Debunking the Myths of Online Education

Today’s live, virtual high school can take your preconceived notions about remote learning and flip them on their heads. As Bryn Mawr Online Director Justin Curtis says, “There’s a misconception the online class will be easier or not as rigorous, that students won’t have support and won’t interact with other people. But they are getting the same academic experience online. We meet students where they are and push them along the way.”

Myth #1: Online school is easier.

Bryn Mawr Online offers an honors-level curriculum that mirrors the nationally ranked campus school. Courses include Honors Algebra, Precalculus and Calculus; Honors Physics, Chemistry and Biology; Computer Science; world languages, and AP History.

Adds Curtis, “We’re not willing to compromise on the academics. We’re not learning online because we have to, but because we can make it a better experience for the student.”

“My daughter spends a good deal of time outside of the classroom training and competing her horses. Additionally, she spends winters in Florida competing. The online aspect allows her to participate in a rigorous academic program, while also providing flexibility to spend an adequate amount of time participating in her sport.”

– Current Bryn Mawr Online Parent

Myth #2: You’re just watching videos all day.

Monday through Thursday, Bryn Mawr students attend live, synchronous classes taught by a teacher–cameras on, everyone! Friday is an asynchronous day for students to catch up on work, meet with teachers or participate in optional activities.

“Online teaching permits me to teach my curriculum in creative and challenging ways while remaining faithful to the curriculum and standards. Online teaching embraces flexibility in scheduling for both faculty and students.”

—Christine Valenti, Faculty Member, Bryn Mawr Online School

Myth #3: Students have no interaction with each other.

In addition to the live classes, students at Bryn Mawr Online participate in extracurricular activities and community activities together online. Bryn Mawr finds creative ways to establish social connections and bonds such as afternoon clubs, virtual meetups like movie nights, international travel opportunities and an annual on-campus retreat.

“The biggest change was getting used to interacting with people online a lot. One of the best things is getting to know and make friends with the people here, having all our classes with them, as well as all the fun things we get to do.”

– Bryn Mawr Online Student

Myth #4: You won’t have the support you need.

Bryn Mawr Online students receive individual support from a college counselor and a success coach, as well as dedicated time with teachers during classes and office hours. Plus, classes are kept small–no more than 15 students.

“Small size online classes allow each child to get more attention and help. One of the advantages is that the communication between students and teachers is effective and timely, the Success Coach for each girl is very helpful.”

– Current Bryn Mawr Online Parent

“Having a success coach is so important. The success coach keeps you on track and checks in with you every Monday and Thursday to make sure you are doing assignments, and if you have any concerns with your class.”

– Bryn Mawr Online Student Government Members

Myth #5: Colleges frown upon online classes.

Bryn Mawr Online provides a full college prep experience, including Advanced Placement courses approved by the College Board. Students are assigned a college counselor in their sophomore year who will guide them and their families through the college admission process, and Bryn Mawr boasts an impressive list of college acceptances and matriculations.

Bryn Mawr Online

The Bryn Mawr School is a premier all-girls college preparatory school in Baltimore, Maryland. Founded in 1885, it ranks as the number one college prep private high school in Maryland and 16th among all-girls high schools in the United States by

Bryn Mawr Online expands access to a prestigious Bryn Mawr education beyond Maryland to girls anywhere in the country. It is a full-time, fully accredited, diploma-awarding program offering an honors-level curriculum taught by the acclaimed Bryn Mawr faculty.

With Bryn Mawr Online, you can re-imagine online high school. Could it be a fit for you?

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In Case You Missed It...

Meet Mallory Pladus

English Teacher

Where do you live?
Lancaster, Pennsylvania

What do you like about teaching online?
I like the small school environment, the ambitious students BMOS attracts, and the flexibility learning and teaching online affords students and faculty.

What do you like to do when you’re NOT in school?
Hike, travel, play frisbee, and spend time on the Jersey Shore.

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Japan. My dad is half Japanese, and there is a rumor in our family that he and my aunt relinquished property rights to a small portion of a mountain in Japan. I’d like to go see that mountain.

Best way to spend a Saturday?
Reading outside.

What do you want students to remember about you?
I want them to remember that I did my best to make literature open up for them in surprising, intriguing ways and that I cared about their ideas.

Personal catchphrase?
“Let’s reflect on this.”

Who inspires you?
Writers I love: James Baldwin, Marilynne Robinson, Louise Erdrich, to name a few.

What activity/class have you enjoyed the most through BMOS (and why)?
The poet Sarah Ali visited our English 9 and 10 classes to discuss her poem about animal roadkill. The students asked great questions, and she gave thoughtful answers. We broached a topic that often feels too intractable to talk about.