NOTE TO PARENTS AND GUARDIANS
Welcome, and Thank You for considering Ontario Online Schools (OOS) for your student’s education.
In an ideal world, all students would be able to get a complete, multifaceted education at their local neighborhood school. As educators and parents, we would love nothing more than to have this be our reality. But it is not our reality. Changes in the education system here in Ontario mean that finding ideal schools able to offer everything a student might need, are now the exception, rather than the rule. More and more, students have to look beyond their local school, to find what they need. This is especially true when it comes to the elective courses that so often make school worthwhile. Ontario Online Schools was built to provide opportunities for students to supplement the education they can get at their local school.
We know that e-learning is not for everyone, but we believe that we have created an online learning environment that is suited to a wider range of students than the traditional e-learning platforms.
The Ontario Online Schools are unique because every course was developed using the most up-todate Ontario Ministry of Education e-learning course masters, and then modified by educators with experience as teacher AND students in traditional, blended AND online learning environments. Throughout this process, students with different learning preferences, and pathways were consulted about changes that could be made, in order to make the learning environment and course content relevant and engaging for today’s learners.
This student centered approach means that we have created a school where the courses are engaging for students, and students are learning with people who know firsthand, the potential pitfalls of e-learning.
E-learning does have many benefits, including:
– Preparing students for the independent learning environments of university, college, or the modern workplace
– Helping students develop the self-regulation, time management, and organizational skills necessary for all post-secondary paths
– Providing students with the opportunity to take courses that are either not offered at their school, or that they would like to take for timetabling purposes
– Allowing students to learn at their own pace (if they opt to take asynchronous, student directed courses), and complete courses on timelines that are better suited to their individual needs.
What is involved?
The courses are all made up of units, each containing a set of lessons and assignments. At the end of the course, students will complete a culminating project. All materials presented in the course meet the Ministry of Education’s curriculum expectations, and all lessons, units, and assignments are linked to overall and specific ministry expectations.
Every effort has been made to have all the materials students need to successfully complete their course on the Online Learning Platform (OLP), but occasionally, students may be asked to have access to other texts that cannot be posted on the OLP. In these instances, we have tried to ensure that these extras are readily accessible through their local school, the Ontario InterLibrary Exchange, or the Ontario School Book Exchange.
Each course is designed to require 110 hours of online and off line work. Regardless of whether students choose to go the synchronous (the teacher sets the pace of learning for a cohort that starts and ends together) or asynchoronous (the student sets their own pace, covers the material independently, and submits their assignment when they are complete), students have some flexibility with scheduling the time they spend on- and off-line. Generally, the lead-learner will set due dates for assessments. The student is responsible to meet those deadlines, unless arrangements have been made with the teacher beforehand.
Regular attendance in the course (weekly work) makes the difference between success and failure. We suggest a time commitment of 6 to 9 hours a week, which means that most synchronous courses should take between 12 to 18 weeks to complete; while an asynchronous course can cab completed in as less than 3 weeks! (although we would strongly advise against this, since that
As with traditional schooling, parental/guardian involvement is essential for student success. Parents ad guardians of students at the Ontario Online Schools can expect the same levels of interactions with their student’s teacher as they would at a traditional school. All of our educators are reachable by telephone, email, and in most cases, in person.
– Ontario Online Schools Team