Tips for Transitioning from Public to Online School

Parents and students are taking advantage of all the benefits of attending online school. Some students can focus better in an online environment, while others need a more flexible schedule. However, families may wonder how to make the transition from walking into a brick and mortar school each day to attending virtual meetings and online classes. How can students make a smooth transition and succeed in their online education?

Set a Schedule

The biggest mistake students can make with attending online classes is to think that “flexible schedule” means “no schedule”. Online students are in charge of their own schedules, but that means they really need to take charge! Students and parents can use an online scheduling app or a traditional calendar or planner to lay out a daily schedule based on the student’s workload, important due dates and test dates, and the student’s extra curricular obligations.

Stay Involved

Social connections are important to all students. Online schools often provide a success team and some opportunities to connect with other students. New online students should try out whatever connection opportunities are available, from clubs, programs, and field trips, to live online classes and study groups. These will give students opportunities to connect with peers, teachers, and mentors.  

Besides building new relationships in their new online environment, students can also continue participating in their favorite extracurricular activities. Regardless of whether or not they attend their district school, students can participate in district sports and activities at their local school. There are also many opportunities for classes, clubs, and activities in the community at recreation centers, churches, and private instructional facilities such as martial arts or dance schools.

School Supplies

Some online students think that the only school supplies they will need for online learning are their computer and an internet connection!  While these are definitely important, students will still need some supplies. A student who is used to writing out math equations and taking notes is likely to struggle if they expect to be able to do all the math in their head and cut and paste notes into a document. Students and families can work together to set up a work area at home and to provide supplies that will help with the hands-on process of learning. The act of writing notes helps build memory connections and sometimes, the best way to work out a math problem is to write it down or draw it out. Students may want to use one of the new erasable, reusable notebooks that allow them to scan notes onto their phone or computer before erasing, but physical participation in learning is always valuable, even for online students.

Changing schools is always a big event in a student’s life, but families can make the transition from in-person to online a positive experience. When students set schedules, stay involved with social connections, and ensure they have the tools they need to be successful, this transition can be a smooth and successful one.


GlobalED Solutions is a leading online school provider for middle school through high school, to students of all levels and ages. If you or your student are ready to make the switch from traditional to online school, learn more about our programs and enroll today! If you'd like to speak with a representative to address any additional questions, contact us today!