FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Q: Is online learning easier than a traditional high school education?
A: Online learning is not easier or quicker. In the online environment, students must take personal responsibility for their own learning. Students must be able to communicate both orally and in writing, be a self-starter, be self-disciplined and remain self-motivated and be able to independently stay on task. Parents/guardians also play a vital role in assuring their student’s success. Parents/guardians must be willing to offer the ongoing encouragement, motivation and guidance for their student as parents ultimately become responsible for their student’s learning in an online environment. Thus online learning requires both students and parents to be personally responsible and accountable for the academic progress of the student.
Q: What does flexibility mean?
A: Students in an online environment have the ability to work on their courses at times that are convenient for them during the day. However, flexibility does not provide students with the option to NOT work daily. Students are expected to make continuous daily and weekly progress (the act of completing and submitting assignments/assessments) in the classes in which they are enrolled.
Q: What makes a successful online learner?
A: Many students start online learning with an unrealistic view. Online courses require just as much, if not more, time and energy as brick and mortar courses. They require specific learning strategies in order to be successful.
- Persistence – Students who are successful in the online learning environment are able to tolerate technical problems, seek help when they need it, work every day on each class and persist through challenges.
- Time-Management Skills – Students must be able to manage their time and stick to a routine study schedule.
- Effective and Appropriate Communication Skills – Verbal and written communication skills are vital in the online learning environment.Students must be able to seek help and communicate with teachers using the appropriate style and language.
- Basic Technical Skills – Students must be able to create new documents, use word processing, navigate the internet, and conduct online research.
- Reading and Writing Skills – Students should be comfortable reading documents on a computer screen and able to take notes. Many assignments will require writing short or long answers. Students must possess basic composition skills.
- Motivation and Independence – Online learning requires independence, internal motivation, responsibility and a certain level of maturity. Students have to WANT TO SUCCEED.
- A Good Study Environment – Students must create a space conducive to learning and free from distractions. They must be willing to give up games, cell phones and social media during scheduled study time.
Q: Is the EDGE a separate high school?
A: The EDGE is a single-district program offered by Sterling High School. All students are enrolled at Sterling High School and are placed in the EDGE program. The EDGE classroom is housed at Hagen with the district administration offices, After School Club and preschool.
Q: Are there teachers available?
A: The EDGE program has a Colorado certified mentor-teacher available on-site. The teacher provides support for student learning in the online courses as well as instruction for the Community Learning Seminar and other offline activities.
Q: What curriculum is used?
A: The primary online curriculum is through Edgenuity. The program provides video-based, pre-designed courses in the four core areas as well as a variety of electives. Additionally, courses are available through Colorado Digital Learning Solutions and taught by Colorado certified teachers. These courses are primarily for World Languages and electives on a limited basis. All courses meet the same Colorado Academic Standards and RE-1 Valley District Frameworks as the courses taught in the brick and mortar setting. However, Edgenuity courses will NOT meet the NCAA Clearinghouse requirements for college athletics.
Q: Do you have a guidance counselor?
A: The Sterling High School Intervention Coordinator serves as the director of the EDGE program and provides guidance counseling including transcript review, course registration advice, and college/career planning. The Sterling High School counseling office is also available to support students in concurrent enrollment.
Q: Do I have to take all of my classes at the EDGE?
A: Designed as a blended-learning environment, students may choose to take elective courses such as art, band, choir and technology on the SHS campus. Students will also be required to take upper level math (beyond Algebra II) and science (Chemistry, Physics, Anatomy and Physiology) and PE at SHS. Juniors and seniors are eligible to take concurrent enrollment courses on the NJC campus.
Q: What type of diploma will I earn?
A: There are two diploma tracks available through the EDGE program. The type of diploma a student will earn is determined at the time of enrollment.
- The Sterling High School diploma requires a student to earn 27 credits in the following areas:
|Social Studies||3.0 credits|
|Financial Literacy/Employment Skills||0.5 credit|
- The RE-1 Valley Core diploma requires 18.0 credits and is available to students who are significantly behind in credits in order to attempt to graduate on time:
|Social Studies||3.0 credits|
|Financial Literacy/Employment Skills||0.5 credit|
|ICAP (Includes 3 WorkKeys Tests)||1.0 credit|
It is important to note that the RE-1 Valley Core Diploma will NOT meet the Higher Education Admission Requirements for highly selective schools or the NCAA Clearinghouse Requirements for college athletics.
Q: Do you provide me with a computer?
A: We provide students with a laptop computer for use while on-site. Students are expected to provide their own computer hardware, software and internet access for home use; however, we do have a Computer Loan Program. After paying a $75 deposit and signing a loan agreement, students will be provided with a laptop, power cord and soft-sided case. If the computer and equipment is returned undamaged at the end of the school year or upon withdrawal from the program, the student will receive a full refund of the deposit.
Q: Do I need to purchase textbooks or other materials?
A: All course materials are provided online. Should a particular class need any special books/materials, they will be provided (loaned) to the student. Students will be required to provide basic school supplies…notebooks, pencils/pens, and paper. Students may also provide their own headphones; however, earbuds will be available for student use.
Q: Are there any fees?
A: All students will pay a $15 technology/supply fee each year.
Q: How many hours are spent per week in the online environment?
A: Students are expected to complete a minimum of 2 courses each six-week term. Each course takes approximately 40-50 hours and one course should be completed every 3 weeks, provided the student is logging in and submitting the minimum required activities each day. Students should be committing 6-7 hours daily to their courses on a regular basis.
Q: What kind of interactions will a student have with staff and other students?
A: Students will have daily interaction with the mentor-teacher and other students through on-site attendance. One day per week, students will participate in group-based activities including book studies, community service projects, study-skills instruction and student study groups.
Q: Can parents/guardians monitor their student’s progress?
A: Yes. Both students and parents will have access to the Infinite Campus portal to access daily attendance and weekly eligibility grades. Additionally, parents will have access to the Edgenuity Parent Portal and will receive a weekly progress report with information about pacing, assignments and grades. Once a student is enrolled, parents/guardians will receive an email with directions and an activation code for setting up their portal account.
Q: What is the process for enrolling in the EDGE program?
A: All students and their parents/guardians must complete the online application. Once the application has been submitted and reviewed, the student and parents/guardians will receive an enrollment confirmation email and will be required to attend an orientation session at the EDGE classroom. Orientation sessions will be held every Tuesday at 3:30 pm. Upon completion of the orientation, students will meet with the director to establish a graduation plan and a program start date.