The Online Academy is offered twice per year, once for each semester.
- Fall Semester: Beginning in early October and running until just before midterms
- Spring Semester: Beginning in early February and running until May
These timeframes offer flexibility to allow for the varying nature of when online courses begin and end. Note that you do not have to take a course for an entire semester. Specific details will be worked out as part of the student’s Personalized Learning Plan.
The Process for Enrolling in a Semester Session of the Online Academy
Explore the Resources for Learning
There is a wide variety of learning resources available, including free courses, videos, and reading and lecture materials. Most students end up taking free online courses from sites such as Coursera, edX, and FutureLearn. To get an idea of what’s available, click on the Resources for Learning part of this website. This will explain how to find free online courses. Note that it is important to watch the brief video tutorial on using the Class Central site if you have not looked for courses there before. Once that’s done, check out Class Central and do a search to see what’s available. Important note: You do NOT need an account to use the Class Central website.
- If you find something that looks interesting, remember to see if the class is currently available. Then make a note of the course’s URL because you’ll need that for the application.
- If you don’t find something for the subject you are interested in,or you are not sure, that’s okay! You can still apply, and we’ll work together to see if we can find a resource (or more than one) for you to use.
Fill out the Application
The application is available online; click on the Current Semester section of this website for access. Note that you must be logged in to your school Google account in order to fill out this online form.
There is a part of the application that asks if you have a course in mind. If you found a course previously, this is where you can paste the URL. If you did not find anything, no problem – we’ll work on that together.
Meetings and the Personalized Learning Plan
Once you fill out the application, we’ll check in with your guidance counselor for their approval of your participation in the Online Academy for that semester. With that in place, you will then get an email about setting up a time to meet so that we can either start the process of getting approval for the course you chose, or do some further looking to find you something. Once a course is picked, a Personalized Learning Plan will be created for you; you will need to pick it up, get it signed by your parent or guardian, and then returned.
Once you have returned the paperwork, we will sign you up for your online course together. Please do not sign up for online courses on your own! Many sites are making it a bit more difficult to figure out how to take a course for free, and we are only dealing with FREE courses. That’s why we’ll do the signup together.
Weekly Work / Check-ins
You are required to choose a minimum of one day and period when you will come into the Online Academy office each week to work on your course. The rest of the study time will be chosen by you according to a schedule that best fits your individual needs.
Open House Event
An “open house” event will be held each year in May. Students from both the Fall and Spring semesters will be required to attend. The “Open House” is an informal event which gives students the opportunity to share what they have learned with parents and other invited guests. Students who have participated in the past have genuinely enjoyed this – it’s low key, fun, and gives you the opportunity to interact with different people about your subject area.
Once you have successfully completed your semester work with the Online Academy, we will acknowledge your participation by putting Online Academy on your high school transcript. People may not understand what “Online Academy” means – but they do understand what it means to take a course from a site like Coursera or edX, especially when it is being done strictly for personal interest and not for credit! College essays or interviews are examples of opportunities where you can explain this accomplishment to those unfamiliar with our program.
Ready to enroll? Great!
Click on the Current Semester part of this website and fill out the application!