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An unsatisfying status quo, the problem with average and an uncertain future

 

Before we discovered the secrets of great online high school classes, we had a nagging feeling that we were not doing enough for our kids.

 

When we teach to a class of 30, we speak to the average student. But we know that all kids are unique.

 

The unfortunate reality is this…

 

When we try to teach to everyone, we end up teaching to no one.

 

Students need personalized support and accountability to achieve their potential. In today’s cookie-cutter classrooms, they are not getting that.

 

There had to be a better way.

 

And then, this happened.

Ontario High School Students Must Complete Online Courses To Graduate

 

The first thought that came to mind was: interesting. Teachers can now help students achieve individualized learning goals, providing tailored feedback along the way.

 

Sounds great, right?

 

But… then we had some questions.

 

How do we make sure our kids are actually doing the work?

 

Would kids be taught by teachers or be self-learning everything?

 

How do we stop cheating during exams?

 

What if they have questions? What if they need extra help?

 

How would kids be engaged, motivated and socially connected?

 

We looked far and wide for an effective online learning approach, one that combines the importance of personalized support, social connection and academic integrity.

 

We couldn’t find it.

 

So we set out on a journey to reimagine online high school education.

It wasn’t smooth sailing at first.

 

While students enjoyed our first courses, the shift to online learning was not enjoyable. We worked on assignments like moving through a checklist (teachers too!).

 

Feedback was personalized, but it didn’t feel personal at all.

 

Between email overload, no contact communication and an unhealthy obsession with grades, something wasn’t right.

 

Learning was no longer fun.

 

The classroom magic was missing.

Our classes were not perfect (that’s code for: they were bad).

 

Every small win was overshadowed by big technical problems, doubt that e-learning was a good solution and fear that our kids were ill prepared for the world ahead of them.

 

Endless emails just to set up a video call.

 

Mountains of paperwork that took time away from student learning.

 

Never-ending headaches with technology.

 

A restrictive “get it done” mindset instead of a dynamic “do it well” approach.

 

And a frustrating inability to get to know students as the amazing people they are.

 

We realized that online learning world only work when we put people at the centre of everything we do.

 

We needed to re-create classroom magic in a digital environment, all while maintaining the potential of personalization.

 

So we went back to the drawing board.

We discovered that great classrooms go beyond the content – they are vibrant learning communities.

 

It is not just about what is learned, but rather how it is learned and with whom we learn.

 

These are the building blocks of student success.

 

So we learned how to integrate the successes of physical classrooms with the promise of online learning. We learned:

  • How to create challenging and relevant course material that leaves students wanting to learn more.
  • How to facilitate human interaction in a digital space.
  • How to communicate effectively between students, parents and teachers without tech paralysis.
  • How to provide personalized feedback to support lifelong learning and sustainable achievement.
  • How to prepare students for the tough but rewarding road ahead.

 

Once we did all this…

We worked with AMAZING teachers and an incredible learning platform to bring the human centred digital classroom to life.

 

We have the privilege of helping kids achieve their academic and professional dreams.

 

Because success starts early.

 

How do we do this?

 

We use the Foundations Formula.

Psst! Here’s the secret – successful classrooms are the product of five things.

 

That’s it.

 

So we put theory into action.

 

We foster student growth, achievement and success by focusing on the five elements of successful classrooms – content, community, communication, accountability and preparation.

 

Our digital classrooms emphasize great:

  • Content – our course material challenges and engages students, leaving them wanting to learn more every day.
  • Community – our class and schoolwide communities are a hub for connecting with new friends, celebrating personal successes, and sharing collective wisdom. We are people, first and foremost.
  • Communication – we are a no surprises school. We are thorough and timely so that you and your child knows what is going on at all times.
  • Accountability – learning and achievement is a process. Our teachers provide detailed feedback and actionable strategies so that your child is on the path to success.
  • Preparation – we work with students to develop the skills they need to succeed in postsecondary education, at work and beyond.

 

If you like what you’re reading, you will LOVE our video show, The Foundations Files!

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Are you ready to give your child the tools they need to succeed, while learning in a classroom that values them as an individual?

 

Courses are about more than worksheets, tests and exams. Successful classrooms are about the students, parents and teachers. People are at the heart of every school.

 

We know you want the best for your child.

 

That’s why you’re here.

 

That’s why you’re reading this right now.

 

That’s why you are spending time learning about the secrets of digital classrooms.

 

That’s why you are willing to consider online classes for your child, even when everyone warns against them.

 

By reading this, you have proven that you believe in the importance of your child’s education – you just want to make sure you are making the right decision.

 

Because you believe in your child’s potential to achieve great things in school and beyond.

Are you ready to be a key part of your child’s success?

 

Dive into our library of high school education resources.

Email Me Future Episodes

Receive updates about future episodes of The Foundations Files.