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I am really surprised by some of these reviews, especially the ones about enrollment difficulties. I literally enrolled my child at Oklahoma Virtual Charter Academy (OVCA) in ONE DAY. I thought I was starting the enrollment early (because I was given erroneous enrollment info). I called 9/5 to ask about some documents and the representative said, "As it's the last day to enroll, I suggest you do document X instead of document Y." I was surprised but apparently, the first rep with whom I spoke the week before had misunderstood that the high school fall enrollment ended a week before the K-8 enrollment.
No problem. Easy peasy. All essential documents (about 4 including student application, proof of residency, guardian driver's license) uploaded that day. "Provisionally" approved the same day. Got enrollment notification the next day. Then the day after that assigned classes. So the enrollment was a breeze. And it should be because K12 is a private company and they want students to enroll so they can get tuition payments.
Our experience after about three weeks of school has been pretty good. But I will first state the negatives. First, the platform is horribly slow. It is also needlessly confusing. It took me and my son three weeks to figure out how to consistently access previous class recordings. Part of the problem is that each teacher uses her class page differently. So one link might contain some info that other teachers might not include. There needs to be a more uniform info presentation across the school.
Second, my son is a sort-of high achieving student. He excels in things that interest him. He really sucks at things that don't. So going in as a 9th grader, he had already mastered algebra and geometry. The great thing about OVCA is that the school allowed him to test out of those two classes. The bad thing is that I then learned that the school does not offer calculus, physics, Spanish IV and AP courses as I had been led to believe according to the school's course catalog. The catalog does note that classes may not be offered but I was disappointed.
So depending on your state, the K12 online public school might or might not offer the full selection of classes that you might think a large high school would. That has been the largest drawback so far. But the school has told me that he might be able to take some of these classes at the local college as a concurrently enrolled student. I am not sure how that'll work and I am not sure he'll be able to take non-core classes at a local college (e.g. computer programming, advanced Spanish). So that's the less-than-great stuff.
Now the advantages. If your child is a lackadaisical student and indifferent to his grades, K12 is a good option for the involved parent. You have total access to all his grades so you can spot right away if he's slipping up somewhere. Last night, for example, I noticed that his 100% in English had slipped to 98%. Not a big deal. But I wanted to know what happened. It turned out he did not grasp the parts of a sentence. The live class connect session didn't address the subject adequately for him and the online lesson (which is given before quizzes) was also too brief. And my son is too lazy to dig around the web himself. So then I sat down with him (before he made his third and final attempt at the quiz) and explained it. Then he aced it. So if you have the time and the resources, you can really help to ensure that your kid is learning what he is supposed to know when he is supposed to be learning it.
I can't understand the complaints about the live class connect sessions. My son has four honors classes and two regular classes and he has maybe two 45-minute class connects per day and usually none on Friday. He has other recorded lessons he has to watch at his leisure but the demand on his time to be somewhere specific is quite low.
That brings me to his assignments, quizzes and tests. It varies somewhat by teacher but he knows all his assignments at least a week in advance (usually the entire semester) and they are due by midnight on Sunday of the week that they are assigned. Some of his teachers allow him to turn in anything up to the last day of the semester. So that is a lot of flexibility. He also gets to retake the quizzes three times (though the questions usually change each time) so that he can go back and figure out what he didn't learn thoroughly. The tests, however, are one-shot. So if you or your child cares, you can really try to ensure that he learns his material.
Now, I am not yet 100% on remote learning. First, I just don't think the class discussions are quite as good as when you're physically present in class. If nothing else because it is just faster for most people to speak their mind than to type it out. And it's difficult for the teacher to gauge whether students really understand when they're not there to talk back and forth. And for our school in particular, I feel that there are just too few honors students to really develop a thorough advanced curriculum. But a large state, say Texas, might be different. And quite a few of the students, at least at OVCA, are off-the-beaten-path learners who are coming back to finish high school as young adults. So that is a different dynamic from that of traditional brick-and-mortar schools. But it isn't necessarily a negative dynamic.
There are some very good teachers at OVCA and I do think they try hard to accommodate your unique child. And I do always believe that school is what you put into it. So for the right family and the right student who are willing to put some elbow grease into it, K12 could be a very positive experience. I certainly wouldn't be afraid to give it a go for one semester or year.
A child in public school, will likely spends 80% of their time attempting to fit in and be accepted. At home with an online program like K12, they can spend 80% of the time learning. In my opinion, it's likely that the negative reviews are those not willing or are unable to invest the time. Being a parent is the hardest job you will have. But, it will also be the most rewarding. Invest in your children, that means you spend quality time with them and on their education. K12 is challenging and sometime repetitive. But, I have seen the results. For a child with Autism to be in the top 1% in all area (STAR 360) is remarkable. I promise, I am a real dad and speaking from my heart. I love my son and K12. If you are reading this, then I am sure we are on the same page.
Once you understand how it works and following it. You will see results and you and your child will be excited. Let's face it, their education is YOUR most important task. Practicing discipline with schooling is far better than later in life learning it from some part of the judicial system. Here is how it works. There are a set of books for the "learning coach." These guides will help you understand, what will be covered and tested online (with answers to the practice material). There is a companion set for the child. Generally, only a quick review is needed for you and there is always helpful hints. The student has an online account to track their work and test their understanding of the material. All lessons are an interactive learning experience before a quiz.
Progress is tracked for you and the teacher to see. There are daily "class connects" an online electronic chalkboard that the teachers use to teach a topic and interact with the students. There is audio but the camera is only of the teacher and the material being covered. They are generally 30 minutes in length. They are made available to view later as a video file (providing the ultimate in flexibility). There are supplemental readings and science experiences. However, these are key element in education. I will admit, you will need a few minutes to track down the right book, page etc. But, it is totally worth it. It breaks up the monotony or mechanics of teaching and provides zest to the experience.
K12 curriculum can be the core subjects (Math, Writing, Literature, Spelling, Vocabulary, History and Science) or you can customize to meet the needs of more advanced students. Furthermore, it's flexible. If there is something that is challenging you or the student. Step away, seek someone else's point of view and return to it at a later time. The teachers are amazing, helpful and available to you. These are the kind of teachers you will remember the rest of your life. These are the Ms. Sweet, Ms. Smith and Mrs. Johnson that you remember from your school days.
Look, I am writing this because schools are not safe (weapons, bullies, etc), teachers in "brick and mortar" schools are overwhelmed and your kids are distracted. They don't stand a chance at the education they deserve. But, mostly because, in my experience, K12 deserve far better reviews, recognition and accolades then what I have seen here.
I'm reading all these reviews and though some are great some of these reviews are ridiculous. My 8 year old just finished 2nd grade here (kindergarten and 1st in another cyber school that I decided wasn't challenging enough, so we went with K12) and my boy passed with flying colors! How, why?! Because we worked hard and when you put hard work out you'll get great results which is something you need to learn early on in life if you want to be successful at anything you do. We do asynchronous classes, at our own pace, and it can be a lot but if we can get straight A's there is no reason that you can't either, or you are doing something wrong. Tutoring is available if your child is failing and yes, you may be on the computer longer than you want to if you don't understand the work but if you want to understand it then you need to study or of course you'll fail. It's simple to understand.
No, this isn't a social platform so don't expect to make friends that easily. There are groups online outside of K12 for homeschoolers alike to meet and make friends. There is also Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, etc. Complaining about the lack of social interaction in a cyber school is useless, what do you really expect them to do to help you make friends via their online school? Really, suggest things to them and I'm sure they'll listen. K12 has been one of the best decisions we ever made for our child. He is shining like the bright star that he is and we couldn't be happier or more grateful for what K12 has made possible for us. It's honestly not possible for him to get a better education than he's getting right now and this is free of cost, that's amazing!
My daughter needed to slow down and have classes that would allow her to retain without the additional stress, worry, distractions and pressure that comes with being in a classroom setting (4th Grade). I know my child. LAVA (Louisiana Virtual Charter Academy) has been more than a dream come true!! You get out what you put in and we put in hard work and time into this program. (Nothing is perfect people) However the convenience, affordability and education enrichment here at LAVA is worth planting the quality seed and watch it grow. Do your part and not leave it all up to others to do the all the work. We as parents are responsible for our part in educating our kids along with this program.
The teachers are absolutely fantastic at LAVA! I have no trouble emailing them and getting a RAPID response, support and notification of changes in any subject, changes and updates (teachers only). My daughter is fully engaged and happy and does not want to go to a hard site school at this time (maybe in 2 years). We will see, but for now we will take it one grade at a time. I have read the other comments, and I am sorry to hear others do not have the experience I do. LAVA rocks!!!
K-12 gave our child the chance to shine like she was meant to. It wasn't too long after regular public school that we realized how much personal bias was going to be a variable in our daughter's education. Our response was to put her into a private school and the teachers were not any more capable of teaching different learning styles than any other. By the sixth grade, we found K-12 by another parent who had grown tired of watching their very bright student fail. Their success story, lead us to make the change. Within a few weeks involvement with K-12, we saw a significant difference. In the beginning our daughter attended a weekly K-12 "Community Day" where she got to know other students and enjoy a day of teacher lead classes. Honestly, learning was fun for her and for me. I got to meet parents on a personal level at school picnics and outings and we all got to be a part of an all student talent show.
Unfortunately, at the end of seventh grade, she wanted to return to private school and make more friends. She did make friends but the school was having difficulty keeping good teachers and some of the teachers were not qualified to teach the subjects. After nearly 13 teachers resigned, we left. Unfortunately, my daughter suffered a huge loss in her education. During the summer of her Sophomore year, she returned to K-12 Uplift to repair her grades. In the summer alone she was able to repair her credits and improve her grades by 3 letter grades in 2 classes.
I have always encountered teachers from K-12 that are not only pleasant but happy people. That is a big change from both the public and private school experiences. With K-12 online my daughter is happy to learn. And at the end of the day we know exactly what has been learned and what needs attention. That is a huge plus. No more waiting for the teacher to hand back homework, quizzes, and tests. With K-12 our daughter was on the honor roll for several semesters in a row. As a mother-daughter team we get the time to discuss current events and proactively seek a more unbiased inquiry. And since she is not going through any procedural motions that is in all school settings, there is ample time to pursue her career in singing and Judo.
She is in her last semester of high school with K-12 and will finish proudly. We gave her ample opportunity to be social and she has gained many lifelong friends in her extra-curricular activities. We are very proud of her educational successes. I would recommend this program to all parents that are seeking an alternative to public and private primary and secondary education. I wish you the best in your search. (My graduate school education is in Educational Psychology.) Jan 2019.
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I needed a simple email or document stating that my son is a full time student (this is his second year). I called five numbers, spoke to several agents and didn't get any information. I was advised to contact the homeroom teacher who proceeded to tell me that I would need to call the school admissions. I was then sent a form from admissions to fill out to get enrollment proof. I filled it out and returned it. The homeroom teacher the next day sent the same form and asked for it to be completed, so I did and returned it. Then he sent me a message stating that they do not provide enrollment letters. I got in touch with a higher office and they told me that one of the managers would be contacting me back. It has been a week and nothing is resolved. All I need is proof that my son is a student. No one can assist me with this and I keep getting sent in circles with no resolution.
I enrolled my 6th and 8th grader into K12 as an alternative to brick and mortar because we were coming off of a homeschooling season and we wanted to transition our children back into a more traditional school without the culture shock of a new school in a new city. Upon the enrollment process I made this clear to the admissions counselor and enrollment advisors and provided documentation to support our circumstances. I also voiced my concern for the kids beginning their curriculum as the enrollment process has left them 1 month late to the 2019-2020 school year. They began school and worked dutifully to be prepared to start next week with their new classes and on course where the other students should already be in the school year.
During a Help Desk session we were logged out, my account was deactivated and after numerous attempts to reach someone, I received a phone call from someone whom I have never spoken with! She informs me that based on Tx state law, my kids cannot be enrolled in an online public school bc they did not attend public school last year?!?! I explained the same things I had explained 3 times prior (during admissions) my kids were homeschooled through an accredited homeschool academy and provided all transcripts and documentation from their prior public school and their current homeschool, and was told there was nothing they could do to help me. So within one hour we went from, "We are here to help and support your kids in attaining their future potential," to withdrawn.Like some of the other reviewers, I strongly believe this was a solicitation and attempt to sell us a private online academy. I also do not understand why some refer to this as a healthy homeschool opportunity for students but maybe that's state specific. Texas, specifically, seems to be biased against homeschool families.
Document, document, document....I will be filing a complaint with the Texas Education Agency, as well. Good luck parents.
Absolutely horrible, I have never seen anything that was a bigger joke than their enrollment process. Started the process 3 months ago (July 11th 2019) and my son still got waitlisted 'cause they were 6 weeks on approving one document and that was after approving them first then rejecting them then approving the exact same document later. But honestly I think that was just an excuse because on one of my MANY MANY phone calls to them I was suppose to be on hold but wasn't and I heard a little bit of a conversation between the person I was working with and a supervisor where she was told "no" and was shut down from even talking to him about whatever she was trying to do to help me at the time, they just used the paperwork as a stall so he wouldn't get enrolled which is exactly what happened, so now waitlisted 6 weeks after all other schools have started for the year and he's enrolled nowhere.
I find it funny that the same day that the grades are full and people are getting waitlisted is magically the same day my paperwork goes through, I mean I got an email that his paperwork is good then literally an hour and a half later I get another email saying he's waitlisted. Imagine that!!! So yea they are just a joke and a waste of time! And believe me when I say I will be telling anyone and everyone that will listen about this and I will be putting it online every chance I get so people know how this school really works or doesn't work I guess I should say and if I can save one parent from this ** I have been through then I will be happy!
I am homeschooling my two children and this came up as an online option for free public school we could do at home. I started an application but was interrupted. Within a few hours I was called. I explained I needed some more time. The phone calls increased to at least 3 a day, including weekends, plus multiple emails per day. I felt like I had ended up on a telemarketer list. I withdrew my daughter's unfinished application and attempted to delete my private information, only to discover there is no way to do that. The operators say they cannot remove me from email or phone lists, and the emails themselves have no unsubscribe. It felt like harassment, there was no consistency between people I talked to. I am so grateful I did not go all the way through the enrollment process, just imagine what a nightmare it must be to deal with them long term!
I just started attending about a week ago and I thought perhaps I should wait it out and see if things get better but they continue to get worse within the matter of a day. I go to Texas E-school Prep, and my parents and I should have been alarmed when I started enrolling. We sent them my transcripts multiple times but they kept saying it was still needed to be fully accepted, until then I was temporarily accepted which is nothing because I still could not attend school. I did not start school until September 4th and the orientations were little to no help and more of a "get to know me" for the administrators seeing as how they rarely provide any help in what they insist they're there for.
The main issue I have already developed in only the span of ONE WEEK, is the class connects. The class connects are pointless and hold us back from completing the abundant amount of courses that are given but that's a whole different issue. In my class connects my teachers will be talking about something entirely different from what the courses themselves are teaching. For example, my chemistry teacher is currently talking about scientific notation in her class connects, but the courses are talking about mixtures and pure substances. I only have one teacher that teaches along with the course and that is my Algebra teacher. The class connects are a conflict because they are overall useless, and a waste of time.
That brings me to the courses. Of course throughout school years you will revisit subjects you have already learned about, with being said with some of these courses I can identify if I have already learned them before and I can compare my notes from old schools and see that the courses are giving unnecessary information and not directly teaching what needs to be known.
The entire operation of this school system is almost slapdash. There is logically no way for this system to be helpful for someone who join for the sole purpose of "you can work it around your schedule." No, no you can't. Class connects are useless and take up the time necessary to complete the overbearing amount of work given just in a day; for one class I had 44 topics to go through, each topic had about 5-10 slides of information I needed to take notes on or complete practices on. Say we divide those 44 topics and say there's 5 slides for 22 and 10 for 22. Multiplying 5 and 22 as well as 10 and 22 that's 308 problems to solve or pages of unnecessary information of notes, for one class.
This is not even an exaggeration and of course numbers vary but for the sake of quick demonstration I just divided the possible numbers. The courses are set up like Russian dolls, we just see one but open it and there's another within another within another, almost endless. This is just the beginning of my school year at K12 and I don't think there will be any ending.
Do not consider this if you don't want your children to be stressed within just the first week, the school has got a lot of negatives that need to be fixed on their end. Now if you will excuse me, I have to attend my useless class connect for my English class where the teacher boringly rambles on about religion and politics and takes away time from me completing my infinite amount of courses....
K12 expert review by ConsumerAffairs
Founded in 1999, K12 Inc. is a for-profit education corporation. As of 2017, it is the largest online school company, operating 58 separate virtual schools with nearly 77,000 students enrolled in the 2011-12 school year. K12 owns free online public schools, tuition-based online private schools, and online supplemental courses, and is accredited by AdvancED, the largest homeschool accrediting agency. Interested caregivers can use the search feature on K12’s main page to find what offerings are available in their home states.
Award winning: K12 has won numerous awards including several from Creative Child Magazine, a ComputED Gazette Eddie Award and the Mom's Choice Award for Online Resources for Children.
Large selection of courses and levels: Students can choose from a large catalog of courses spanning all levels including remedial, advanced placement, STEM, Honors and Dual Credit courses. Additionally, the school offers interactive activities and mobile apps for all grade levels.
Student support: K12 offers many forms of support to help its students be successful, including enrollment counselors, state-certified teachers, a dedicated advisor, school counselors and tech support.
Individualized learning plan: Each student’s counselor will outline their academic objectives, future goals, and take inventory of their strengths and weaknesses in order to build a curriculum that leads to maximum success.
Community activities: K12 is a large organization. Many regions of the country have meetups for community activities, parent organizations and field trips.
Best for: homeschooling families, student performers, working adults and military families.
K12 Company Information
- Company Name:
- Year Founded:
- Formerly Named:
- K12 Inc.
- 2300 Corporate Park Drive
- Postal Code:
- United States
- (866) 968-7512