What to Expect from Online School with Method Schools

As more and more K-12 schools move to online models, students are experiencing a whole new level of learning. And modern trends in education are all pointing toward an even stronger shift to online schools. 

Unfortunately, if you’re a parent who’s eyeing online learning for your child, this new school environment could be unfamiliar ... or downright scary. 

We’re here to put your mind at ease. In this guide, we weave through the ins and outs of online school and map out exactly what you can expect from Method Schools’ online learning program.

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Chapter 1

What Is Online Learning?

Online learning is quickly becoming the go-to method for delivering stellar K-12 education. In fact, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, almost 60 percent of public high schools now provide online coursework.

Wondering what’s driving the buzz around online learning?

Online education allows K-12 students to learn in a flexible classroom from anywhere they have access to a digital device. What’s more, technology is dramatically enhancing the learning process. With the right program, students can get one-on-one attention, work through personalized coursework, and advance at their own pace.

Still, not all online learning programs are the same. That means it is important to take time to understand how online learning works and how the best programs out there are operating.


What Is the History of Method Schools?

At Method Schools, we’ve experienced shifts in education firsthand. When we first launched in 2013, we wanted to build a K-12 public charter school that used better, more flexible models to inspire academic growth. So we developed a blended learning model that combined online and in-person learning. 

However, in recent years, several legislative bills forced us to move out of our blended learning centers. In the time since, we’ve worked hard to create fully online classrooms that connect with students, help them to grow at their own pace, and inspire deeper learning outcomes. 

So far, our journey has worked out beautifully. 

Today, we provide engaging online coursework, tap into a team of teachers and staff who are experts in distance learning, and serve thousands of students across California.


Common Misconceptions About Online Education

Before jumping into how online schools work, it’s worth clearing up some common myths about online education. Here are some misconceptions you may have heard about online education and the truths behind them.

1. Community is sacrificed with online learning.

Many parents are apprehensive about online learning because they’re worried their child won’t have a chance to develop socially. However, the right online learning experience will include built-in opportunities for your student to be a part of a community. 

Here are some ways Method Schools is promoting a more connected community and inspiring positive social development:

  • Field trips and clubs: At Method, students can participate in all kinds of field trips, in-person learning events, and extracurricular programs. That includes interactive groups like our mountain bike team
  • Learning tiles: Method Online Learning Tiles are designed to help students discover their extracurricular passions and uncover learning beyond the traditional classroom. At Method Schools, they can tap into a range of learning tiles extensions, such as robotics, comics, drawing, and athletic performance. 

2. Learning experience is sacrificed with virtual learning.

There’s an especially nasty rumor out there that suggests student performance suffers in online programs. We’ve found the opposite to be true. When done right, online learning actually gives teachers and students the tools to boost learning outcomes. Here are some ways Method Schools’ online learning experience is driving a higher standard of learning:

  • Ongoing support: Through weekly, skill-based touchpoints with teachers, students form a deeper connection with instructors and receive the personalized direction that leads to success.
  • Help in all forms: Our online coursework is stimulating and engaging, but we don’t confine learning to online spaces. Students can receive both online and in-person help to meet their needs. 
  • Adaptive curriculum: Coursework is designed to adapt to each student’s needs. That means students don’t waste extra time on areas they’ve mastered, and they receive the support they need on subjects that are more challenging.

3. Online instruction is replacing teachers.

When you hear about online learning, it may conjure images of stiff, robotic systems replacing teachers. The reality couldn’t be further from the truth. Online instruction actually gives teachers more powerful tools to reach students on a deeper level. 

And instructors seem to be recognizing these advantages. According to statistics from University of the Potomac, nearly 70 percent of professors now say online resources are necessary teaching tools.

An important advantage of online learning is that it lets teachers deliver more personalized instruction, and it makes it easier to identify academic barriers. Because some online systems use self-paced modules and built-in analytics, teachers can help learners excel on a more intimate level.


Benefits of Online Learning

Even with so many misconceptions about online learning muddying the waters, the benefits are clear. Here are some groups that stand to benefit the most from online learning: 

  • Student athletes: With constant practice, travel, workout routines, and games, student athletes have to deal with hectic schedules. Online learning lets student athletes juggle those responsibilities and learn on their own time without missing out in the classroom.
  • Artists: In a traditional, brick-and-mortar school, artists and performers are penalized for missing class. Online education lets creative students control their schedules and perform while staying on track for graduation. 
  • Homeschoolers: It can be a big move for homeschooled students to jump into public classrooms. Online learning lets homeschoolers transition to college smoothly without having to uproot them from the home-based lifestyles they love. 
  • All students: Online K-12 learning makes it possible for all students to engage with custom coursework in a flexible learning environment. That means they can move at their own pace, get extra help with difficult subjects, and stride forward without having to wait for peers to catch up.


Chapter 2

What to Look for in Online Learning

As brightly as the benefits of online learning shine through, not every online school is equal. When it comes to your child’s education, you want the best. Here are some tips for choosing an outstanding online school.

Teachers need to be distance learning experts.

Few experiences are more frustrating than choosing an online learning program and being met by teachers who aren’t familiar with distance learning. Parents don’t have time to teach instructors how to use technology. That’s why it is important to pick an online K-12 school that’s staffed with teachers who are seasoned online learning experts.


Curriculum should be trusted.

With so many schools rushing to start online programs, it is important to choose an institution that will prepare your student for life after graduation. That means the school should be accredited and its curriculum should be aligned with the standards of major regulatory bodies.


Courses should be engaging.

Especially in an online environment, coursework needs to grab a student’s attention and keep it. With more engaging classes, students will relate to content and want to continue learning.


Learning should fit the student.

Students learn at different paces and in different styles. That’s why it is crucial that online learning be self-paced and personalized


Class sizes should be small.

The temptation for some online schools is to broadcast messages to crowds of students. That’s not a healthy learning environment for children. Instead, an online K-12 school should provide small classes in which students can get the attention they deserve.



Chapter 3

How Online Learning Works with Method Schools

Wondering how advanced online learning looks in action? For Method Schools, we give talented teachers powerful technology. The result is life-changing learning outcomes. Here are some secrets to Method Schools’ student success:

  • Smart sessions: Adaptive content is built into each course, so students engage with subject matter in a way that fits their learning styles and individual needs.

  • Student pacing guide: Our student pacing guide carves a custom path for each individual student. That means students move at the pace that fits their learning tendencies, along the track that fits their goals.

  • Intuitive dashboards for students: Online dashboards make it easy for students to interact with coursework, teachers, and classmates.

  • Graduation planners: Counselors have easy access to graduation planners, so they can easily work with students to pave a path to graduation and plot a course to college.

  • Fully integrated Zoom and Qualtrics modules: With advanced teaching software built into our learning system, students can connect with instructors and learn without interruptions.

  • Online bullying reports: We know that a safe learning environment plays a critical role in the education process. That’s why we run ongoing safety and bullying reports to ensure children are learning in a comfortable, secure classroom.

  • Trusted curriculum: Curriculum is built by teachers and certified curriculum specialists. It’s engaging, interactive, and fully customizable. Plus, it’s University of California (UC) A-G and NCAA-approved, so your student’s work qualifies them for postsecondary opportunities.



Chapter 4

A Deeper Look at the SmartFox Platform

Many parents may not realize it, but positive online learning also hinges on the learning platform a school uses. At Method Schools, we use a cutting-edge SmartFox platform. This allows us to provide even more fruitful learning outcomes and a clearer route from graduation to postsecondary success. Here are the components of our SmartFox platform that help students succeed.

College-Ready Curriculum 

Our curriculum is engaging, interactive, and trusted by the nation’s top academic regulators. Students can access more than 140 UC A-G and NCAA-approved courses. We’re also accredited by Western Association of Schools and Colleges (WASC). 


Easy-to-Use Student Information System (SIS) 

A school’s student information system (SIS) may not be the flashiest tool out there, but it plays a big role in online learning. Because the SmartFox SIS is integrated with its learning management system (LMS), our counselors and teachers can easily access the crucial information they need. That makes it easier to prepare students for graduation and chart clear courses to postsecondary opportunities. 


Powerful Learning Management System (LMS)

Simply put, the learning management system (LMS) is the program that lets students interact with teachers online. But the SmartFox platform allows our leaders to do even more. With SmartFox’s LMS, students learn through Smart Sessions and interactive instruction. The LMS also includes built-in analytics, so teachers can track student progress and help them overcome academic challenges.


Easy Enrollment and Marketing

Our online platform makes it easy to enroll students and see what courses students need to take to ensure long-term success. Additionally, the platform simplifies marketing, which is especially important for public charter schools. That means we can spend less time trying to reach out to our students and more time leading them to a better future.



Chapter 5

What People Are Saying About Method Schools

Wondering how students and parents feel about Method Schools?

Here’s what people are saying about the Method online learning experience.

"Through Method Schools, I have seen my son become such an independent, successful learner. He has learned how to communicate on a regular basis with teachers about what he needs to do in his academics, how to manage his lessons and meetings, and seeing how it can prepare him for a college learning atmosphere. I have also seen the advantage he has had in a virtual learning environment, as things are changing during a pandemic with schooling."

— Lauren Galindo, Parent, Rancho Cucamonga


“We are going into our third year of school with Method, and we couldn’t be more excited. The entire process of transitioning to virtual school from a brick-and-mortar school has been seamless and stress-free. The support offered by Method’s staff is incredible and so easy. My son has had the freedom to not only complete his school work at a pace that suits him (which is much faster than a traditional school setting), but also the freedom to explore subjects more that he is truly interested in. The support from Ms. Pinter has been so refreshing, and her interest in supporting my son’s ideas and what he loves to explore makes every day very fun for him. He looks forward every day to doing school virtually, and there is no stress on where he can complete his work from. Seeing the love for learning he has with Method absolutely reassures me that choosing Method was the right decision for our family. Cannot wait for my younger son to start next year!”

— Rhiannon Minor, Parent, Hesperia


Learn How Method Schools Can Help

Regardless of the path you choose for your child, we want to see them succeed. Have questions about your student’s education, Method Schools, or the online learning process? We’re here to help.

Talk with one of our education experts today!



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