Odyssey Online Learning

FAQs

Everything You Need to Know About Odyssey Online Learning


General Information

Odyssey Online Learning addresses the need for a flexible education option. Challenging students who wanted or needed something other than the traditional high school education has always been difficult, but there was clearly a need for it. With OOL, students are more interested and engaged in the material, which helps them learn and retain what is important. Additionally, students have flexible schedules which can keep them on track and help increase rates of graduation. In some populations, the current graduation rate is just 50%. With OOL, students get more of what they need, making it more likely for them to stay in school.


Technology Requirements

Yes, every Odyssey Online Learning instructional staff member holds at least a bachelor's degree, along with the high school teaching credentials required by state law.

Yes. Since OOL is a public high school, students must take state-mandated exams just like other high school students. These exams include End of Course Exams for those enrolled in certain courses as well as a college and a career assessment for students in their third year of high school. In addition, limited English proficient students are required to take an English Language proficiency assessment yearly. These tests will need to be taken at school-proctored facilities and will require travel to those sites on specific dates. Participation is mandatory.

All students enrolled in Odyssey Online Learning will need to have access to a high-speed Internet connection. Families are responsible for setting up their own service and installation for that connection. Odyssey Online Learning South Carolina will not reimburse for the cost of an Internet connection. A current Internet Service Provider (ISP) bill will also be required during enrollment as valid proof of residence.

Yes, Odyssey Online Learning offers a large variety of AP courses for students who are interested and able to complete these higher-level options. Students should talk to their academic advisor about their interest in these courses when their learning plan is created. Academic readiness is required for these classes. We do not currently offer honors courses.

A student's academic advisor is the primary point of contact for your student’s questions or concerns. Students must interact with advisors at least once per week to ensure they are staying on track and making proper progress. That can also help students address any issues they have before those problems become more significant. If a student is struggling, immediate help can make a big difference in success levels. Teachers communicate with students to answer direct questions and clarify any instructions or give important feedback.

Science labs take place in a flash-based virtual environment. Students can thoroughly experience the concepts, and that can help them extend their exploration of the subject well beyond the original lesson. All of the labs at OOL meet or exceed state requirements.

Physical education has two different components. Actual physical activity is one of those, and the other is learning about health and fitness concepts, including how to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Students will learn about the concepts through their online classes and will use a fitness journal to record their physical activities. Participating on a local athletic team or playing individual sports may also meet state requirements. Your advisor can provide that information.

With proprietary tracking software, we can see which contents were accessed and for how long. Analysis of that data can help ensure that students are using the content the right way. The software tracks scores from assessments, which helps advisors and parents to know whether students understand the material. A combination of multiple-choice testing and creative assignments also ensure that students are submitting work that is their own. Odyssey Online Learning provides teachers with anti-plagiarism software as well, to make sure students are writing their own papers.

Each family who enrolls at OOL will be assigned an academic advisor. That takes place before classes begin, so the advisor can work with the student and the family in the creation of a learning plan that will work for that student. The prior academic record, learning needs and goals all matter, and the plan can be adapted for performance, pace, and needs change during the school year.

From their homepage, students, parents and staff can see up-to-the-minute grades, progress, assignments and achievement alerts, on a 24/7 basis. The academic advisor also regularly discusses progress with the family, to ensure that students are meeting all academic goals.

Odyssey Online Learning is a good choice for many gifted students. It allows students to work through the material at an accelerated pace, and focus on coursework that may be more difficult than what students would find in a traditional high school environment. At OOL, we also provide additional projects and schedule flexibility for students who want to explore talents and interests competitively outside of school.

All student activity is monitored by instructors to ensure that no inappropriate content is posted. However, Odyssey Online Learning does not provide Internet filtering for students on their personally-owned computers. Monitoring of student Internet usage is the responsibility of each student’s parent or guardian. Odyssey Online Learning recommends that parents or guardians install Internet filtering on home computers.

No. We are a public high school for students who attend primarily from home. Our academic program follows all state guidelines and meets all state standards.

Odyssey Online Learning reaches out to all types of students, from various backgrounds and with unique sets of needs. A committee reviews the Individual Education Programs (IEPs) of those who have special needs. This review includes the staff and parents, who can all discuss the student's educational needs and goals. Whether the online educational environment is appropriate for the student will also be discussed, as some students may find that online learning is not the right choice for them.

Buying a computer for your home is an individual choice. You should select a computer that meets your needs, but we understand that price is often a factor. Despite that concern, you will want to consider what a computer will offer your student. It should meet minimum requirements, but beyond that, any brand or model is acceptable. All major computer manufacturers should have models that meet the requirements for accessing OOL. We would not recommend a Netbook, as many of them do not meet the requirements for OOL learning.

Students must have basic computer skills. These include how to navigate the Internet, use word processing software, and use email. Students who need extra assistance in any of these areas can get help from OOL. Additionally, OOL will provide parents and students with training in how to use the online learning software before classes begin.

In addition to minimum graduation requirements, students are encouraged to pursue college preparatory courses. Students can take advantage of college and career counseling in grades 10-12. Students get information about PSAT, SAT and ACT prep, how to fill out college applications and the importance of college selection. SAT preparation courses are also available.

If a computer is lost or stolen, you should contact the appropriate authorities, and also alert the student's advisor that there will be a delay in completing their work. For damaged computers, repair or replacement will be necessary to continue at OOL.

At Odyssey Online Learning, students take assessments on a daily basis. That can show problems right away, so steps can be taken to correct any issues or concerns. The teachers and advisor will work with a student who is having trouble so that they can understand the material. We also notify parents if a student starts to fall behind to ensure that the student and the parents can work together to address any problems and keep moving forward.

At Odyssey Online Learning, we want parents to be involved. That is why we equip parents to guide, motivate and monitor student progress. Our goal is to make it simple for every parent of an OOL student to be active in their child's education. The Parent Portal helps you stay informed as to what your child is learning and how they are performing, along with providing relevant information about their academic progress. You will not be required to provide any direct instruction or tutoring to your child.

To attend Odyssey Online Learning, students need a computer that will meet minimum specifications, along with uninterrupted access to high-speed Internet. Other recommended items include a USB Tablet for writing on the computer during instruction, a headset with a microphone, and a printer.

Yes, if all graduation requirements are met. That includes passing required exams. Students will receive the same accredited high school diploma they would receive if they attended a traditional high school.

Yes. Every course includes a customized PDF textbook. It can be used on the computer or printed out, based on the preference of the student. Some classes also have additional text materials available, but this is not the case for all courses.


Extracurricular Activities

Yes. Odyssey Online Learning wants to ensure that students are well-rounded. We offer opportunities for clubs, career speakers, field trips, service learning and more. The activities offered will be based on the interests of students, parents and staff. These can change from year to year.

Students can participate in activities at their local high school with permission from the school or district. Odyssey Online Learning will help facilitate this when possible, but parents must seek direct approval. We encourage students to pursue activities within the community as well.


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