Enrollment and Distance Learning – Oak Meadow | Providers of Exceptional Homeschool Curriculum

Enrollment and Distance Learning

Is Oak Meadow School accredited?

Our distance learning school is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC). Through this accreditation, Oak Meadow School is recognized by the five other regional accrediting agencies in the US. It is common practice for major accrediting associations to share reciprocity across international lines.

While Oak Meadow cannot guarantee that an individual school or country will accept our credits, our transcripts carry the seal of our accrediting organizations and have been widely accepted by schools and universities around the world. Of course, each country is different in how they view distance learning, so you’ll want to research this on your own. There are times when a family may need to provide additional documentation or progress reports.

Oak Meadow is happy to assist you with this process in whatever way we can. Contact your educational counselor for support.

What is your class schedule? Do students sit in front of a computer all day?

Enrollment in Oak Meadow is not like attending an online school. Students work with the Oak Meadow curriculum materials on their own with parental oversight as needed, and they submit lessons to and communicate with their assigned Oak Meadow teacher via email, phone, and video conferencing.

There are no online classroom periods nor is there a regular schedule. Each student/family sets up their own daily/weekly schedule. Students and their teachers develop a wonderful, supportive relationship through the year, but they usually are not in communication on a daily basis.

What is the role of the Oak Meadow teacher?

When you enroll with Oak Meadow, your teacher is there to help you by providing explanations, guidance, feedback, and resources. They are available to answer any questions the student has about the process, directions, assignments, or content. Once lessons are completed the teacher reviews and gives feedback on work submitted, indicating areas of strength, and corrections, and/or what to work on going forward.

Parents and students can contact their teacher at any time through email or phone calls and can request a Zoom meeting when needed. While teachers work with each student, they do not take on the role of tutor. Most of the teaching comes from our print-based materials, and your Oak Meadow teacher is available to guide progress through the feedback they provide. If your student would benefit from in-person or one-to-one assistance, we suggest hiring a tutor in addition to your Oak Meadow teacher.

Here are some ways teachers interact with students and families:

K-4: Teachers provide guidance and support to the home teacher by helping with questions about the curriculum, expectations, and homeschooling. Lessons are submitted once a month. Teachers provide feedback and suggestions to parents as well as motivating and encouraging comments to students. Many students love sharing their work with their Oak Meadow teachers, and home teachers appreciate the accountability and support that the Oak Meadow teacher provides. Through the curriculum assignments, feedback on lessons, and regular communication, students and parents develop a productive relationship with their teacher.

5-8: Teachers work with both students and parents. Lessons are submitted every two weeks with feedback and suggestions provided to the student. Teachers encourage students in these grades to take responsibility and ownership to connect with the teacher when they have questions or need support. Through biweekly feedback and communication, students develop a working relationship with their teacher and learn time management and organizational skills.

High School: Teachers communicate directly with the student. Students are expected to check their emails on a regular basis, ask questions when needed, and take responsibility for their learning. Lessons are submitted on a regular basis (weekly, biweekly, or monthly depending on the teacher’s instructions). Each lesson is graded, and the teacher provides feedback and suggestions. Students can reach out to their teachers by email or phone call and when needed request a Zoom meeting. It is through the regular submission of work and communication with the teacher that a student develops strong communication skills, time management, organization, and self-advocacy skills.

All students received a narrative evaluation at the end of each semester. Students in grades K-8 will receive an accredited certificate of completion at the end of the year. High school students will receive an official accredited transcript.

What is my role as a parent?

As in any school environment, a child’s success depends largely upon the support and encouragement they receive from their parents or home teachers. Good communication is key.

  • In the early grades, it is the parent’s responsibility to maintain contact with the teacher and to make sure student work is submitted in a timely manner. Parents of younger students are considered the home teacher, and they organize their child’s school day and implement the lessons. While parents are the main line of communication with the teacher, students increasingly participate in email and video conversations with their teacher as they become more independent learners.
  • High School students work directly with their teachers, and parents help their students by providing structure and guidance. For example, they may assist by writing out a weekly schedule to help their child get organized and budget their time wisely, or ask questions about what the student is learning and offer help as needed. It is important for parents to check their student’s progress through the Oak Meadow parent portal on a regular basis to make sure work is submitted and to view general comments from the teacher.

Depending on your child’s age and temperament, you may need to be a very strong presence during the homeschooling hours. We encourage you to check your child’s work as it is completed, help him or her to focus on the assignments, and answer questions or assist with research as needed. Some families use extended family or hire a tutor to help students who need more one to one attention to complete lesson assignments.

How do students and families communicate with their teacher(s)?

Parents and students can communicate with their teachers by email, phone call or by requesting a Zoom meeting. Teachers respond to emails within 24-48 hours during business hours (M-F). Each teacher has weekly “office hours” where students or parents can call and ask questions. When needed parents and students can email a teacher and arrange a specific time to talk over the phone or set up a video call.

Do I need a tutor in addition to my Oak Meadow teacher?

Your Oak Meadow teacher will provide support when needed and will grade and assess work submitted. However, they do not do any live classroom teaching and are generally not available for daily communication. If a student requires one-to-one support that you as the home teacher cannot provide, we suggest hiring a tutor.

If you find you need a tutor, it is best to first identify what you need and how often. Is the tutor needed for specific content instruction or support such as a math or writing tutor? Does your student require support in identifying what needs to be done and help with getting started and completing work? Does your student have specific learning challenges that may need a tutor with specific skills or special education background to help your student learn strategies and or help to identify strengths and weaknesses? Depending on the type of tutor you are looking for you may also want to determine how often the tutor is needed: daily, bi-weekly, weekly, or every other week. Sometimes a tutor is only needed for a few months while others may be needed all year.

There are many ways to find tutors: word of mouth, asking at your local library, posting a request for a tutor at a local high school or college career center. There are also many websites that help families find tutors such as wyzant.com. You can also ask how to find tutors on homeschool Facebook groups or contact a homeschool association near you.

What are the options for enrollment?

Our accredited distance learning school begins in kindergarten. We accept applications throughout the year, and students can begin their full-year or semester enrollment at any time.

  • Enrollment options begin in Kindergarten. We encourage families to wait until their child is 5 or 5 ½ before beginning kindergarten (see our Curriculum and Grade Placement FAQs).
  • Full-year enrollment consists of 36 weekly lessons, to be completed in 10 months.
  • Single-semester enrollment consists of 18 weekly lessons, to be completed in 5 months.
  • In grades K-4, the subjects are integrated in one coursebook, so it is not possible to enroll in a single subject (exception: Grade 4 Math is presented in a separate coursebook).
  • In grades 5-12, students can enroll in a full course load or a single subject.
  • With approval, 7th and 8th grade students can enroll in high school courses and earn high school credit.
  • Students who begin their school year in another setting may transition to enrollment in Oak Meadow to complete their grade level.
  • While challenging, we do offer a selection of single-semester high school courses that can be completed over the summer. A student must be highly motivated to successfully complete a summer course.

Because our weekly lessons are self-paced, our teachers can accommodate fluctuations in your family’s schedule due to illness, travel, or athletic/performance training and competition. For students needing more than ten months to complete their lessons, two-month extensions are available for a flat fee. If more time is needed beyond the two month extension, the student must re-enroll for an additional semester in order to finish the course and receive credit.

How do I submit lessons?

Email is the primary method of communication between Oak Meadow teachers, parents, and students. Parents of students in K-6 are given a Gmail address in the Oak Meadow domain. Students in grades 7-12 receive their own Oak Meadow gmail address. This secure email is used for lesson submissions and school communication.

Oak Meadow uses Google Apps for Education; detailed instructions on how to submit assignments are provided with other orientation materials. Using digital submission prevents lost work, improves organization, and allows teachers to provide feedback more efficiently. (If necessary, other methods of submission can be arranged with your teacher.) At the beginning of the semester, the teacher will provide information about lessons submission. In general:

  • K-4: Once per month, parents submit four lessons that demonstrate a progression of skill development. The teacher provides examples of the kind of work they’d like to see.
  • 5-8: Every two weeks, parents or students submit two complete lessons in each discipline-specific course: English, math, social studies, and science.
  • High School: Each Oak Meadow teacher establishes a submission schedule for their course. Their submission schedules may vary from each other and from the ones printed in the coursebooks. Teachers will provide students with a submission schedule at the beginning of the course.

Do I need to have internet access?

Yes and no. While students primarily use our print-based materials, they use technology for communication, collaboration, creativity, and community. We value the developmental growth that springs from the printed page, yet acknowledge the power of technology as a tool for connection and research.

Parents of students in all grades have access to our parent portal, OM Gateway, where they can track their student’s progress. Students in grades 7 to 12 work within the Oak Meadow domain using Google Apps for Education and receive a school email address through which they communicate with their teachers and submit lessons. Some of our newest, enrollment-only courses are delivered on a website platform as opposed to in a printed coursebook.

Students who live in areas where online access is limited will need to problem-solve in order to access their email, submit lessons, and (if necessary) connect with their classes for our selection of discussion-based synchronous courses.

How do you evaluate student's work? Do you give grades?

Teachers distribute grades (letter or pass/fail) and lesson comments for each lesson a student submits. Additionally, they write comprehensive semester- and year-end narrative evaluations for each subject area, which provide a cumulative and informative compendium of a student’s progress, achievements, and challenge areas.

  • In K-4, students receive a pass/fail grade for each lesson.
  • In grades 5-8, students receive letter grades; however, they can choose to continue with the pass/fail system.
  • In high school, students receive letter grades. Grades are not shared with the student until the course is completed, as the lesson comments from the teacher are more indicative of the student’s progress. Parents, however, can view grades through the parent portal.

What type of documentation will I receive once we enroll?

Upon enrollment, we provide a Provisional Certificate of Enrollment that states your child is enrolled in our accredited distance learning school. This will be replaced with an Official Certificate of Enrollment within 90 days of the student’s start date, pending the receipt of all required forms, the submission of student work, and teacher verification that the student is submitting work of sufficient quality to be considered “in good standing.”

At year’s end, students in grades K-8 receive a Certificate of Completion once they complete a grade level. High school students will receive an official transcript and a diploma if they fulfill our graduation requirements.

Most states recognize Oak Meadow as an independent school, so you may not need to file as a homeschooler. Each state has its own regulations, so we encourage families to do their due diligence and contact their local Department of Education (DOE) to make sure they are adhering to their state’s requirements. Oak Meadow does not deal directly with any local or state bodies related to enrollment.

How does enrollment support students with learning challenges?

We offer learning plans for students who have an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), 504 Plan, or any learning differences. Learning plans at Oak Meadow are accommodation plans that we develop based on your child’s individual profile. After completing the Oak Meadow application, we will request any former IEPs, 504s, or psychoeducational testing for your student. A neuropsych evaluation is preferable. Our Learning Plan Committee reviews all documentation to determine if enrollment appears to be a good fit and to help determine whether an Oak Meadow Learning Plan is necessary.

The level of support Oak Meadow is equipped to provide for students with specific learning needs differs between our grade divisions. As a small distance learning school, our overall support for learning challenges is limited. If a student needs a lot of additional support, we might recommend hiring a coach/tutor/learning specialist to work with the student one-to-one in addition to the assigned Oak Meadow teacher. As our goal is to set students up for a joyful and successful experience, we might recommend using the curriculum independently as a traditional homeschooler to allow for the utmost flexibility and customization.

Can students interact with each other?

Even though students are learning at home, they are still part of a school community. Our teachers occasionally lead online workshops, hold book club chats, and facilitate pen pal programs to bring together students who would like to meet their peers and share similar interests.

Online Google forums for middle and high schoolers provide a safe way for students to connect socially; while these forums are student-led and student-moderated, teachers are invited to participate in the conversations. We also have art blogs for students in grades 7 and 8 and in high school who would like to share their creative work. We also send out a newsletter for our enrolled families only to share school and student news.

Do colleges accept an Oak Meadow diploma?

Homeschool and distance-learning school diplomas are accepted at most colleges and universities; in fact, many colleges actively seek out homeschooled students as they tend to be excellent college students. Oak Meadow graduates have been accepted by a wide array of U.S. colleges and universities: College Acceptance List.

Our High School tuition includes college counseling. Our college counselor helps you navigate the college admission process as you look for schools that will be a great fit for you after Oak Meadow.

For more information about graduating with Oak Meadow, see our High School FAQs.

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