Enrollment and Distance Learning

Our teachers

Our teachers each had years of experience in classroom before coming to teach at Oak Meadow. Most have advanced degrees, and their primary focus is guiding your student to success, mastery, confidence, and understanding.

Students usually remain with the same teacher through grades K-4, and grades 5-8, unless otherwise requested. In high school, they are assigned subject-specific teachers, one for each discipline. A student may have the same English or math teacher for several years in a row. This allows the teacher to get to know the student well, and provide on-going support, encouragement, inspiration, and motivation.

When you enroll with Oak Meadow, your teacher is there to help you. Whether you are enrolled for a single course for a single semester, or five full-year high school classes, you can expect your teacher to provide feedback on submitted work, grades, guidance, support, and semester evaluations. Teachers also work with parents (grade K-6) and students to modify or adapt the curriculum as need, to suit a child’s needs, skills, passions, and goals.

While teachers work one-to-one 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. They are available by email, phone, or video chat, but please note that (for the most part), teachers are not involved in implementing of lesson material. If you feel like your student would benefit from in-person assistance, you may want to consider working with an on-site tutor, who can work with the Oak Meadow curriculum and co-ordinate with the Oak Meadow teacher. If you have questions, please contact us.

Accreditation

Our distance learning school is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC) and Middle States Association of Colleges and Schools (MSA). 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.

Enrollment options

Our accredited distance learning school begins in kindergarten (we do not enroll students for pre-school). A student can enter Oak Meadow at any grade, and stay for a single semester, a few years, or for all 13 grades levels. We have rolling admission throughout the year, so you can begin your full-year or semester enrollment at any time.

A student can enroll in a full course load, or just a single subject (available for grades 5-12). Grade k-4 are integrated across the curriculum, and should be done together. Starting in grade 4, the subjects are broken out into separate books, so it is possible to mix and match grade levels. High school students also have the option of dual enrollment, taking classes at other schools in addition to Oak Meadow. Contact us to learn more.

A full-year enrollment consists of 36 weekly lesson completed in ten months. You can also enroll for a single semester (18 lessons) over a five month period. If your child is ill or your family travels, lessons can be postponed or done ahead of time, since each weekly lesson is self-paced. Just let your teacher know of any planned trips or lengthy absences.

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.

Summer courses: It is possible for a student to complete a one-semester (.5 credit) course over the summer, particularly if they are only taking one course. Of course, it is not easy! It all depends on the student’s motivation and ability, and is usually only accomplished by high school students, doing one course at a time.

Your role as a parent

As in any school environment, the success of a child’s school year depends largely upon the support and encouragement from the parents, and this support will take several forms. For our distance learning format, it is primarily the parent’s responsibility to maintain contact with the teacher (especially in the younger grades) and ensure student work is submitted in a timely manner.

In order for the teacher’s feedback to be helpful, student work should submitted on a frequent, regular basis, and the lesson comments should be reviewed. Work is submitted after every two lessons (biweekly) in grades 5-12, and once a month in grades K-4. The parent can serve as a resource person, helping students locate information needed to complete the lessons, and can engage the student in conversations about the material.

Especially important in distance learning, parents need to help their student develop good organizational and time management skills. Many parents assist by writing out a weekly schedule to help their child budget their time wisely. Checking your child’s progress on a daily and weekly basis also encourages steady progress and instills a feeling of accomplishment.

Depending on your child’s age and temperament, you may need to be a very strong presence during the homeschooling hours. Mathematics often requires daily assistance; checking your child’s work as it is completed, helping him or her to focus on the assignments, and answering questions as needed. Incorrect answers may be due to not understanding the mathematical concept or working too quickly. You will need to determine which of these is taking place and work with your student (and your Oak Meadow teacher, if necessary) to avoid continuing difficulties.

Let your Oak Meadow teacher know how much support you and your child need. Also, let your teacher know how evaluative feedback is received. While all students need encouragement, some work well with concrete suggestions and others need more gentle guidance.

Grades and evaluations

Grades (letter or pass/fail) and lesson comments are received for each lesson a student submits. Additionally, teachers write narrative evaluations for each subject area at the mid-year and end of year points, which give a cumulative and informative compendium of a student’s progress, triumphs and challenge areas. These lesson comments and semester evaluations also help develop the one-to-one relationship between the student and the Oak Meadow teacher.

In K-4, students receive a pass/fail grade for each lesson. In grades 5-8, students receive letter grades (but can choose to continue with the pass/fail system). In high school, students receive letter grades. However, grades are not visible to the student until the course is completed, as the lesson comments from the teacher are more indicative of the student’s progress, and will highlight those areas that need more attention. These comments are the basis of the guidance and active teaching from the Oak Meadow teacher, and provide concrete feedback which the student can use to improve his or her work.

Documentation and state requirements

Upon enrollment, we provide a Provisional Certificate of Enrollment which states that 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 (see your Gateway), the submission of student work, and teacher verification that the student is submitting work of sufficient quality to be considered “in good standing.”

Oak Meadow does not deal directly with any local or state bodies related to enrollment. Please contact  your local Department of Education or school district regarding local laws and distance learning regulations; they may require a copy of your Certificate of Enrollment document and possibly other documents or testing.

Supporting students with learning challenges

The level of support Oak Meadow is equipped to provide for students with specific learning needs differs between our grade divisions. As a small organization and per our distance learning model, our support for learning challenges is limited.

For K-8 students: We are able to modify a child’s workload and adjust the curriculum to reflect different learning needs. When combined with the one-to-one support that students receive from both their Oak Meadow teacher and their parent (home teacher), these adjustments often help students overcome challenges that made learning in a traditional school setting difficult.

High school students: We can make adjustments to workload and the curriculum to reflect different learning needs. However, we often find that the significant degree of reading, writing, and independent work required in our high school courses can be a challenge for students who do not have dedicated home support. In addition to an Oak Meadow Learning Plan, we occasionally advise families to seek the support of tutors and other off-site learning specialists to instruct students with the directed learning assistance they require.

If required, a Learning Plan with specific accommodations will be initiated after a detailed review of official documentation of any diagnosis, the student’s prior assessments, and any previous IEP or 504 plans.  These Learning Plans are written by our licensed school counselor and the relevant program director. The Learning Plan is an official school document that becomes part of the student’s permanent record, which can allow for special accommodations on standardized testing; this allows a student to receive academic credit for an adjusted workload.

There is no fee for a Learning Plan assessment. If it is determined that a Learning Plan is needed, there is a nominal fee in addition to the tuition (this fee may not be included in our payment plan).

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