon School: The National Blue Ribbon School Program is a program run by the U.S. Department of Education to recognize great schools across the country. Each year, this program gives Blue Ribbon School awards to schools that are demonstrating academic excellence or great progress in closing achievement gaps. Schools of all types— public or private, huge or small—can be Blue Ribbon Schools.

Board of Education: A board of education (or school board) consists of community members who are either elected or appointed to represent and make decisions about their public school district. Rather than politicians, board of education members are usually simply community leaders, parents, or retired school leaders or education professionals interested in making a difference. 

Each district in the U.S.  has a board of education. Each one consists of about three to nine members who regularly come together for meetings to discuss educational needs in their district. 

Board members are leaders tasked with making important decisions affecting you and your child. For example, the board may be responsible for hiring or firing the superintendent. They may be in charge of approving contracts, setting a budget, setting a school calendar, or expanding or closing schools. 

Board of education meetings are usually open to the public. You can search for your district’s board of education online to find out who the members are. You can also find out when they meet and what their upcoming agenda is. In many cases, board meetings include an opportunity for parents to speak up, ask questions, or provide feedback. 

Brick and Mortar School: Brick and mortar schools are ones where students attend classes in-person, in a physical building. 

Bullying: Bullying is unwanted aggressive behavior among children. Bullying could take the form of making threats, spreading rumors, using physical force, or intentionally excluding someone from a group. 

Some states have special programs or opportunities to help families who have experienced bullying in a school environment. In Florida, the Hope Scholarship allows any public school student who has been a victim of bullying to receive a scholarship to transfer to a private school.  

C

Career and Technical Education: Career and technical education is learning that focuses on equipping students for skill-based careers that are in high-demand, such as engineering, manufacturing, or health science. Career and technical education is characterized by hands-on learning and real work experience so that students can more readily complete certifications and confidently enter the workforce

For example, Alex Hammel, superintendent at an Indiana school that focuses on career and technical education, shared this about the approach: “We really want to get our students to understand what options are out there in work before they leave high school. Even if they’re going to college, we want them to have a good foundation of what they’re interested in… We’ve got great business partnerships across all of our different areas that are really critical to what we’re doing.”

Character Education (character development): Character education focuses on teaching students core universal values, which may include justice, responsibility, empathy, leadership, honesty, and more. Many community members see character education as a responsibility shared by parents and educators to help students succeed. 

Some schools are National Schools of Character, which means they have participated in a certification program and are committed to teaching character education at their school.  

Charter Schools: Charter schools are free public schools that may be created by districts, colleges, nonprofit organizations, or other entities. Students do not need to take tests for acceptance into public charter schools. What makes charter schools different from traditional public schools is that they have more flexibility in trying out unique instruction methods and approaches to education.

Child Find Program: Child Find is a program mandated by IDEA that continuously searches for and evaluates children who may have a disability. Federal law mandates the program. But the programs themselves can vary between school districts.

Classical Education: Classical education is a learning approach that draws on the insights and methods of Western tradition and that has the goal of educating the whole student. In Classical education, students enter into “conversations” with history’s great minds by reading their written works. This trains students to think analytically and articulate big ideas. Equipped with that knowledge and training, students can choose what to believe and how to live their lives moving forward.  

Classical education traditionally begins with the study of grammar and learning the other building blocks of knowledge, continues through the study of logic and cause and effect, and then proceeds to the study of rhetoric, where a student explores writing, speaking, and specialized knowledge. 

The Great Books, the Socratic Method, a Liberal Arts curriculum, and learning Latin are all hallmarks of classical education.

Classic Learning Test: The Classic Learning Test (CLT) is a college readiness exam that draw on classical texts to test student aptitude. While not accepted by all colleges, the CLT partners with a growing number of colleges, especially private, liberal arts colleges. Currently, more than 250 colleges accept the CLT as a complete replacement for the SAT or ACT.

Classroom Management: Classroom management is the way in which a classroom functions. This includes the way lessons are planned, and interactions between students, peers, and the teacher. It also includes rules, rewards, and techniques a teacher uses to make the classroom a safe, comfortable place for students. A teacher’s classroom management may look different depending on many factors: class size, teacher personality, school culture, and so on. 

College Preparatory Program: College preparatory programs have a special focus on getting students ready for college-level classes. While college success is a goal at most high schools, college preparatory schools may spend more time developing students’ study skills, imitating a college class structure, and teaching independence and time management.

Common Core: The Common Core is a set of national learning goals, launched in 2009, with math and English language learning goals laid out for each grade (from kindergarten through 12th grade). The Common Core initiative encouraged states to adopt its set of learning standards so that students and educators around the country could work toward shared, consistent goals

45 states adopted Common Core standards, but, as of 2020, 24 have repealed or edited them and four states have withdrawn from them. Still, Common Core continues to inform the learning standards and goals that many states teach.

Community Schools: Community schools refer to public schools with a particular focus on partnering with local non-profits and organizations (from farms to dentist offices) to provide in- and out-of-school resources to students and families. There are several community schools in New York City, for example. You can learn more at the Coalition for Community Schools.

Compulsory Education Law: Compulsory education laws refer to states’ rules about the minimum and maximum ages at which a child must be enrolled in school. For example, California’s compulsory education law requires children between the ages of six and eighteen to attend school, unless they have already graduated high school or passed the California High School Proficiency Exam. Compulsory education ages vary by state; you can check your state’s department of education for more information.

Continuum of Services: A continuum of services refers to the range of special education and related services that are available to assist any student in a school or school district to provide instruction in the least restrictive environment.

Core Knowledge: A Core Knowledge curriculum gives students information through oral telling and experience, focusing on building common knowledge rather than on specific learning objectives like decoding or comparing and contrasting. A Core Knowledge curriculum teaches students a sequence of knowledge, progressing from simple knowledge to more complex.  

Lynn Peterson, the executive director at a Minnesota school using Core Knowledge, described the approach to us this way:

“It’s a vast continuum of knowledge that kids need to know in order to be literate in today’s world. While the pendulum [in education] was swinging towards phonics and getting everyone to phonetically read, once they were able to read fluently what they were lacking was vocabulary. So they could say the word ‘revolution,’ but they had no context as to what that word meant. By exposing students to a rich vocabulary in kindergarten and first grade, even though they can’t read some of those words, we can talk about the concepts. Kids are sponges, right? You can share stories about great presidents or ancient Pompeii, high interest things with words that they might not recognize in print but can comprehend and relate back to you. A Core Knowledge school gives kids information through oral telling, through experience, and we add on to their knowledge all the time.” 

A Core Knowledge curriculum may also be described as a “content-rich curriculum.” The Core Knowledge approach was developed by E.D. Hirsch in the 1970s and 1980s. 

Credit Recovery: Credit recovery refers to opportunities for high school students to make up failed or missed courses. Students can sometimes take credit recovery courses during the summer or at an accelerated pace to catch up and graduate. 

Before the COVID-19 pandemic, as many as 1 in 13 public high school students in the U.S. participated in credit recovery programs. 

Culture (School Culture): School culture refers to the “feel,” values, and traditions of a school community. While invisible, a school culture can have a tremendous impact on a student’s comfort level and ability to succeed. School culture often plays a big role in a family’s school choice decision. 

Cumulative File: A cumulative file is a file that is maintained by the school and contains a student’s family information, medical history, academic records, and other information as needed.  Parents have the right to view their child’s file at any time.

Curriculum: A curriculum refers to planned instructional material (such as lessons, practice work, tests, and experiences) and knowledge goals. Terms such as scope (what content will be covered) and sequence (what order the content is covered in) often describe curriculum.

Your child’s curriculum is chosen by an educator or school leader, or you, if you choose homeschooling. A curriculum guides the overall learning experience for students. 

There are some common threads between curricula across the U.S. For example, most high school curricula require students to take four years of math. However, the math lessons, homework, and testing may vary widely depending on the particular curriculum your child is using.   

Curriculum Based Measurement (CBM): Curriculum-based measurements are short, regular assessments that are used to monitor student performance.  CBMs are often informal assessments. They can involve checklists or oral questions a teacher uses to gauge a student’s skill mastery.  

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Department of Education: The Department of Education began operating in the spring of 1980. As it stands today, the US Department of Education has four main responsibilities:

  • Creating the policy related to federal financial aid, distributing those funds, and monitoring how they are used
  • Collecting data and providing oversight for research on America’s schools; then sharing the information with Congress, educators, and the general public
  • Identifying major issues and problems in education to focus national attention on them
  • Enforcing federal laws prohibiting discrimination in programs and activities receiving federal funding

Each state has their own department of education that can be called by a different name.  For example, in North Carolina the State Department of Education is known as the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction or NCDPI.  In California it is simply referred to as the California Department of Education.  To see a list of the education offices in your state, check out the State Contacts Map on the U.S. Department of Education website.

Diagnostic Assessment/Screening: A diagnostic assessment or screening is a targeted, in-depth tool used to identify what a student already knows, where they are having difficulty, and the specific skill area where interventions are needed.  These assessments are generally done in a one-on-one setting.

Differentiated Instruction: Differentiated instruction is a method of teaching that focuses on creating varied experiences that meet the different learning levels and needs of students in a class. Some of the goals of differentiated instruction are to acknowledge the diversity of student learners, regularly assess students’ needs and progress, and offer them choices and customized learning experiences. Differentiated instruction is one of the most popular learning approaches. 

District: A school district is a geographical area including several schools, which are governed by one particular authority. According to the National Center for Education Statistics, there are more than 13,000 regular school districts in the United States. Some of the nation’s largest districts are New York City, Los Angeles Unified, Chicago, and Miami-Dade County. In many states, what district you live in will determine some of the school choices available to you, such as whether your child can attend any public school or just the one you are assigned.

Dual Enrollment: Dual enrollment (or an early college program) is the opportunity for high school students to be enrolled in high school and college classes at the same time, getting a jumpstart on their college degree. High school students who are dual enrolled take classes at community colleges or other nearby colleges. They get a taste of college-level studies and save money on college tuition. 

We spoke to Nya Berry, mom and executive director at Nevada State High School, an early college program. She described her own experience of choosing the school for her son: 

“My middle son happens to be a kiddo that struggled with ADHD and had a 504 Plan. I felt like the traditional school environment wasn’t working for him. I thought to myself, ‘I’ve got to be able to have this kid prepared to go to college and take on the challenging courses and not die doing it. Where can I give my kid the exposure? Where can I make sure that he learns to be responsible.’ [Through Nevada State High School’s early college program] He just grew up in two years and that’s what I was looking for— that ability to help me help this kid start to adult.” 

Dual-language Program: In a dual-language program, students receive a significant amount of their weekly instruction in a partner language (a language other than English). That partner language could be Spanish, French, German, or another language. Dual language programs are designed to help students become bilingual or maintain a second language, to help students gain confidence, and to immerse students in a second culture. Sometimes students in these programs are referred to as “multilingual learners.”

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Early College Program: See Dual Enrollment.

EdTech: “EdTech” is short for education technology. EdTech refers to a wide variety of technological tools used in the classroom to promote learning. Some examples? Kahoot offers quiz games for learning, Google Classroom can be a hub for students and teachers, and Flip may be used for sharing video assignments.

Education Savings Account: Parents using an education savings account program can receive public education funds to use for a variety of approved education costs. Depending on their state, families may be able to use the funds for private school fees, homeschooling, tutoring, community college, or school transportation costs. Education savings accounts seek to give families increased flexibility to create a customized education plan that helps their child flourish. 

For the 2024-2025 school year, there will be active ESA programs in Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia. Additionally, in 2021, Missouri created a unique ESA program funded by tax-credit donations (rather than directly by the state).

ESAs are a popular form of school choice. As of 2023, 83% of parents supported ESA programs when provided with a description of how the programs work.

Enrollment: Enrollment in K-12 education means meeting local requirements to register your child at a school. To enroll, parents will typically need to provide information such as their child’s street address, age, and health information. Different schools will have different enrollment deadlines and requirements. School districts cannot ask about a child’s citizenship or immigration status to establish residency in the district, and they cannot deny a homeless child enrollment.

Extracurricular Options: Extracurricular options refer to all of the opportunities students and families have at a school outside of the required academic classes. These may include sports, orchestra, drama or chess clubs, debate teams, student newspaper, and much more. Extracurricular options can be one valuable factor to consider in making a school choice. 

English as a Second Language (ESL) and English Language Learners (ELL): Like it sounds, English as a Second Language (ESL) refers to programs that help students who are non-native English-speakers learn English. English Language Learners (ELL) is a term that is often used to refer to students in these programs. 

Evaluation: In special education, an evaluation means the procedures used to determine whether a child has a disability and the nature and extent of the special education and related services that the child may need.

Every Student Succeeds Acts: The Every Student Succeeds Act was signed into law in 2015 and replaced the No Child Left Behind Act. This national law outlines a commitment to equal opportunity for all students. In particular, ESSA introduced more flexibility in testing and encouraged states to expand personalized learning.

Extended School Year (ESY): In special education, extended school year is a provision that allows students to receive instruction during school “vacation” periods to prevent serious regression of previously learned skills.  The intent is to maintain already learned skills and not introduce new ones. Extended school year eligibility is determined by a student’s Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team.

Extrinsic Motivation: Extrinsic motivation refers to when your child is doing something because of a motivation outside themselves, rather than from personal curiosity or satisfaction. An example of this is if your child participates in a reading contest because they want to win free pizza!

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Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act: The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act is a federal law regulating the management of student records and disclosure of information from those records.

FEP: FEP means fully English proficient (fluent).

504Plan: A 504 plan helps a child who meets the criteria for a disability that interferes with accessing their education.  The 504 plan outlines accommodations and modifications that the student needs to ensure academic success and their ability to access their learning environment. Generally, a 504 plan is not as involved as an Individualized Education Plan. The main difference between a 504 plan and an IEP is the provision of specially designed instruction; students with a 504 plan learn alongside their peers rather than receiving individualized special education instruction.

Flipped classroom: The flipped classroom refers to one type of instructional approach. In the flipped classroom model, students learn new material independently through homework rather than by being introduced to it during class. Then, teachers use class time for engaging and applying that new learning material. One of the goals of the flipped classroom model is to make the classroom experience more individualized and interactive

Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE): Free and Appropriate Public Education (FAPE) is a part of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act that describes the right of a student with disabilities to receive special education and related services that meet their specific needs at no cost to their parents or guardians. One way a school may provide an appropriate education is by developing an Individualized Education Program for each student with disabilities. 

Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA): A Functional Behavior Assessment (FBA) is a data-collection and analysis process used by an Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team to understand a student’s problematic behavior.

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Gamification: Gamification is an instructional approach that brings elements of playing a game into a classroom. Teachers may use game elements like gaining points or completing activities to move to the next level to motivate students. Often, gamification’s goal is to make learning more fun and engaging for students. 

Gifted Program: A gifted program is designed to bring unique support to academically exceptional students whose needs are not being met in a traditional learning environment. Students in a gifted program may work one to four levels ahead of their age level in particular subjects. They may also receive customized support for social-emotional needs.

A gifted program in Colorado, the Academy for Advanced and Creative Learning, shared with us about their impact and why they exist: 

“So many stories of truly unique and challenging needs for students have occurred that brought them to our school and its unique support. One of these students was referred to us by a local school district. This student was so young and needed math content three years above their grade level. Due to the student’s age and ADHD, the student was not one who could sit quietly and just work independently. We were able to do assessments to locate the gaps in previous instruction. We easily accelerated into one level for math and one level for literacy that was appropriate to the student’s needs. Additionally, we worked with the social/emotional needs of this student, and the family, so that these needs could be met. The student finally found true friends who could “get” what this student was talking about, was excited about. This was the first time this student found peers, and had teachers who understood the level of needs and had the flexibility to meet those needs in a multi-faceted approach. This is why we are here in our community: To meet needs for gifted education within a population of rare and challenging situations… and to support kids who need friends too.” 

Grade Point Average (GPA): A grade point average measures the average of all the final grades a student has received. One form of GPA uses a 0 to 4 point scale. On this scale, a student with straight A’s will have a 4.0 GPA; a student with a mixture of A’s and B’s will have a GPA between 3 and 4. 

Keep in mind that GPA can look very different between schools. Different schools and different schools districts will have varying standards for grading. Additionally, some schools award higher numbers (such as 4.5 or 5) for advanced classes. 

GPA is one factor used in class rank, academic awards, and college admissions

Graduation Rate: A graduation rate looks at how many (or what percentage of) students complete high school requirements. In 2019-2020, 87% of public high school students graduated on time. The National Center for Education Statistics breaks down that percentage by state and by race.

Great Books: Great Books” refers to the idea that certain classical texts (like Homer’s Iliad and Plato’s Republic, for instance) are still relevant today, and reading them is a way to encounter some of the best teachers who have ever lived. Schools with Great Books programs use these texts to help students encounter powerful ideas in philosophy, history, science, and more.

Growth Mentality: In education, a growth mindset refers to the idea that students and staff can change and improve their abilities through hard work and helpful teaching and tools. 

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Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA): The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) is a federal law that ensures the confidentiality and security of an individual’s protected health information.

Highly Qualified Teachers: The federal definition of a highly qualified teacher is one who meets all of the following criteria: fully certified and/or licensed by the state; holds at least a bachelor degree from a four-year institution; and demonstrates competence in each core academic subject area in which he or she teaches.

Homeschooling: Homeschooling is the process of educating your children in the home. Each state has different rules and policies regarding homeschooling, but parents in every state have the right to teach their children in the home.

Homeschooling doubled during the pandemic: 11.1% of households with school-age children reported homeschooling in fall 2020. Today, the number of homeschoolers remains higher than pre-pandemic.

Hybrid Approach: In hybrid learning or blending learning, part of a student’s education takes place online (sometimes even from home) and some takes place face-to-face in a classroom or learning center. For example, Goal Academy in Ohio is an online school with drop-in centers where students can receive extra tutoring, support, or networking. As another example, a teacher that combines online homework with in-person class time is using a blended approach. 

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Immersion Program: A language immersion program is one in which students spend a large portion of their learning “immersed” in a foreign language. This approach gives students a wide opportunity to practice a language, often while learning general knowledge in various subjects. For example, a language immersion program may deliver 75% of instruction in Spanish. The amount of time immersed in a foreign language allows students ample time to practice and become more fluent.

Inclusion: Inclusion refers to a student with disabilities being given instruction and the opportunity to learn alongside their peers in the mainstream classroom. Inclusion models vary widely between districts and schools, but can include co-teaching and team-teaching.

Independent School: Private schools or independent schools are schools of choice that are managed by private or religious organizations. Private schools generate their own funding through tuition, private grants, and fundraising, and they set their own admission standards. There are more than 30,000 private schools across the U.S., serving more than 4.5 million students.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA): The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) was passed to make sure that students with disabilities receive a free, appropriate public education that meets their needs. 

Individualized Education Program (IEP): An Individualized Education Program (IEP) is a legal roadmap for what individualized supports and services a child with disabilities will receive to help them learn and succeed in school. IEPs are free for eligible children in public schools. An IEP is reviewed annually to make changes in services and supports. An IEP is more involved and specialized than a 504 plan. 

Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team: The IEP is a team of individuals that includes, at a minimum, parents, a special education teacher, someone qualified to interpret test results, district representation, and a general education teacher.  These individuals are responsible for the development and review of a child’s Individualized Education Program (IEP), evaluation/re-evaluation, and behavior plans as needed.  They must meet at least once a year by law; however, teacher or parents can call meetings at any time. Some states call this team the Admission, Review, and Dismissal (ARD) team. 

Individualized Family Services Plan (IFSP): This plan maps out early intervention services a child will receive (from birth to the child’s third birthday). The IFSP is written documentation of a child’s current functional levels, specific needs, goals of treatment, and the treatment plan.  Prior to transitioning to a public Pre-K program, a transition meeting is held to outline what a child’s services will look like in the public school setting.

Individualized Service Plan: An Individualized Service Plan is a plan for parentally-placed children that attend private/parochial schools or home schools (determined by state guidelines) who are eligible to receive special services from their resident district.

Initial Evaluation: An initial evaluation is a process to evaluate a child who is suspected of having a disability and who may be eligible for special education and related services.

Initial IEP: In special education, an initial IEP is the individualized education plan that is developed once a child has been determined to have a disability requiring special education and related services.

Interdistrict: Interdistrict refers to something that takes place between more than one district. An interdistrict transfer, for example, is a transfer from a school in one district to a school in another district

Intervention: An intervention is an instructional strategy or method of instruction used to increase student skills.  Interventions vary in duration, frequency, and intensity.

Intradistrict: Intradistrict refers to something that takes place within a district. An intradistrict transfer, for example, is a transfer from one school in a district to another in that same district.

Intrinsic Motivation: Intrinsic motivation refers to when your child is doing something because of the personal satisfaction they get from it, rather than an outside force. If your child is studying space out of personal curiosity and excitement, that is a prime example of intrinsic motivation.

International Baccalaureate (IB): International Baccalaureate (IB) is a particular education program, founded in the 1960s, that focuses on helping students become inquirers, communicators, risk-takers, and global leaders. Only authorized IB World Schools can offer this program. The IB offers four different education programs designed for students ages 3-19. 

As of 2024, the IB program is being used in more than 5,700 schools across 160 countries. In some cases, schools may continue to use their district curriculum while incorporating IB objectives and lessons. 

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Leader in Me: Leader in Me is a model that schools may use to build a culture of leadership among both staff and students. In a school using it, staff will set new goals for the school and model leadership to students. They will also encourage students to take on leadership roles. The Leader in Me is based on The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, as well as other educational tools.

In Georgia, we spoke to Vineville Academy of the Arts, which uses the Leader in Me model. Principal Kristy Graham described the ripple effect the school has seen: 

“We piloted the Leader in Me program and the community supported it 100%. They funded it. They said: ‘We want to be a part of guiding children for the future to be leaders, to be proactive, to synergize and put first things first.’ They supported the first four schools and now our entire district is a Leader in Me district.”

Learning Pod:  In a microschool or learning pod, students gather together in a small group – with adult supervision – to learn, explore, and socialize. Based its community needs, a pod may gather for just 10-20 hours a week or only certain days. 

Pods can take a variety of legal forms. Some pods are mini private schools, others are support groups for online schools, and some are simply homeschool co-ops. You can find full details on microschooling or learning pods in our 50-State Guide.

Least Restrictive Environment (LRE): Least restrictive environment (LRE) is a legal requirement under IDEA that a student with a disability should be given the opportunity to receive instruction with non-disabled peers to the greatest extent possible. 

Levy: When it comes to education, a levy refers to the amount of property tax dollars a school district collects to operate or to develop its property. When a district needs money beyond that received from state and federal government, it may ask residents to vote on a new levy. 

Liberal arts: The liberal arts refers to learning methods that focus on gaining a broad education rather than specific career training. The liberal arts has its roots in medieval studies that included astronomy, music, geometry, grammar, and more. Each subject in the liberal arts helps the student develop in a specific way. Studying political philosophy, for instance, helps a student become a good citizen with an understanding of social justice. 

Local Educational Agency (LEA): Local educational agency (LEA) is a term that can refer to any school program conducted by a public school or agency.

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Magnet School / Magnet Program: Magnet schools are run by school districts or groups of school districts and do not charge tuition. Magnet schools teach all academic subjects to students, but these schools focus on specific themes like math, technology, or performing arts. Some magnet schools require students to take tests for entry, but most do not.

There are more than 4,300 magnet schools in the U.S. serving about 3.5 million students

Mentor: Someone who is invested in sharing knowledge, providing motivation, and role modeling to your child is a mentor. While a teacher may be a mentor, coaches, family friends, professional experts, or community leaders can also be mentors. 

Microschool: In a microschool or learning pod, students gather together in a small group – with adult supervision – to learn, explore, and socialize. Based its community needs, a pod may gather for just 10-20 hours a week or only certain days. 

Pods can take a variety of legal forms. Some pods are mini private schools, others are support groups for online schools, and some are simply homeschool co-ops. You can find full details on microschooling or learning pods in our 50-State Guide.

Modifications: Modifications are changes to what is being taught or expected of a student.  Modifications change the rigor of an assignment or change what the teacher is assessing.

Montessori Education: Montessori is a student-led approach to learning with a strong focus on preparing the learning environment to be a nurturing place where children can choose their own “work.” Some of the hallmarks of Montessori education include: multi-age classrooms, learning equipment made of “real” materials such as wood and ceramic rather than plastic, and self-paced learning. Some of the goals of Montessori education include: helping a child develop a strong sense of self and capacity for choice, nurturing a child’s natural curiosity, and supporting a child in becoming a confident learner. 

Montessori education was founded in the early 1900s by Dr. Maria Montessori.

Multi-age Classroom: In a multi-age classroom, students of different ages learn together, supporting each other at whatever point they’re at on their educational journey. These classrooms typically span a few years. For instance, they may group children ages three to six together, or children ages nine to twelve. Multi-age grouping is a hallmark of Montessori education, but may also be found in other learning environments. 

Multi-Tiered Systems of Support (MTSS): Multi-tiered systems of support (MTSS) refers to a multi-tiered framework which promotes school improvement by using research-based academic and behavioral practices.

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National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP): The National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) is an assessment that measures what students across America know in various subjects, including math and reading. 

While state assessments often differ, NAEP allows you to compare student performance in your state with that in another state. Anyone can view the most recent NAEP results at The Nation’s Report Card. There, you can look up your state and find out what percentage of children read at grade level. You can also see how students in your state do in math compared to neighboring states, and much more. 

Not every child in America takes the NAEP test. Instead, a representative sample of kids take the NAEP tests in 4th, 8th, and 12th grade. 

Neighborhood School: A neighborhood school typically refers to the public school nearest you or assigned to you by your school district’s boundaries. A neighborhood school may be in walking distance; if not, you will normally be able to receive free transportation to it. 

Some families move to specific neighborhoods in order to be in proximity to great schools. Other times, families live in neighborhoods where the nearby school just isn’t a good fit. In these cases, families often use school choice to find a learning environment that better matches their needs.

No Child Left Behind (NCLB): The No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, signed into law in 2002, scaled up assessment requirements for states and increased the federal government’s role in holding schools accountable. A main goal of NCLB was to close achievement gaps in K-12 education. In 2015, NCLB was replaced by the Every Student Succeeds Act (ESSA).

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Occupational Therapy (OT):  Occupational therapy is a service related to special education that focuses on a student’s fine motor skills. The goal of this therapy is to develop skills or adapt ways of living to accomplish daily activities. An occupational therapist is a trained individual who provides this therapy. 

Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP): The Office of Special Education Programs is a division of the U.S. Department of Education focused entirely on special education.

Online Public School: Online public schools are usually run by state governments, school districts, or charter schools. Online public schools do not charge tuition, and students do not need to take tests for admission. At online public schools, students use computers at home to learn from teachers via the internet.

Well over 30 states have established permanent online schools that students can attend full-time for free. The majority of states also offer part-time online learning where public or private school students can take a course or two.

Permanent online schooling is very different from emergency remote or virtual learning. In fact, full-time online schools existed long-before COVID-19. Students enrolled in full-time online schooling will find qualified teachers specifically trained to deliver instruction using new technology. These schools often have flexible schedules so students are not sitting in front of computers for 8 hours a day. They combine flexible schedules with regular, one-on-one student-teacher communication and opportunities for students to collaborate with each other.

Open Enrollment: Open enrollment policies make it possible for parents to choose traditional public schools that are outside of their zone or district. The goal of open enrollment is for families to be able to choose the best public school for their child. The best fit may be in their zip code, or it may not be!

Each state has different laws regulating open enrollment. 

Open House: A school open house is a time for current or prospective families to visit a school and learn about what makes it unique. An open house may include a school tour, a presentation, or simply a time to visit and ask questions. Typically open houses take place in person. But, you can check for virtual open houses at schools near you as well. 

Outdoor School: An outdoor school (or forest school or wilderness education) focuses on developing learning and exploration through open air and natural settings. Outdoor schools are typically heavily focused on leadership, problem-solving, whole-child learning, and choice rather than on traditional instruction and assessment methods. 

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Parental Choice: Parental choice, also known as school choice, refers to parents having the right and responsibility to choose their child’s education. Parental choice recognizes that parents know their children best and are best equipped to choose an education in line with their child’s needs and family values. 

Parochial School: Parochial schools are private schools affiliated with a particular church or parish. Parochial schools usually include religious education as part of their curriculum.

Philosophy of Education: A philosophy of education is a summary of beliefs, values, and goals for learning. What philosophy of education a teacher has will influence what they do in the classroom, and what philosophy of education a parent has will influence their expectations for what their child learns. Would you like to better understand what methods your child’s educator is using in class? Don’t be afraid to ask them what their teaching philosophy is. 

Physical Therapy (PT): Physical therapy is instructional support and treatment of physical disabilities. The goal of this therapy is to help a student improve gross motor skills. A trained individual who provides this type of therapy is a physical therapist. 

Percentile Rank: In education, some standardized tests show your child’s percentile rank. This percentile rank is not a measure of how many questions your child answered correctly.  Instead, it shows how your child performed on the test compared to his or her peers. For example, what if your child scores in the 56th percentile? That would mean that your child’s score is better than 56 percent of students who took that same test. 

Per-pupil Spending: Per-pupil spending is found by dividing how much is spent during an academic year by how many students there are. The average per-pupil spending for public schools in America is more than $14,000.

Pluralism (Educational): Educational pluralism is a system in which various types of schools, both non-religious and religious, are funded and regulated by the government. While the United States’ education system is not one of educational pluralism, countries such as Denmark, the Netherlands, and Canada are examples of educational pluralism. 

Present Levels of Performance: Present levels of performance refers to a component of an Individualized Education Program (IEP) that states a student’s strengths and needs, current levels of academic achievement, and current levels of functional performance.

Principal: A principal’s job is to oversee the big picture operations of a school, as well as what happens day-to-day. Principals are not only the teachers’ boss, they also shape the school’s curriculum and culture, opportunities for staff development, and set the tone for parent communication. 

Prior Written Notice: Prior written notice is notice that is required to be given to parents when a school proposes to make changes to a student with disabilities’ Individualized Education Program (IEP), identification of a disability, formal evaluations, or the educational placement of a student.

Private school: Private schools or independent schools are run by organizations or religious entities, and they charge tuition. There are many different categories of private schools. Some, but not all, private schools require students to take tests for acceptance to attend. Many states now offer state-sponsored scholarship programs to help cover tuition costs. Additionally, there are often scholarships offered by individual schools and local scholarship organizations.

There are more than 30,000 private schools across the U.S., serving more than 4.5 million students.

Procedural Safeguards: Procedural safeguards are explanations of the specific rights and responsibilities the family has in the special education process.

Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) is an assessment measuring the math, reading, and science skills of 15-year-olds around the world. Since it’s an international test, PISA provides a snapshot of how various countries are performing. This can be helpful for understanding the impact of different education policies.

Project-based Learning: Project-based learning is an approach to education that focuses on students learning new knowledge and skills by doing in-depth, guided projects. These  projects aren’t simply proof of something the students have learned. Project-based learning aims for students to actually learn through completing the project. 

Examples of project-based learning include: Finding how to catch rainwater, building a tiny home, or developing a local recycling plan. For more information, check out these resources and recent stories: 

Psychologist: A psychologist is an individual with an advanced degree who, for the purposes of special education, specializes in administering and evaluating psychological assessments. These assessments can include intelligence, aptitude, and interest tests.  

Public School (Traditional*): Traditional public schools are run by school districts and do not charge tuition. In most cases, students do not need to take tests for acceptance into traditional public schools. Some states allow parents to choose any traditional public school in their district. Other states allow parents to send their children to traditional public schools in other districts, too.

If you are unsure which public school district you are in, you can search for your school district

*We are specifying traditional public schools because there are many other forms of public schools. Public schools are any schools available to the public and free to attend, including charter, magnet, and some online schools.

Q

R

Reevaluation: In special education, a reevaluation is an assessment that occurs at a minimum of every three years (it can occur more frequently if needed) to determine if a student continues to be eligible for special education services.

Referral: A referral, in relation to special education, is the official request to begin a formal process of determining if a student is eligible to receive special education and related services. After a referral, the student’s parent or legal guardian must give consent before evaluations take place.

Related Services: Related services are services that a school is required to provide under IDEA (other than medical care) that a student needs in order to benefit from their special education program. Related services include speech-language pathology, audiology, psychological, physical therapy, occupational therapy, recreation, counseling, mobility services, and social work services.

S

Scaffolding: In education, scaffolding refers to an instructional technique that helps students progressively build on knowledge. In scaffolding, a teacher may break up a new learning goal or complex concept into small chunks so that students can learn it piece by piece, gradually adding onto what they already know. Mini-lessons, visual aids, providing options, and modeling a concept can be used as supports in scaffolding that reinforce the new concept. 

For more information, check out these resources and recent stories: 

Scholarship Granting Organization (SGO): Scholarship Granting Organizations (SGOs) are non-profit organizations that manage contributions from donors or grants for educational scholarships. In several states, individuals or businesses can receive a tax credit for their donation to an SGO. SGOs use the donations to distribute scholarships to families so they can attend a school of their choice. 

Does your state has a tax-credit scholarship program? If so, you can look for a list of approved SGOs on your state’s Department of Education website.

Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT): The Scholastic Aptitude Test or SAT is one of the most commonly used assessment tests measuring a high school student’s readiness for college. Many colleges and universities consider ACT or SAT scores in their admissions decision. The SAT assesses students in the areas of math and evidence-based reading and writing and is usually taken by students their junior or senior year of high school. 

School Board: A board of education (or school board) consists of community members who are either elected or appointed to represent and make decisions about their public school district. Rather than politicians, board of education members are usually simply community leaders, parents, or retired school leaders or education professionals interested in making a difference. 

Each district in the U.S.  has a board of education. Each one consists of about three to nine members who regularly come together for meetings to discuss educational needs in their district. 

Board members are leaders tasked with making important decisions affecting you and your child. For example, the board may be responsible for hiring or firing the superintendent. They may be in charge of approving contracts, setting a budget, setting a school calendar, or expanding or closing schools. 

Board of education meetings are usually open to the public. You can search for your district’s board of education online to find out who the members are. You can also find out when they meet and what their upcoming agenda is. In many cases, board meetings include an opportunity for parents to speak up, ask questions, or provide feedback. 

School choice: School choice is the process of allowing every family to choose the K-12 educational options that best fit their children. What works well for one child may not work well for another child. Access to different choices ensures that each family can find an education that inspires their child and helps them succeed.

K-12 school choices include traditional public schools, public charter schools, public magnet schools, private schools, online academies, homeschooling, and microschooling.

School safety: School safety refers to freedom from violence, theft, bullying, and crime at school and during school-related activities. Whether your child feels safe and comfortable can be an important factor in choosing a learning environment. 

The National Center for Education Statistics collects and reports data on crime and safety in U.S. schools. 

Secretary of Education: The Secretary of Education leads the Department of Education and serves as an advisor to the President about federal education programs and activities. The Secretary of Education is also an important public spokesperson and advocate for education. 

Dr. Miguel Cardona is the 12th and current Secretary of Education. 

Self-Advocacy: Self-advocacy is a skill set that allows a student to take charge of their education, articulate their needs, and make informed decisions to meet those needs.

Self-Directed Learning: Self-directed learning refers to an education style where students are given the freedom to choose their own activities and experiences during the school day. Self-directed learning is usually much more informal than traditional education. In a self-directed learning environment, classes may be optional or not offered at all. Instead, students may learn through choosing to read books, bake, practice videography skills, explore nature, or any number of activities.

Socratic Method: The Socratic method refers to a teaching method in which a teacher guides students to reason more clearly by asking them a series of questions. Done well, the Socratic method helps students realize their assumptions. It can help them learn to base their thoughts and arguments on strong, clear reasoning patterns. The Socratic method is even used in many law schools.

Social-emotional Learning (SEL): Beyond teaching the basics of reading, writing, and arithmetic, social-emotional learning (SEL) focuses on equipping students with emotional and interpersonal skills. SEL is defined by the Collaborative for Academic, Social, and Emotional Learning as the development of “knowledge, skills and attitudes to develop healthy identities, manage emotions and achieve personal and collective goals, feel and show empathy for others, establish and maintain supportive relationships, and make responsible and caring decisions.”

Special Education: Special education is a term used by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act to refer to specially designed instruction to increase a student’s chances for success. Special education typically involves the development of Individualized Education Plans (IEPs) to ensure students’ learning needs are being accommodated. Learn more about the special education process in the Ultimate Guide to Special Education.

Specially-Designed Instruction (SDI): Specially-designed instruction is instruction that has been adapted in content or delivery method to address specific learning needs of a student with a disability.  What SDI looks like for a student is defined by their Individualized Education Program (IEP) Team and is intended to supplement the instruction that occurs in the general education setting.

Speech Therapy: Speech therapy is the process for remediating speech deficits such as stuttering, lisping, and misarticulation.  This therapy can be provided in an individualized or small group setting.

Standardized Testing: Standardized tests ask students in the same grade level across a state or country to answer the same questions under the same time limit and conditions. States may have their own standardized tests and requirements for who must take them. Some of the most common standardized tests for high schoolers include the Scholastic Aptitude Test (SAT), American College Test (ACT), and the Classic Learning Test (CLT).

State Educational Agency (SEA): A State Educational Agency refers to who is in charge of supervising public schools in a state. For example, in Iowa this is the Iowa Department of Education. In Illinois, the State Educational Agency is the Illinois State Board of Education.  

STEM Education: STEM education is learning focused on innovation and active learning through the areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics. STEAM schools add art as an additional focus, while STEM/CS schools include computer science as a fifth focus. STEM education often takes a hands-on approach. Also, it often focuses on subjects’ connections to each other, such as connections between science and technology.

For more information, check out these resources and recent stories: 

Student Assistance Team/Student Support Team: This team of professionals and parents meet to discuss any problems a student is having in their general education classroom.  The team’s goal is to identify ways to assist the child to help them master skills they’re having difficulty with.

Superintendent: In education, a superintendent oversees the public schools in a district and is essentially the boss of the school principals. As the chief executive in the district, the superintendent is responsible for the overall vision of the district. 

The superintendent works with leaders in each school to make sure the district is meeting its goals and serving students. A superintendent provides input to and is accountable to the local board of education. 

Synchronous Learning: In synchronous learning, a student goes through learning material with the teacher in real time, with the possibility for live discussion. Meanwhile, in asynchronous learning, a student works independently on a learning project the teacher has assigned.

T

Tax-credits and deductions (for K-12 education): Some states allow parents to receive either a credit or deduction on their state income tax bill for approved education expenses. Depending on the state, approved expenses may include some or all private school tuition or homeschooling expenses, computers, books, or even transportation. In some cases, tax credits are provided to families at the start of the school year, so that they do not have to foot their student’s full education bill and wait for reimbursement.

States with tax credit or deduction programs for individual families include: Alabama, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, and Wisconsin. While many of these tax credit and deduction programs are relatively small in the amount they offer, Oklahoma’s new program offers a refundable tax credit of up to $7,500 per child to cover the cost of private school!

Tax-credit Scholarship: Some states allow individuals and businesses to donate to non-profit organizations that provide school scholarships. In return for their donation, the individual or business receives a tax credit. The non-profit uses the donations to distribute “tax-credit scholarships” to families so they can attend a school of their choice.

States with tax-credit scholarships include: Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Montana, New Hampshire, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, and Virginia. Nebraska is also in the process of establishing a tax-credit scholarship.

Teacher Certification: For the most part, all or most teachers in public schools must be certified or licensed by the state to teach. 

Each state has its own teacher certification or licensure policies. Often, colleges or universities run these teaching certification programs. Most states also have alternative certification programs run by non-profit organizations or other entities. 

Meanwhile, private schools generally set their own rules for hiring teachers. Some schools participate in certification or licensure programs. Sometimes, private organizations (rather than the government) run these programs.

Title I: Title I is a federal program that provides extra funding to schools with high percentages of low-income children. Schools can use Title I funding for curriculum, instructional activities, counseling, parental involvement, or an increase in staff. Parental involvement is an important factor in Title I funding. A school receiving Title I funding must implement programs and activities that promote parent involvement.

Title II: Title II is a federal law aimed at supporting the development of teachers and school leaders, particularly those who teach low-income or minority students. Through Title II, schools can receive federal funds to use for teacher training, so that students receive more effective classroom instruction.

Title IX: Title IX is a civil rights law with the goal of protecting students from discrimination based on sex. Any K-12 school that receives federal funding must follow regulations set out in Title IX to prevent such discrimination. That’s true whether the school is public or private.

Transition Plan: A transition plan is specific to an Individualized Education Plan (IEP) – once a student turns 16 it must have goals and a plan addressing how he or she will transition to life outside of high school.

Transition Meeting: In special education, a transition meeting is a meeting of the Individualized Education Program (IEP) or ARD team prior to a student changing programs or schools.

Transportation: School transportation rules vary widely by state. Most states require traditional public schools to provide free transportation to and from school. Whether you can receive help transporting your child to a charter or private school will depend on where you live.

Triennial Review: A triennial review is an Individualized Education Program (IEP) meeting that occurs every three years during which the IEP or ARD team meets to discuss a student’s continued eligibility for special education services. 

Tuition: All public schools (traditional public schools, public charter schools, and public magnet schools) are tuition-free, funded by taxpayer dollars. The average per-pupil spending in American public schools is more than $14,000

Online schools may be public and tuition-free, or they may be private and charge tuition. 

Private schools charge tuition to cover expenses, though state-run or privately-run scholarships may be available. Private school tuition may vary widely– from a few thousand dollars a year to more than $15,000 a year. 

U

Universal Screening Tool: A universal screening tool is an assessment used to identify or predict students who may be at-risk for not meeting benchmarks or who need additional supports in the classroom. These assessments are generally brief and done in a large group setting.

University Model Education: A university model education blends aspects of homeschooling, public schooling, and private schooling. It mirrors the rhythm of college classes; students often come to class on campus two or three days a week. On other days, they work from home with parental supervision.

A university model school is typically characterized by an emphasis on parent partnership, intentional learning, and self-discipline. Because students at university model schools typically do not attend school on campus five days a week, these schools are often able to keep costs low for families. 

Unschooling: Unschooling is a type of homeschooling that focuses on nurturing a child’s innate curiosity and interests, rather than focusing on a particular curriculum. Hallmarks of unschooling include self-directed learning, resource-rich environments, and learning through conversation, experience, and play.

V

Vocational school: In a vocational program or school, students study all traditional subjects, but with a particular focus on learning a trade and preparing to join the workforce. For example, students in vocational schools may study plumbing, carpentry, culinary arts, or other subjects.

Voucher: Families eligible for vouchers can use all or or some of the public funding available for their child’s education to attend a private school of their choice. 

States with voucher programs include Arkansas, Georgia, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Maine, Mississippi, North Carolina, New Hampshire, Ohio, Oklahoma, Utah, Vermont, Wisconsin, and Washington, D.C. 

W

Waldorf: Waldorf education is one philosophy and method of education. It seeks to develop each child’s unique potential by focusing on the arts and learning through experiencing creativity and wonder. Some of the goals of Waldorf education include: exposing children to a wide range of experiences, including music and art, and developing confident, well-rounded, creative individuals.

Waldorf education is based on the principles of Austrian thinker Rudolf Steiner. 

Weighted Grades: A weighted grade is the average of a group of grades, each of which group makes up a different percentage of the final grade. For example, maybe homework makes up 25% of your child’s grade and the final exam makes up 75% of it. The final exam carries more weight– it’s worth more in your student’s final grade. Here, your child’s class grade will depend more on their final exam score than how they do on homework. 

Whole Child Education: Whole child education places a priority not just on academics, but on all aspects of the child’s development, including social-emotional learning, physical health, and mental health. 

Wraparound Services: In education, wraparound services refer to when a school seeks to provide support to students that “wrap around” into all areas of life. For instance, wraparound services may look like providing vision screening or food support for students. Or, it may extend to providing health or housing help to a student’s family.

X

Y

Year-round School: Like it sounds, year-round schooling refers to there being no summer break. Instead, year-round schools typically take shorter breaks through the year.

Z

Zone (Attendance Zone): In many areas, where a family lives determines what public school they are automatically assigned or zoned to. Today, there are increasing opportunities to choose a school other than your zoned school, whether through open enrollment or by attending a public charter school or another type of school.

Ya sea por problemas de salud u otras razones, muchos padres buscan una opción de aprendizaje que no sea en persona. Si el aprendizaje en línea o la escuela en línea K-12 son sus mejores opciones para el año escolar 2021-2022, ¡esta página es para usted! 

[bctt tweet=”¿Está pensando en cambiarse a la educación en línea? O tal vez se esté preguntando si su estado tiene una opción que le permite ir a la escuela en línea de forma gratuita. @SchoolChoiceWk creó esta guía para responder sus preguntas.” url=”https://schoolchoiceweek.com/escuelas-en-linea/” via=”no”]

Tal vez está pensando en cambiar a sus hijos a la educación en línea, pero no está seguro de cómo hacer el cambio. ¿Cómo funciona la escuela en línea? O tal vez se pregunte si su estado tiene una opción que le permita estudiar en línea de forma gratuita. Hemos creado esta guía completa de la escuela en línea responda a esas preguntas.

Aunque la pandemia ha hecho que aumente el interés por el aprendizaje en línea, las familias han estado usando programas de aprendizaje en línea durante años. El acceso a Internet ha transformado nuestra vida social y está transformando la escuela también. Es importante que los programas de aprendizaje en línea ofrezcan a los estudiantes la posibilidad de trabajar desde casa (o en cualquier lugar con Internet). Esa flexibilidad hace que se adapte bien a muchas familias.  

Como Chris McBride, superintendente de una escuela en línea en Nevada, describe, “Hay muchas razones por las que los estudiantes pueden necesitar horarios flexibles, desde cuestiones médicas hasta atletas competitivos o artistas del espectáculo. Algunas familias se inscriben en nuestra escuela porque están escapando de algunos de los problemas de intimidación y otros problemas culturales/climáticos que están presentes en las escuelas presenciales. Otras familias se inscriben porque lo ven como una excelente alternativa a la educación en casa.”

Usted habrá escuchado muchos términos como escuela en línea, aprendizaje remoto, y educación en el hogar de manera intercambiable en este momento, pero realmente son opciones escolares ¡bastante diferentes! Lea nuestra explicación de las diferencias aquí.

 

¿Te gusta lo que ves? ¡Ingrese su correo electrónico para obtener más recursos educativos gratuitos!

¿Es esta la primera vez que navega por el sistema educativo en los Estados Unidos? Si es así, es esencial saber que la educación K-12 es obligatoria, gratuita y abierta a todos los niños de este país, independientemente de los ingresos familiares, el estado migratorio o la religión. Cada familia tiene una escuela pública local asignada a la que es gratis asistir, pero en la mayoría de los lugares usted puede elegir entre otras escuelas públicas gratuitas como escuelas chárter, escuelas magnet o escuelas en línea; o seleccionar una escuela privada o educación en el hogar. Encuentre más información sobre la estructura del sistema educativo aquí y algunas preguntas frecuentes para padres migrantes de primera generación que buscan opciones de elección de escuela aquí.

Cómo cambiarse a una escuela en línea

¿Cómo funciona la escuela en línea?

En los Estados Unidos, aproximadamente 375,000 estudiantes de K-12 asistieron a una escuela en línea en el 2019. Los estudiantes de las escuelas en línea trabajan desde casa y siguen un plan de estudios establecido, enviando sus tareas a través de un portal en línea. Además, los estudiantes reciben comentarios y calificaciones de profesores acreditados que pueden comunicarse por correo electrónico, conferencia web o llamadas telefónicas.

Mientras que a los padres no se les pide que sean maestros, los programas escolares en línea suelen pedir a los padres que se involucren en la educación de sus hijos. Los padres actúan como un entrenador de aprendizaje, ayudando a su estudiante a mantenerse en el camino.

Estás mucho más en sintonía con lo que están haciendo. Ese es un beneficio que no tendrías al enviar a tu hijo a otra opción de escolarización. – Tara Boedigheimer, madre en la escuela en línea

Dos de los mayores programas escolares en línea de K-12 en este país son Connections Academy y K12 Learning. Las escuelas apoyadas por Connections Academy son escuelas públicas en línea gratuitas que actualmente están disponibles en más de 30 estados. Del mismo modo, K12 Learning ofrece escuelas públicas gratuitas en muchos estados, así como cursos independientes de pago y clases sobre carreras

Mientras que algunas escuelas virtuales son completamente en línea, otras son “escuelas mixtas”. Pero, ¿qué son las escuelas mixtas? Las escuelas mixtas son escuelas en línea que ofrecen establecimientos donde los estudiantes asisten de vez en cuando. La Academia GOAL en Colorado, por ejemplo, tiene “centros de acogida” donde los estudiantes pueden recibir clases particulares, participar en actividades o simplemente pasar tiempo con sus compañeros.

Además del aprendizaje combinado, se están desarrollando cada vez más variaciones de la educación en línea; en algunos estados, los estudiantes pueden incluso crear una “lista de reproducción” de clases entre la escuela de su vecindario y una escuela en línea. Es por eso que algunos líderes en línea dicen que el poder real del aprendizaje en línea es la personalización. El plan de estudios se puede diferenciar para satisfacer las necesidades de los estudiantes, y los estudiantes pueden ajustar el ritmo del trabajo del curso y probar el material que han dominado.

 pantalla de puntos de adulto a la computadora

Cómo hacer el cambio

Si acaba de empezar, aquí tiene los pasos que puede seguir para cambiar a la educación en línea:

1.Revise las instrucciones del estado: Primero, encuentre su estado en nuestra lista a continuación para revisar las pautas de su estado para las escuelas en línea. ¿Sabía que más de 35 estados ofrecen escuelas públicas en línea a tiempo completo de forma gratuita? En otros estados, los programas privados en línea están disponibles bajo cierto costo.

2.Contacte a la escuela que le interesa: Segundo, contacte la escuela en línea que le interese y obtenga así más detalles. Algunas pueden permitir la inscripción en cualquier momento, mientras que otras pueden tener fechas límite. Las escuelas públicas en línea deben aceptar a todos los estudiantes, sin importar su rendimiento académico o sus necesidades.

Además, los estudiantes no están obligados a tomar pruebas especiales de ingreso para inscribirse en las escuelas públicas en línea. Sin embargo, algunos estados ponen límites de asistencia o financiación, así que asegúrate de que haya disponibilidad en la escuela que elijas.

Cuando se comunique con la escuela en línea, también puede preguntar sobre las expectativas de la escuela y qué recursos necesitará en casa. Por ejemplo, ¿proporcionará la escuela una computadora para su estudiante? ¿Necesita su estudiante una cámara web? ¿Cómo es un día típico? ¿Cuánta supervisión de los padres se requiere?

3.Retírese oficialmente (si es aplicable): En muchos casos, si actualmente está inscrito en una escuela pública o privada, tendrá que enviar una carta de retirada a su distrito escolar. Es una buena idea guardar una copia de la carta, en caso de que surja alguna pregunta. Además, puede aprovechar esta oportunidad para solicitar las transcripciones de su hijo a la escuela.

Por supuesto, las directrices de su estado son lo primero. Tenga en cuenta que en algunos estados, como Missouri, West Virginia y Rhode Island los estudiantes sólo tienen acceso a las escuelas gratuitas en línea a través de su distrito de residencia. En estos casos, ya que el distrito es responsable de pagar por el acceso, las familias deben permanecer inscriptas en el distrito cuando se cambian a la escuela en línea.

4.Inscríbase y empiece: Ahora, inscríbase en la escuela de su elección en línea. Asóciese con su hijo para decidir cómo será su nueva rutina de aprendizaje. Por ejemplo, ¿a qué hora empezará su estudiante la escuela por la mañana? ¿Con qué frecuencia se trabajará el ejercicio y las actividades externas durante la semana?

 ipad mostrando estudiante con pañuelo amarillo

Espere una curva de aprendizaje

Si la escuela en línea es algo que usted y su estudiante deciden probar, aunque sea temporalmente, es importante darse cuenta de que habrá una curva de aprendizaje. ¡No deje que eso le deprima!

“Sólo tienes que tener la mente abierta”, dijo Bryan Klochack, director de una escuela en línea en Michigan. “A menudo nos referimos a ello como beber de una boca de incendios al principio porque es muy diferente”.

Aunque la escuela en línea no es para todos los estudiantes y todas las familias, puede marcar una gran diferencia para algunos.

Como dijo Klochack, “Tener esa opción para que las familias pongan a sus hijos donde van a encontrar un gran éxito: Eso es lo que hacemos.”

 

¿Cómo Encontrar las Leyes de su Estado?

¿Qué opciones tiene para aprender en línea? Revise su guía del estado para padres, o vaya más abajo para saber si su estado ofrece escuela en línea gratuita.

En 33 estados, escuelas públicas en línea han sido establecidas por las autoridades del estado, por los distritos escolares, o escuelas chárter, lo que significa que los estudiantes pueden asistir a esas escuelas tiempo completo, sin costo de matrícula. Además, al menos en 36 estados ofrecen educación pública en línea a tiempo parcial a través del acceso a cursos, lo que permite a los estudiantes usar cursos en línea para complementar su educación con clases específicas. En muchos estados, esto es accesible, y a veces incluso gratuito, para estudiantes de escuelas privadas o educados en el hogar.

[custom_us_map type=”color” sector=”online”]

Fuentes: Grupo de Educación Evergreen e investigación independiente por NSCW

Si bien no cada estado ofrece escuelas en línea gratuita, programas escolares en línea pagados, están disponibles en todos los 50 estados. Por ejemplo, opciones pagadas como Escuela Chárter Academia de Aprendizaje Virtual (la cual es gratuita para los residentes de New Hampshire), La Escuela Keystone, y Escuela Laurel Springs están disponibles para las familias en cualquier estado. Usted puede informarse más sobre las escuelas públicas en línea y recursos en el Aprendizaje Digital Colaborativo.

Alabama:

Alabama ofrece varias opciones gratuitas de aprendizaje y de tiempo completo en línea para estudiantes, como la Academia de Conexiones de Alabama (Alabama Connections Academy),  Academia Virtual de Alabama (Alabama Virtual Academy) Genesis Innovative School,  Alabama Destinations Career (abierta para nuevo ingreso K-10)

Para clases gratuitas tiempo parcial, ACCESS Alabama funciona como escuela virtual del estado y está diseñado para que los estudiantes de secundaria tomen cursos que puede que no estén disponibles (o que no son fáciles de programar) en sus escuelas. Los estudiantes de escuelas públicas en grados 9-12 pueden tomar clases gratis; los estudiantes de escuelas no públicas pueden tomar cursos por una tarifa. 

 

¿Cuál es la fecha límite para inscribirse en la escuela en línea en Alabama para 2021-2022?
Alabama Virtual Academy, Alabama Connections Academy, Alabama Destinations Career Academy y Genesis Innovative School ofrecen fechas límite de inscripción continuas.

¿Qué opciones en línea todavía tienen asientos disponibles y en qué grados para 2021-2022?
A partir de septiembre de 2021, Alabama Connections Academy y Alabama Destinations Career Academy tienen asientos disponibles para los grados K-12. Alabama Virtual Academy todavía está aceptando solicitudes, pero la inscripción para el décimo grado está cerrada y reabrirá el 1 de octubre para una fecha de inicio del segundo semestre.

¿Las escuelas proporcionan equipo e internet?

Alabama Virtual Academy proporciona una computadora y un estipendio de Internet si la familia cumple con los requisitos financieros y académicos. En Alabama Destinations Career Academy, los estudiantes calificados pueden recibir una computadora e impresora en préstamo. Alabama Connections Academy y Genesis Innovative School no ofrecen tecnología ni wifi.

 

Alaska:

En Alaska, estudiantes de escuela secundaria y preparatoria en ciertos distritos pueden inscribirse en cursos en línea a través de la Academia Digital de Alaska (Alaska Digital Academy) por una tarifa. Como se mencionó anteriormente, las familias de Alaska también pueden considerar programas nacionales de aprendizaje en línea, como Virtual Learning Academy Charter School, The Keystone School y Laurel Springs School, por una tarifa.

Además, Alaska tiene muchas ofertas de escuelas por correspondencia, algunas de las cuales son gratuitas, entre las que las familias pueden elegir. Por último, el programa ASD FLEX ofrece un programa gratuito de aprendizaje en el hogar completamente en línea que las familias de Anchorage pueden elegir a través de su vecindario o escuela de elección. El programa de aprendizaje virtual cuenta con maestros del Distrito Escolar de Anchorage y permite a las familias mantener una conexión con su escuela local.

 

Arizona:

Los estudiantes de Arizona pueden asistir a Arizona Virtual Academy, Arizona Connections Academy, Primavera Online School, Sequoia Choice Arizona Distance Learning o ASU Prep Digital a tiempo completo sin costo. Los estudiantes en los grados 7-12 también pueden considerar Insight Academy of Arizona o Hope High School Online, las cuales se especializan en ayudar a los estudiantes con dificultades a tener éxito. Los estudiantes en los grados K-8 también pueden considerar Leman Virtual Academy.

Para que los fondos se transfieran a una de estas escuelas, las familias que se cambian a una escuela en línea pueden necesitar iniciar el retiro de su escuela anterior. Puede obtener más información sobre la comunidad escolar en línea de su estado en AZ Parents for Education.

¿Cuál es la fecha límite para inscribirse en la escuela en línea en Arizona para 2021-2022?
Leman Virtual Academy y Hope High School Online se inscriben durante todo el año. Arizona Connections Academy ofrece inscripción continua, pero la inscripción se detendrá del 4 al 18 de octubre de 2021. ASU Prep Digital ofrece inscripción continua, pero el 3 de octubre es la fecha límite para tomar cursos universitarios concurrentes. En Primavera Online School, los estudiantes en los grados 11-12 aún pueden solicitar cursos de seis semanas disponibles este otoño. Para otros grados, la solicitud para el segundo semestre es el 17 de diciembre.

¿Qué opciones en línea todavía tienen asientos disponibles y en qué grados para 2021-2022?
En septiembre de 2021, Arizona Virtual Academy, ASU Prep Digital y Primavera Online School tienen cupos disponibles para los grados K-12. Insight Academy of Arizona y Hope High School Online tienen cupos disponibles para los grados 7-12 y Leman Virtual Academy tienen cupos disponibles para los grados K-8. En Arizona Connections Academy, los grados K-5 están limitados, pero los cupos todavía están disponibles en los grados 6-11.

¿La escuela proporciona tecnología y wifi?
En Arizona Connections Academy, una familia puede optar por un subsidio de computadora portátil e Internet por hogar. En Arizona Virtual Academy, una familia puede recibir una computadora si califica para almuerzo gratis o reducido o si es educación especial. Un estipendio de wifi puede estar disponible al final del año escolar. En Insight Academy of Arizona, una computadora en préstamo está disponible para familias calificadas. Primavera Online School, Hope High School, ASU Prep y Leman Virtual Academy no ofrecen computadoras ni wifi.

 

Arkansas:

Arkansas ofrece varias opciones de aprendizaje en líneas gratuitas a tiempo completo para estudiantes, como la Arkansas Connections Academy y la Arkansas Virtual Academy. También hay opciones de escuelas en línea del distrito; por ejemplo, los estudiantes del distrito escolar de Siloam Springs o los estudiantes que utilizan la inscripción abierta también pueden elegir la Academia virtual de Siloam Springs.

Para tiempo parcial, Virtual Arkansas ofrece opciones en línea para cualquier estudiante de Arkansas, aunque las clases en línea para estudiantes de grados K-6 están limitadas. Los estudiantes inscritos en una escuela pública pueden tomar todas o algunas clases en línea en su Virtual Arkansas. Si bien el sitio web Virtual Arkansas enumera tarifas para cursos, el distrito escolar local paga esos, no los estudiantes o sus familiares.

¿Cuál es la fecha límite para inscribirse en la escuela en línea en Arkansas para 2020-2021?
Arkansas Connections Academy ofrece inscripción continua. En Arkansas Virtual Academy, los grados K-8 tienen inscripción continua. Mientras que, los grados 9-12 tienen inscripción abierta hasta octubre y nuevamente de enero a marzo.

¿Qué opciones en línea todavía tienen asientos disponibles y en qué grados para 2020-2021?
Tanto Arkansas Connections Academy como Arkansas Virtual Academy tienen asientos disponibles para los grados K-12.

¿La escuela proporciona tecnología y wifi?
Arkansas Connections Academy ofrece asistencia tecnológica y wifi basada en los ingresos. De manera similar, en Arkansas Virtual Academy, si califica para almuerzo gratis o reducido, se le podría  proporcionar una computadora y un estipendio de wifi.

 

California:

California ofrece varias opciones de aprendizaje en línea gratuitas y de tiempo completo para los estudiantes, como California Connections Academy y California Virtual Academies. Las Escuelas Charter de California Pacific son otra opción gratuita en línea para los estudiantes de más de una docena de condados de California. Mientras tanto, Method Online School atiende a estudiantes del sur de California, y Compass Charter Schools atiende a Los Ángeles, Yolo, San Diego y las áreas circundantes.

Los estudiantes de K-12 en los condados de Ventura, San Bernardino, Kern y Orange también pueden considerar IQ Academy-Los Ángeles. Si bien gran parte del aprendizaje es facilitado por la tecnología, estos programas de aprendizaje también ofrecen viajes de campo en persona y reuniones. Los estudiantes en los grados 9-12 que necesiten apoyo académico adicional para superar obstáculos pueden considerar Insight Schools of California.

Además, algunos distritos han creado sus propias escuelas en línea, como Davis School for Independent Study. Los estudiantes del distrito o que hayan recibido una transferencia entre distritos pueden presentar una solicitud.

Usted también puede revisar en: Padres de California para la Educación Virtual Pública.

¿Cuál es la fecha límite para inscribirse en la escuela en línea en California para el período 2021-2022?
En IQ Academy California, la fecha límite para los grados 9-12 fue el 22 de septiembre, mientras que la fecha límite para los grados K-8 es el 2 de noviembre. Debido al gran interés, California Connections Academy cerró las inscripciones para el semestre de otoño. Las escuelas autónomas Compass y las escuelas autónomas de California Pacific ofrecen admisión continua hasta que alcancen su capacidad máxima.

¿Qué opciones en línea todavía tienen asientos disponibles y en qué grados para 2021-2022?
En septiembre de 2021, IQ Academy California tiene asientos disponibles para los grados K-12. Las escuelas Charter Compass y las escuelas Charter de California Pacific también tienen asientos disponibles. California Connections Academy no tiene asientos disponibles para el semestre de otoño.

¿La escuela proporciona tecnología y wifi?
En California Connections Academy, se puede solicitar una computadora por hogar y un subsidio de Internet. En las Academias Virtuales de California, un estipendio para computadora y wifi puede estar disponible. Tanto Insight Schools of California como IQ Academy California proporcionan computadoras según la necesidad financiera.

 

Colorado:

Colorado ofrece varias opciones gratuitas de aprendizaje en línea a tiempo completo para los estudiantes, como Colorado Connections Academy, Colorado Virtual Academy y Colorado Preparatory Academy. Puede sumergirse en una lista completa de opciones en línea, algunas de las cuales son específicas del distrito y otras a nivel estatal, en el Departamento de Educación de Colorado. Los estudiantes de 6º a 12º grado interesados ​​en educación vocacional pueden desear visitar Destinations Career Academy of Colorado, que se especializa en capacitación del mundo real para carreras específicas. Los estudiantes en los grados 9-12 que necesitan apoyo académico y social adicional para sobresalir pueden considerar la escuela en línea Pikes Peak.

Además, Colorado Digital Learning Solutions ofrece cursos de medio tiempo para estudiantes de secundaria y preparatoria. Si bien Colorado Digital Learning Solutions cobra tarifas, los estudiantes que asisten a las escuelas públicas tradicionales y las escuelas charter de Colorado pueden tener sus tarifas subsidiadas. Otra opción de medio tiempo para algunos estudiantes de Colorado es My Tech High, que se asocia con Colorado Early Colleges, el distrito escolar de Vilas y el distrito escolar del condado de Kiowa RE-2 para ofrecer a los estudiantes de 5 a 18 años aprendizaje en línea.

Recientemente entrevistamos a una escuela en línea de Colorado, GOAL Academy. Esta escuela en línea tiene centros donde los estudiantes pueden trabajar y excursiones escolares frecuentes, ofreciendo a las familias una combinación única de educación virtual y en persona. Para obtener más información sobre la comunidad escolar en línea de su estado, consulte la Coalición de Familias Cyberschool en Colorado.

¿Cuál es la fecha límite para inscribirse en la escuela en línea en Colorado para el período 2021-2022?
Las familias pueden inscribirse en Colorado Virtual Academy de forma continua. En Connections Academy, la inscripción para el primer semestre cerró el 23 de septiembre, pero los grados K-11 pueden postularse para el segundo semestre. En Pikes Peak Online School, la inscripción finaliza a mediados de septiembre, pero ocasionalmente hay lugares disponibles para el segundo semestre.

¿Qué opciones en línea todavía tienen asientos disponibles y en qué grados para 2021-2022?
En septiembre de 2021, Colorado Virtual Academy tiene asientos disponibles para los grados K-12, mientras que Pikes Peak Online School tiene asientos disponibles para los grados 9-12. Colorado Connections Academy está aceptando solicitudes para el segundo semestre para los grados K-11.

¿La escuela proporciona tecnología y wifi?
Colorado Connections Academy proporciona a los estudiantes una computadora de escritorio y un reembolso por Internet. La escuela en línea Pikes Peak proporciona computadoras en préstamo y reembolsos por servicios de Internet en casos de necesidad financiera. Los estudiantes de Destinations Career Academy pueden recibir una computadora portátil en préstamo. Colorado Virtual Academy y Colorado Preparatory Academy no ofrecen tecnología ni wifi, pero es posible que existan excepciones debido a necesidades económicas.

 

Connecticut:

Si bien la mayoría de los estados tienen programas escolares gratis en línea, Connecticut solo tiene opciones pagadas disponibles al momento, como la Escuela Secundaria en Línea de la Universidad George WashingtonLa Escuela Keystone, y la K12 Academia Internacional

Se espera que K12 lance una escuela en línea en Connecticut, pero aún no está disponible para las familias.

 

Delaware:

La mayoría de los estados tienen programas escolares en línea gratuitos, pero Delaware no tiene ninguno por el momento.

En este estado existen opciones pagadas , encuentre más información como  George Washington University Online High SchoolThe Keystone SchoolK12 International Academy.  Estas escuelas privadas en línea están disponibles para las familias en Delaware, pero no son específicas del estado.

 

Florida:

En la Florida, los distritos deben ofrecer a los estudiantes al menos una opción virtual.Florida tiene la escuela virtual más grande en la nación. Cualquier estudiante en la Florida puede tomar cursos a través de la Escuela Virtual de la Florida (Florida Virtual School), tiempo completo o parcial, libre de cargos.

Otras opciones de aprendizaje gratis en línea también están disponibles, tales como la Florida Connections Academy,  Coastal Connections Academy, Florida Cyber Academy, Digital Academy of Florida. En Septiembre de 2021, hay límites de inscripción para las escuelas virtuales administradas por el distritos en Florida.

¿Cuál es la fecha límite para inscribirse en una escuela en línea en Florida para el período 2021-2022?
Para la opción de tiempo completo de Florida Virtual School, la inscripción comienza el 1 de noviembre para el semestre de primavera. FLVS Flex ofrece opciones de cursos con fechas de inicio flexibles durante todo el año. La fecha límite para Florida Connections Academy y Coastal Connections Academy fue el 17 de septiembre. La fecha límite para Digital Academy of Florida fue el 20 de septiembre. Mientras tanto, Florida Cyber ​​Charter Academy acepta estudiantes hasta que se haya completado la capacidad.

¿Qué opciones en línea todavía tienen asientos disponibles y en qué grados para 2021-2022?
En septiembre de 2021, se han cumplido los límites de Florida Connections Academy y Florida Cyber ​​Charter Academy y todos los nuevos solicitantes se incluirán en una lista de espera. Coastal Connections Academy y Digital Academy of Florida todavía tienen asientos disponibles para los grados K-12. En Florida Virtual School, la inscripción se cerró para los estudiantes de tiempo completo durante el semestre de otoño. Los estudiantes en los grados 6-12 aún pueden inscribirse en cursos individuales a través de FLVS Flex.

¿La escuela proporciona tecnología y wifi?
Florida Connections Academy, Coastal Connections Academy y Florida Cyber ​​Charter Academy brindan computadoras en préstamo y reembolsos por servicios de Internet en caso de dificultades financieras. Florida Virtual School y Digital Academy of Florida proporcionan computadoras en préstamo a familias elegibles.

 

Georgia:

La Georgia Virtual School ofrece cursos en línea a nivel de escuela secundaria, más algunos cursos de escuela intermedia también. Los estudiantes de escuela pública pueden inscribirse a tiempo completo o parcial sin costo. Algunos fondos estatales están disponibles para cubrir la matrícula de los estudiantes privados y la educación en el hogar por orden de llegada. También hay disponibles otras opciones de aprendizaje gratuitas a tiempo completo, como la Georgia Connections Academy y Georgia Cyber Academy.

Algunos distritos de Georgia han desarrollado escuelas en línea y las familias pueden transferirse a una de estas escuelas. Por ejemplo, el Programa Virtual del Condado de Thomas atiende a estudiantes K-12 en el condado de Thomas y los condados vecinos. Y los estudiantes en los grados 3-11 en el condado de Fulton también pueden elegir la Academia de Excelencia Virtual de Fulton.

También puede revisar: Familias para la Educación Pública Virtual en Georgia.

Debido a COVID-19, el estado ha asignado $ 1.2 millones en fondos para contratar nuevos maestros en la Escuela Virtual de Georgia y proporcionar un mayor acceso a los cursos para los grados 6-12. El estado también ha asignado $ 3 millones en fondos para aumentar la disponibilidad de wifi en vecindarios de alta necesidad y $ 1 millón para adquirir puntos de acceso de Internet personales para estudiantes.

¿Cuál es la fecha límite para inscribirse en la escuela en línea en Georgia para 2021-2022?
La fecha límite para inscribirse en Georgia Cyber ​​Academy fue el 29 de agosto. Si bien la inscripción del primer semestre está cerrada para Georgia Connections Academy, la inscripción del segundo semestre comienza el 10 de octubre.

¿Qué opciones en línea todavía tienen asientos disponibles y en qué grados para 2021-2022?
A partir de septiembre de 2021, la Escuela Virtual de Georgia está aceptando solicitudes para sus cursos de primavera de 2022. Georgia Connections Academy ha alcanzado su límite de inscripción para los grados 5, 8-9 y 11-12, pero tiene vacantes disponibles para los grados 6, 7 y 10. Georgia Cyber ​​Academy ya no acepta solicitudes para el año escolar 2021-2022. La escuela ofrece excepciones para que los hermanos y los estudiantes sin hogar se inscriban en enero.

¿La escuela proporciona tecnología y wifi?
Georgia Connections Academy no proporciona tecnología ni wifi a los estudiantes. En Georgia Cyber ​​Academy, se proporciona una computadora, una impresora y un punto de acceso a las familias que lo solicitan y cumplen con criterios específicos.

 

Hawaii:

Los estudiantes de escuelas secundaria e intermedia matriculados en cualquier escuela pública tradicional o chárter, pueden tomar clases a través de la escuela electrónica de Hawaii. La inscripción para las clases de primavera de 2022 a través de E-School comienza el 17 de noviembre.

Además, para el año escolar 2021-2022, algunos distritos ofrecen planes de aprendizaje en línea. Puede encontrar una lista completa de estas opciones en el Departamento de Educación de Hawái.

Los padres que deseen inscribir a sus hijos en la escuela en línea a tiempo completo pueden contratar a un proveedor privado. Las opciones pagadas como la escuela secundaria en línea de la Universidad George Washington, la escuela Keystone y la Academia Internacional K12 están disponibles en cualquier estado. 

 

Idaho:

Idaho ofrece varias opciones de aprendizaje en línea, gratuitas y de tiempo completo para estudiantes en grados K-12, como la Inspire Connections Academy y la Academia Virtual de Idaho (Idaho Virtual Academy).

Los estudiantes en los grados 6-12 también pueden considerar Idaho Connects Online School, y los estudiantes en los grados 9-12 también pueden considerar Idaho Technical Career Academy, una escuela en línea de tiempo completo centrada en la preparación profesional.

Para las opciones de parte del tiempo, los estudiantes de Idaho en grados 6-12 pueden inscribirse en clases en línea a través de Idaho Digital Learning. Aprendiendo Digital en Idaho está disponible para los estudiantes en cualquier tipo de entorno educativo, público o privado. Pero los padres deben consultar con su escuela pública local o el distrito para detalles, ya que pueden aplicar tarifas.

Los estudiantes en Boise que deseen asistir a la escuela en línea en 2020-2021 también pueden postularse a la Escuela en línea de Boise, que comienza el 17 de agosto de 2020. Comuníquese con su escuela para obtener más información sobre cómo inscribirse.

¿Cuál es la fecha límite para inscribirse en la escuela en línea en Idaho para el período 2021-2022?
Idaho Connects Online School ofrece admisión continua, con solicitudes aceptadas en cualquier época del año. En Inspire Connections Academy, la fecha límite para inscribirse fue el 1 de octubre. En Idaho Technical Career Academy, la fecha límite para inscribirse era el 30 de agosto. En Idaho Virtual Academy, hay varias fechas límite que la escuela ofrece para inicios tardíos durante todo el año.

¿Qué opciones en línea todavía tienen asientos disponibles y en qué grados para 2021-2022?
En septiembre de 2021, Inspire Connections Academy tiene asientos disponibles para los grados K-12 e Idaho Connects Online tiene asientos disponibles para los grados 6-12. Idaho Virtual Academy tiene asientos disponibles y ofrece fechas de inicio mensuales en las que los estudiantes pueden inscribirse durante el año escolar. Estos se extienden hasta febrero. La Academia de Carreras Técnicas de Idaho tiene asientos disponibles para los grados 9-12.

¿La escuela proporciona tecnología y wifi?
En Inspire Connections Academy, hay una computadora portátil y un subsidio de Internet disponibles por hogar. En Idaho Virtual Academy, una computadora portátil en préstamo está disponible para las familias elegibles. En Idaho Technical Career Academy, cada estudiante recibe una computadora e impresora en préstamo y, en algunos casos, hay subsidios disponibles para Internet. En Idaho Connects Online School, se puede solicitar una computadora.

 

Illinois: 

Los estudiantes de Illinois en grados 5-12 pueden tomar cursos adicionales en línea a través de la Escuela Virtual de Illinois. Mientras que la Escuela Virtual de Illinois cobra tarifas, algunas escuelas y distritos pagan por esas a nombre de sus estudiantes. Los estudiantes pueden registrarse a través de su escuela local o como un estudiante de educación en el hogar. 

Las opciones en línea pagadas a tiempo completo, como la escuela Universidad George Washington, la escuela Keystone y la Academia Internacional K12, están disponibles para los estudiantes de Illinois, pero no son específicas del estado.

 

Indiana:

Las opciones de aprendizaje en línea gratuitas y de tiempo completo para los estudiantes de Indiana incluyen la Indiana Connections Academy y la Indiana Digital Learning School y Phalen Virtual Leadership Academy que se lanzó en el verano de 2020. Los estudiantes en los grados 7-12 también pueden considerar Insight School of Indiana, mientras que los estudiantes en los grados 9-12 pueden considerar Indiana Connections Career Academy y Achieve Virtual.

Las familias que califican para el programa de vales del estado pueden aplicar esos vales a dos escuelas virtuales privadas recientemente acreditadas, GEO Focus Academy y Faith Prep.

Otra opción que pueden elegir los estudiantes de Indiana es IU High School, una escuela secundaria privada en línea totalmente acreditada dirigida por la Universidad de Indiana. Los estudiantes de IU High School pueden tomar cursos para complementar sus experiencias educativas en instituciones físicas, o los estudiantes pueden obtener un diploma de escuela secundaria en línea a tiempo completo. La escuela secundaria IU se fundó en 1925, por lo que ha permitido que los estudiantes obtengan un diploma de escuela secundaria a distancia durante casi un siglo.

Finalmente, algunas escuelas cubrirán los costos para que los estudiantes tomen cursos de secundaria a tiempo parcial a través de Indiana Online.

¿Cuál es la fecha límite para inscribirse en la escuela en línea en Indiana para el período 2021-2022?
Indiana Digital Learning School, Phalen Virtual Leadership Academy y Achieve Virtual ofrecen políticas de inscripción continua. En Indiana Connections Career Academy e Indiana Connections Academy, la inscripción para el primer semestre está cerrada, pero los grados 6-11 pueden inscribirse para el segundo semestre a partir del 13 de octubre.

¿Qué opciones en línea todavía tienen asientos disponibles y en qué grados para 2021-2022?
A partir de septiembre de 2021, Indiana Digital Learning School tiene vacantes disponibles para los grados K-12. Indiana Connections Academy tiene cupos disponibles para los grados 6-11, y la inscripción en los grados K-5 está sujeta a una lista de espera. Indiana Connections Career Academy tiene asientos disponibles para los grados 6-11. Insight School of Indiana tiene asientos disponibles para los grados 7-12.

¿La escuela proporciona tecnología y wifi?
En Indiana Digital Learning School, todos los estudiantes tienen la opción de recibir una computadora; Las familias de bajos ingresos pueden solicitar un estipendio de wifi que se distribuirá a fin de año. En Indiana Connections Academy e Indiana Connections Career Academy, las familias no reciben tecnología ni wifi a menos que soliciten una exención por dificultades. Phalen Virtual Leadership Academy y Achieve Virtual no brindan tecnología ni wifi a los estudiantes. En Insight School of Indiana, los estudiantes elegibles pueden solicitar una computadora e Internet.

Iowa:

Iowa ofrece varias opciones gratuitas de aprendizaje en línea a tiempo completo para estudiantes, como Iowa Connections Academy y Iowa Virtual Academy. Para que los fondos sigan a un niño a la escuela en línea, las familias deben completar la Solicitud de Inscripción Abierta de Iowa con su distrito asignado para su aprobación; esto podría potencialmente ser denegado si se completa después del cierre del período de inscripción abierta en la primavera.

Además de estas opciones estatales, varios distritos ofrecen actualmente programas en línea. Puede encontrar una lista de estas escuelas en línea en el Departamento de Educación de Iowa.

¿Cuál es la fecha límite para inscribirse en la escuela en línea en Iowa para 2021-2022?
Iowa Connections Academy tiene una política de inscripción continua basada en la capacidad y la aprobación de la escuela asignada al solicitante. La fecha límite de la Academia Virtual de Iowa fue el 10 de septiembre.

¿Qué opciones en línea todavía tienen asientos disponibles y en qué grados para 2021-2022?
En septiembre de 2021, Iowa Connections Academy todavía tiene capacidad para los grados K-5, y la Academia Virtual de Iowa está aceptando solicitudes para los grados K-12.

¿La escuela proporciona tecnología y wifi?
En Iowa Connections Academy, hay subsidios para computadoras e Internet disponibles para las familias elegibles. La Academia Virtual de Iowa no suele ofrecer tecnología ni wifi, pero, en función de la ayuda económica, es posible que haya disponible una computadora en préstamo.

 

Kansas:

Kansas ofrece varias opciones de aprendizaje en línea gratuitas y de tiempo completo para los estudiantes, como Kansas Virtual Academy (K-6), Kansas Connections Academy y Kansas Online Learning Program. Para los estudiantes en los grados 7-12, una opción adicional es la Insight School of Kansas, que se especializa en ayudar a los estudiantes a superar los obstáculos para el éxito académico.

El Departamento de Educación del Estado de Kansas también mantiene un directorio completo de programas escolares virtuales, que incluye muchas escuelas en línea del distrito. Puede buscar en la lista programas que permitan la transferencia de estudiantes de fuera del distrito.

¿Cuál es la fecha límite para inscribirse en la escuela en línea en Kansas para el período 2021-2022?
En Kansas Connections Academy, la fecha límite para inscribirse era el 3 de septiembre. La inscripción de otoño en Kansas Virtual Academy está cerrada, pero las familias pueden solicitar los espacios disponibles en la primavera. Insight School of Kansas tiene una política de inscripción continua hasta el 11 de diciembre para los grados 7-8 y hasta el 3 de septiembre para los grados 9-12. La inscripción se cerró para el semestre de otoño en el Programa de aprendizaje en línea de Kansas.

¿Qué opciones en línea todavía tienen asientos disponibles y en qué grados para 2021-2022?
A partir de septiembre de 2021, Kansas Virtual Academy está aceptando solicitudes de lista de espera para los grados K-6. Insight School of Kansas está aceptando solicitudes de lista de espera para los grados 7-8.

¿La escuela proporciona tecnología y wifi?
Según la necesidad, Kansas Connections Academy, Kansas Virtual Academy, Insight School of Kansas y Kansas Online Learning Program pueden proporcionar computadoras en préstamo a los estudiantes.

                                                      

Kentucky:

Mientras que muchos estados tienen escuela virtual disponible a tiempo completo, gratuita, Kentucky no tiene todavía esa opción. Sin embargo, los cursos de tiempo parcial o de tiempo completo pueden estar disponibles a un costo a través de BAVEL, The Corbin School of Innovation o JCPS eSchool. En algunos casos, las escuelas pueden cubrir los costos de los cursos en línea de un estudiante. Más información sobre estas opciones pagas está disponible en el sitio web del Departamento de Educación de KY.

También hay algunas escuelas privadas en línea de tiempo completo que están disponibles por una tarifa en los 50 estados, como la escuela secundaria en línea de la Universidad George Washington, la Escuela Keystone y la Academia Internacional K12

Louisiana:

Los estudiantes en Louisiana de grados K-12 pueden asistir a la Louisiana Virtual Charter Academy, una escuela chárter en línea, a tiempo completo o a University View Academy Para las opciones de tiempo parcial, los proveedores en línea participan en el programa del estado Supplement Course Academy Program, el cual ofrece clases gratuitas a los estudiantes que asisten a escuelas públicas de bajo rendimiento, escuelas públicas que no ofrecen un determinado curso, o escuelas privadas en becas de oportunidad. Los estudiantes que no califican para clases gratuitas pueden tomar esos cursos por una tarifa. 

Si un estudiante desea cambiarse a una escuela en línea, su padre o tutor legal debe notificar a la escuela actualmente inscrita para poder retirarse e identificar la escuela en línea a la que se está transfiriendo.

 

¿Cuál es la fecha límite para inscribirse en la escuela en línea en Louisiana para 2021-2022?
La fecha límite de inscripción de otoño de Louisiana Virtual Charter Academy es a mediados de septiembre y la fecha límite de inscripción de primavera es a mediados de enero. University View Academy ofrece inscripción continua.

¿Qué opciones en línea todavía tienen asientos disponibles y en qué grados para 2021-2022?
En septiembre de 2021, en University View Academy, los grados 3, 8 y 12 están en la lista de espera para el año escolar 2021-2022, pero hay un número limitado de lugares en otros grados. Louisiana Virtual Charter Academy está llena.

¿La escuela proporciona tecnología y wifi?
Louisiana Virtual Charter Academy no suele ofrecer tecnología ni wifi. Pero, según la necesidad económica, es posible que haya disponible una computadora en préstamo. En University View Academy, se proporciona una computadora portátil y se puede recibir un estipendio de Internet al finalizar el año escolar.

 

Maine:

Los estudiantes de Maine pueden asistir gratis, tiempo completo a programas escolares en línea a través de las escuelas públicas chárter en línea de la Academia de Conexiones de Maine o la Academia Virtual de Maine

¿Cuál es la fecha límite para inscribirse en la escuela en línea en Maine para 2021-2022?
Maine Connections Academy tiene una política de inscripción continua. La fecha límite de la Academia Virtual de Maine es el 29 de septiembre.

¿Qué opciones en línea todavía tienen asientos disponibles y en qué grados para 2021-2022?
En septiembre de 2021, Maine Connections Academy todavía acepta solicitudes para los grados 7-12, pero se ha alcanzado el límite, por lo que las nuevas solicitudes se colocarán en una lista de espera hasta que haya espacio disponible. La Academia Virtual de Maine tiene disponibilidad limitada para el año académico 2021-2022.

¿La escuela proporciona tecnología y wifi?
En Maine Connections Academy, los estudiantes pueden solicitar una computadora portátil por hogar. En Maine Virtual Academy, se pueden solicitar computadoras, impresoras y subsidios de Internet.

 

Maryland:

Maryland no cuenta actualmente con un programa de aprendizaje en línea gratis y de tiempo completo, pero hay opciones con pago disponibles. Algunos de estos proveedores pagos son la escuela secundaria en línea de la Universidad George Washington, la escuela Keystone y la Academia Internacional K12.

Una opción local privada en línea que las familias de Maryland pueden elegir es Bryn Mawr Online, una escuela en línea para niñas que otorga un diploma, está acreditada por AIMS, aprobada por la NCAA y autorizada por AP. La escuela es una consecuencia de Bryn Mawr School en Baltimore, que está clasificada como la escuela preparatoria universitaria número uno en Maryland. Bryn Mawr Online actualmente está inscribiendo a estudiantes de noveno y décimo grado para una cohorte inicial para el año escolar 2022-2023.

Además, el Programa Virtual Combinado de Eastern Shore of Maryland ofrece un programa de aprendizaje combinado para estudiantes de escuelas públicas en los grados 6-12 en ciertos distritos de Maryland. Estos incluyen: condado de Caroline, condado de Cecil, condado de Dorchester, condado de Kent, condado de Queen Anne, condado de Somerset, condado de Talbot, condado de Wicomico y escuelas públicas del condado de Worcester.

 

Massachusetts:

Los estudiantes de Massachusetts pueden asistir a una de las dos escuelas virtuales públicas gratuitas, ya sea a tiempo completo o parcial, con un acuerdo del distrito escolar local. Las escuelas virtuales privadas están también disponibles. 

Además, siete escuelas en línea administradas por distritos abrieron en el otoño de 2021. En algunos casos, los estudiantes de fuera del distrito pueden usar la inscripción abierta para transferirse.

 

¿Cuál es la fecha límite para inscribirse en la escuela en línea en Massachusetts para el período 2021-2022?
Tanto Greenfield Commonwealth Virtual School como TEC Connections Academy ofrecen una política de inscripción continua. Las escuelas operan en una serie de períodos abiertos de solicitud hasta que se alcanza el límite de inscripción.

¿Qué opciones en línea todavía tienen asientos disponibles y en qué grados para 2021-2022?
En septiembre de 2021, Greenfield Commonwealth Virtual School está aceptando solicitudes para su lista de espera.

¿La escuela proporciona tecnología y wifi?
En Greenfield Commonwealth Virtual School, hay un Chromebook disponible para todos los estudiantes inscritos y es posible que existan subsidios para Internet. En TEC Connections Academy, se puede solicitar una computadora portátil por hogar.

 

Michigan:

Michigan ofrece varias opciones de aprendizaje gratis, tiempo completo en línea para los estudiantes. Esas incluyen la Michigan Connections Academy, la Highpoint Virtual Academy of Michigan, Michigan Virtual Charter Academy, Michigan Great Lakes Virtual Academy,  Uplift MichiganMichigan Cyber AcademyWest Michigan Virtual AcademyiCademy GlobalMichigan Online SchoolMy Virtual Academy, and Michigan International Prep School. Los estudiantes en los grados 6-12 que deseen apoyo académico adicional o cursos de recuperación de créditos pueden estar interesados en considerar Insight School of Michigan.

 

Además, Michigan Virtual ofrece clases en línea a tiempo parcial para estudiantes de escuela intermedia y preparatoria; se pueden aplicar tar  yifas.

¿Cuál es la fecha límite para inscribirse en una escuela en línea en Michigan para el período 2021-2022?
La fecha límite de inscripción de Insight School of Michigan fue el 7 de septiembre. La fecha límite de Michigan Connections Academy fue el 6 de octubre. La fecha límite de la Michigan Great Lakes Virtual Academy fue el 29 de septiembre. Highpoint Virtual Academy of Michigan y Michigan Virtual Academy tienen fechas límite renovables.

¿Qué opciones en línea todavía tienen asientos disponibles y en qué grados para 2021-2022?
En Michigan Connections Academy, Michigan International Prep School, Michigan Virtual Charter Academy y Highpoint Virtual Academy of Michigan, hay asientos disponibles para los grados K-12. Insight School of Michigan tiene vacantes disponibles para los grados 9-12.

¿La escuela proporciona tecnología y wifi?
En Michigan Connections Academy, los estudiantes pueden solicitar una computadora y un subsidio de Internet por hogar. En Highpoint Virtual Academy of Michigan, las computadoras en préstamo y los subsidios de Internet pueden estar disponibles según la necesidad financiera y la elegibilidad. Los estudiantes de Insight School of Michigan reciben una computadora e impresora. Las familias de Michigan Great Lakes Virtual Academy y Michigan Virtual Charter Academy reciben una computadora y un estipendio de Internet. Todos los estudiantes de Michigan International Prep School reciben un Chromebook emitido por la escuela en préstamo, así como un punto de acceso MiFi o un paquete básico de Internet.

 

Minnesota:

Cualquier estudiante que viva en Minnesota, incluso si tiene residencia permanente en otro lugar, puede asistir a una escuela en línea de tiempo completo sin cargo. Por ejemplo, los estudiantes pueden hacer esto a través de la Minnesota Connections Academy, la Academia Virtual de Minnesota o la IQ Academy de Minnesota, Minnesota Online High School, Tonka Online, Minnesota Virtual School for Success y Blue Sky Online. K12, el proveedor de educación en línea que impulsa a Minnesota Virtual Academy y IQ Academy of Minnesota, también ofrece Insight School of Minnesota, que se especializa en ayudar a los estudiantes con dificultades en los grados 6-12 a ponerse al día y lograr el éxito académico.

Muchos distritos de Minnesota también ofrecen escuelas en línea, como 279 Online (para estudiantes en las escuelas del área de Ossea) y New Code Academy de Bloomington. Algunos de estos, como las Escuelas Públicas de Minnesota en línea, están abiertos a estudiantes de todo el estado. Y, a partir del otoño de 2021, las familias con estudiantes en los grados K-8 también pueden elegir Cologne Academy Online, una escuela pública autónoma con un enfoque en Core Knowledge.

Hay opciones gratuitas a tiempo parcial disponibles para los estudiantes matriculados en escuelas públicas (incluidas las escuelas autónomas). Además, hay opciones pagas de medio tiempo disponibles para estudiantes de escuelas privadas. Obtenga más información sobre las opciones de aprendizaje en línea a tiempo completo y a tiempo parcial en el Departamento de Educación de Minnesota, que proporciona una lista completa de opciones en línea. Para que los fondos sigan a un estudiante que cambia a la escuela en línea, la familia debe completar un formulario de Opciones de inscripción para todo el estado.

¿Cuál es la fecha límite para inscribirse en la escuela en línea en Minnesota para 2021-2022?
Minnesota Connections Academy, Minnesota Virtual School for Success, Cologne Academy Online e IQ Academy of Minnesota tienen políticas de inscripción continua. La fecha límite para Insight School of Minnesota fue el 8 de septiembre. La fecha límite para la escuela secundaria Minnesota Online High School es el 8 de noviembre.

¿Qué opciones en línea todavía tienen asientos disponibles y en qué grados para 2021-2022?
En septiembre de 2021, IQ Academy Minnesota y Minnesota Virtual Academy tienen vacantes disponibles en los grados K-12, mientras que Insight Academy of Minnesota tiene vacantes abiertas en los grados 6-12. Minnesota Online High School tiene cupos disponibles para los grados 9-12 y Cologne Academy Online tiene cupos disponibles para los grados K-8.

¿La escuela proporciona tecnología y wifi?
En Minnesota Connections Academy, los estudiantes de los grados K-5 deben proporcionar su propia computadora, pero los estudiantes de los grados 6-12 reciben una computadora. En Minnesota Virtual Academy, un estipendio de computadora e Internet puede estar disponible según la necesidad financiera y la elegibilidad. Cologne Academy Online y Blue Sky Online no proporcionan tecnología ni wifi. Insight School of Minnesota ofrece a los estudiantes elegibles un subsidio para computadoras e Internet. Minnesota Online High School puede proporcionar apoyo informático y de Internet en casos de dificultades económicas.

 

Mississippi:

Mississippi no ofrece escuela en línea gratis a tiempo completo. Sin embargo, los estudiantes pueden inscribirse en clases a tiempo parcial en la Escuela Pública Virtual de Mississippi, y tener sus tarifas pagadas por su distrito local. 

También hay algunas escuelas privadas que están disponibles por una tarifa en los 50 estados, como la escuela secundaria en línea de la Universidad George Washington, la Escuela Keystone y la Academia Internacional K12.  

 

Missouri:

Los estudiantes de escuela pública en Missouri tienen acceso a cursos individuales en línea o a programas en línea gratuitos a tiempo completo a través de MOCAP (Acceso a Cursos y Programa de Escuela Virtual de Missouri). Para participar, los estudiantes deben obtener la inscripción aprobada por su distrito escolar de residencia. Algunos distritos solo permiten que las clases se tomen en el campus, otros permiten el aprendizaje virtual de tiempo completo. Los estudiantes deben estar inscritos actualmente en una escuela pública de Missouri para cambiarse a MOCAP o Missouri Connections Academy.

También, cualquier estudiante de escuela privada en Missouri, desde kindergarten hasta el grado 12, puede tomar cursos en línea a través de MOCAP por una tarifa. En algunos casos, como los estudiantes que tienen ciertas afecciones médicas, se les puede eximir la matrícula.

Desafortunadamente, algunas familias que solicitan ingreso a las escuelas en línea de Missouri han experimentado retrasos administrativos o han sido cuestionadas por su distrito escolar.

 

¿Cuál es la fecha límite para inscribirse en la escuela en línea en Missouri para 2021-2022?
Los plazos de inscripción para MOCAP dependen de cada distrito escolar, por lo que las familias interesadas deben comunicarse con su escuela pública. Missouri Connections Academy tiene una política de inscripción continua.

¿Qué opciones en línea todavía tienen asientos disponibles y en qué grados para 2021-2022?
La disponibilidad de MOCAP varía según el distrito escolar.

¿Podrán las familias cambiar a mitad del año escolar, si es necesario?
En MOCAP, si una familia puede transferirse a la escuela en línea a mitad del año escolar depende de su distrito escolar. En Missouri Connections Academy, se aceptan transferencias de mitad de año siempre que no se cumpla con el límite de inscripción de la escuela.

¿La escuela proporciona tecnología y wifi?
La disponibilidad gratuita de tecnología y wifi para los estudiantes de MOCAP depende de cada distrito escolar. Missouri Connections Academy no proporciona tecnología ni wifi a los estudiantes.

 

Montana:

Mientras que Montana no tiene actualmente una opción de aprendizaje gratuita, en línea a tiempo completo, la Academia Digital de Montana les permite a todos los estudiantes tomar clases en línea a base de tiempo parcial. Además, como se mencionó anteriormente, las familias en cualquier estado pueden escoger entre proveedores de aprendizaje en línea pagados para una opción de tiempo completo. 

Opciones pagadas como la escuela secundaria en línea de la Universidad George Washington, la escuela Keystone y la Academia Internacional K12 están disponibles en cualquier estado. 

En algunas áreas, las familias también pueden elegir una escuela en línea administrada por el distrito. Por ejemplo, el Distrito Escolar de Bozeman ha establecido una escuela secundaria en línea para los estudiantes del distrito y recientemente agregó una escuela autónoma en línea para los estudiantes en los grados K-8.

 

Nebraska:

Si bien la mayoría de los estados tienen programas públicos gratuitos en línea que las familias pueden elegir, Nebraska actualmente no tiene esa opción. Las opciones pagas como la Escuela Secundaria de la Universidad de Nebraska, en línea, pueden estar disponibles. Opciones pagadas como la escuela secundaria en línea de la Universidad George Washington, la escuela Keystone y la Academia Internacional K12 están disponibles en cualquier estado incluyendo el estado de Nebraska.  

Las familias interesadas en inscribirse en University of Nebraska High School Online pueden hacerlo en cualquier momento durante el año; no hay fecha límite para la inscripción. La escuela no proporciona a las familias tecnología ni wifi.

Además, las Escuelas Públicas de Omaha ofrecen a los estudiantes la Escuela Virtual de Omaha, un programa de aprendizaje combinado que incorpora sesiones presenciales y clases en línea en el hogar.

Nevada:

Nevada ofrece varias opciones de aprendizaje en línea gratis, a tiempo completo, tales como la Nevada Connections Academy, Nevada Learning Academy y la Nevada Virtual Academy. 

¿Cuál es la fecha límite para inscribirse en la escuela en línea en Nevada para 2021-2022?
Nevada Learning Academy no tiene una fecha límite establecida para la inscripción, permanece abierta a nuevos estudiantes hasta que se llenen todas las vacantes. Nevada Virtual Academy también tiene una política de inscripción continua. En Nevada Connections Academy, la fecha límite para inscribirse es el 12 de noviembre.

¿Qué opciones en línea todavía tienen asientos disponibles y en qué grados para 2021-2022?
En septiembre de 2021, en Nevada Learning Academy, actualmente hay cupos disponibles para los grados K-12. En Nevada Connections Academy, hay cupos disponibles solo para los grados 9-10. La Academia Virtual de Nevada tiene disponibilidad limitada para estudiantes nuevos.

¿La escuela proporciona tecnología y wifi?
En Nevada Learning Academy, Nevada Connections Academy y Nevada Virtual Academy, algunos estudiantes son elegibles para recibir computadoras en préstamo y subsidios de Internet. En Leadership Academy of Nevada, se proporcionan computadoras a los estudiantes elegibles.

 

New Hampshire:

Los residentes de New Hampshire, de escuela secundaria y adultos, pueden tomar cursos libre de cargos, tiempo completo o parcial, en la Virtual Learning Academy Charter School. Si habrá una brecha entre la asistencia a la escuela anterior de un estudiante y su comienzo en la escuela virtual, el estudiante debe presentar un aviso de intención en su escuela pública local.

 

¿Cuál es la fecha límite para inscribirse en la escuela en línea en New Hampshire para el período 2021-2022?
En Virtual Learning Academy Charter, el registro continuo está disponible; puede inscribirse en cualquier momento del año.

¿Qué opciones en línea todavía tienen asientos disponibles y en qué grados para 2021-2022?
La Carta de la Academia Virtual de Aprendizaje no tiene un límite en la cantidad de estudiantes que inscribe.

¿La escuela proporciona tecnología y wifi?
La Carta de la Academia Virtual de Aprendizaje no proporciona tecnología ni wifi a los estudiantes.

 

New Jersey:

Desafortunadamente, New Jersey no tiene una opción de escuela en línea gratuita a tiempo completo. Sin embargo, la Escuela Virtual de New Jersey ofrece inscripción a tiempo completo y recuperación de crédito a estudiantes en los grados 6-12 por una tarifa. La inscripción comienza el 7 de septiembre. Si los estudiantes están interesados en inscribirse a mitad de año, es posible que puedan inscribirse en cursos solo semestrales para la primavera. Los estudiantes que asisten a la Escuela Virtual de Nueva Jersey deben tener acceso a tecnología y wifi; la escuela no proporciona estos para las familias.

Opciones pagadas como la escuela secundaria en línea de la Universidad George Washington, la escuela Keystone y la Academia Internacional K12 están disponibles en cualquier estado.  

 

New Mexico:

En New Mexico hay varias opciones de aprendizaje en línea gratuitas y de tiempo completo para estudiantes, como la Academia Virtual de New Mexico (New Mexico Virtual Academy) y la Academia de Conexiones de New Mexico. Además, el Departamento de Educación Pública del estado, ofrece un programa complementario de cursos en línea. El programa estatal cobra tarifas a las escuelas que inscriben estudiantes. Algunos distritos locales absorben esos costos, mientras que otros los pasan a las familias.

¿Cuál es la fecha límite para inscribirse en la escuela en línea en Nuevo México para 2021-2022?
Todas las escuelas en línea de Nuevo México tienen políticas de inscripción continua: por orden de llegada.

¿Qué opciones en línea todavía tienen asientos disponibles y en qué grados para 2021-2022?
A partir de septiembre de 2021, New Mexico Connections Academy tiene cupos disponibles para los grados 4-11, pero el grado 12 está lleno. Pecos Cyber Academy, eCademy K8 New Mexico Destinations Career Academy todavía están aceptando solicitudes. eCademy High School está llena y solo acepta estudiantes en situaciones de emergencia.

¿La escuela proporciona tecnología y wifi?
En New Mexico Connections Academy, las familias pueden solicitar una computadora y un subsidio de Internet por hogar. eCademy High School proporciona una computadora para los estudiantes. Destinations Career Academy ofrece una computadora y un punto de acceso wifi. eCademy K8 proporciona una computadora y un reembolso por Internet.

 

New York:

Si bien la mayoría de los estados ofrecen un programa de aprendizaje en línea gratuito y de tiempo completo, Nueva York actualmente no lo hace. Sin embargo, las opciones de pago en línea están disponibles. 

Opciones pagadas como la escuela secundaria en línea de la Universidad George Washington, la escuela Keystone y la Academia Internacional K12 están disponibles en cualquier estado.  

 

North Carolina:

En North Carolina, los estudiantes de secundaria y preparatoria pueden matricularse a tiempo completo o parcial en la North Carolina Virtual School. Los estudiantes que no estén matriculados en escuelas públicas puede ser que necesiten pagar la matrícula. También hay disponibles otras opciones de aprendizaje en línea gratuitas a tiempo completo, como la Academia Virtual de North Carolina (North Carolina Virtual Academy.) 

¿Cuál es la fecha límite para inscribirse en la escuela en línea en Carolina del Norte para el período 2021-2022?
En North Carolina Cyber Academy, las solicitudes para los grados 9-11 para el semestre de primavera serán aceptadas hasta el 17 de diciembre.

¿Qué opciones en línea todavía tienen asientos disponibles y en qué grados para 2021-2022?
En septiembre de 2021, la Academia Virtual de Carolina del Norte está llena y la inscripción está cerrada para el año escolar 2021-2022.

¿La escuela proporciona tecnología y wifi?
La Escuela Pública Virtual de Carolina del Norte no proporciona tecnología ni wifi a los estudiantes. En North Carolina Virtual Academy, una computadora, una impresora, un software y un estipendio de Internet pueden estar disponibles según la necesidad financiera y la elegibilidad. La Academia Cibernética de Carolina del Norte ofrece un subsidio para computadoras e Internet para los estudiantes elegibles.

 

North Dakota:

Si bien actualmente no existe una opción gratuita de tiempo completo para los estudiantes de Dakota del Norte, los estudiantes de primaria y secundaria pueden inscribirse en cursos a través del North Dakota Center for Distance Education por una tarifa. Las familias pueden inscribirse en los cursos en cualquier momento del año y la mayoría de los cursos no tienen una fecha límite establecida. El Centro de Educación a Distancia de Dakota del Norte tiene disponibilidad para todos los grados para el año escolar 2021-2022, aunque algunos cursos de cada grado pueden estar completos. La escuela no ofrece tecnología gratuita y wifi a las familias, por lo que los estudiantes deben tener acceso a estos en casa.

Opciones pagadas como la escuela secundaria en línea de la Universidad George Washington, la escuela Keystone y la Academia Internacional K12 están disponibles en cualquier estado.  

Además, algunos distritos de Dakota del Norte ofrecen programas en línea, como Mandan Virtual Academy. En algunos casos, los estudiantes de fuera del distrito pueden transferirse mediante un acuerdo con el distrito de origen del estudiante.

 

Ohio:

Los estudiantes de grados desde primaria a escuela preparatoria, pueden matricularse a tiempo completo o parcial en cursos a través de la NorthWest Virtual Academy sin costo, pero deben registrarse a través de un distrito escolar. También hay otras opciones de aprendizaje disponibles en línea gratuitas a tiempo completo, como la Ohio Virtual Academy  Buckeye Online School for SuccessAlternative Education Academy, Quaker Digital Academy, y Ohio Connections AcademyTRECA Digital Academy es una opción que sirve a estudiantes en riesgo, y los estudiantes de 16 a 21 años que necesitan apoyo académico y emocional adicional pueden estar interesados en terminar la escuela secundaria Ohio Digital Learning School. 

¿Cuál es la fecha límite para inscribirse en una escuela en línea en Ohio para el período 2021-2022?
Ohio Connections Academy, Ohio Digital Learning School y Ohio Virtual Academy tienen inscripción continua. Los plazos de inscripción para la Escuela de Aprendizaje Digital de Ohio varían según el distrito.

¿Qué opciones en línea todavía tienen asientos disponibles y en qué grados para 2021-2022?
En septiembre de 2021, el límite de Ohio Connections Academy no se ha cumplido y todavía está aceptando solicitudes, al igual que la Academia de Educación Alternativa. Ohio Virtual Academy tiene vacantes para que los estudiantes se inscriban en los grados K-12. La Escuela de Aprendizaje Digital de Ohio tiene asientos disponibles para estudiantes en los grados 9-12 que tienen entre 16 y 21 años de edad.

¿La escuela proporciona tecnología y wifi?
En Ohio Connections Academy, se proporcionará a las familias una computadora y un subsidio de Internet. En Ohio Virtual Academy, se proporcionará a las familias una computadora, una impresora, un software y un subsidio de Internet. La Escuela de Aprendizaje Digital de Ohio proporciona una computadora si el estudiante califica para almuerzo gratis o reducido. La Academia de Educación Alternativa y la Escuela en Línea para el Éxito Buckeye brindan un subsidio para computadoras e Internet para las familias elegibles. TRECA Digital Academy proporciona a los estudiantes una computadora y un iPhone, así como un reembolso por Internet o Internet. Quaker Digital Academy proporciona computadoras en préstamo a los estudiantes, así como reembolsos por Internet.

 

 

Oklahoma:

Oklahoma actualmente ofrece cinco opciones de aprendizaje en línea gratuitas, y de tiempo completo para los estudiantes: Oklahoma Virtual Charter Academy, Oklahoma Connections  Academy, Epic Charter School, Insight School of Oklahoma (grados 6-12), E-School Virtual Charter Academy y  Oklahoma Information and Technology School  Recuerde, la escuela virtual es diferente pero, para algunas familias, se convierte en el ajuste perfecto. Obtenga más información sobre todas las opciones de aprendizaje virtual de Oklahoma en la Junta de Escuelas Charter Virtuales de Oklahoma.

¿Cuál es la fecha límite para inscribirse en la escuela en línea en Oklahoma para el período 2021-2022?
La fecha límite para inscribirse en Oklahoma Connections Academy es el 10 de noviembre. Epic Charter School, Insight School of Oklahoma y E-School Virtual Charter Academy tienen políticas de inscripción continua. La fecha límite para inscribirse en la Escuela de Tecnología e Información de Oklahoma es el 1 de octubre.

¿Qué opciones en línea todavía tienen asientos disponibles y en qué grados para 2021-2022?
En septiembre de 2021, Oklahoma Virtual Charter Academy y Oklahoma Connections Academy tienen asientos disponibles en todos los grados K-12, mientras que Epic Charter School tiene disponibilidad en los grados 3-12. Insight School of Oklahoma tiene disponibilidad en los grados 6-12. Oklahoma Information and Technology School tiene disponibilidad en los grados 6-9 Oklahoma, e Insight School of Oklahoma tiene disponibilidad en los grados 6-12.

¿La escuela proporciona tecnología y wifi?
Todas las escuelas enumeradas anteriormente proporcionan computadoras para los estudiantes elegibles. En Epic Charter School, un “fondo de aprendizaje” puede estar disponible para cubrir los gastos. En Oklahoma Information and Technology School, Insight School of Oklahoma y E-School Virtual Academy Charter, se pueden solicitar puntos de acceso wifi o reembolsos de Internet.

 

Oregon:

Oregon ofrece varias opciones de aprendizaje en línea gratuitas y de tiempo completo para estudiantes, como la Oregon Connections Academy,  Oregon Virtual Academy, Frontier Charter Academy, y Baker Web Academy. Una lista completa de las escuelas de Oregon hecha por la organización de educación en línea K12 está disponible. 

Para que los fondos sigan a un estudiante a la escuela en línea, la familia del estudiante debe enviar una carta de intención, indicando que se inscribirá en una escuela virtual. Puede obtener más información sobre la comunidad escolar en línea en Oregon Virtual Public School Alliance.

Otra opción para algunas familias de Oregon es asistir a una escuela en línea administrada por el distrito. Algunos distritos, como el distrito escolar de Beaverton, planean continuar la educación en línea como una opción después de la pandemia.

¿Cuál es la fecha límite para inscribirse en una escuela en línea en Oregon para el período 2021-2022?
Oregon Connections Academy tiene una política de admisión continua siempre y cuando no se haya cumplido con el límite estatal del 3% (solo hasta el tres por ciento de los estudiantes en cualquier distrito escolar público del estado pueden inscribirse en una de las escuelas virtuales de tiempo completo de Oregon). Frontier Charter Academy también ofrece inscripción continua.

¿Qué opciones en línea todavía tienen asientos disponibles y en qué grados para 2021-2022?
En Frontier Charter Academy, la mayoría de los grados están actualmente al límite de su capacidad, pero la escuela aún acepta solicitudes en caso de que haya espacios disponibles. A partir de septiembre de 2021, Baker Web Academy todavía acepta solicitudes para los grados K-11.

¿La escuela proporciona tecnología y wifi?
En Oregon Connections Academy, se puede solicitar una computadora portátil y un estipendio de Internet por hogar. Oregon Virtual Academy proporciona a las familias una computadora y un estipendio dos veces al año para compensar los costos de tecnología y wifi. Baker Web Academy proporciona computadoras portátiles a los estudiantes inscritos en programas en línea.

 

Pennsylvania:

Pensilvania ofrece varias opciones de aprendizaje en línea gratuitas y de tiempo completo para estudiantes, como la PA Virtual Charter SchoolReach Cyber Charter School,  Agora Cyber Charter SchoolCommonwealth Charter Academy21st Century Cyber Charter SchoolPA Leadership Charter SchoolPA Cyber Charter School, y Insight PA Cyber Charter School.

¿Cuál es la fecha límite para inscribirse en una escuela en línea en Pensilvania para el período 2021-2022?
PA Virtual Charter School, Reach Cyber ​​Charter School, Insight PA Cyber ​​Charter School, 21st Century Cyber ​​Charter School y Commonwealth Charter School tienen políticas de inscripción continua.

¿Qué opciones en línea todavía tienen asientos disponibles y en qué grados para 2021-2022?
En septiembre de 2021, Insight PA Cyber ​​Charter School, PA Virtual Charter School, Reach Cyber ​​Charter School y Commonwealth Charter Academy tienen asientos disponibles en todos los grados.

¿La escuela proporciona tecnología y wifi?
En PA Virtual Charter School, se proporcionará una computadora portátil, una impresora y un estipendio de Internet a los estudiantes elegibles. En Reach Cyber ​​Charter School, los estudiantes pueden solicitar una computadora y un subsidio de Internet por hogar. En Insight PA Cyber ​​Charter School, se proporciona una computadora portátil a cada familia. En Commonwealth Charter Academy, los estudiantes tienen a su disposición una computadora, una impresora y un subsidio de Internet. La escuela autónoma 21st Century proporciona computadoras a los estudiantes. En PA Leadership Charter School, cada estudiante recibe una computadora portátil, una impresora y conectividad en línea.

 

Rhode Island:

A partir del otoño de 2021, Rhode Island Connections Academy ofrecerá una opción de aprendizaje en línea gratuita y de tiempo completo para los estudiantes de Rhode Island. Los estudiantes que participan permanecen inscritos en su distrito escolar y deben tener la aprobación de su superintendente.

Opciones pagadas como la escuela secundaria en línea de la Universidad George Washington, la escuela Keystone y la Academia Internacional K12 están disponibles en cualquier estado.  

Además, en algunos distritos de Rhode Island, los estudiantes de los grados 3-12 pueden inscribirse en cursos en línea a tiempo parcial a través de su distrito escolar local. Puede comunicarse con su escuela pública local para preguntar si hay opciones en línea gratuitas o de pago disponibles en su distrito.

¿Cuál es la fecha límite para inscribirse en la escuela en línea en Rhode Island para 2021-2022?
Rhode Island Connections Academy ofrece una política de inscripción continua.

¿Qué opciones en línea todavía tienen asientos disponibles y en qué grados para 2021-2022?
A partir de septiembre de 2021, Rhode Island Connections Academy está aceptando solicitudes para todos los grados.

¿La escuela proporciona tecnología y wifi?
Rhode Island Connections Academy solo proporciona subsidios de tecnología e Internet en caso de dificultades financieras.

 

 

South Carolina:

En Carolina del Sur ofrece varias opciones de aprendizaje en línea gratuitas y de tiempo completo para estudiantes, como la South Carolina Virtual Charter School, y la South Carolina Connections Academy, SC Wgitmore School,  South Carolina Preparatory AcademyOdyssey Online Learning, and Cyber Academy of South Carolina. Además, los estudiantes públicos, privados y educados en el hogar en los grados 7-12 en Carolina del Sur pueden inscribirse en clases en línea sin costo de matrícula a través de Virtual SC. Virtual SC recomienda tomar un máximo de cuatro clases a la vez, y no otorga diplomas.

¿Cuál es la fecha límite para inscribirse en la escuela en línea en Carolina del Sur para 2021-2022?
South Carolina Connections Academy, South Carolina Virtual Charter School, Odyssey Online High School y SC Whitmore School tienen políticas de inscripción continua.

¿Qué opciones en línea todavía tienen asientos disponibles y en qué grados para 2021-2022?
En septiembre de 2021, la escuela autónoma virtual de Carolina del Sur tiene cupos disponibles para los grados K-12. En South Carolina Connections Academy, la inscripción está limitada a 6,500 estudiantes, y se ha alcanzado el límite para los grados K, 2, 3, 4 y 5. Hay espacio limitado disponible en los grados 6-11. En Odyssey Online Learning, los estudiantes que presenten su solicitud más allá de finales de septiembre probablemente estarán en una lista de espera para el segundo semestre.

¿La escuela proporciona tecnología y wifi?
South Carolina Connections Academy no proporciona a las familias tecnología gratuita, pero los subsidios de Internet pueden estar disponibles en caso de dificultades. La Escuela Virtual Charter de Carolina del Sur y la Escuela SC Whitmore no brindan tecnología ni wifi en la mayoría de los casos.

 

South Dakota:

Las familias de Dakota del Sur pueden obtener cursos gratuitos de aprendizaje en línea a través de Comunidad de Aprendizaje en Línea de Black Hills (Black Hills Online Learning Community), el cual se asocia con K12 y distritos escolares locales. Algunos distritos permiten que los estudiantes tomen clases en línea a tiempo completo, algunos permiten que los estudiantes tomen clases en línea a tiempo parcial y algunos no permiten el aprendizaje en línea. Los estudiantes que toman cursos en línea permanecen inscritos en su distrito de origen y siguen los procedimientos y políticas de su distrito. Por lo general, el registro solo está abierto en ciertas épocas del año y las familias deben proporcionar su propia computadora y acceso a Internet.

Además, la South Dakota’s Virtual School, junto con el Departamento de Educación del estado, ofrece una lista de proveedores aprobados para cursos de medio tiempo. Los estudiantes se coordinan y se registran a través de su distrito local para tomar estas clases en línea. Si el distrito del estudiante absorberá el costo de las clases o requerirá que el estudiante pague una tarifa varía según el distrito.

Opciones pagadas como la escuela secundaria en línea de la Universidad George Washington, la escuela Keystone y la Academia Internacional K12 están disponibles en cualquier estado.  

 

Tennessee:

Para el año escolar 2021-2022, Tennessee tiene 57 escuelas virtuales, ¡29 de las cuales son nuevas! Las escuelas virtuales en Tennessee son supervisadas por distritos escolares. Si bien algunas escuelas virtuales pueden estar abiertas solo para estudiantes del distrito, otras (como Tennessee Virtual Academy y Tennessee Connections Academy) brindan servicios a estudiantes en todo el estado.

¿Cuál es la fecha límite para inscribirse en escuelas en línea en Tennessee para 2021-2022?
Tennessee Connections Academy tiene una política de inscripción continua. En Tennessee Virtual Academy, la escuela permite que grupos de nuevos estudiantes comiencen durante todo el año.

¿Qué opciones en línea todavía tienen asientos disponibles y en qué grados para 2021-2022?
En  septiembre de 2021, Tennessee Connections Academy tiene asientos disponibles para los grados K-11. La Academia Virtual de Tennessee pronto creará una lista de espera.

En Tennessee Connections Academy, se aceptan estudiantes transferidos a mitad de año siempre que no se cumpla con el límite de inscripción de la escuela. Tennessee Virtual Academy también acepta estudiantes a mitad del año escolar; establece fechas para que diferentes cohortes de nuevos estudiantes comiencen a lo largo del año.

¿La escuela proporciona tecnología y wifi?
Tennessee Connections Academy y Tennessee Virtual Academy no suelen ofrecer tecnología ni wifi, pero las familias pueden solicitar la tecnología según sus necesidades económicas.

 

Texas:

Texas ofrece varias opciones de aprendizaje en línea gratuitas y de tiempo para estudiantes, incluyendo la matrícula gratis, incluyendo escuela gratuita a través de la Escuela en Línea de la Red de Escuelas Virtuales de Texas (Texas Virtual School Network). Para el año escolar 2021-2022, había siete escuelas en línea de tiempo completo para elegir en la Red de escuelas virtuales de Texas. Además, los estudiantes pueden encontrar opciones de medio tiempo a través de la Red de Escuelas Virtuales de Texas.

En el caso de las escuelas charter y del distrito de Texas, la financiación estatal se ha basado históricamente en la cantidad de estudiantes físicamente presentes en las aulas, lo que ha dificultado que las escuelas financien el aprendizaje virtual. Aún así, algunos distritos escolares han desarrollado escuelas en línea, como la nueva oferta virtual de las Escuelas Públicas de Harmony. En 2021, los legisladores de Texas aprobaron un proyecto de ley de financiación para ayudar a los distritos a cubrir los costos del aprendizaje virtual. De acuerdo con la ley, las escuelas autónomas y del distrito que recibieron una C o más en las últimas calificaciones de responsabilidad pueden recibir fondos para los estudiantes inscritos en el aprendizaje remoto a tiempo completo en sus límites. En algunos casos, las opciones en línea del distrito pueden estar disponibles para estudiantes fuera del distrito a través de inscripción abierta.

 

¿Cuál es la fecha límite para inscribirse en la escuela en línea en Texas para 2021-2022?
La Red de Escuelas Virtuales de Texas ofrece a las familias siete opciones diferentes en línea, algunas de las cuales tienen fechas límite renovables. Las opciones en línea del distrito tienen diferentes fechas límite.

¿Qué opciones en línea todavía tienen asientos disponibles y en qué grados para 2021-2022?
Si es flexible en cuanto a la plataforma que elige, hay disponibilidad para este año escolar a través de la Red de Escuelas Virtuales de Texas.

¿La escuela proporciona tecnología y wifi?
Algunas de las opciones de la Red de Escuelas Virtuales de Texas ofrecen una computadora portátil, mientras que otras no. Para las escuelas que no lo hacen, es posible que pueda solicitar una excepción basada en dificultades financieras.

 

Utah:

Todos los estudiantes de Utah, grados K-12, pueden inscribirse en cursos en línea a tiempo completo o parcial a través de la Utah Online School. Todos los cursos tienen matrícula gratis. Otras opciones de aprendizaje gratuito están disponibles, tales como la Academia de Conexiones de Utah (Utah Connections Academy) y la Academia Virtual Utah (Utah Virtual Academy). Además, My Tech High se asocia con escuelas públicas para ofrecer programas de educación a distancia a tiempo completo, personalizado, para estudiantes de  5 a 18 años. 

Mountain Heights Academy es otra opción pública en línea gratuita para estudiantes en los grados 7-12. La escuela es la primera escuela secundaria del país en crear y publicar su propio plan de estudios como un “recurso educativo abierto” disponible gratuitamente para cualquier persona.

Además, varios distritos escolares de Utah han desarrollado programas escolares en línea, algunos de los cuales pueden ser opciones incluso para estudiantes de fuera del distrito.

Padres, educadores y miembros de la comunidad pueden encontrar datos relacionados con la educación sobre todas las escuelas públicas, incluidas las escuelas públicas en línea, en Data Gateway de la Junta de Educación del Estado de Utah.

 

¿Cuál es la fecha límite para inscribirse en la escuela en línea en Utah para el período 2021-2022?
En Utah Online School, la fecha límite para K-5 fue el 28 de septiembre y hay inscripciones continuas para los grados 6-12. Utah Connections Academy tiene inscripción continua siempre y cuando no se haya alcanzado el límite de la escuela. My Tech High ofrece inscripción continua todos los días del año. En Mountain Heights Academy, se pueden aceptar nuevos estudiantes en los grados 6 a 10 cada nuevo trimestre (agosto, octubre, enero y marzo). Alumnos seniors (grado 12) solo son aceptados para tiempo completo en agosto. Los estudiantes de grado 11 solo se aceptan en agosto y enero.

¿Qué opciones en línea todavía tienen asientos disponibles y en qué grados para 2021-2022?
En septiembre de 2021, Utah Online School, Utah Connections Academy, My Tech High y Mountain Heights Academy tienen asientos disponibles en todos los grados.

¿La escuela proporciona tecnología y wifi?
Las familias que asisten a Utah Online School pueden completar una solicitud para una computadora según sus necesidades. Las familias en los grados K-6 en Utah Connections Academy pueden solicitar un subsidio para una computadora portátil y para Internet; las familias en los grados 7-12 deben proporcionar las suyas propias. En Utah Virtual Academy, una familia puede solicitar una computadora si califica para el almuerzo gratis o reducido. En My Tech High, se puede proporcionar un subsidio tecnológico de hasta $ 300 al año.

 

Vermont:

Si bien Vermont aún no ofrece una opción de aprendizaje en línea gratuita y de tiempo completo, todos los estudiantes pueden tomar cursos de tiempo parcial a través de la Cooperativa de Aprendizaje Virtual de Vermont. Una variedad de factores determina si la escuela o los padres pagarán la matrícula. Para más información, contacte a su escuela pública local.

Opciones pagadas como la escuela secundaria en línea de la Universidad George Washington, la escuela Keystone y la Academia Internacional K12 están disponibles en cualquier estado.  

 

Virginia:

Virginia ofrece a los estudiantes la opción de aprendizaje en línea gratuito y de tiempo completo, como a través de la Virginia Virtual Academy.

Para las clases a tiempo parcial, los estudiantes de secundaria y preparatoria pueden tomar clases en línea a través de Virginia Virtual; la matrícula generalmente está cubierta por la escuela pública o privada en la que está inscrito el estudiante, o los padres si el estudiante recibe educación en el hogar. En algunas áreas, los distritos también han desarrollado sus propios programas escolares en línea.

¿Cuál es la fecha límite para inscribirse en la escuela en línea en Virginia para el período 2021-2022?
En agosto de 2021, Virginia Virtual Academy había alcanzado su capacidad para aceptar estudiantes para el año escolar 2021-2022.

¿Qué opciones en línea todavía tienen asientos disponibles y en qué grados para 2021-2022?
Virginia Virtual Academy ya no acepta solicitudes para el año académico 2021-2022.

¿La escuela proporciona tecnología y wifi?
Virginia Virtual Academy no proporciona a las familias tecnología ni wifi.

 

Washington:

Washington ofrece varias opciones de aprendizaje en línea gratuitas y de tiempo completo para estudiantes, como la Washington Virtual Academies, Washington Connections Academy y Virtual Prep Academy of Washington. La Oficina del Superintendente de Instrucción Pública ha compilado una lista de distritos con opciones de aprendizaje en línea, algunos de los cuales pueden ofrecer cursos gratuitos. Además estudiantes en los grados 9-12 que necesitan un poco más de apoyo académico puede visitar Escuela Insight de Washington 

Para que los fondos sigan al estudiante, las familias de un niño que cambia a la escuela en línea deben obtener una autorización de transferencia de elección de su distrito escolar cada año. Para obtener más información sobre el aprendizaje en línea en Washington, también puede consultar a la Alianza para la Escuela Pública Digital – WA.

¿Cuál es la fecha límite para inscribirse en la escuela en línea en Washington en 2021-2022?
En Washington Connections Academy, el último día para registrarse para el semestre de otoño es el 18 de octubre. Después de eso, los estudiantes en los grados K-11 todavía pueden solicitar el segundo semestre. En Insight School of Washington, hay varias fechas de inicio de cohortes para cada trimestre. Pero, si no comienza al comienzo de un semestre, el número de cursos que se pueden tomar es limitado.

¿Qué opciones en línea todavía tienen asientos disponibles y en qué grados para 2021-2022?
A partir de septiembre de 2021, Washington Connections Academy, Washington Virtual Academies, Virtual Prep Academy of Washington y Insight School of Washington todavía se están inscribiendo.

¿La escuela proporciona tecnología y wifi?
Washington Connections Academy no suele proporcionar tecnología, pero una familia puede presentar una solicitud por dificultades tecnológicas. En Insight School of Washington, las familias pueden solicitar una computadora portátil en función de sus necesidades económicas, pero no se proporciona Internet. Washington Virtual Academies no proporciona tecnología ni wifi a los estudiantes.

West Virginia:

Ya sea que su hijo quiera acelerar su aprendizaje o necesite un entorno más tranquilo en el que concentrarse, es posible que le interese probar la escuela virtual. Los estudiantes de las escuelas públicas de West Virginia pueden acceder al aprendizaje en línea a tiempo parcial o completo de forma gratuita a través de la Escuela Virtual de West Virginia. La inscripción se realiza a través del distrito escolar local del estudiante, que puede establecer pautas y determinar la cantidad de cursos que un estudiante puede tomar. Los estudiantes de escuelas privadas y los estudiantes de educacion desde casa pueden acceder a los cursos virtuales inscribiéndose como estudiantes a tiempo parcial en su escuela local. Se aplican tarifas para los cursos en línea de verano y en algunos otros casos.

En algunos casos, los distritos han desarrollado sus propias ofertas virtuales. La guía de recuperación escolar del Departamento de Educación de West Virginia para el año escolar 2021-2022 dice que la escuela virtual debería estar disponible, al menos para los grados 6-12.

Opciones pagadas como la escuela secundaria en línea de la Universidad George Washington, la escuela Keystone y la Academia Internacional K12 están disponibles en cualquier estado.  

 

Wisconsin:

En Wisconsin, los estudiantes pueden acceder a varios programas escolares gratuitos y de tiempo completo en línea. Éstos incluyen la Wisconsin Connections Academy, Wisconsin Virtual Learning, Wisconsin Virtual Academy.  K12, el proveedor de educación en línea que apoya la Academia Virtual de Wisconsin, también ofrece Destination Career Academy of Wisconsin, una escuela en línea basada en habilidades técnicas para estudiantes en los grados 9-12. Además, K-12 ofrece un programa para estudiantes en riesgo en los grados 9-12, llamado iFoward.

Para que los fondos sigan a un estudiante a la escuela en línea, su familia debe presentar una Solicitud alternativa a través del Departamento de Educación.

Puede encontrar una lista completa de escuelas autónomas virtuales en el Departamento de Instrucción Pública de Wisconsin.

Para las clases a tiempo parcial, los estudiantes de secundaria y preparatoria en Wisconsin pueden inscribirse en clases en línea a través de la Wisconsin Virtual  School. Los estudiantes en las escuelas públicas y privadas deben inscribirse a través de sus escuelas; los estudiantes con educación en el hogar pueden inscribirse directamente, es posible que se apliquen tarifas por lo que debe comunicarse con su escuela para obtener más información.

¿Cuál es la fecha límite para inscribirse en una escuela en línea en Wisconsin para el período 2021-2022?
Puede postularse a una escuela en línea en Wisconsin (como Wisconsin Virtual Academy, Wisconsin Connections Academy, Destinations Career Academy of Wisconsin o i-Forward) en diferentes épocas del año a través de las políticas de inscripción abierta del estado.

Se anima a las familias a que presenten su solicitud de febrero a abril, directamente a través del Departamento de Instrucción Pública de Wisconsin. Después de que el período de inscripción abierta haya terminado técnicamente en Wisconsin, los estudiantes interesados ​​en una escuela en línea deben presentar una solicitud a través del proceso de inscripción alternativo.

¿Qué opciones en línea todavía tienen asientos disponibles y en qué grados para 2021-2022?
En Wisconsin Connections Academy, los estudiantes de los grados 9-12 pueden presentar su solicitud el 13 de octubre para el segundo semestre. i-Forward está aceptando solicitudes para todos los grados a partir del 1 de octubre para el segundo trimestre.

¿La escuela proporciona tecnología y wifi?
En Wisconsin Connections Academy, las familias en los grados K-8 pueden recibir una computadora portátil por hogar y las familias en los grados 9-12 pueden recibir una computadora portátil por estudiante. Los hogares también pueden solicitar un subsidio para cubrir el costo de Internet. iForward proporcionará una computadora a las familias que no la tengan y reembolsará algunos costos de Internet para las familias que califiquen. En Wisconsin Virtual Academy y Destinations Career Academy of Wisconsin, las familias no suelen contar con tecnología y wifi. Sin embargo, puede haber excepciones en casos de dificultades económicas.

 

Wyoming:

Wyoming ofrece varias opciones de aprendizaje en línea gratuitos y de tiempo completo para estudiantes, como la Wyoming Virtual Academy  Wyoming Connections Academy, Cowboy State Virtual Academy, Tech Trip Academy y Spur Virtual Academy. Además, opciones pagadas a tiempo parcial están disponibles a través de una variedad de otros proveedores.

Algunos distritos de Wyoming también han desarrollado programas escolares en línea, algunos de los cuales pueden estar abiertos a estudiantes de fuera del distrito.

¿Cuál es la fecha límite para inscribirse en la escuela en línea en Wyoming para el período 2021-2022?
La fecha límite de inscripción de Wyoming Connections Academy es el 6 de octubre para los grados 7-12 y el 6 de noviembre para los grados K-6. Cowboy State Virtual Academy tiene inscripción continua. La fecha límite de Wyoming Virtual Academy fue el 27 de septiembre.

¿Qué opciones en línea todavía tienen asientos disponibles y en qué grados para 2021-2022?
En septiembre de 2021, Wyoming Connections Academy tiene asientos disponibles para todos los grados, al igual que Wyoming Virtual Academy.

¿La escuela proporciona tecnología y wifi?
En Wyoming Connections Academy, se puede solicitar un subsidio para computadora portátil e Internet por hogar. En Tech Trip Academy, las familias pueden usar fondos de aprendizaje suplementarios para tecnología y wifi. Cowboy State Academy no proporciona tecnología ni wifi. Wyoming Virtual Academy proporciona computadoras a los estudiantes y, en algunos casos, es posible que existan subsidios para Internet.

Comparta estos datos sobre la escuela en línea

escuelas en linea infographic

Fuentes: The School Choice Roadmap, por Andrew Campanella; Snapshot 2020, por el Colaborativo de Aprendizaje Digital.

 

Escuelas en linea

 

Mitos sobre la Escuela en Línea

Debido a que los programas escolares en línea no son tan conocidos como los programas escolares tradicionales, existen algunos conceptos erróneos comunes sobre ellos. Por ejemplo, aquí hay dos mitos sobre las escuelas en línea K-12, junto con las respuestas de expertos de escuelas en línea.

 

Mito 1: La escuela en línea dificultaría que mi hijo tenga amigos.

Suzanne Sloan, directora de escuela en Academia Virtual de Virginia (VAVA) compartió una perspectiva sobre esto. “Uno de los mitos del aprendizaje virtual es que los estudiantes aprenden en casa y no tienen la oportunidad de socializar y no tienen la oportunidad de estar con otras personas”, dijo. “Nuestras familias te dirán que es el polo opuesto. Debido a que tienen la capacidad de ser flexibles con su programación, en realidad tienen más oportunidades de estar con otros estudiantes. Una de las formas en que lo hacen es a través de proyectos de servicio, que ayudan a sus comunidades individuales.” 

 

Mito 2: La escuela en línea es menos rigurosa académicamente que la escuela tradicional.

Hablamos con otro líder de la escuela en línea que tenía esto para compartir sobre el rigor del aprendizaje en línea: “Nuestro curso es muy desafiante”, dice Bryan Klochack, Director en  Academia de Conexiones de Michigan. “Cuando proporcionamos encuestas a nuestros padres sobre su felicidad con nuestro plan de estudios, y si es más o menos desafiante que su experiencia anterior, está bien en el alto porcentaje de números que [dicen] que es más desafiante.”

Continuó: “Una de las cosas por las que continuamos luchando a lo largo de los años es que cuando tomas un curso en línea, la gente lo considera un curso de recuperación de crédito que no es muy desafiante. Como una opción virtual de tiempo completo, eso no es lo que somos. No somos un programa de recuperación de crédito. Otorgamos diplomas. Se espera que cumplamos con las mismas expectativas que todos los distritos tradicionales tienen para que los estudiantes obtengan créditos y su diploma, por lo que es muy desafiante, es riguroso.”

 mamá-muestra-niños-cómo-usar-computadora

 

__________

 

La información de esta guía sobre la escuela en línea está diseñada para ayudar a las familias que están considerando la escuela en línea en su proceso de toma de decisiones. Nuestra misión es proporcionar a las familias la información que necesitan sobre todas las opciones de escuelas disponibles – públicas tradicionales, públicas chárter, públicas imán, privadas, en línea y en casa – para que puedan elegir la adecuada para su hijo. Para obtener más guías sobre la elección de otros tipos de escuelas, haga clic aquí.

The Ultimate Guide to Online School – How Does Online School Work?

Whether due to lifestyle, health concerns, or other reasons, many parents are looking for a learning option that isn’t in-person. If online learning or K-12 online school is your top choice for the 2024-2025 school year, this page is for you!

Online schools are different than emergency remote learning, or doing classes on Zoom, as your family may have experienced over the last several years. Many online schools have been around for more than a decade, and they have systems in place to make it easy for families to make the switch. 

Most online schools in America are public schools, which means they are tuition-free! If you’re wondering whether your state has an option allowing you to choose a full-time online school for free, keep reading.

What do you need to know about online school choice?

Get a quick rundown.

You may hear a lot of terms like online school, remote learning, and homeschooling thrown around interchangeably, but they’re actually quite different school choices! Read our explainer on the differences.

Why do families choose free online schooling? Internet access has transformed our shopping and social life, and it is transforming schooling as well. Importantly, online learning programs offer students the ability to work from home (or anywhere with internet). That flexibility makes for a good fit for many families.

“There are many reasons students may need flexible schedules, from medical issues to competitive athletes to performance artists. Some families enroll at our school because they are escaping some of the bullying and other cultural/climate issues that are present in brick and mortar schools. Other families enroll because they view it as an excellent alternative to home schooling.”

Chris McBride, superintendent at Nevada Virtual School
 

 

Sign up to learn even more about School Choice in your state!

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How to Switch to Online School

Are Online Schools Free to Attend?

While there are some private online schools that charge tuition, the majority of online schools are public schools and 100% tuition-free. Some of these free online schools are public charter schools, while some are public district schools. In many cases, online schools even provide loaner computers and internet reimbursements to students.

In the U.S., approximately 375,000 K-12 students attended a free, statewide online school full-time in 2019-2020, a number that jumped to 560,000 for the 2022-2023 school year.

How Does Online School Work?

Online school students usually work from home and follow a set curriculum, submitting assignments through an online portal. Moreover, students receive feedback and grades from accredited teachers who may communicate through email, web conference, or phone calls. 

While parents aren’t asked to be teachers, online school programs usually ask parents to be involved in their child’s education. Parents act as learning coaches, helping their student stay on track.

“You just are so much more in tune with what they’re doing. That’s such a benefit that you wouldn’t have when sending your kid through another schooling option.”

Tara Boedigheimer, online school parent

Two of the biggest K-12 online school programs in the U.S. are Connections Academy and Stride K12. Connections Academy supported schools are tuition-free online public schools that are currently available in about 30 states. They are operated by Pearson Online & Blended Learning K-12. Similarly, Stride K12 offers tuition-free public schools in many states, as well as fee-based independent courses and career classes.  

While some virtual schools are fully online, others are “blended schools.” So, what are blended schools? Blended schools are online schools that offer on-site locations that students attend from time to time. GOAL Academy in Colorado, for instance, has “drop-in centers” where students can receive tutoring, participate in activities, or simply spend time with peers.

Besides blended learning, more and more variations of online schooling are developing  – in some states, students can even create a “playlist” of classes between their neighborhood school and an online school. This is why some online leaders say the real power of online learning is personalization. Curriculum can be differentiated to meet student needs, and students can pace coursework and test out of material they have mastered.

Making the Switch

If you’re just getting started, here are steps you can take to switch to a free online school:

1. Review state guidelines: First, find your state in our list below to review your state’s guidelines for online schools. Did you know that 36 states offer full-time public online schools for free? In other states, private online programs are available at a cost.

2. Connect: Second, reach out to the online school that interests you and get more details. Some may allow enrollment at any time, while others may have deadlines. 

Online public schools must accept all students, regardless of their academic performance or needs. Moreover, students are not required to take special entrance tests for enrollment in online public schools. However, some states place caps on attendance or funding, so make sure there is availability at the school you choose.

When you reach out to the online school, you can also ask about the school’s expectations and what resources you’ll need at home. For instance, you can ask: Will the school provide a computer for my student? Does my child need a web camera? What’s a typical day like? How many hours will my child be online each day? How much parental supervision is required?

3. Officially withdraw (if applicable): In some cases, if you’re currently enrolled in a public or private school, you’ll need to send a withdrawal letter to your school district if you’re switching to a full-time online school that isn’t district-run. It’s a good idea to keep a copy of the letter, in case any questions arise. Also, you may want to use this opportunity to request your child’s transcripts from the school.

Of course, your state’s guidelines come first. Please note that in some states, like Missouri, West Virginia, and Rhode Island, students only have access to free online schools through their resident district. In these cases, since the district is responsible for paying for access, families should remain enrolled in the district as they switch to online school.

4. Enroll and get started: Now, enroll in your online school of choice. Partner with your child to decide what your new learning routine will look like. For example, what time will your student start school in the morning? How often will exercise and outside activities be worked into the week? Does the online school have an in-person component you’ll be using, or no?

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Expect a learning curve

If online school is something you and your student decide to try, even just temporarily, it is important to realize that there’ll be a learning curve. Don’t let that get you down!

“You just have to be open minded,” said Bryan Klochack, principal of an online school in Michigan. “We often refer to it as drinking out of a fire hydrant at the start because it is so different.”

While online school is not for every student and every family, it can make a world of a difference for some. As Klochack said, “Having that option for families to put their kids where they’re going to find great success: That’s what we’re all about.”

How to Find Out Your State’s Laws

What options do you have for online learning? Check out your state’s parent guide or scroll below to learn whether your state offers online school for free.

In 35 states and D.C., online public schools have been established by state authorities, by school districts, or charter schools, meaning students can attend these schools full-time, tuition-free for all grades K-12. In Vermont, free, full-time online public school is available for grades K-8. In Kentucky, a free, full time online public school is available for grades K-11. In addition, more than 30 states offer part-time online public schooling through course access, which allows students to use online coursework to supplement their education with specific classes. In many states, this is accessible, and sometimes even free, for private school or homeschooled students.

While not every state offers online school for free, paid online school programs are available in all 50 states. For instance, paid options such as Virtual Learning Academy Charter School (which is free to New Hampshire residents), The Keystone School, and Laurel Springs School are available to families in any state. You can learn more about public online schools and resources at the National Coalition for Public School Options and the Digital Learning Collaborative

AL AK AZ AR CA CO CT DE FL GA HI ID IL IN IA KS KY LA ME MD MA MI MN MS MO MT NE NV NH NJ NM NY NC ND OH OK OR PA RI SC SD TN TX UT VT VA WA WV WI WY DC

Free, full-time online school is available statewide for all grades
Free, full-time online school is not available statewide, but localized or paid options may be available
Free, full-time online school is available for grades K-8

Source: Digital Learning Collaborative, 2023; Independent research by NSCW 

Alabama:

Alabama offers several free, full-time online learning options for students. Statewide options include Alabama Connections Academy, Alabama Destinations Career Academy, and Alabama Virtual AcademyGenesis Innovative School is based out of the Conecuh County system but is available to students statewide. Similarly, Athens Renaissance School is a district-run option that offers a fully virtual program for students statewide, as well as a blended program for students in-district. Jefferson County Virtual Academy of Learning is also available to students statewide, but in-district students can participate in extracurriculars at their zoned school.  Alabama families willing to travel to Elmore County a few days a year for state testing can also consider The Edge Virtual School.

Depending on where you live, additional district-run options may be available to you. For example, Mobile CountyBaldwin CountyFlorence City, Huntsville County, Montgomery County, and Blount County have online offerings.

For free part-time classes, ACCESS Alabama functions as the state’s virtual school and is designed for students to take high school courses that may not be available (or easy to schedule) at their schools. Public school students in grades 7-12 can take classes for free; nonpublic school students can take courses for a fee.

As a graduation requirement, all Alabama students are required to take at least one online or technology-enhanced course.

To read more about online learning in Alabama, check out the Digital Learning Collaborative’s state profile.

Alaska:

Alaska doesn’t offer any statewide online schools or multi-district online schools, but families can consider national online learning programs, like Virtual Learning Academy Charter SchoolThe Keystone School, and Laurel Springs School, for a fee. 

On the district level, middle- and high-school students in Ketchikan Gateway Borough School District can enroll in online courses through the Alaska Digital Academy. Plus, the ASD Virtual Program offers a free, fully online home learning program that Anchorage families can choose through their neighborhood or choice school. The virtual learning program is staffed by Anchorage School District teachers and allows families to maintain a connection to their local school. The Fairbanks North Star Borough School District also offers online options for grades 6-12, and you can always ask your district about whether an online program is available to you.

In 2022, the Alaska legislature approved a new virtual education consortium. Once established, this will provide a library of virtual classes available to Alaska students. Additionally, Alaska has many correspondence school offerings, some of which are free, that families can choose from. 

To read more about online learning in Alaska, check out the Digital Learning Collaborative’s state profile.

Arizona:

Arizona students can choose from many free, full-time online charter schools, including the state’s single largest online program, Primavera Online School.  Other options include Arizona Virtual Academy Arizona Connections AcademyAstravo Online AcademySequoia Choice Arizona Distance Learning, and ASU Prep Digital. High schoolers can also consider Khan World School, a creative partnership between ASU Prep Digital and Khan Academy. Students in high school can also consider Insight Academy of Arizona or Hope High School Online, both of which specialize in helping struggling students succeed. Students in grades K-8 can also consider Leman Virtual Academy or Great Hearts Online, both of which have classical learning focuses.

In order for funding to transfer to one of these schools, families switching to an online school may need to initiate withdrawal from their previous school. You can learn more about the online school community in your state at AZ Parents for Education.

Besides online charter schools, there are more than 100 districts in Arizona currently offering part-time or full-time online learning! These include the Mesa Distance Learning ProgramChandler Online AcademyScottsdale Online LearningDeer Valley’s Aspire Online AcademyParadise Valley Online, and Casa Grande Union High School District Online Academy. The State Board of Education makes a complete list of district online programs and the grades they serve available to families.

To read more about online learning in Arizona, check out the Digital Learning Collaborative’s state profile.

Arkansas:

Arkansas offers several free, full-time online learning options for students, like Arkansas Connections Academy and Arkansas Virtual Academy.  These are multi-district, fully online options. More options are launching too: Two additional statewide virtual charter schools have been approved to open, and several more are in the pipeline for approval.

For part-time classes, Virtual Arkansas offers online options for any Arkansas student, though online classes for students in grades K-6 are limited. Students enrolled in a public school can take all or some of their Virtual Arkansas classes online. While Virtual Arkansas’ website lists fees for courses, the local school district pays those, not students and their families.

There are also some district online school options, some of which allow out-of-district students to apply using open enrollment. For example, Bentonville Schools, Don Tyson School of Innovation, Ignite Digital Academy, Rogers School DistrictLittle Rock School DistrictSiloam Springs School District, and the Van Buren School District offer full-time virtual learning. Hybrid learning options include the Springdale School District’s Virtual Innovation Academy and LISA Academy Arkansas Hybrid School.

To read more about online learning in Arkansas, check out the Digital Learning Collaborative’s state profile.

California:

California doesn’t have an official state virtual school, but there are several free, full-time online learning options for students. In California, a fully online school is only allowed to serve students in contiguous counties, not students statewide. Because of this, some education management organizations operate multiple online schools to be able to serve students from across the state. Two of the biggest of these online school “networks” are California Connections Academy and California Virtual Academies

California has more than 53 online charter schools, giving every California student a fully online option. California Pacific Charter Schools is a free online choice for students in more than a dozen California counties. Meanwhile, Method Online School serves southern California students, and Compass Charter Schools serves Los Angeles, Yolo, San Diego, and surrounding areas.

K-12 students in Ventura, San Bernardino, Kern, and Orange counties can also consider IQ Academy-Los Angeles. While much of the learning is facilitated by technology, this learning program offers in-person field trips and meet-ups as well. Students in grades 9-12 needing additional academic support to overcome obstacles may wish to consider Insight Schools of California

Additionally, some districts have created their own online schools, like Davis School for Independent Study,West Contra Costa Unified Virtual Academy, El Dorado Union High School District’s Pacific Crest Academy, Elk Grove Unified School District’s Virtual Academy, and Vista Virtual Academy. Students in the district or who have received an interdistrict transfer can apply. Los Angeles Unified School District’s Virtual Academy served nearly 18,000 students during the 2021-2022 school year. In response to the appetite for online options, the district created six new theme-based online schools for the 2022-2023 school year. Each online program has a unique focus, such as computer science or leadership and public service.

When considering your options, you may also want to keep in mind that the University of California’s Scout Program allows highschoolers to take part-time online courses and earn credit for a fee. To read more about online learning in California, check out the Digital Learning Collaborative’s state profile and California Parents for Public Virtual Education.

Colorado:

Colorado offers several free, full-time online learning options for students statewide. Some of these online schools, like Colorado Virtual Academy and Astravo Online Academy, are public charter schools. Other online options are managed by traditional districts. District-run online options that serve all grades K-12 and allow enrollment across districts include Colorado Connections Academy, Colorado Preparatory Academy, Aspire Online AcademyBoulder UniversalBranson School Online, District 6 Online AcademyPeyton Online Academy, and PSD Global Academy.

There are also many online schools serving specific grades. For example, students statewide in grades 4-12 who are interested in career technical education may wish to check out Destinations Career Academy of Colorado, which specializes in real-world training for specific careers. Students in grades 9-12 who need extra academic and social support to excel may want to consider Pikes Peak Online School. Students in grades 6-12 who require face-to-face hybrid sessions may want to consider Cherry Creek Elevation.

You can dive into a full list of online options at the Colorado Department of Education. Note that some of the online options listed are available only to local students.

In addition, Colorado Digital Learning Solutions is the official state virtual school and offers part-time courses for middle-school and high-school students. While Colorado Digital Learning Solutions charges fees, students attending Colorado traditional public schools and public charter schools may have their fees subsidized. Another part-time option for some Colorado students is My Tech High, which partners with Colorado Early Colleges and the Vilas School District to offer online learning opportunities for students ages 5-18.

There are also some district online learning programs, such as St Vrain Valley Schools’ LaunchED Virtual Academy, Boulder Valley School District Online, and Jeffco Virtual Academy.

We recently interviewed a Colorado online school, GOAL Academy. This online school has drop-in centers where students can work and frequent school field trips, offering families a unique blend of virtual and in-person education. To learn more about the online school community in your state, check out the Colorado Coalition of Cyberschool Families and the Digital Learning Collaborative’s state profile.

Connecticut:

While most states have free online school programs, Connecticut only has paid options available at present, such as George Washington University Online High SchoolThe Keystone School, Excel High School, and K12 Private Academy. While the schools are available to families in Connecticut for a fee, they are not specific to the state. 

Many Connecticut districts do offer online options for credit recovery.

To read more about online learning in Connecticut, check out the Digital Learning Collaborative’s state profile.

Delaware:

Most states have free online school programs. Delaware does not have an official state online school, but the Christina School District in New Castle County offers a fully virtual academy. Families outside of the district may be able to use open enrollment to attend the school.

Additionally, some Delaware districts offer part-time online courses, and some high schools allow students to participate in the University of Delaware’s Online High School’s dual enrollment courses.

There are also some district online learning programs, such as Christina School District’s Virtual Academy, Colonial School District’s Virtual Program, Delaware Valley Cyber Academy, Colonial Virtual Program, Brandywine Virtual Academy, and Indian River Virtual School.

Paid options are also available, such as George Washington University Online High SchoolThe Keystone SchoolExcel High School, and K12 Private Academy. These private online schools are available to families in Delaware for a fee, but they are not specific to the state.

To read more about online learning in Delaware, check out the Digital Learning Collaborative’s state profile.

Florida:

In Florida, districts are required to offer students at least one virtual option. Florida has the largest state virtual school in the nation. Around 35,060 students participate in online learning statewide. Any Florida student can take courses through Florida Virtual School, full time or part time, free of charge.

Additionally, other free online learning options are available to all Florida students. Some of these are technically online charter schools, such as Florida Connections AcademyCoastal Connections Academy, and Florida Cyber Charter Academy. Others are statewide but managed by traditional districts, such as the Digital Academy of Florida. Keep in mind that there are currently enrollment caps for district-run virtual schools in Florida, so you may want to apply early.

There are also many district-run hybrid and part-time learning opportunities. Many districts arrange a franchise with Florida Virtual School to offer at least some online courses for students, sometimes for free and sometimes for a small fee. You can find a complete list of approved online program and course providers at the Florida Department of Education.

To read more about online learning in Florida, check out the Digital Learning Collaborative’s state profile.

Georgia:

Georgia’s free, full-time online learning options for students statewide include Georgia Connections Academy and Georgia Cyber Academy, both of which serve all grades K-12. Students in grades 6-9 can also consider the newly-opened Destinations Career Academy of Georgia.

Georgia Virtual School is the state’s official virtual school and provides online courses at the high school level, plus a credit recovery program and some middle school courses. Public school students can enroll full-time or part-time at no cost. Some state funds are available to cover tuition for private and homeschool students on a first-come, first-served basis. 

Some districts in Georgia have developed their own online schools, and in some cases out-of-district families may be able to transfer into one of these schools. For example, Gwinnett Online CampusCobb Virtual AcademyRockdale Virtual Campus, DeKalb County’s FLEX Academy, Henry County’s Impact Academy, and Fulton Virtual serve students within their districts. Forsyth Virtual Academy is a district-run online option open to students within and outside of Forsyth County.

To read more about online learning in Georgia, check out the Digital Learning Collaborative’s state profile. You can also learn more at Georgia Families for Public Virtual Education.

Hawaii:

High school and middle school students enrolled in any traditional public or charter school can take up to two online courses for free through the Hawaii Virtual Learning Network – Hawaii Online Courses (formerly known as the Hawaii E-School).

During the pandemic, some districts developed online learning plans, and some of these may still be available for the 2023-2024 school year. You can find a complete list of these options at the Hawaii State Department of Education.

Additionally, parents who would like to enroll their student in an online school full-time can hire a private provider. Paid options such as George Washington University Online High SchoolThe Keystone SchoolExcel High School, and K12 Private Academy are available in any state, including Hawaii.

Finally, there are blended learning options for Hawaii families statewide. These include Hawaii Technology Academy, which is Hawaii’s largest statewide public charter school, and Myron B. Thompson Academy, an accelerated curriculum charter school and extension of Hawaii’s Virtual Learning Network that operates through campuses on Kauai, Oahu, Maui, Hawaii-Kona, and Hawaii-Hilo.

To read more about online learning in Hawaii, check out the Digital Learning Collaborative’s state profile.

 

Idaho:

Idaho offers several full-time, free online learning options for students statewide in grades K-12, like Inspire Connections Academy, Idaho Virtual Academy, and the college-prep-focused Gem Prep Online. Students in grades 6-12 can also consider Idaho Connects Online School, while students in grades 7-12 can consider iSucceed Virtual School or Bonneville Online High School. Students in grades K-8 can consider Idaho Home Learning Academy. Students in grades 9-12 can consider Idaho Technical Career Academy, a full-time online school focused on career readiness. Meanwhile, Kootenai Bridge Academy is an alternative online option for students ages 16-21 seeking to finish high school.

For part-time options, Idaho students may enroll in online classes through the state virtual school, Idaho Digital Learning Alliance. Idaho Digital Learning Alliance is available to students in any type of educational setting, public or private. But, parents should check with their local public school or district for details, as fees may apply.

Additionally, more than 10 Idaho school districts have established online school programs. For example, students in the Boise School District, or students with an approved open enrollment status from another district, can choose the Boise Online School.

To read more about online learning in Idaho, check out the Digital Learning Collaborative’s state profile.

 

Illinois: 

Illinois students may be able to take supplemental online courses or a full-time online program through their local school in partnership with Illinois Virtual Schools & Academy. Some schools and districts may pay course fees on behalf of their students. 

Additionally, some individual Illinois schools, such as Naperville Community Unit School District 203, Chicago Public Schools, and Cambridge Lakes Charter School, are developing their own online or hybrid classes for area students. So, you can always ask your district if you have any choices like these.

Paid full-time online options, like George Washington University Online High SchoolThe Keystone School, Excel High School, and K12 Private Academy, are available to Illinois students, but they are not specific to the state. 

To read more about online learning in Illinois, check out the Digital Learning Collaborative’s state profile.

 

Indiana:

Free, full-time online learning options for Indiana students include Warren Online Academy, Indiana Connections AcademyIndiana Digital Learning School, Indiana Gateway Digital AcademyPhalen Virtual Leadership Academy, Move-Up Academy, Indiana University High School, and Achieve Virtual, the only public virtual statewide K-12 school operated by a local Indiana school district. Other district online learning programs serve specific grades or local students only. Students in grades 7-12 can also consider Hoosier College and Career Academy (formerly Insight School of Indiana), while students in grades 6-12 can consider Indiana Connections Career Academy.

Families who qualify for the state’s voucher program may be able to apply those vouchers to two newly-accredited private virtual schoolsGEO Focus Academy and Faith Prep.

A local, fee-based option Indiana students can choose is IU High School, a fully accredited online private high school run by Indiana University. Students at IU High School can take courses to supplement their educational experiences in brick and mortar institutions, or students may pursue a high school diploma online full-time. IU High school was founded in 1925, so it’s been allowing students to attain a high school diploma at a distance for nearly a century! 

Finally, some schools will cover costs for students to take supplemental high school courses through Indiana Online, which partners with more than 300 schools statewide. Many families choose to use Indiana Online for summer school courses.

To read more about online learning in Indiana, including hybrid schools and single-district online offerings, check out the Digital Learning Collaborative’s state profile.

 

Iowa:

Iowa offers several free, full-time online learning options for students, such as Iowa Connections Academy and Iowa Virtual Academy. In order for funding to follow a child to online school, families need to fill out the Iowa Open Enrollment Application with their assigned district for approval.

In addition to these statewide options, several districts currently offer online programs serving all grades K-12. You can find a full list of online school options at the Iowa Department of Education.

There are also some district online learning programs, such as Des Moines Independent Community School District Virtual Learning, Cedar Rapids Community School District Virtual Academy, Sioux City Community School District’s VIBE Academy, and Council Bluffs Community School District Virtual Academy.

High school students across the state also use online courses for credit recovery through Kirkwood Community College. Enrollment must take place through your local school. Additionally, Iowa Online AP Academy offers online Advanced Placement courses for middle and high school students who do not have access to these courses in their schools.

To read more about online learning in Iowa, check out the Digital Learning Collaborative’s state profile.

Kansas:

If you’re considering online learning in Kansas, you’re in good company. More than 9,000 Kansas students used a part-time or full-time online option in 2023. Kansas offers many free, full-time online learning options for students across districts. These include Andover eAcademyManhattan Virtual AcademyHaven Virtual AcademyUSD 309 Central State AcademyE-School Virtual Charter AcademyMaize Virtual Preparatory SchoolKansas Connections Academy, the Lawrence Virtual School (the largest online school in the state), and Kansas Online Learning Program

There are many other options, some of which serve specific grades or regions. For example, for students in grades 7-12, an online option is the Insight School of Kansas, which specializes in helping students overcome obstacles to academic success. The Kansas State Department of Education keeps a comprehensive