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Is an Online High School Right for You?

Is an online high school right for you? First things first. We’ve all read about the challenges presented by remote learning during the pandemic, but the reality is that many students thrive in an online environment. Now, many families are looking to make the switch to online high school, for good. Is it right for your family? Here are the top five reasons students opt for online over a traditional bricks-and-mortar school.

Seeking Academic Challenge

High-quality educational opportunities can vary greatly depending on a student’s location. Many students who enroll in an online high school seek a rigorous academic experience that they may not have access to currently in their geographic area. Additionally, some students are ready to move at an accelerated pace that their local school system cannot support. Online schools can offer advanced coursework and place students based on their current academic level and not solely rely on a student’s grade for placement.

Flexibility without Compromise

Some students are pursuing talents and passions outside of the classroom, whether it be athletic, performance-based, artistic, or entrepreneurship. These students need flexibility built into their schedules to pursue their interests. Yet, they do not want to compromise the academic experience. Nationally ranked online schools provide students with the necessary flexibility for their schedules without compromising on academic coursework.

Personalized Learning Experiences

Students who enroll in online high schools have access to a variety of materials and tools to aid in the learning process. Specifically, online high schools that offer synchronous instruction allow students to interact with their teachers and classmates, much like they would in a traditional classroom. Instructors use many different tools including, breakout rooms, chat, video, and digital tools, to connect with their students. Because all of these tools and resources are posted online, students can access class materials at any time.

Pro tip: Make sure the online high school you are considering offers teacher “office hours” and a student success coach. Office hours allow students to meet with their teacher one on one to reinforce concepts and answer any lingering questions. A Student Success Coach works with the student and family to make sure their academic goals are being met and helps to monitor progress. Your student should be known and supported throughout their academic journey.

Students Thrive Learning Online

When schools shifted to distance learning during the pandemic, many students found that learning online worked very well for their academic growth and wished to continue learning in this environment. However, most schools have abandoned online learning or not allocated the necessary resources to offer their students a robust online academic experience. Nationally ranked and accredited, online high schools are an excellent option for students who find that learning online works best.

Pro tip: When considering an online school, look for schools that also offer experiences to students beyond the classroom. Some online high schools provide leadership development, civic engagement, additional STEM programming, and enrichment activities outside of the school day.

Optional Learning Year-Round

Online high schools may offer optional summer coursework, allowing students to earn credit for taking a summer course. Students choose to enroll in an accelerated summer class to move quicker through a field of study, open up time in their schedule the following year, or balance their free time in the summer with academic coursework. Many students comment that focusing on a single class over the summer leads to a deeper understanding of the course materials.

Still Have Questions? Get our Guide!

Parent Guide to Online High SchoolIf you’re considering online learning for your family, you may also be interested in A Parent’s Guide to Choosing an Online High School compiled by experienced educators who understand the unique needs of online high school students. Or, read about the types of students who thrive at 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 part- or full-time, fully accredited, diploma-awarding program offering an honors-level curriculum taught by the acclaimed Bryn Mawr faculty. Learn more about Bryn Mawr Online at

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Meet Alders

Meet Alders, a sailing enthusiast from Annapolis, Maryland, who loves history class and twin snake gummy candy. Learn how BMOS helps her balance school with

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.