How Online School Works

Students at The George Washington University Online High School (GWUOHS) attend school online using our robust learning management system that hosts online courses and course management tools for students, teachers, and parents. Students use the learning management system to:

  • Checkmark iconAccess their courses
  • Checkmark iconTake assessments
  • Checkmark iconReview grades
  • Checkmark iconManage their course schedule
  • Checkmark iconInteract with peers in an online community

This platform provides them with a single place to access any information related to their academic life at GWUOHS.

What a Student’s Daily Schedule Looks Like

girl working and writing in the notebook
Some examples of clubs include:
Debate ClubFilm ClubLaw Club
Meditation ClubPerforming Arts ClubSports Club
Women’s Empowerment ClubNewspaper and Yearbook ClubStrong Leaders Club

And so many more.

At the beginning of the school year, students can also share their city/state (with parents’ approval) and Skype contact information. This information goes into a student directory, which is distributed to the students who “opted in” so they can see which of their peers are in close proximity to them. Sometimes, students who live in the same area choose to get together.

How Live Class Sessions Work

All GWUOHS classes are conducted using a combination of lessons (reading, activities, assessments, and videos) that students complete on their own schedule (asynchronous) and “live” teacher-led online classes at predefined times (synchronous)—the combinations may vary based on the course.

Live classes, also known as Class Connects, typically last for one hour, and these live sessions are recorded so that students can review if they miss a session or return to all or part again if needed.

Central to these synchronous sessions is the online classroom software our teachers use, which includes a whiteboard for live online instruction, multi-student discussion and collaboration, and space for instructional slides, as well as file and video sharing. This technology enables teachers and students to conduct a live virtual discussion as if they were in a physical classroom.

girl smiling

Students in all comprehensive and honors science courses are sent a lab kit they will use at home. These lab experiments are done on a microscale and very safe, but lab safety equipment and instructions are included. The labs done with this kit are very similar to labs done in a brick-and-mortar setting and have discussions and lab reports that are completed to analyze the student’s conceptual understanding of the topic. 

If a student is traveling, or for some other reason away from their lab kit, teachers do have virtual labs that can be sent to students, but these are only used when necessary. Hands-on lab experiences are shown to be better for learning.

How do teachers offer additional support for students?

Our teachers are readily available to students throughout the school day. In addition to meeting with students in weekly live sessions, our teachers also hold a few office hours during the week to provide students with individualized assistance when needed.

Our faculty members use our online classroom technology for these office hours, tutorials, one-on-one sessions, conferences, and optional help desks teachers hold several times a week to answer students’ questions and review content.

girl with headset in the meeting

After students have completed the required lessons, they can take the relevant quizzes or exams. Most classes have quizzes throughout the unit, as well as unit exams. The unit exams typically consist of a computer-scored portion and a teacher-graded part.  

We do not require standardized tests. Our only standardized testing is an optional STAR assessment in English and Math for 8th graders. We feel as though our assessments in the courses accurately gauge student performance and proficiency.

How can parents & Learning Coaches track student progress?

When students enroll with us, the parent will designate a Learning Coach (typically a parent or another responsible adult). That Learning Coach is then copied on any emails sent to the student.

Learning Coaches have an account in which they can easily see student grades and progress. There is also a mobile app Learning Coaches can download to have easier access to checking this progress.

Advisors will have synchronous check-ins with Learning Coaches at least once a month to review their child’s progress and address any problems.

What if my student needs additional support?

Upon enrollment, each student is assigned an advisor. The advisor meets with their students each week and more often as needed. The advisor also provides immediate intervention via individualized Student Success Plans when a student is struggling. Advisors support students in their academic, social, and emotional success in conjunction with the academic, social, and emotional goals students set each year. Advisors also run our Advising program consisting of Homeroom Huddles and assemblies that support our students academically, socially, and emotionally. 

Get Started With GWUOHS Today

Join a community of students and families reaching for and achieving their goals every day. Join an info session to learn more, or take the first step toward enrollment!