Online Charter Schools

Online charter schools are fast becoming a major player within online learning. How has this come about? While in the past, most of these entities were started by a local group of people interested in alternative education, it is now common for it to be a mixture of local people and a company that acts as the curriculum provider. It could also be a local school district and that same company.

That curriculum providing company often also helps you work your way through the process of creating an online charter school. It is this additional support that has made it less of a challenge to start such an endeavor.

What is an online charter school?

A charter school is a public school that is required to follow fewer rules than traditional schools.While some pieces are exactly the same – such as the requirement to accept all students – other pieces are possible precisely because there are fewer rules. Being a charter means increased flexibility with time, location, and scheduling. A part of the charter movement that has grown is the number of such schools that have gone online or have solely been developed online.

What are the geographic rules?

One distinct advantage for online schools – as opposed to online schools created by school districts – is that they can accept students across district and/or county lines. This gives them the ability to reach out to a greater number of students. The general rule is that these schools can accept students from their own county as well as adjoining counties.

Who can they accept?

As stated above, as long as you live in the right county or an adjoining county, you are initially eligible for that program. The one caveat is that they are allowed to have a maximum number of students whom they accept. Importantly, most charter schools are relatively small, so it is entirely possible that you could end up on a waiting list.

Another factor is your age. Typically, the maximum age allowed is eighteen or the end of twelfth grade. That being said, there are some programs that allow for students to continue all the way up to the age of twenty-one. 

Is there a way to get around the rules?

Not really. The age requirement is statutory based on the relevant charter school laws. While there are certainly differences in that maximum age based on where you live, when you hit that maximum age, that is the end.

However, the geographical limitation can be easier. If you don’t live in an area that has an online charter school available, it may be possible to move to a place that does. While you would not want to break the rules, you could certainly move in with a family member or friend who does live in the right area.