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Boydancermom

Transitioning to online school mid-year

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Boydancermom

Our son is struggling with 9 hours of traditional school (includes bus time), several hours of ballet/dance an evening plus homework. We are thinking about switching him to a residence school with online schooling in January (4 hours of online school and 4-5 hours of dance - much more manageable). Does anyone know how that works if he switches mid-year? Would he get credit for the half year that he will have completed in the brick and mortar school? I believe that some of his classes change mid-year.

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Bunhead Mama

I believe that would depend on the online school and how courses are set up in your state. Best to call them.

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vrsfanatic

I am sure you can receive the answer from the school. It is something of importance for sure. Call the school.

Since I work in a Residency Program for talented ballet students, may I suggest you begin to develop an open line of communication with the school in question. Most Residency ballet schools have departments that deal specifically with academics, dormitory issues, dance related issues, fund raising issues, alumni relations, marketing etc. There may even be a Parent Association.

I am suggesting that you begin now to hear the advice of your son's school, be it dormitory supervisors, academic advisors, dance faculty or the director. If you are unable to hear them and trust that they have the best interest of your son at heart, do not send your child to a residency program. It might help for you to begin thinking as you do with your child's academic high school, there is a system in place. Follow the system. As with schooling of any type, there is always room for improvement however, if you are sending your child to a school with a history of success, realize the system in place is there with years of experience and professional knowledge behind it.

Please recognize, parents of ballet students, any school can only be successful if they recognize that keeping the best interest of the students at heart, is the future of the school. It takes a particular child to even consider leaving home to attend Residency. It also requires a family behind the student who trusts and believes a school is there to support and educate the student. Start speaking to the school now about your thoughts, questions and concerns.

Edited by vrsfanatic
spelling and aditional information

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dancemaven

Having had a DD at a residential ballet school, I heartily second vrsfanatic's sage advice. It is the ONLY way to approach a residential school program successfully.

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Blanche

Is the online program a separate entity from the ballet/dance portion of the residency program? If so, you would need to see if/how the online institution to which you are transferring credits would handle the brick and mortar credits.

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Boydancermom

VRS - great advice - but I'm not sure how my question was viewed as potentially not trusting the program? I was just asking if his brick and mortar credits would transfer to online.

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AncientDancer

If the online school is registered with the state as accredited, then credits transfer. Most states have a free virtual school as part of their public school system, and credits between them are fluid (personal and professional experience speaking, here).

 

My DD Is turning 13, shortly, and has taken a combination of brick and mortar and online coursework.

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dancemaven

The residential schools typically have a liaison person who is up on all manner of academic issues, includling transfer of credit issues. That person is a great resource person to help one navigate your question.

 

----Unless the residential school simply leaves the academic side of the education up as a free-for all, i.e., the parent/student is responsible for choosing and working through whatever academic program they can find--in which case, the program isn't really a residential program as we define it here on BT4D.

 

I believe vrsfanatic was simply advising that you open up dialogue between you and the potential residential schools as early as possible on these issues to begin establishing that trust component. You will feel much better about the school (or not) as you begin building a rapport with them.

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dancypants1

All of the traditional online schools I know of take transcripts and apply credits for classes taken in brick and mortar schools. They will also evaluate home schooled classes for credit. It seems most residential schools with an online school component use a traditional provider (keystone, FLVS, etc) so there should be no problem. You can see what online school the ballet school uses and go to the website for information on transferring credits if you want to look into it before making contact with the ballet school.

 

These online schools are very used to students beginning online instruction mid year, so it expected and a part of their services to make the transition as easy as possible.

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learningdance

I can think of at least 3-4 programs that schedule dance classes 9-5 or 10-6 and do not get involved at all in academics. Kids live in the city where they train, with residencies (e.g. dorms, etc) that are affiliated with program but no academic support, interest, or connection. I guess I would suggest boydancer mom that you think carefully about that kind of situation. Kids need to be very skilled academically and organized and self-motivated. Or they need to have a parent who is micro managing their schooling. It's all on the family.

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vrsfanatic

Thank you dancmaven for responding so well. I simply meant you need to establish the rapport with the residential programs you are considering. No one here at BT4D can give you the answer for each school you are considering. They do not know the history of your son's academic school, the laws of your present State versus the laws of the States you are considering for academic enrollment. All States are different. Call the schools.

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ddsbiggestfan

I would be cautious in assuming that an online school will necessarily work better for a child who is struggling academically. We have done online school twice with my DD and in both cases it did not work well for her. Our reasons for trying it were different than yours (she was dealing with medical issues) but in both cases I was surprised by how difficult it was for her to be motivated to "do school" when everything was on a computer. She found it very depressing and discouraging. She is very motivated to do well academically, and an excellent student in general, but we have learned that for her the classroom experience and connection with a teacher is a vital part of the learning experience. She is back in brick & mortar school now, dancing 17 hours a week plus travel time, and while it is very hard for her to balance everything and she does get stressed out, she is much much happier and doing a lot better in school as well.

 

I know that online school works really well for many people, and I don't want to discourage you from exploring the option, but I do want to caution you that it is not a panacea.

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dancemaven

Learningdance, if the programs do not have an academic component, then they are not true "residential schools", but simply training programs. There is a difference if ALL aspects are not in place. Those programs may accept (and even encourage) non-local students as students, but without ALL the necessary components (structured academic, housing, and dance training) that address a minor's needs who is living away from parents, it is not a residential school.

 

There are very few true residential ballet schools in the US.

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dancemaven

As for on-line academics, it is, as others have said not a panacea and is often even more difficult for a student, depending on their personality and learning style. Both my (very academic) kiddoes had experience with on,-line classes. They both did well, but both also noted the depth of learning was absent and the need for self-discipline was very necessary. DD has known several dancers who struggled mightily with on-line courses because of the need for self-discipline in making the course deadlines.

 

But those dancers were also in residential training programs--not residential ballet schools so there was no local oversight or help with the programs. The residential school DD attended had an alliance with the local bricks and mortar school that the dancers attended, which appears to be an anomaly these days unfortunately.

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Bunhead Mama

One more piece about online schooling- My DD is homeschooled with online components. When looking at an online school some will provide actual textbooks, some will give you the option to purchase them, and then some will have the be 100% online only. My advice is strongly consider investing in the textbooks. Screen fatigue is real and a computer textbook is a lot less tangible and then there is that chance the wifi will be down, computer virus, etc... Just some advice that I have found made a huge difference to my DD.

Also if you are looking more at a residential "training" program VS a residential ballet school program know that as a parent it is on you to make sure your child is using their time wisely. Even the most self motivated child will occasionally not make the best choices with time management. If you are not 100% certain your child will make the most of every moment (and even then) plan on some micromanaging and the struggles that come with parenting long distance.

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