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10 Reasons Students Made the Switch to Virtual High School

The academic landscape has evolved over the last 10-15 years, in parallel with the business and professional world. Many parents, teachers, and students see online learning as the future of education. If you’re looking for a high school that prepares students for the challenges of today, virtual high school is an excellent option.


Public, charter, and private schools are still good options for many students, and homeschooling is another avenue to consider. But more and more families are choosing to make the switch to virtual or blended-learning models of education. Online learning offers a variety of specific benefits and opportunities for students to play a more active role in their education. 


Keep reading to discover 10 reasons why parents are making the switch. 


Related: Online vs. Traditional High School Pros and Cons

1. Flexible Schedules

students working on a homework assignment for virtual high school

There’s no doubt that virtual learning offers students and parents more flexibility in terms of their class schedules. With family obligations, jobs, traveling, sports, and more, many high school students have important responsibilities in addition to their classes.


Online high school allows students to meet their responsibilities and needs without sacrificing a quality education. The flexibility afforded by virtual education not only gives students the ability to complete coursework at any time but also from anywhere.

2. Opportunities for Self-Paced Learning

Each student is unique in terms of their individual learning style, preferences, and needs. Students who thrive with a fast-paced approach to learning are often held back by traditional high schools, in which students have no choice but to adapt to a predetermined, “universal” pace.


Virtual high school gives these students the opportunity to move on to the next topic at their own discretion, providing the motivation and variability they need to engage with their education in the manner that best suits their needs.

3. Accredited Curricula

If you’re looking for a high school that will look good on college applications or on a resume, finding one that is accredited is essential. Online high schools are held to the same standards of accreditation as traditional, in-person institutions. In today’s environment, you can rest assured you’re receiving a quality education at a virtual academy with an accredited curriculum.


Look for accredited high schools with a robust core curriculum, diverse elective offerings, college-preparedness programs, and extracurricular opportunities.


4. Accommodations for Those With Special Needs

Every student deserves a quality education. But unfortunately, traditional high schools rarely have the flexibility to offer appropriate accommodations to those who need them. This leaves students with learning differences and/or disabilities without the resources they need to reach their full potential and learn in a way that works for them. 


Virtual academies, such as Summit Learning Charter (SLC), are able to provide personalized accommodations and assistance to students with special needs through evidence-based learning tools and individualized support.

5. Certified, Skilled Instructors 

Instructors are the backbone of any educational institution. Ensuring that teachers have the knowledge, experience, and skills to effectively work with students and assist them in their learning is essential. All SLC teachers are highly educated and certified in the state of Oregon.


Our teachers are qualified, compassionate, and experienced in virtual learning environments. Both parents and students can rest assured that their online instructors are dedicated to student success at every level.

6. Opportunities for Parental Involvement

student taking notes listening to the teacher teach a lesson

Parental involvement is an important factor in any student’s educational career. In-person classrooms unfortunately leave little room for parents to meaningfully engage with their children’s learning on a regular basis. 


Online high schools not only provide more opportunities for parents to play a role in their child’s education, but actively encourage parental involvement through direct communication with teachers and faculty.

7. Learning Flexibility

While it’s important for students to learn to adapt to different academic environments and teaching styles, it’s also important to acknowledge that people learn differently, and that’s okay. Traditional models of education are ideal for some students, while others learn better through hands-on learning or with more one-on-one instruction. Virtual high schools almost always offer a greater degree of flexibility in terms of how students learn and build essential skills.

8. Safe Learning Environment

School should be a safe, comfortable environment for all students. Unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. Peer pressure, bullying, and social distractions can all take a toll on student’s confidence and impact their ability to focus on their academic and social development. Online school allows for more parental supervision and keeps students away from bullies and harmful distractions.

9. Modern Technology

Remote work is here to stay. Over 25% of employees in the US and Canada now work virtually, and this percentage is only expected to increase. High schools and colleges that prioritize teaching students technological literacy are effectively preparing their students for the modern workplace. 


Virtual high schools use technology in nearly every facet of their curriculum, not just in a computer lab. This offers students who attend online or blended-learning schools a unique opportunity to develop the specific skills they’ll need to succeed in a remote or hybrid work environment.

10. Cost Savings

high school students throwing their caps into the air because they graduated

Contrary to many people’s expectations, many online high schools are publicly funded and tuition-free. SLC, for example, is a free public charter school that’s funded by the Oregon Department of Education, just like traditional public schools. We also provide a laptop to each student and money to purchase books and course materials. The only direct cost to families is the need to provide an internet connection for the home. 


Online and hybrid learning also saves families time and money by eliminating the need for daily commuting.

How Does an Online High School Differ From a Traditional High School?

Online and traditional high schools have more in common than you might think. But there are many differences too, some of which are detailed below. Learn more about the pros and cons of online vs traditional high schools as you work toward making the right decision for your student and family.


Online High School

  • Virtual or hybrid environment
  • Flexible schedules
  • Opportunities for self-paced learning
  • Learn from any location
  • Ongoing parental involvement
  • Individualized approach to learning

Traditional High School

  • In-person classroom environments
  • Rigid schedule
  • Universal, predetermined pace
  • Learn from the classroom
  • Occasional parent check-ins
  • Standardized models of education

Prepare Your Student for Academic Success


There are many reasons to consider online high school, and parents all over the country are making the switch. In fact, in today’s technology-based society, virtual school teaches students the self-discipline and practical skills they’ll need to succeed professionally and beyond.


Summit Learning Charter is a fully accredited public K-12 school for students in Oregon. Our virtual academy offers over 200 hundred classes with 3 comprehensive, evidence-based curricula. We believe that every student deserves to have the flexibility and personalized support they need to succeed. 

Learn more about SLC’a academics and contact us today for more information.

Learn More About Summit’s Virtual Academy!

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Mr. Gallagher has been working at Summit Learning Charter since 2008, the school's founding year, and has been the Principal since 2014. Sean has been an educator for 27 years working in alternative education, teaching English, and school leadership. Sean's passion as a school leader is constructing Summit towards continual growth and student centered solutions.

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