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Many of the articles you will find on our bloggED are geared to our new faces at K12 – students, learning coaches and teachers – and with good reason!  Being online for the first time can be a bit overwhelming!  Well, fear not returning students – this one is for you!

Not only have you been successful in past years, but you are returning, which means that you have found that being an online student is a good fit for you personally.  Maybe you are with us because your family travels a lot, or because you really just love the being challenged with a high-quality curriculum.  Maybe you have developed friendships across your state and are finding ways to be involved in your school, which is amazing!  Whatever has brought you to the online platform for another year, we are so glad you are with us!  You are invaluable to our student body, and we commend you for all your hard work and success in the past!

As a returning student, you probably are pretty adept with the OLS or the new online middle or high school.  You totally rock at getting to your class connect sessions, watching recordings and even getting more involved in the class connect sessions as you go.  With that said, I think we all can find things that will help us, no matter where we are in our online journey, to have a strong start and an awesome year.  Here is a quick tip list for you, the returning student.  I hope that one or more of these ideas will help empower you this year on your learning journey!

  1. Do something each week to unplug from your computer.  We know that sitting there long hours can be pretty hard on your eyes and brain.  Find a hobby, go hang out with friends, get involved in an extracurricular activity like sports or band.  The key is to break away from the devices – go off-line – and even away from your phone!
  2. Don’t be afraid to step up! Many of you are amazing leaders waiting to be unleashed!  Your teachers may really see you as someone who can help the newer students, help at assemblies or class connect sessions and really help your fellow peers get the hang of online school.
  3. Share your experiences with someone new! Taking a look back to see all the awesome advice you can give another is a fantastic way to see how far you have come, and it gives you a sense of pride to be able to share that knowledge with others!  Remember when you learned that using a student planner was helpful?  Or that going to your class connect sessions really DID help you out a lot?  Those are the things that other students need to hear, from you, a peer.
  4. Make a new goal for yourself every month. This could be related to school, work, family etc.   Having something to shoot for can be really healthy and help you keep on track with school as well!
  5. Don’t get behind with your school work. You may already have learned this the hard way, but it is important enough to put on this list! Stay proactive!
  6. Make an effort to communicate more this year. Talk to your teachers if you need help, say hello to a new student in the chat in class connect, etc.  “Doing school” from home can have its perks, but you also don’t want to get isolated.  The more you reach out to peers and teachers, the more you will feel a sense of belonging in your online school!
  7. Finally – and I can’t emphasize this one enough – the more you take an active interest in your school, the more you will be invested and the better your school will be! So be the leader you know you can be, participate fully in class connects, get involved in your school’s online clubs and activities, go to those awesome face-to-face trips and have FUN!

Most importantly – this year will be epic.  You are a big part of that!  And never forget – we are so glad you are with us at K12 and in your school!  You are valued and cared about!  Thank you for being with us for another year!

About The Author

Jennifer Schultze

Jennifer Schultze teaches music in grades 7-12 and serves as an advisor to high school students at Wyoming Virtual Academy (WYVA). Prior to joining WYVA in July 2008, Jennifer was a general music teacher, high school choir director and middle school band director for eight years. Jennifer graduated from the University of Wyoming in 1999 with a bachelor’s degree in music education. In 2006 she received a master’s of science in curriculum, instruction and assessment from Walden University.  In addition, she is a concurrent professor for Eastern Wyoming College.  Jennifer lives in Buffalo, Wyoming, with her husband, who is a deputy sheriff, and their five children. Jennifer loves coffee, reading, blogging, and spending time with her family.

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