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Distance Learning & Online Classes

Berkeley Parents Network > Reviews > K-12 Schools > Distance Learning & Online Classes


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Online Course for High School Student in the Summer?

Nov 2013

Hello, We're thinking that perhaps our daughter could take an AP course in the summer so that she could have one fewer AP course during her junior year. We have not been able to find a school that offers AP courses in the summer that a) is close by (Berkeley area), b) is not too expensive, and c) offers classes that fit our summer schedule. (We are planning to be away on vacation for 10 days around the last week of July and first week of August.) We're looking into online courses. If your child has successfully taken online courses, could you please share your insight about the quality of the program and the fee? We of course would like the courses to be accepted by UCs and other colleges. Thank you very much. Anynomous


My son tried two online schools, k12 and apex. k12 was awful and apex was barely acceptable. He did do well on the AP, but it was painful. If you're thinking UCs then the better route is to take online community college classes. Many transfer directly without the AP hassle and even count in the UC application gpa. Eric
My daughter took some courses on line at K-12, I think it is k12.com anyway it is an accredited on line school. She did not AP, so I'm not sure they have them but call them. It was a good experience. Mariedda

Online High School for 17-year-old?

Nov 2010

I am looking for recomendations for on line high schools. I have a 17 year old who is looking to finish high school on line. Preferably nothing too very expensive. Steven


We just found out that not all online schools are accepted by colleges. Our HS counselor suggested we look at BYU online school as the UC system accepts their HS courses - not that attendance at UC is the goal, just that it is a good benchmark for what others might accept. http://ce.byu.edu/is/site/ Good Luck Sindy
There is an excellent on line program through BYU University (Brigham Young) where high school students can make up credits or complete High school on line. The requirements are clear and simple, they usually send a CD for the class and they are VERY reasonably priced. On average 125.00 per semester. All tests can be proctored at Classroom Matters in Berkeley. If your child is currently enrolled in school and needs to make up a credit or replace an F and does not want to go to summer school,this is a life saver. Classroom matters is very familiar with this process and can assist with tutoring if necessary. I have used it for my son and it was great. Good luck. Anon. anonymous
I did a lot of research on this last year when considering this for my teenaged son. The best by far that I could find was Laurel Springs School. (http://www.laurelsprings.com/home) They are a college-prep school with classes that meet all California state standards and some classes (although these are mostly text-based and not online) that meet UC a-g requirements. Not too expensive, but I'm not sure what you might consider too much. nkk

Online International Baccalaureate program?

Nov 2010

Our daughter is a freshman in high school in a school district that does not have an international baccalaureate program. Her father is from overseas, and he was in the IB program in his high school, and thinks our daughter would enjoy the experience. Does anyone know if kids can participate in the international baccalaureate program online? Berkeley High has a program, but we live in El Cerrito. Thanks! IB mama


There is not an on-line version of the IB program. Having spent the last three years working with the Berkeley High BIHS program, I acquired a pretty good understanding of how it works. Unlike AP exams, which anyone can take regardless of whether they enroll in an AP prep class, students who take IB exams must be enrolled in a class taught by an IB-certified teacher. In addition to the final exam there are periodic ''internal assessments'' that students must take, and these have to be administered by an IB-certified teacher. The combination of the results of the internal assessments and the final exam are what create the students ''score'' for the exam.

There are some limited ways to accommodate classes not taught through a school program, but they still must be organized by an IB certified school. For example, there are a number of students in the BIHS program who came in with a number of years of experience with a language for which there is an IB exam, but that is not taught at Berkeley High. To accommodate those students BIHS implemented a policy to allow them to get outside tutors who were IB-certified and would be willing to administer the internal assessments. I believe the final exam was done on the regular IB exam schedule, established by the IBO, at Berkeley High.

You can find more information about the IB program at the IBO web site, and on the BIHS web site (http://berkeleyihs.org/, which also provides a link to the IBO site.

Having said all this, my daughter graduated from BIHS last year, and she got an excellent education that is serving her very well in college, particularly in history and writing. Sandi


Online Math Classes

March 2002

I believe I have read recommendations here for on-line math classes for high school students offered through Stanford University (costing about $350). I searched the website and the Stanford site and didn't find anything, so am posting this to the group. Does anyone know how to contact them? Or have feedback? Thank you, Keiko

Recommendation received:

  • Educational Program for Gifted Youth

    Classes for Fullfilling High School Math Requirements

    Sept 2001

    RE: Alternatives to taking math at BHS
    Laurel Springs (www.laurelsprings.com) is an on-line school aimed mostly at homeschoolers. We have signed her up for Algebra 2 on-line. They use the Boxer Math program (www.boxermath.com) which is very engaging. I would like to see BHS offer this in addition to the traditional math program at BHS. I think it could be very cost effective and provide alternatives for kids who are not succeeding in the classroom. (The cost of the BoxerMath might only be $50. The balance of the $500 goes to Laurel Springs, which, by the way, has a full 6 yr accreditation from WASC). The on-line program has some distinct advantages (as well as some disadvantages of course) over the in-class program at BHS. The students can actively interact with what is being displayed and get pop-up explanations of things on the screen. They can go at their own pace (do lots one day, 15 minutes the next) and get immediate feedback on what they need to review (reduces the sense of failure and provides the confidence needed for success). This was recommended to me by someone whose daughter completed geometry and enjoyed it so much she is now taking Alg. 2.


    Re: Math Analysis at BHS
    My daughter took Math Analysis through Brigham Young University on-line when she was a senior and in the same situation as your daughter. You can look it up on the web or get the information (as we did) from The Tutoring Center on Dwight in Berk.

    Stanford's Educational Program for Gifted Youth (EPGY)

    Re: Online Math Classes (March 2002)
    Our daughter took EPGY Geometry while in eighth grade, because this course was not offerred at her school, and she did not want to take it at BHS. The cost was about $500 per 3 month semester, perhaps plus some incidental fees for supplies.

    This course was still in development. Our family gives it mixed reviews.

    Our daughter enjoyed using one of the programs used in the course, The Geometer's Sketchpad, which is available independently elsewheres, and we have recently bought a copy for her continued use (we were not allowed to keep the copy provided by Stanford). However, the EPGY proprietary program, The Proof Environment, was buggy, unwieldly, and frustrating for our daughter to use. (Admittedly, this program was still in development, however we did pay full price for the 2- semester course.)

    Technical assistance, and help were somewhat available, but not thorough, and were not helped by a "distance medium" and frustration of a teen.

    Not surprisingly, when tested at the outset of 9th grade this year, our daughter had weaknesses in the area of geometric proofs (2nd semester).

    (Fortunately she has a fabulous math teacher this year, at International High School in SF, who is able to tailor coursework to her needs, and keep her moving forward, filling in gaps, without the need for repitition.)

    In its favor, the program did provide a way for our daughter to continue with math in middle school, which would not have been otherwise possible. Other programs from EPGY are fully developed and tested.

    The website you want, as referenced by Parents of Teens is: http://www-epgy.stanford.edu. The phone number is (650) 329-9920.

    -As our daughter prefers me to remain, Anon


    July 1999

    RE: Stanford "Distance Learning" Program

    The program I think you're looking for is Stanford's "Educational Program for Gifted Youth" ("EPGY"). It includes classes in math of all levels (K-college level), physics, and writing. There is a web site at http://www-epgy.stanford.edu. The phone number is (650) 329-9920.


    UC Berkeley Online Extension Classes

    Re: Troubled daughter has stopped going to school (Jan 2002)
    UC Berkeley Extension Online offers high school core curriculum courses available either by mail or e-mail. The courses are accredited by the State of California, however, the student has to go through a high school to get credit. I'm not really sure how it works, but it could be worth checking out. Go to http://learn.berkeley.edu Lisa
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