Allied Online High School Blog

Building Lives Through Online Education. Your future depends on creating a solid academic foundation. Let Allied National High School provide you with a better online high school option. This is "Education on Your Terms!"

"A Subject A Day Can Be The Best Way"

Are you having a difficult time figuring out a solution for your son or daughter who is not thriving in the traditional school environment?  While there are many wonderful schools throughout the United States, there are instances where a student needs an alternative.

Consider these questions while you are exploring options:

  1. Does your son or daughter have a need to study at different hours than the traditional setting offers?
  2. Does he/she have challenges with peer pressure and could have greater academic success if they could focus entirely on academics?
  3. Is he/she looking for a more challenging environment, but one that allows him/her the opportunity to have a voice in how their schedule unfolds on a daily basis?
  4. Does he/she wish to have the opportunity to get a part-time job, or complete high school earlier than a traditional environment may allow?
  5. Would he/she benefit from a fresh start and an opportunity to enroll throughout the year, rather than just in the fall and spring? 

Allied National High School is a fully accredited, 100% online high school with:

  1. Credentialed teachers that are highly experienced with online learning, and who provide specific feedback on every homework assignment.
  2. A high school counselor who provides scheduling support, academic guidance, college /career planning and crisis intervention.
  3. A caring and supportive administrative staff that is here to help you and your son/daughter all the way from enrollment to completion of required credits.
  4. The ability to meet the needs of many types of students!

Some examples of students who thrive at ANHS:

Here are some examples of students who come to ANHS and do extremely well because our program offers them an opportunity to experience flexibility and freedom, and offers both General and College Preparatory Diploma Paths: 

  1. Students who enjoy academics but are looking for an environment with less distractions
  2. Students who have to move or travel often
  3. Students who have a need for flexibility and college preparatory studies due to athletic pursuits (our core courses are also NCAA approved)
  4. Students who are performers and need the ability to work at different hours than a traditional setting will allow.
  5. Students who would like to stay at home to complete their diploma.
  6. Students who have learning challenges - we can serve most students with special needs and support them in academic success through curriculum accommodations and modifications to meet their needs.

How Does The ANHS Program Work?  (weave in the message of how a subject a day works versus the traditional environment of 7 periods a day)

We have found that many students benefit from simplicity in structure here at Allied National High School.  While many are accustomed to working on several subjects each day, our program provides an opportunity to take a different approach.  Our suggested “Subject A Day” method works very well within our Regular Grading system, and has been of help to many families!  Here’s a sample schedule:

How does this schedule work?

In a nutshell, a student can work about 5 hours a day, 5 days a week and stay on track to complete each semester course within approximately 4.5 months (less in some cases).  Of course each student is unique, and while one student will complete an English assignment in 4 hours, another may take 5.  Fortunately, our program offers this flexibility, and a student can break up their studies throughout the day.  For example, a student can complete the reading portion of their assignment from 10 am to 12 pm, and take a break, return to their assignment and the online portion from 2-4 pm, and perhaps finish the assignment from 6-7 pm, submit the assignment for grading, and take the quiz.  Since there are no set classroom hours, the parent and student can work with our High School Counselor, Mrs. Nicole Fields, to create their own structure.  A steady and consistent effort to complete 1 assignment in 1 subject each day simplifies the whole process of completing required credits for graduation.

Why does this work well?

Parents, you can monitor progress easily!  You can simply ask your son or daughter if they have completed their homework assignment.  We also provide you with Observer Access so you can monitor progress, view teacher feedback and check grades.

Students, if you work steadily each day, 4-5 hours a day, you can stay right on track to complete your required credits.  Also, when you have completed your subject assignment on that particular day, you can rest easy and know that you have completed your work and feel a sense of accomplishment.

This isn’t to say it will be easy!  Our program is academically designed to help students learn, grow and ultimately prepare them for their future, whether it is a vocation, career or attending college/university.  However, this approach can keep things simple – so you can focus on one task, break it up into parts, and achieve your end result.  One Subject Each Day…

A Few Opportunities To Learn More!

  1. Mrs. Nicole Fields, our High School Counselor, will be featured on our site and through our media campaigns over the next few weeks.  Take advantage of this opportunity and return to our site to hear more about how to write an effective essay! (link here or perhaps to where Nicole is featured on ANHS site).
  2. Schedule a Virtual Open House Tour and join us for a live online session and demonstration of our program and online learning management system.  This is a great chance for you and your son or daughter to get to know ANHS.

Parents, Counselors, School Administrators & Coaches:  Now that the first half of school has passed, have you given any thought to helping your students recover credits, improve their GPA, or create space in their schedule for the fall? 

Why wait for May or June to roll around to help students get ahead?  Many Summer School programs fill up, or have enrollment deadline dates.  Many students want to enjoy part of their summer break.  Why get caught in the “mad dash” that often occurs for Summer School when there is a viable alternative?

There are a number of things that you can do to plan ahead.

First, high school counselors are the best resource.  We encourage you to seek advice from the professional who can help you.

Here are a few suggestions on how you can prepare yourself for a phone call with the Counselor or Administrator at the student’s school of record, and how you can proceed from there:

1.       Speak with the student’s high school counselor or administrator about their academic needs.
a.       Does the student need to improve a grade in a single course?  If so, which specific course or courses? English 10A?  Algebra 1B?  Get clear on the details and why. 
b.      For college-bound students, does the student need to take an additional semester course to increase their GPA for college application or NCAA purposes?
c.       Or would the student benefit from working on a credit that would create space in their schedule in the fall so they can add a drama class or special class of interest? 

2.       Ask the high school counselor or school official what the criteria is for what is known as a “transfer of credit”, or “single course for credit”.  Ultimately, you will want the course your student takes to be transferred back to their full-time high school’s transcript, so be sure to find out what is acceptable to them.   More questions to ask:
a.       What type of regional accreditation is needed?  i.e., WASC, SACS, NCA, etc.?
b.      Does the school offering the individual course need to be in a brick and mortar setting, or does the school of record allow online courses?  Online courses offer more flexibility for you and the student, so this is good information to know.

3.       Find out which schools, programs and courses are available, and start your research early – some programs are limited to a certain number of students, some courses are not available, and some have strict entry deadlines and attendance requirements.   

4.       When speaking with a school you are considering for a course or two for credit, ask as many questions as you need to!
a.       What type of accreditation and approvals does the school have?  Can you find it on their website and independently verify that they are regionally accredited?  If you have a student athlete, do the courses need to be NCAA approved, and have you looked the school course listing up on the NCAA clearinghouse site?
b.      Schools offering courses will very often have a process for you to follow in order to ensure that the course will be transferred for credit.  What are the forms that need to be completed?
c.       How does their program work?  Is it online?  Are there set days & times for classes, or is the schedule flexible?  Are there teachers, and what are their qualifications?  What is the required teacher response time?  What type of student progress reporting and support is available?  Will the school send you progress reports and also keep the school administrator updated, if that is what is requested?
d.      Can the school support you in determining how long the course will take, how many hours per week the student must work, and assist you in getting the final transcript to the student’s school of record and NCAA clearinghouse, if applicable?
e.      Does the school offer payment plans, or is all tuition required up front?  Can they work with you if you have a budgeting concern?
f.        Is a representative of the school willing to answer any questions you have and assist you in the enrollment process?  Very often, the first phone call will tell you a great deal about what you need to know and the ongoing experience you and your student will have.

Fortunately, there’s a great solution: Allied National High School!

Allied National High School enrolls students year-round, is regionally and nationally accredited, and has NCAA approved courses. We are 100% online, have payment plans, and offer two types of grading to accommodate a variety of start dates and completion deadlines.  You can enroll your student right now, and have them “ease” into the course they need to complete, then accelerate once the school year has finished.  This may give them some time they didn’t anticipate having available to enjoy their summer break. 

Enrolling early may also relieve some of the pressure students can feel if they start a summer school session in June or July.  Additionally, students who enjoy other activities can still do so with ANHS, as they can work through a course during whatever hours work best for them.  Yes, a teen can still go to the beach with their friends during the day and do their studies at night… and parents don’t have to drive them to class, either!

Call us today at 800-968-4034 to speak with one of our Admissions counselors.

Thanks to the very talented and dedicated marketing staff at Allied Schools, ANHS has an updated website, and it looks beautiful!  Not to worry, it’s not just pretty to look at; it is easier to navigate and has lots of new information for you. Let’s look at some of the new pages together!

  • The new site has pages dedicated to athletes, parents, students, and counselors.
  • It also has an updated faculty page with pictures of our instructors.
  • Perhaps the most important update has been to our FAQ page. This is an easy way to find answers to questions instantly, and it is also a wonderful way to learn more about the program.

The fun doesn't end with the new page though, it also has links to our social media pages, and newsletter.

We invite you to explore the new website today, and please share it with your friends and family too!

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Effective online education at Allied National High School.Teaching in a virtual environment is similar in many ways to teaching in a brick-and-mortar setting. For instance, teachers need know how to provide students with feedback. They also need to be adept communicators and meet the individual learning needs of every student. There is also an array of differences between these two settings. As an example, virtual teachers need to embrace new technologies and adapt quickly to change. They also have to manage their own schedules efficiently and find ways to build relationships with students that they’ll most likely never see face-to-face. I would also like to clarify this: my definition of being an efficient educator, in any educational setting, is creating an environment where students learn, make adequate progress, and reach their academic goals.

So, one might ask about the skills that are required to be an effective online educator, and how those skills are fostered in the virtual school environment. Below is a list of skills that I have found to be common among highly effective Allied National High School instructors. While this is only based on my personal experience, I think you will agree that these skills would surely improve any online learning experience, and meet the definition of an effective educator.

Effective Online Teachers: 

  • Solve problems (often having to think outside of the box to do so)
  • Flexible with students (this requires great patience and compassion) 
  • Embrace new technologies to improve their teaching practice and student learning
  • Communicate proactively and often with parents, students, and administrators
  • Build trusting relationships with families, schools, and colleagues
  • Demonstrate integrity
  • Masters of time management, prioritizing their tasks continually
  • Track student progress using technology and all available resources
  • Help students create and reach academic goals
  • Use data to make instructional decisions
  • Model expectations for students’ writing, communication, and time management
  • Resolve and escalate issues with the students’ well being and learning as the focus
  • Know when they need help and ask for assistance when it is needed
  • Grade with fairness, high expectations, and individualized attention
  • Keep students motivated to learn (through a combination of several above mentioned skills)

As the next generation of teachers enter the field of education, it is important for them to be aware of and foster these skills. Even teachers that currently work in a brick-and-mortar schools may find themselves teaching online in the future, as online education is quickly becoming a staple of state education expectations, and more online schools open every day.

I am pleased to say that all of these skills are embodied by our instructors at ANHS, and are also fostered routinely through our professional learning community and instructor training sessions. There is also one common theme to all of the skills that make for a really good online educator, and that is being student centered. When every task a teacher completes is with a student’s well-being and learning process in mind, great things can be accomplished!

Jacquelyn Sanborn, Dean of Instruction at Allied National High School

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Schools collect all sorts of data throughout the school year, but did you ever wonder why or what they do with it? School collect everything from home addresses and quiz scores to asking students about extracurricular activities. Now more than ever, schools are using this data to make decisions about the future of their schools. As most data is now kept digitally, this has never been easier to analyze.

There are many reasons why schools collect data from students and faculty. The first is that some information is required by state law to be kept on file for each student. There are also accreditation standards that require schools to use data, such as performance data, to make decisions about curricular and instructional changes. Furthermore, it is increasingly easy to survey students and faculty in an online world.  Why not conduct an online survey to see if students want a student council and if they are interested in participating as a member?

This information helps empower school leaders to make decisions that they know is a direct and accurate reflection of the stakeholders it will ultimately affect. It also means that school leaders need to have excellent analysis skills to use the data effectively. The good news is that this can lead to very high satisfaction ratings and lots of buy in on schoolwide changes. Allied National High School uses data throughout the year in these ways, including once per year, in July, the faculty, administrators, and leadership team perform a mass data analysis of school improvement efforts and use those findings to update their schoolwide action plan for school improvement.

Perhaps the most challenging thing about using data for decision making is collecting enough data and making sure it is accurate. If your sample is too small, it may not be a reflection of the whole group, or if there are other factors affecting your data results, you may need to consider all of the factors holistically before making a decision, which would mean not relying solely on data. This is why it is so important to give accurate information to schools when it is asked of you. It’s also why it is important to fully complete forms and return them in a timely fashion. The information you provide to your school might be a key piece in the future of how the school will function.  So, the next time you get that online survey or form in an email, don’t press delete; take a few minutes out of your day to have a direct impact.

For more information about Allied National High School's online high school program, please give us a call at (800) 968-4034.

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Proctors are individuals that monitor students while they take exams. Many students’ first experience working with a proctor is for big standardized tests, like the SAT® test. Proctors are the people that write the time on the board, read the rules, and hand out bathroom passes. Being a proctor is much more than that though; their job is to make sure students uphold integrity during the exam process and to make sure students are able to successfully complete the exam as intended.

Online learners tend to interact with proctors more often due to the remote nature of their exam-taking process. It is very important that schools provide evidence that their students take exams in an environment that is honest, that it is a true reflection of students' abilities, and that it is taken in accordance with school policy. In order to meet the standards of many regional accreditation agencies (WASC regional accreditation in our case), this is a must for any school.
At ANHS, proctors are assigned to each of our students.

In the online setting, this can be challenging, so schools tackle this issue in different ways. Some require students to show up in person to take exams with their instructors. This usually occurs with schools that have students form one region. Other schools have students monitored by third party proctors online using a remote desktop device. Yet another option is for schools to have students select a proctor that lives near them. This occurs often with schools that have students from many different locations.

At Allied National High School, we have students select a volunteer proctor that lives near them. This person must be over the age of 21 and not related to them. The proctor registers with our school and signs a form that explains the importance of their role, how they are expected to monitor exams, and they also promise to uphold the academic integrity of our school through the exam monitoring process. This person then receives passwords via email when students inform their instructors that they are prepared to take a unit or final exam.

Proctored exams is just one way ANHS creates a positive learning environment that meets the highest standards for learning. While the role of the proctor may seem minor in comparison to other roles, such as teachers and administrators, it is just as important to the educational process. It is part of what makes online learning a viable choice for students to pursue their academic goals outside of the traditional classroom environment.

Be sure to follow Allied National High School on Facebook and Twitter for daily updates, fun, and study tips!

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Plagiarism is not a new problem in education. Students have been giving into the temptation of plagiarizing since there were classrooms. However, over time, the face of plagiarism has changed. While online students may not have the chance to look over another student’s shoulder to copy an answer, they have a new temptation. Today’s online student is living in a world of on-demand information in this golden age of technology, and has easier access to plagiarism sources than ever before.

Students can plagiarize from multiple articles for one simple assignment in a matter of minutes with just the click of a mouse. They can get answers from a student in another country, or even find publisher teacher resources that were uploaded illegally, and all from the comfort of their laptop or tablet.

All of these breeches of honesty might sound terrible, but perhaps the worst case of plagiarism has ignorance as its root cause. As an online high school administrator for almost seven years, I have seen multiple examples of students that honestly did not know it was wrong to copy and paste information from an online source and use it as part of their response on an assignment. This is both frustrating and saddening for any education professional attempting to teach students about digital literacy and proper use. That being said, I can understand how this has happened. Think about what we do when we need to find out something: we "Google it," and then we take the information that we find in the first few links as fact.
Plagiarism in online learning environment.

Rather than declare academic integrity dead for an entire generation, we chose to combat this rampant plagiarism and digital ignorance at its source.  At Allied National High School, all new students entering our program participate in an online plagiarism tutorial as part of their orientation process. The University of Southern Mississippi was kind enough to share their tutorial with our students. You can find it online as the Plagiarism Tutorial.

As part of this tutorial, students take a pre and post-assessment of their plagiarism knowledge, learn what plagiarism is, and how to cite something properly. They also learn about acceptable use and paraphrasing. By completing this tutorial before starting their course work, Allied National High School students are held to a very high standard of academic integrity throughout their enrollment in our program.

Another great resource that we use is The Purdue Online Writing Lab (OWL), which is run by Purdue University.  It covers all of the same topics covered in the tutorial mentioned above and also helps students with writing their writing technique.

Thanks for reading, and happy studying!

Jacquelyn Sanborn
Dean of Instruction
Allied National High School

See what our students are saying about ANHS!

Sources: Owl and USM's Plagiarism Tutorial

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