What Parents & Students Say
First-hand statements from those who know George Washington University Online High School (GWUOHS) best.
We're so gratified by the great things we hear from parents and students about our school.
“As a mother of a high school student, I deeply value a rich and challenging education that is led by faculty who are passionate and dedicated. My son had been in a private school setting since age 3, guided by a pedagogy I whole-heartedly believed in (and still do). In 2020, COVID-19 affected students' learning, as schools had to quickly move to online platforms for teaching. GWUOHS has been successfully providing a private online education long before COVID-19. Their organized system provides students a very smooth transition through orientation for each class to understanding what/when assignments are due. Advisors, faculty, and college counselors are consistently available, as they guide you and your student through an education that is filled with engaging curriculum and personal goals that set your student on a path for life long success. I always looked forward to my monthly check in's with Ms. Stenzel, my son's advisor. She deeply understands who my son is as a person, a student, a friend, and a community leader. I am in awe with GWUOHS's commitment to their students and their education....something every child deserves! Thank you GWUOHS for your support. Our family holds much gratitude in our hearts for you always.”
“GWUOHS gave me a true academic experience and I was able to learn and grow with my fellow peers, all while having amazing teachers and faculty guide me along the way. I was provided with many leadership opportunities, and I was able to follow my passions through the Photography Club, the Marvel Club, the Strong Leadership Program, and through classes that GWUOHS supported.
As a student who had been Waldorf educated since the preschool, I had my concerns about transitioning to a private online education. But GWUOHS exceeded all of my expectations and I found myself feeling stronger and more confident as a student than ever before.”
“As a college student, I am compelled to share my reflections on my three years at GWUOHS. With a distinguished, unparalleled community of diverse, transcending, and caring staff, students are taught by teachers who genuinely connect to each student to assess their needs and guide them towards achieving their goals. Alison Mistretta, Head of School, fosters a community that exemplifies her profound leadership and dedication to her students and staff. Through her innovative approach to integrating encouragement, communication, knowledge, trust, and collaboration into the school, students' lives are touched by an impactful leader throughout and beyond their time at GW. This was my experience.
The skillsets that GWUOHS taught me proved essential in post-secondary education, such as time management, efficient study methods, diverse intellectual perspectives, and engagement in leadership. I attribute these valuable life lessons to Alison Mistretta, Dr. Maria Coyle (Associate Head of School), and the talented teachers who undoubtedly recognize every student as an individual. This experience is crucial in developing the student profile that colleges emphasize and value.
Initially joining GWUOHS with the sole goal of pursuing athletics, upon my first day, the doors to GWUOHS provided me with the rare opportunity to see the world up close. Because of the global, tight-knit community, I could study in the United States, virtually meet with a peer in a Canadian coffee shop to write an article for the school newspaper, join my fellow debaters in a nationwide competition, and meet profound mentors from various countries, all while feeling part of one big family.”
“Originally, I started GW online high school to get away from the chaos and instability brought upon the public school system by the pandemic. Now, I don’t want to leave this school. Even though this is an online school, I actually met many new peers who share my interests. If a student is willing to, he/she is able to participate in many social aspects of school life, such as clubs, Student Council, or the News Show. The curriculum and content is very interesting, and the entire staff community is understanding and working to help you learn. I also feel like I own my time and schedule a lot more, and I am able to sign up for extracurriculars and activities during the school/working day, as I don’t have to be at a physical school all day. Finally, I want to say that both many in the student community and the staff are committed to creating a respectful and understanding environment toward people with a variety of backgrounds and opinions.”
“Our family's experience at GWUOHS in the past two years as been tremendously positive. There is a wraparound approach to the student experience, that includes incredibly caring, talented, and responsive teachers, advisors, and leadership. This fosters an environment conducive not only to learning, but helping students grow as individuals - gaining a sense of accomplishment while feeling valued.”
“My daughter just finished her first year as a 9th grader at GWUOHS. We elected to try an online school for several reasons. As a competitive athlete, flexibility and efficient use of time was very important. The small rural Midwestern brick and mortar school that she was at did not offer a challenging curriculum or a comfortable social atmosphere. GWUOHS delivered on every one of these concerns. My daughter was able to take honors and AP classes, adjust her schedule to accommodate her athletics, and became good friends with kids from all over the world!”
“My daughter has been a student at GWUOHS for four years now. During these four years I have seen tremendous growth in her. She graduated this year and feels sad not being to attend GWUOHS in the fall. We will miss GWUOHS community and what it has offered. I would definitely recommend the school to anyone who feels frustrated with traditional schooling.”
“GWUOHS has enabled our son to pursue his goals of playing D1 ice hockey in college while getting a great education. He needed flexibility in his schedule to allow for on ice skill sessions and lifting weights in the morning. He has that now. He also has the flexibility to play in tournaments and attend classes virtually while traveling. He has great support from his teachers and advisor at GWUOHS especially during weeks when he was called up to play with his United States Hockey League (USHL) team, the Waterloo Blackhawks. Griff was able to have a successful academic year while playing hockey at the highest level. We love GWUOHS!"
Amy E., DO & Keith E.
“I’d like to also say that our experience at GWUOHS was terrific. We felt that Hayes received not only excellent academic education but also wonderful support from the staff via the advising system and more. I would recommend GWUOHS (and have) to others as a rigorous academic program with personal, professional, and wonderful individuals coordinating it all. Thank you for this experience not only for Hayes but for our family.”
“My daughter has had a desire to leave the chaos of public schools for many years. As a public school educator myself, I am aware of its difficulties, and at the same time, equally aware of the lower quality education offered by most private and/or online schools. When we discovered GWUOHS and learned that it was founded on GWU's research-based model for education, we were intrigued. The High School's foundation in educational methodology which has been proven for nearly 15 years as best in class for student learning and overall well-being, suits our family amazingly well. Our daughter began her studies here in her 8th grade year and excelled from the start. The courses are rigorous, require thought, effort and study. It is not a program "for show" but rather, a solidly developed, rich, standards-based curriculum designed with purpose and developed with student growth in mind.
My daughter has benefited in more than just academics. Being in GWUOHS allowed her flexibility to be human first, and a student second. Her physical and emotional well-being are nurtured through the school's flexible schedule and kind faculty. It is a perfect combination of required courses and deadlines, with the flexibility to adjust based on student schedules, learning styles and needs. Between classes and school work, our daughter is able to go outside, connect with friends, exercise, and participate in other healthy activities that break up the rigor of the school day.
GWUOHS has a proposed schedule for each student, allowing them the structure they need to work independently while still understanding the proper pacing for a high school course of study. This combination of structure and flexibility has been remarkably beneficial for her mental health and physical well-being. GWUOHS teachers, advisors and administrators are incredibly personable and accessible. Our daughter has never felt alone or isolated, struggling to figure out assignment directions or content. She has never failed to get the help she needed in a timely fashion. As a parent & learning coach, I have received extensive support as well, understanding better how to help my daughter and partnering with her advisor when needed to help her though her year. Her teachers and advisor take a personal interest in her life outside of academics and engage her as a complete and important person. She is not just a number in a public school, she is treated as a young woman striving to make her way in the world - with strength, dignity and intelligence.
The time management and study skills my child is learning through GWUOHS will carry her into college years much better and much more seamlessly than the manufactured "study skills" taught in public schools. As a self-directed learner, through GWUOHS she has had to refine and strengthen her ability to think for herself, plan, organize and schedule. She has had to use her independent thinking skills, not only in each assignments, but as a young woman incorporating her school work with the other activities in her life - acting, friendships, family, hobbies, etc. She has been able to nurture her unique style, viewpoints and methods of study. None of this would have been possible without the academic excellence and structure of GWUOHS curriculum or the personable, readily available and outstanding support of its staff.”
“The curriculum has been exactly what we were told. Rigorous and geared toward college preparation but nothing that our kids have not been able to understand and master. Much of the time the live classrooms assist with the initial introduction to material in a way that is understood, but there is backup ways the teachers provide for learning i.e. one on one with teachers during office hours as well as teachers providing supplemental material. It all works together for the success of the student.
Obviously we love the school. We are very picky. While we have been accepting in the past of "ok" schools, we have always felt that some schools were run based on either business decisions, or teacher preference, or parent preferences, or based on preferences of those funding the schools (private school). We are fully aware that GWUOHS makes decisions based on what is best for the STUDENTS first and foremost. To be able to do that you have to have the knowledge of WHAT is good for students but also make the decisions based on this. We feel GWUOHS is perfection in regards to what is best for the students and making those decisions accordingly.”
“GWUOHS has allowed our son to pursue academic excellence in a nationally-standards-based curriculum while giving full attention to his athletic pursuits outside of school. He has thrived in an environment where he has the freedom to do his individual best while being a positive member of his school community. He has learned to make friends in a virtual environment within a diverse student body. He has also learned to take responsibility for his learning as a college student is required to do. We feel strongly that GWUOHS compares favorably with the well-regarded private independent schools in our area, and look forward to watching him grow and learn in this college-preparatory environment.”
“The support that my son has received from GWUOHS has been instrumental in his success as a performer, composer and writer. The flexibility has afforded him the time to create and collaborate with others. Education is paramount to our family and GWUOHS continues to provide a challenging curriculum.
I feel that the independence that my son has received as a student is preparing him to succeed in college. He is extremely independent and has had to learn study skills to stay ahead in his classes while balancing a full time job as a professional performer.
The school has taught him how to balance school and his creative endeavors and how to manage his time appropriately.
When the rest of the world paused and children were forced to transition into a virtual academic environment, our transition was seamless. My son knew exactly what was expected of him, and although his work as a professional actor in NYC was placed on hold, the continuity of attending GWUOHS provided much needed stability in a time of chaos.
My son's teachers are incredibly accessible who take the time to get to know him and want him to succeed in all of his endeavors ”
“GWUOHS has enlightened our sons to reach beyond the core academic world. Success in their studies are of utmost priority; however, they both individually realized the importance and integrity in sharing and serving the community. This online private school has provided an exemplary foundation in fostering strong character, mutual respect, global understanding, and independent thinking for our sons.”
“We have had a tremendously positive experience at GWUOHS. Our two boys have thrived in the demanding academic environment. The accessibility and interaction with teachers and administrators has exceeded our expectations. In our opinion, GWUOHS is carving its path as one of the most academically achieving, uniquely online and competitive high-school programs in the nation.”
“GWUOHS helped me to grow as a person and take on leadership roles I would not have been able to if I attended a traditional school.”