Posted by Vickie McCullough on Apr 12, 2020 12:30:00 PM
Sometimes we avoid new things, like online public school, because we don’t know what to expect, and that can make us a little nervous. It’s totally natural.
Today we're here to tell you a bit about what it's like to attend ICON, a free public online school for Idaho students, so you have an understanding of what to expect if you're interested in enrolling.
Once you're enrolled, you'll begin getting information from ICON about how to access materials, how to contact teachers, and all other pertinent information and expectations. If you want to look over the handbook and calendar sooner, visit the School Resources page here.
Class work can be found on Odysseyware, the program ICON uses for online classes. Using Odysseyware is easy. Once you're ready to get started simply:
- Create an account
- Watch the tutorial video
- Click on the "Learn" tab to see your assignments and courses
New students complete an online orientation and chat with their advisor via phone or live online sessions.
With no mandatory live class time, attending ICON offers a great deal of flexibility (along with other benefits). We work with students from the beginning to help them ensure they can access courses and find a schedule that works for their lives.
However, students are expected to complete a certain amount of schooling per week -- at students' own pace and based on their own schedule -- which helps students stay on track. All of our expectations and requirements are built with student success in mind.
Types of Assignments
The work you'll complete in online school is essentially the same as in-person school. Within the course platform, you'll find four different types of assignments:
You are expected to do work each school day, but there is no specific time it has to be done.
Grading information will be communicated by individual teachers, so every student will have clear guidance on expectations, how work is graded, and what work is required.
Here's a bit more about what a few of the assignments look like.
Each lesson begins with an explanation, and may also include vocabulary, imagery, games to interact with, and more. You’ll want to read all the content before answering the questions at the end.
Projects generally take a little longer than the lessons, so it’s best to plan these for when you have a bit more time.
You can talk to your instructor and ask questions directly in the course platform, so it's easy to keep track of conversations and suggestions. Each teacher will provide the times that they are available, so you'll have clear expectations of when you'll hear back or specific times you can connect one on one.
Pro-tip: While you may school any time of the day, you might want to work on subjects that you need a little extra help with during the times when the instructor is available.
Of course, even though you have flexibility, it's still important to have structure. We offer students pacing guidelines to help keep them on track. Additionally, classes within ICON follow a traditional semester system, so students are expected to complete coursework and tests within the semester. This helps keep you on track to finish in a timely manner, and ensures you're keeping up with classes you need to graduate when you want to.
Written by Vickie McCullough
Vickie McCullough is the Head of School at ICON - Idaho Connects Online School, serving 6-12 grade students throughout the state of Idaho.